From Gorkhapedia, the free Gorkha encyclopedia that anyone can edit


Sonada is a small neighbourhood situated between the towns of Darjeeling and Kurseong. It has a small bazaar where villagers from surrounding area sell their produce. Sonada was one of the first places where Tibetan Refugees settled down after being exiled from Tibet. It has a Magnificent Monastery, a residency for young Tibetan Scholars and a Government aided school for Tibetans which is also open for students from other communities.

Sonada offers excellent trekking routes.


According to contemporary historians Sonada Monastery was founded before 1880s. However, there are no documents or references to the same. The Sonada Railway Station which is a part of Darjeeling Himalayan Railway was inagurated on the first of February 1881.


Sonada essentially means Bears Lair in Lepcha language. It could be possible that a healthy population of bears resided here.


Sonada is home to a respected Missionary Educational Institution - Salesian College. The college was established in 1938. The Salesian College caters to the Salesian order and few dioceses and Christian orders of women. Since 1998, the College has open its doors and presently also provides education to few poor students who are non-Salesian.

Sonada is also home to Central School for Tibetans. This exclusively Tibetan school is also open to students of other races and religion. The school is looked after by Central Tibetan Administration of his Holiness The Dalai Lama [needs citation].

Sonada Degree College is a fully Government aided Degree College. It is affiliated with North Bengal University and offers Degree courses in Arts.

Tea Gardens

Sonada is surrounded by tea gardens. The prominent tea garden in the vicinity of Sonada is:

  • Oaks Tea Estate

Oaks Tea Estate is owned by Dears Tea Company Pvt Ltd. The Tea Estate is situated 3 kilo meters from Sonada Railway Station and produces Orthodox Darjeeling Tea. Its annual yield is 95,000 annually1.According to the Company report there are 386 workers associated with the Company.

Fact Files

Elevation: 6552 feet above sea level

Distance from Siliguri Town: 41.25 miles

The article has been placed in the 'Places' Category

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