Just imagine sitting comfortably with a cup of steaming hot Darjeeling tea and watching the rain drops falling on the window sill! And in the distance you could hear the sound of the steam engine chugging along. Will it not looks straight out of some novel! Well, a visit to Singell on a monsoon weekend can give you all these experiences and much more.
Singell, located near Kurseong town is a charming destination. Tea estates surround the village on all sides. The place is just perfect for those who want to spend a calm and relaxing weekend from the hustle bustle of city life. Being very near to Kurseong city, you can see the famous Darjeeling toy trains chugging along, right from the balcony and terrace of the homestay. Did I tell you, that Singell has only 1 homestay? When we visited the place earlier this year, we saw another homestay was being constructed.(
The Singell Homestay is located just a few minutes walk from the main road. While coming from Darjeeling towards Kurseong, you will encounter a signboard of Singell Tea Estate on the right. Take the road downhill and within 5 minutes you will arrive at the homestay. The host is an amicable lady who will help you with all the sightseeing and other details. During monsoon, the whole place looks luscious green with tea gardens all around. The entire landscape takes a refreshing look. The green is indeed soothing to the eyes!
Things to do in Singell
Visit the tea Gardens
There are several tea gardens of both commercial and historical importance near Singell. The Makaibari, Castleton, Singell, Goomtee and Ambootia Tea Estates are all nearby. You can visit these tea gardens and also the tea factory to get a glimpse of how tea is manufactured.
There is a road downhill from the homestay itself. You can take the road down all the way to Singell Tea Estate factory. The road meanders through the tea gardens. Coming uphill can be quite a task. If you do not want to walk all the way up, you can inform the homestay owner. She will send a car there for you.
Go for a village walk
Singell is synonymous with serenity. Just walk down the village roads. You will see numerous paddy and cardamom fields. Quaint little houses dot the village. you might see a few children playing on the roads or the women doing their household chores. The people are very friendly. Your smile will be returned with a cup of tea! Enjoy the nature while walking down the village and experience the simplicity of the people there.
Visit the Eagle’s Craig point
Eagle’s Craig Point is located on the top of the hill and it offers an excellent view of the surrounding mountains, valleys and tea gardens. There is a watchtower from where you can get a panoramic view of the entire place. The garden is well maintained and you can sit here to relax for some time. In the evening, you will get a great view of Siliguri town from here.
Feel the eeriness of Dow Hill
Dow Hill is said to be one of the most haunted places in Bengal. You will get to hear stories of death road, headless ghosts, haunted schools and many other eerie stories about the Dow Hill. The place is immensely beautiful with a dreamy look and canopy of huge trees. But the locals say that paranormal activities never cease here. While we did not really witness any such activities, but Dow Hill was eerily beautiful. There was a mysterious feeling to this place. Well, you are not allowed to go to Dow Hill after sunset!
There is a deer park at Dow Hill that once had a thriving population of deer. Of late the deer population has dwindled considerable with the forests being cut down. Nevertheless, it is a great place to visit to have a feel of Dow Hill.
Take photographs at Giddapahar
This place is located very near Kurseong and is an excellent place for photography. On a clear day, you will get a breathtaking view of the mountains. The best part however is when the Darjeeling toy train takes a bend near Giddapahar. Remember the song “Mere Sapno ki rani kab ayegi tu”. It was shot at Giddapahar area!
Take a toy train ride
Kurseong Railway Station is very near to Singell. And once you are here, take a toy train ride. You can take a ride to Ghoom Station and come back. Otherwise, if you are planning to go to Darjeeling, avail the toy train towards Darjeeling instead of going by a car. The experience will be remembered forever.
Best Time to visit
You can visit Singell at any time of the year. The monsoon records higher rainfall than the nearby hill stations. But the post shower freshness and greenery adds to the beauty of the place. At summer the weather remains cool and pleasant, while the winter experiences quite cold temperature.
How to Reach
The nearest airport is Bagdogra, 40 km away. It takes about 1 hour 30 minutes from Bagdogra to reach here.
The nearest Railway station is New Jalpaiguri (NJP), 42 km away. It takes around the same time. You will get rented car from both Bagdogra and NJP.
For budget travellers, you will get shared sumos from NJP and Siliguri towards Kurseong. From Kurseong, Singell is only 3.5 km. You can hire a car or simply walk down the mountain road. We had walked for about 20 minutes from Kurseong to reach Singell.
Singell is a beautiful destination for spending a weekend. With the tea gardens all around, it makes for a perfect place to visit around Darjeeling.
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