- Available Mid Jul to mid Aug
- Max Altitude: 1400 m
- Walking grade: moderate
Paddy sowing is the focal point of Himalayan village lifestyles. It is the beginning of the cycle to provide the family requirements of rice – the staple diet of the Nepali and the Lepcha people. Preparations begin as soon as the monsoon rains start. Terraced paddy fields, hewn by generations out of steep mountain sides are manually cleaned free of weeds and mud dykes and water channels rebuilt laboriously, to get them ready for flooding. As the rains flood the paddies, young men with pairs of oxen plough the flooded paddies, whilst the older generation of men folks level the ploughed paddies wielding hand held wooden leveling tools. This is followed by the women sowing the rice seedlings in regimented unison, singing whilst they sow.
Another group of women work in the family kitchen preparing a feast for the time when the days sowing is done. Whole families work together, mustering additional numbers from the community on a cooperative basis. It is hard work but the ambience is that of a community picnic.
This tour is set up to enable visitors to witness the entire ritual of paddy sowing and to participate to the extent desired
Your tour starts from Kalimpong. A Car with driver and guide will pick you up from your designated hotel at Kalimpong at 0800 hrs in the morning. Drive to Samthar . It is a scenic journey through the Himalayan foot hills with its Buddhist monasteries, river valleys and forests. You can opt for one or two short treks enroute. Arriving at Samthar you will be met by members of the host famaly and walk down 15 -20 minutes to the Nepali or lepcha family home stay. Dinner and overnight.
Visit www.gurudongma.com> Sikkim & Darjeeling> Samthar Farm Houss for more info.
Awake to the breathtaking panorama of the snows, that Samthar offers as the sun rises - Khangchenganga group of peaks, Simvo, Siniolchu, Lama Anden, Chomoyomo, and Paunhari, and the passes of Chola, Natula, and Jalepla, leading into Tibet will be there every morning to see from your cottage ( weather permitting) Click here to read details about the village and host family at Host Hamlet fact file. Today you will take a walking tour of the village visting families in their homes and fields. In the evening a session of Nepali and Hindi songs and Bhajans ( devotional songs), as you join the family “ puja” ( prayers) invoking blessings for the paddy crop. . Overnight at the home stay.
Walk down to the paddy terraces and watch the men working at preparing the terraces for flooding. You will see and may participate in the operation of scrapping and weeding, rebuilding dykes and water channels, as also getting the seedling ready for transplanting. Overnight at the home stay.
Get up early to join the women folk as they make preparations for the sowing feast. Latter join the family and community members for the actual sowing of the paddy terraces, followed by the sowing feast in the late afternoon. Overnight at the home stay
A day to relax, visit the Awake & Shine pre School, and take a guided walk to other parts of the valley. In the evening songing and dancing with the local folks. Overnight at the homestay.
Choose one of the following options:-
Option 01: Drive to Siliguri or Bagdogra in 4.30 hrs
Option 02: Trek down to Teesta Valley in 03 hrs. Cross river on hand pulled ropeway and drive to Darjeeling ( 2.30 hrs) / Siliguri ( 02 hrs) / Kal;impong ( 01 hr) /
Option 3: Drive to Kalimpong in 3.30 hrs.
Price per person:
Single: INR 23000/-
02 pax: INR 14950/-
Included in the price
- Dbl Room with Western style tiled attached toilet & bath
- All meals. Boiled & filtered drinking water
- Jeep with driver on first day and last day
- English speaking guide
- One porter per head for carriage of personal baggage to home stays
- Session of song and dance
- Participation in Paddy sowing activities
Not included in the price
- Personal expenses
- Bar expenses
- Phones & Internet
- Mineral water
- Medical expenses