DARJEELING JATRA – PART 1
A big hello to all my lovely readers. I am back after quite a long time, I was really busy with Durga Puja celebrations. It is one of the most celebrated festival and being a hardcore Bengali I keep on waiting for this festival through the whole year. Ok so coming back to this post, I am writing about my Darjeeling trip last year in the month of September. Darjeeling is a town in West Bengal at an elevation of 6,700ft. I have named my post as Darjeeling Jatra, after the famous song “chotoder gaan by Rahul Dev Barman”, I have grown up listening to this song and throughout the whole journey I kept on murmuring this song, it drifted me to my childhood days. Diwali weekend is coming nearby and I am sure the travel lovers are searching for places to visit, a weekend duration is simply perfect for complete Darjeeling trip. You need 3-4 days maximum, actually our trip was for three days and we could cover almost all the important places to visit in Darjeeling. I shall cover the entire trip in two parts so that you may not fall asleep a longer blog post.
We boarded the train from Guwahati Railway Station on 24th September 2015, it was Thrusday. We reached New Jalpaiguri Railway Station(NJP) the next morning. If you take the flight you shall land in Bagdogra airport which is 16kms away from Siliguri.
As soon as we reached NJP we were literally pounced upon by brokers from various travel agencies, we almost fell prey into one but could escape for our good fortune you can say! You don’t need any travel agents for Darjeeling. Just book a room via online hotel booking websites, they are lots nowadays. We hired a caband reached Darjeeling at around 2pm. There are lots of cabs and taxis, if you reserve the taxi they charge you around Rs 2500 to Rs 3000 and share taxis are little bit cheaper. We had lunch and since there was not much time to start the sight seeing, we kept our luggage in the hotel and went out to enjoy the lovely Mall Road which is a pedestrian-only zone.It was slight drizzling so I suggest carry umbrellas whenever you are in Darjeeling. Shopoholic alert!! The market is really tempting and you get lots of western outfit, bags, trendy shoes and yes lots and lots of warm clothes, sweaters, shawls, I bought lots of gift items and also mementos for my family and friends. It was getting colder as time was passing by and we had to go back to our room at around 9pm.
We had 9 tour-points of Darjeeling to cover in our itinerary and trust me these are the main tourist points and a single day is enough to cover all of them https://dk-apotek.com. The hotel guys arranged a local taxi for our sight-seeing.
TIGER-HILL– Our first point was Tiger Hill which is famous for viewing the mighty Kanchenjunga from there. You have to reach very early in the morning, but since it was raining and due to thick clouds we could not see the mountain peak. We spent some time there breathing fresh pollution free air which is so much lacking in Guwahati. coming back down we had quite a heavy breakfast as the day would be a hectic one.
GHOOM MONASTERY– On way back from Tiger Hill you shall visit one of the oldest monasteries of Darjeeling with a 12-foot tall statue of Lord Buddha. Entry is free but they charge for taking pictures.
BATASIA-LOOP AND WAR-MEMORIAL– It is a spiral railway created in the Ghoom area, it the place where the toy train takes a double spiral loop. They have created a park, you can sit and relax. We took pictures there dressed in the traditional outfit of Darjeeling. know here more
DARJEELING HIMALAYAN RAILWAYS– The museum and the Ghoom station is a mark of the famous Darjeeling Himalayan Railways. The museum is quite informative and the toy train ride which we took the next day from Darjeeling to Ghoom station and back is one of the most memorable journey of our life.
HIMALAYAN MOUNTAINEERING INSTITUTE AND THE PADMAJA NAIDU HIMALAYAN ZOOLOGICAL PARK – These two attractions are located in the same complex. The institute which also has a Museum is built in honour of Tenzing Norgay’s triumph to conquer the Mount Everest. The museum is worth watching. The Himalayan zoo is also interesting with the Red Pandas as special attractions. The two points would take around 1 and half hour. Outside there are lots of tea stalls, do enjoy some hot Darjeeling Tea.
Hope you have enjoyed reading till here, I shall cover the remaining tourist points in the next part Part 2. Till then take care and start planning for your Darjeeling Jatra.
Posted by – Ishani Nath