“If travelling is your hobby and photography is your passion, it ultimately makes your trip much more memorable.”
This is pretty much how you can sum up our Uncommon Traveller Mainak Guha, who has has penned down his experienceon his enthralling visit to the Queen of hill stations, Darjeeling.
The Uncommon Box caught up with this travelogue with some lovely evocative images.
Darjeeling, the ‘Dream-land of the East’, famous for its natural beauty, with clean fresh air, year round pleasant weather and above all, tea estates and their famous Darjeeling Tea…
Darjeeling gets its name from Dorje (Thunderbolt) and Ling (Place). One of the most popular hill stations of India. Darjeeling is strategically very important due to its proximity to the Nepal and Bhutan borders.
Read about traveller’s heavenly experience about the trip:
When I was creating the excel file for my tour plans, Darjeeling was a sudden option. You know, some people postpone visiting places near their home thinking that they can always be visited someday later. So that place or those places are just added up to that list. But I had a 4-day holiday this time, with August 15th clubbed in and so it had to be somewhere nearer.
Darjeeling, in the rains? That was the expression of the ones I shared the plan with. But nevertheless, I am a stubborn mind at times, and on August 14th I was standing outside NJP (New Jalpaiguri) station looking for a cab to Darjeeling.
“To give a little introduction about this famous place, Darjeeling is called the Queen of Hills in here.”
It has its own history of cultures and development, and holds a very special place in the hearts of many. It rarely snows in here, and the place is almost a busy town now with acres of tea plantations around. Darjeeling holds the viewpoint named as Tiger Hill from where one gets to view the magnificent sunrise over Mt. Kanchenjunga. Tourists, of nearly all ages, visit Darjeeling around the year making it one of the most crowded and popular destinations in East India.
“The rains have their own effect and being a rainy season this time there were lesser tourists.”
Perfect, I thought. I have come to this place 3 years ago with two of my best friends, and so it holds some dear memories of the time spent. After freshening up at the hotel, and sumptuous breakfast at Keventers, I visited the nearby taxi stand where shared cars or private cars are found in plenty to book a cab for the local sightseeing. Well, in here, there are specific rates fixed for the number of places to be covered. The popular ones are definitely Tiger Hill, Batasia Loop, Ghoom Monastery and Railway Station, Rock Garden, Mountaineering Institute, Tea Estates, Himalayan Zoological Park.”
Batasia means airy space. As you stand on one side of the garden and see the toy train making a complete loop while hooting its whistle along the way and trying to negotiate the spiral track with a double loop, it’s a fabulous experience. If you are taking a toy train ride from Darjeeling, you will pass by this magnificent loop.
“Batasia Loop was created by the British to counter such sharp descent.”
Darjeeling is after all the Mecca of tea and sprawling estates produce what we know as the “Champagne of Teas” to the delight of the world.
High on the hills with cool breeze and misty weather, planters and workers come together to form a wonderland where tea grows in the finest form like nowhere else in the world.Tea Tourism is a relatively new concept in the world and Darjeeling is a taking a lead in this area.
Samten Choling Buddhist Monastery is located in Ghoom and is often referred as the Ghoom Monastery. Since the monastery is on the way back to Darjeeling town, this is where many people drop in, join the prayers and have some tea or coffee at the cafe.
“Fog or mist, cloud and rain are all integral part of Darjeeling’s weather.”
They can be unpredictable, but during certain months of the year, they are almost inevitable. Let’s find out our Uncommon traveller’s personal experience on it –
“Well, in monsoon it is altogether a different experience to visit Darjeeling. The mist is all around you always, and then suddenly disappears giving way to sunshine and drizzles. You can spend your afternoon scribbling thoughts and pondering upon on one of the benches in the Mall. You can take leisurely walks along the curved roads to the Mahakal temple, the walls will be green and brown, and life will appear so happy within itself. You will see the fog approaching you, and the next you will not be able to see the next bench in that mist. Does not that sound so magical? Here are some photographs from the lonely walk on the roads and the Mall.
Have you been in Love? To me, Darjeeling is Love. There are imperfections, and then there are plenty of other places which can beat this in natural beauty. But that mist, the sunrise over Kanchenjunga, the life of the people around, the narrow lanes and stairs down to the market, the delicious meals at Keventers and Glenarys and many such other small things will make you fall in love with this place. Please do let me know of your experiences when you visit.
“Time and again, I would lose myself into you
For only then, I shall find Myself in you”
So is monsoon a great time to plan a trip to Darjeeling?
Of course yes, after reading Mainak’s delightful travelogue on it.
The exciting misty weather and breath-taking photographs should have definitely created the urge for us to visit the place again and again.
About the traveller:
Born and brought up in the city of joy, Mainak finds his smiles in his travel episodes, the sound of shutter, and in the world of words. He isinto sales and marketing, but yes he love his escapades as a wedding photographer under his venture ‘Eternity Square Photography’. At an alarming age of in between oh-I-could have-done-that-earlier and I-can-still-do-so-more, travel is his utopia out of the daily limits. Though he would jump anyday at an opportunity of getting stamped his visa again, he really believes and feels that India has so much to offer if you wish to see.
You can also follow him on:
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