During every visit to the mountains, we all have been captivated by the sight of little villages perched on the hill slopes. Every now and then, such visuals make us wish, “If only we could live there.” And then, one fine day, we chanced upon Gurdum. Finally we got a taste of “the village on the hill” at Gurdum.
Gurdum is a picturesque hamlet, cradled in the Himalayas at an altitude of 8,000 feet. It is a terraced valley surrounded by lush coniferous forests and rhododendron groves of the Singalila National Park. It is a tiny settlement of about 15 families, and hence a perfect getaway for enjoying solitude away from the hustles of city life. Mornings here start with bird songs, while nights are the flawless canvas for stargazing.
We visited this village while returning from our Sandakphu trip. If you want more details about Sandakphu itself check out our post
Table of Contents
How to reach Gurdum:
- By air: Bagdogra is the nearest airport, which is around 125 km from Gurdum. Bagdogra can be accessed from both Kolkata and Delhi.
- By train: The closest rail station is New Jalpaiguri (NJP), which is approximately 130 km away from Gurdum.
Cabs can be booked from both Bagdogra and NJP for driving to Gurdum. Cars charge around INR 4,500.
- Shared cabs are also available from Darjeeling More up to Rimbick. These cabs provide a drop – off at Gurdum directly.
- Shared cabs can also be taken from Darjeeling More up till Manebhanjang and from Manebhanjang another shared cab to Gurdum.
- From Darjeeling, Gurdum can be reached by riding shared cabs first to Sukhiapokhri, then to Manebhanjang and finally to Gurdum.
A chart of distances:
- NJP to Gurdum: 130 kms
- Bagdogra to Gurdum: 125 kms
- Darjeeling to Gurdum: 93 kms
- Maneybhanjang to Gurdum: 12 kms
- Sandakphu to Gurdum: 10 kms (via the trekking route)
Where to stay in Gurdum: The Backpacker’s Camp
The best option is the Izifiso Backpacker’s Camp. Three kind of accommodation are available here-
- Homestay, charge of which is INR 1300/- per head including food, stay and a campfire. Rooms accommodate 5 persons and have attached toilets.
- Tents, which costs INR 1200/- per head including food, stay and a campfire. Tents are for 2 persons and come with common toilet.
- Cabins, which are perfect for housing three persons and can be rented at INR 1300/- per head including food, stay and a campfire.
- Regarding accommodation of children, it is free for 0-4 years. For children of 5-10 age group, tariff is INR 800/-.
- Driver accommodation at INR 1000 is also available here.
For further details, visit https://www.izifiso.com/
What is the best time to visit Gurdum:
Except the monsoons, this village can be visited anytime round the year. The weather remains pleasant during spring and summer (from March to May) and autumn (October – November). Winter (from December to February) is also enjoyable here, though temperature remain quite low.
Our experience at Gurdum:
A home away from home-
It was almost 1 PM when we reached Gurdum.
Puffing and blowing, we continued climbing countless rocky, slippery stairs. After endless mutterings of “how far” and “how long”, we finally reached the homestay. As we relaxed and caught our breath, we started admiring this little village.
Tea arrived, and lunch followed soon. The dining cum drawing-room was impeccably arranged. We were particularly impressed by the stacks of neatly arranged utensils and food containers. We also loved how the food was prepared with love and served with care. The menu was simple, but was lip-smacking and won our hearts.
A siesta later, it was almost sundown. We sat on the doorsill and watched how evening set in and Darjeeling lit up and twinkled on the other side.
Soon, the camp fire was on and tea was served, accompanied with hot ‘pakoras’.
Throughout the evening, we did stargazing to our hearts’ content. It was a full moon and the sky was clear. Millions and millions of stars and constellations were clearly visible. The silence in the village, the faint rustling of leaves in the woods, the stars up above the sky, a gleaming Darjeeling across us and a cat for the company – all made that evening more memorable.
As usual in the hills, dinner was served early. Dinner consisted of roti and a scrumptious chicken curry.
A relaxing morning-
The next morning, we decided to take it slow and relish the morning. Since we couldn’t explore the village itself the other day, we planned to stroll around Gurdum. It’s fascinating to see how a little hilly village is aiming to become self-sufficient.
Every house in the village is painted brightly, adorned deftly and has a garden. We couldn’t stop admiring the rows of rose, marigold, chrysanthemum, petunia, aster, gladiolus and several other seasonal flowers. The flowers render a riot of colors in the verdant village. The abundance of flowers results in the flocking of bees and butterflies. The humming of bees and the fluttering of vibrant butterflies are constant here.
The vegetables are mostly homegrown. Eggs and chicken are also available, thanks to the rearing of countless flocks of hens. Some of the villagers also raise cows.
The best experience in Gurdum is truly the idyllic village itself. The lofty mountains, soft breeze, dense coniferous forest, chirping of birds, buzzing of bees, and the faint sound of the river afar – all cast a spell of serenity on this charming village.
Tips to remember:
- Gurdum is charming not only for its scenic beauty but also due to the affable nature of its local people. The villagers are cordial, helpful and good in weaving tales of the village. Make good times by interacting with them. Also, respect their culture and privacy at the same time.
- Small trek routes through the forest leading to Gurdum bridge and Saujhi Khola river can be explored for enjoying a nature walk. The local can guide you your way.
- The weather gets bone-chilling and the temperature drops significantly at night. Hence, pack woollen clothes accordingly.
- The check-in time is 11 AM and check-out 10 AM.
- For hiring vehicles and guide for treks, contact Nagan Rumbaz (Ph No.- 8670596746)
Feeling the call of the mountains even more? Then you may want to check out-