Hotel Shovraj, Srikhola
Shubhasish Sengupta, the proprietor and owner of the property once proudly mentioned to me that they are the only resident Bengali family living permanently in the whole of Singalila Himalayan region where Srikhola is located. He has been running the hotel successfully since 2003.
Hotel Shovraj is located by the Srikhola River. A river or stream is locally known as Khola. It is this river on which the place has been so named. Shubashish lives here with his own family ... wife Sharmistha, son Shovraj, and daughter Shubhangi. So you can easily make out why the hotel has been so named. It is more like a country house.
Being located by the side of the river, it is expected that many rooms and vantage places would have lovely views of the mountain stream flowing down. The open patio or the terrace is one such place to get wonderful view of the river.
Another thing the owner boasts of... Hotel Shovraj has far more number of rooms than any other hotel in Srikhola. In fact I was a bit surprised to find that in a small and not so well known mountain hamlet such as Srikhola, the owner has the courage to run a hotel which has such large accommodation with capacity of 70 heads including rooms and cottages of different types, which actually beats many large hotels in Darjeeling. All rooms are wooden.
Hotel Shovraj and Srikhola River
The hotel has a strange construction. It is actually a fairly large five storied wooden cottage (you may conceive it like a large Himalayan Country House). Several rooms at each floor have attached bathrooms and some have common bathrooms. Some rooms have independent entrances so making them look like independent cottages, but they are all part of the same building. There is no separate construction for cottages or rooms.
Hotel Shovraj, Srikhola
However do not expect this to be a luxury accommodation. It is after all a budget hotel meant primarily for trekkers and budget travelers, and provides standard amenities. There are several types of rooms including double Bedded, triple bedded, five bedded and seven bedded rooms. Most rooms do not have TV, but there is a common room with TV, music system etc. Hot water is available. There are rooms with balconies and nice views of the forest and the stream.
The road has now been tarred (Hotel Shovraj)
Update August 2016: The road up to Hotel Shovraj, Srikhola has been tarred by PWD (see the above picture). So you can take any car and reach up to the hotel.
For low budget travelers there are also dormitory beds. However the best accommodations are the all-wooden cottages, and they all have LED TV with DTH Connection, intercom phones, river view veranda, attached bath with western or Indian toilets. Even the cottages are of different sizes like double bedded, 3 bedded, 5 bedded, 7 bedded etc. All cottages can accommodate an extra person each at an additional cost.
They usually offer rates that includes all meals (i.e. AP plan) including breakfast, lunch, tea & snacks, dinner (both vegetarian and non-vegetarian).
Hotel Shovraj is affiliated to International Youth Hostel Federation.
Some of the other facilities offered by the hotel includes:
1) A small children's park and memorial stage.
2) Car parking facility.
3) A mini library.
4) An in-house restaurant specializing in Bengali dishes although offers nice Indian and Chinese cuisine as well. Kitchen dining space is offered for self cooking groups.
5) A common room with TV, music system, indoor games etc.
6) STD/ISD phone, postal facility etc.
7) They can organize local tribal dance and cultural programs on request.
8) Room service and laundry facilities.
9) Local sightseeing tours, treks, fishing, horse riding, camping etc.
Update October 2016: Shovraj Hotel now has electricity provided by WBSEDCL. All rooms now have been upgraded with attached toilets and free WiFi.
Having reviewed the recent practices and policies of Hotel Shovraj in Srikhola, we have removed
the hotel from our partners' list of Darjeeling Tourism Card
Hotel Shovraj, Sirikhola, PO-Rimbick, Darjeeling-734201.
Phone: (+91) 9933488243/ 9932216197/ 9832375546/ 7797989938.