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Timings : 24 hrs

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Tinchuley, Darjeeling Overview

At a distance of about 32 km from Darjeeling, Tinchuley is an offbeat hamlet situated close to the West Bengal-Sikkim border. With an altitude of 5550 ft, the name of the place derives from the words ‘tin’ and ‘chula’, which translates as ‘three ovens’ because the trio of hills constituting the hill station resembles mud ovens. Amazingly, the geographical diversity of the village is not exhausted by this: the rivers Teesta and Ranjeet also intersect quite close to it. All of this contributes to Tinchuley’s abundant natural beauty.

While famous for its tea plantations and fresh fruit orchards like Darjeeling, Tinchuley is, in addition, a quieter and more obscure place - there's a sense of peace pervading the atmosphere that's otherwise lacking in its busier counterparts. In Tinchuley, one can engage in rock climbing, trekking, sightseeing, all against a scenic green mountainscape that seems like something out of a film set. With an economy that started thriving through the involvement of World Wildlife Federation (WWF) in modernising the place's agriculture and branching its production off into floriculture, vermiculture, and organic products took place, Tinchuley began growing in popularity as an ideal tourist destination.

Tinchuley is the dream destination for those who are looking something spiritual out of their travel. Its gorgeous mountainscape and serene cultivated lands attest to that. So if you're seeking something of exactly that nature, then you know where to be!

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Attractions in Tinchuley

Quintessential hamlet in the Himalayas that Tinchuley is, the place is not lacking in picaresque laps of nature:

Tinchuley or Sunrise View Point
Himalayan sunrises are quite the sight to behold. They provide you not only the opportunity for engaging in some quality photography but also the rare chance to witness something in reality that would otherwise seem like a painting. Fortunately, Tinchuley has exactly a vantage point where tourists go to in the morning to get a view of the sunrise. Looking over the young and majestic peaks of Eastern Himalayas that comprise Teesta Valley, Tinchuley View Point is not a spot you'd want to miss. The cacophony of bird song that accompanies the rising sun as tourists gather around with their cameras at dawn to capture this sublime meditative scenery is quite the spiritual experience! Moreover, the spot even affords a view of the gargantuan Mt. Kanchenjunga. One can enjoy themselves here not only with friends or family but also cherish their solitude. It's the perfect way to start your morning in Tinchuley. 

Gumbadara
Starting from Peshoke Road, a quick, half an hour stroll through gorgeous pine forests and ferns will land you in Gumbadara. This is yet another tourist-frequented vantage point in Tinchuley. Here you get to explore ancient Himalayan caves whose surrounding rocks offers the opportunity to engage in some fun rock climbing. What's more, the endlessly panoramic view here is breathtaking: you see only the Teesta river flowing down in the valley below but also the bordering state of Sikkim. Visiting this spot in the rain only amplifies the beauty of what you're surrounded by. This is certainly not to be missed out on.

Tinchuley Sightseeing

You do not need to step outside the main village of Tinchuley to spot wonders - the village itself, after all, is rich in many sights worthy of your time:

Tea Gardens
The mountain soil of Tinchuley is ideal for the cultivation of export-quality tea crops. Accordingly, there are six tea gardens in the village neatly situated next to each other. Visiting any of these gardens is a unique marvellous experience for you get to see the origins of your favourite morning beverage. Here, you can witness the production of authentic Himalayan tea, right from the beginning when harvesting the crops till the end when the desired form of the tea leaves if finally obtained. Among the most popular plantations that tourists frequent are Peshoke Tea Garden and Rangli Rangliot Tea Garden.

Orange Orchards
Tinchuley's economy is sustained also because of the numerous orange orchards cultivated in the village. This region of the Himalayas is quite popular for its export-quality Mandarin Oranges. While belonging to the local families as their rightful private property, these orchards are nevertheless accessible by the public. With their arrays of gorgeous orange trees, these orchards can provide you some much needed rest and tranquility after a particularly exertion-heavy trek in the forests. Moreover, there's a factory situated here that produces fresh marmalade, orange juices, pickles, so you can also satiate your appetite with these delicious products.

Tinchuley Monastery
Established centuries ago by a monk purportedly in the order of Nalanda, Tinchuley Monastery is veritable centre of spirituality in this hamlet. As per legend associated with the monastery, a lama meditated here for 17 years. Every morning, cymbals in the monastery are loudly rung in order venerate the ancestors and appease their spirits. When you get to watch the mountains infused with this soft music as the wind makes colourful flags flap, a sense of wholesome tranquility takes over you. No wonder the local villagers hold it in incredibly high esteem regardless of their faith! This monastery is quite the spiritual haven, albeit one amongst many in the Eastern Himalayas. Talking to the monks and learning from them is an additional novel experience one can obtain here.

Chotamangwa
Downhill from Tinchuley, the village of Chotamangwa began to grow in popularity as a tourist destination of its own right only recently. Only a few minutes' worth of a drive away from Tinchuley, this village is known for its friendly and hospitable natives. As a result of the prominent horticultural practices flourishing, one gets to see a wide of variety of beautiful flowers in this village.

Tinchuley Weather and Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Tinchuley is during the summer when the temperature remains within a pleasant range of 10 - 20 degrees Celcius. Perhaps the best summer month is April and the early part of May, given that it's off-season during these months and the village subsequently doesn't experience that big a footfall. Due to the elevation of the hamlet degrees, the winters are rather harsh, capping off at a chilly 9 degrees Celcius or even less. During the rainy season, there is a heavy downpour, so those looking to experience the Himalayas in monsoon should visit between July - September.

Tips for Visiting Tinchuley

1. Make sure to carry lots of warm clothes.
2. Carry water with you when you're trekking.
3. Don't litter in the orchards and plantations.
4. Don't pluck fruits or tea leaves from the orchards and plantations.
5. There are no pharmacies in the hamlet, so it's advisable to carry your own small supply of first-aid and basic medication.
6. While most mobile network operators cover the region, it is still possible to not get good coverage so it's recommended that one attends to their important phone calls before reaching Tinchuley.
7. There are neither ATMs nor options for electronic payment in Tinchuley, so make sure to carry an adequate amount of cash on your person.

How To Reach Tinchuley

Via Air: At a distance of 77 km, the nearest airport is Bagdogra Airport, Darjeeling. To reach Tinchuley from there, you must hire a cab.
Via Road: There are multiple ways to reach Tinchuley via road depending on where one is travelling from. If you're travelling from Siliguri (or other areas towards the west, especially in Sikkim), then it is best to take the road via Teesta Bazar through which a steep ascent connects to Tinchuley. On the other hand, if you're travelling from Darjeeling, you should reach Peshoke road and look for a right turn on the 6th mile on that road. This diversion will take you through several km in Takdah cantonment area until you reach Tinchuley. You also have the option of hiring shared taxis.

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