Darjeeling

Darjeeling – The Himalayan Queen

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intersection point of Nehru Road and Mall Road and is an ideal location for enjoying an uninterrupted view of the snow capped peaks of Kanchenjunga. There are benches laid down where one can sit for a romantic chit chat

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Experience Darjeeling Toy Train Joyride

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Recognized as the first and most important link for traveling within the town, it offers a great ride on a heritage mode of transport. You can absorb the most magnificent view of the mountains, visit beautiful villages, and local markets on this unique ride. The facilities on the journey of this private trip include basic essentials like water bottles. On the other hand, you may not find services regarding food and drinks or any kind of accommodation. Just take a trip through the hilly region and grasp the most picturesque view of nature through the windows in the Darjeeling Toy Train.

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Visting Mirik, West Bengal

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almost fully broken road with a 20/25 degree continuous elevation, occasionally screeching of clutch and tyre enabled me to stop and offload heads. It succeeded for a while but finally around 6/7 kms before Rishi Road junction the vehicle was impossible to move up. The burning rubber smell and the sound of throwing pebble underneath by wheel”s thrust made me stop completely

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Kolkata-Sikkim-Darjeeling trip

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After all this, the last thing on our list was a visit to some tea estate in Darjeeling. To go there was one part of the pleasure and the next best part was to sip a hot n nice cup of tea there! It was really a divine experience and I had about 3-4 cups of tea- each of a different variety!

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Gangtok-Namchi-Pelling-Darjeeling tour : Part 3

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By the time, we found a momo corner nearby and grabbed few of them to fill the stomach before our two hours ride, the toy train arrived at the station. DHR was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO as it was the first, and still the most outstanding example of a hill passenger Railway. There are various types of rides available on this track, so you can book ride based on your preferences and time availability.

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Trek to Sandakpu, Darjeeling – Final Part

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The path was a combination of mule track and foot path and it was passing through varieties of jungle landscape and fauna. We passed through pine forest, then came the small structured bamboo jungle locally called “Mallebu”, then came giant sized ferns heralding the path on both sides like a natural decoration to welcome the weary traveler. As we consumed the distance and moved closer towards Gorkhey the path became steeper descent that was not very kind to my old creaking knees. The umbrella stick was a great help and support. We indulged ourselves with quick halts sipping ORS water and passing body water. We trudged along slowly and surely.

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Trek to Sandakpu, Darjeeling : Part 2

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Phalut has only one Government owned Trekker’s Hut that looks an imposing colonial type hill cottage from outside but a haunted house from inside. The rooms were shabby suffering from years of neglect. Kitchen had the ancient wooden fire place for cooking and most part was black with wood fire soot collected over the years. I walked into the kitchen and found couple of people, not tourists, sitting by the fire and chatting, obviously this was the only available place in the huge colonial house that was warm to sit by. I walked in and announced in Gorkhali to the people present,” I am 70 year old retired colonel, just arrived after 21 kms trek, how are you guys going to make me comfortable”. Immediately there was commotion and everyone got up. The forest Guard got up and offered me the coveted chair. I asked as to who was who and found out that the one by the fire place was the care taker as he proudly told me, “ I am from the Tourism Department”. Rest was guides who had arrived earlier. I asked for a cup of tea and the care taker got busy brewing it in a black kettle, hardened by years of sitting on wooden fire. I learnt that the Tourism guy was the one and only representative of the Government. He was cook, care taker, cleaner, maintenance man, procurement officer, house keeper and overall in-charge. However, the Forest Guard being more elderly as also senior man of the Government, with beat post located adjacent to the lodge, was the de-facto boss of the town, specially for the weary guides and porters. When I pulled my rank and age he chickened out of the comfortable chair against the fire to my advantage and I promptly occupied it. How small things matter at the right time and place. Like when we march in the Army, during breaks the best shaded tree obviously goes to the senior most without questions asked. When I was climbing a snow covered mountain in Arunachal Pradesh in the winter of 1989, we had to camp for the night. It was snowing and the ground was too wet our tents, our local guide found a cave and made himself comfortable with a wood fire to boot. I walked into the cave with authority and sat by the fire occupying the only comfortable rock to sit on. Slowly my company commander followed and sat next to me and then another. Finally we found ourselves, a party of 10 reconnaissance team sitting by the fire. Later we ate and slept there, needless to say, me occupying the most comfortable slot next to the fire.

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Trek to Sandakpu, Darjeeling : Part 1

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There was no accommodation booking in advance. I headed for the PWD guest house where I tried using my army card but it was full. There were two expensive lodges, I decided against Sherpa Chalet, Sunrise Lodge and Namo Buddha Lodges being more expensive than needed and decided to go for the dorm bed in the humble Government Tourism Lodge A. There are 3 of such Govt lodges, A, B & C. Unfortunately C has been raged by fire last winter. These lodges are humble and cheap run by a Sherpa family of four, an elderly couple and their grownup son and daughter. There was a dorm with 20 beds @ 120 INR per bed and 2 rooms of 5 beds each @ 500 INR. 2 Indian type toilets and 2 bath rooms that had seen better days. The dorm and rooms were clean with wooden cots placed very close with hardly any leg space in between let alone a bedside table. I took one bed in the corner and grabbed the only table to place my rucksack. Hot tea was served immediately on asking but the quality needed improvement. After tea I went out for a walk to enjoy the view and beauty of the place. My guide, Bijay took me to a Shiva Temple just across the border in the Nepal side. It was a strange place that seems very old cave at the foot of a very huge deodar tree with many stone formations that resembled “Shiva Ling”. Clear spring water was flowing from inner side of the rock formations. Not so strange in these parts of the world that the place was worshipped by both Hindus and Buddhists. Many “Diyas” were lighted inside the sanctum sanatorium to mark the Holy Day of Buddha Purnima and an elderly Tibetan lady who was lighting more Diyas told me that her wishes had been granted.

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North Bengal Trip

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The Darjeeling Mail which leaves Sealdah Station at 10.05pm reached us New Jalpaiguri Station(NJP) the next morning. I was quite pleased to see the easy availability of cab at the station. After a quick bite we took a cab and set off for Darjeeling. Narrow meandering roads reached us Darjeeling at noon that day. We just could not take our eyes off the picturesque view through the window panes of our hotel room. We could not wait to visit the famous Mall at Darjeeling. We had a pre-concieved notion(from people around us) that The Mall is a very congested, dirty and such other things.

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