This Peaceful homestay is located at Okhrey, West Sikkim, and is the gateway to the famous Barsey Rhododendron sanctuary. They have nice view facing rooms with attached bath and 24 hr hot running water. The rooms are comfortable and the food, which you eat in their own kitchen is nothing short of spectacular. Guests can ask for local specialities (they can otherwise make a variety of cuisines) and every single meal is nothing short of a foodie paradise. Almost everything is grown in their lovely garden and greenhouses below, and is fresh, organic and delicious. The owner of the Homestay is an amazing conversationalist and is delightfully helpful and informative. The stay here, the morning walk to the monastery, the food and warm hospitality will remain fresh in your mind for a long time – as fresh as the mountain air you will breathe is this quiet and peaceful village.
Okhrey is a little village in Sikkim, tucked away amidst the beauty and splendour of the mountains.The place is a birding heaven and a wholeday bird guide costs about 800 Rs for visits to Hilley and nearby birding trails. A car drop to Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary 10 kms away costs Rs 500-600. The Barsey Rhododendrons blossom in the spring/summer so that would be a great time to visit the sanctuary, but this peaceful homestay is worth a visit any time of the year.
About the Location
Okhrey is one of the most beautiful villages in West Sikkim. The memorizing colors of sun-rise and sun-set, wavy mountains, Okhrey Monastery and heavenly nature are main attractions of this village. Okhrey is considered as a getaway to the Versey Rhododendron Sanctuary. Guests can stay overnight at Okhrey and start their journey to Hilley around 10 kms away by car the next morning. You have to park your car at Hilley and start your 4 km long trek to Varsey from Hilley. After starting your journey from Okhrey towards Hilley, you will pass through a small natural lake, some breathtaking views of Mt. Kanchenjungha and endless stretches of Rhododendrons. You will truly be amazed by the breathtaking natural splendor of Okhrey and its surroundings, shrouded with tranquility, where you can find your peace of mind. Okhrey has a treasure of natural beauty filled with lots of exotic bird species and is considered a paradise for bird watchers.
How to Reach
Nearest airport is Bagdogra (IXB) and nearest railway station is New Jalpaiguri (NJP). Distance from Siliguri (which is close to NJP and Bagdogra) is about 145 kms through Teesta, Jorethang. Direct cars are available from Siliguri, Airport and NJP to Okhrey.
Okhrey is also well connected with Gangtok through Ranka road, Melli-Nayabazar, Sombaria and Pelling. It is situated 110 kms away from capital city Gangtok.
Places of Interest
- Varsey Rhododendron Sanchuary: March-April is the best time to visit Varsay or Barsay as one can find the entire valley covered with beautiful Rhododendron all around. Apart from this visitors also get to see the numbers of flowering plants like Primula and others like magnolia etc. The 104 square km Rhododendron sanctuary is really a God’s own creation. An easy hike of about 1.5 hrs takes you to the valley covered with Rhododendron and the magnificent view of Mt. Khanchendzonga and other adjacent peaks.
- Ugen Thon Meon Ling monastery: Another popular tourist attraction of the place is the Ugen Thon Meon Ling monastery, which is visited by travelers passing through this way. The monastery is operated by the Tibetan missionaries and features a small school.
- Sai Temple, Daramdin: There is a beautiful Sai Temple in Daramdin just 28 kms away. It is recently built and is an interesting pilgrimage destination. The mandir has a quite a big compound decorated with different varieties of flowers. There is a dedicated hindu priest and some volunteers to help the visitors in different ways. One cannot afford to miss the birthday celebration of Sai Baba where the devotees of Sai religion from all over the state come together and celebrate by lighting candles, diyas and singing hymns in the praise of Sai Baba.
- Other nearby attractions of Okhrey are the view point Jureli Dara around 18 kms away, the Anden Olong Monastery (20 kms away), Kitan Falls, Dodak Helipad, Butterfly Shape Valley and numerous other view points. You can visit most of these destinations while travelling from Somabaria to Okhrey – they would fall on the way. Other attractions that you cover in a sightseeing trip of Okhrey are Devi Falls, Gathang alls, the EPC church (one of the oldest churches of Sikkim) and a Lepcha Museum.