Till the beginning of the new millennium, Icche Gaon used to be a small sleepy village. Most of the villagers engaged in agricultural or labour work. Till the quintessential tourist discovered the village. The stunning view of Kanchenjunga above and river Tista below engrossed many visitors here. Soon one of the enterprising villagers started the first homestay at Icchey Gaon.
Today the village of roughly 50 families, has close to 200 rooms to offer to tourists. During the tourist peak season, there are more tourists in the village than the villagers. Icchey Gaon has now become one of the major off-beat tourist destinations of Kalimpong hills.
Kalimpong is the nearest major town to Icchey Gaon. Although the town centre is about 18 Km away, you can reach the outskirts of Kalimpong town, the Deolo area, in just 20 minutes. Icchey Gaon can be used as a base to stay and visit the popular Silk Route since it's very near to it.
Icchey Gaon is also famous for its flora & fauna, especially during the October month different colours of marigold flowers are found, also varieties of birds from various parts of the world fly to the forest. Apart from agriculture, tourism is now playing a vital role in income for the villagers. People get the taste of organic food & get to interact with the local people, know their tradition & culture. Budgeted Homestays are the only source of stay in Icchey Gaon for tourists, the village people are very kind & take good care of their guests.
Bagdogra airport is around 94 Km from Icchey Gaon whereas the NJP station is about 88 Km away. From anywhere in the region, to reach Iccheygaon, drive first to Kalimpong and then to the Deolo area of Kalimpong. From here follow the “Bhalu Marg” for about 9 km to reach Ramdhura village. From Ramdhura, take a narrow village road of about 1.5 km to reach Icchey Gaon. The vehicles ply the base of the village. To reach the houses, you have to walk uphill, this can be a tiring job for anyone unprepared and expecting to be dropped at the door of the homestay.
People visit these offbeat destinations like Icchey Gaon to spend time alone or with their families just to relax & stay away from the crowded & polluted environments of the town. People looking for adventure activities have the option of little hiking & trek surrounding the village. Apart from that if the guest decides to explore the nearby places & stay for 2-3 nights below are the options for them.
• Ramitey Viewpoint:- One of the famous viewpoints & major sightseeing points from Iccey Gaon. It can be reached via a small trek or even by car. The plus point of this place is that a panoramic view of Mt. Kanchenjunga can be seen.
• Sangchen Dorjee Monastery:- Famously known as Pedong Monastery is another sightseeing point that can be done from Icchey Gaon. Surrounded by green pine forest, a wonderful view of hills can be seen from the Monastery. This place is very calm & relaxing.
• Kalimpong:- If the tourists wish to have a day excursion to Kalimpong (17.5 Km) by staying in Icchey Gaon they can do it easily. Delo viewpoint, Science centre, Mangaldham Temple etc are some of the major points in Kalimpong.
• Ramdhura:- Ramdhura is also a small village in the Kalimpong district. It's just 3 Km approximately away from Icchey Gaon. The viewpoint in Ramdhura provides an amazing view of Mt. Kanchenjunga.
Icchey Gaon is surrounded by various nearby towns & places which have significant tourist attractions. Some of the places are Kalimpong (17.5 Km), Gangtok (61.5 Km), Pedong (15 Km), and Aritar (45 Km).