Do misty climates, cascading waterfalls, clouds all around you, picturesque Kanchenjunga peaks and carpeted tea plantations excite you? Did you just get chills? Don’t you want to savour and satiate the quench? Are you super excited to leave your footprints on the highest railway station in the whole of Asia? Then here’s the place, the “land of the thunderbolt” is all set to greet you with wonders (adventurous tranquility) that will get riveted to your memory. Each and every moment,day in and out, be it Nikon or Sony that’s gonna capture the captivating views, the neurons are sure to get fired in complex coordinated patterns to etch them in the quantum computer(a controversy though xD).
There’s no dearth for tranquility and serenity in the place, infact one can go to abysmal depths in terms of exploration. I am gazing open-mouthed just by seeing the images, such feat this place offers to the eyes of the beholder. Most of us fancy travelling in push-pull trains. I often re-live my memories of Ooty Toy train but the king of all the toy trains in the whole of our planet is here, “Darjeeling Himalayan Railway” (a UNESCO Heritage site). I would say the best way to commute and enjoy the virgin beauty is to take a diesel engine hauled train( DHR Toy train) from New Jalpaiguri (NJP) to Darjeeling. Since its inception in 1881, these narrow gauge tracks have been closely associated with wars, colonial history and transport. The train covers the steep gradient, a distance of about 80 kms in 7 hours. The journey begins from NJP, the train rides past age-old stations such as Siliguri Town.
It is from Sukna the real ascend starts, there will be countless complicated loops and zig-zags to vanquish the steep gradient. The landscape often will make you fall for it, be it dense pine forests, mountain streams, breathtaking loops, emerald green tea gardens, steep rocky mountains, Tibetian monasteries or the design of the railway stations. Don’t ever forget to get down at the second highest railway station in the world “Ghoom”. Walk into a random cafe, and you would see happy localites chortling, take a sip of the heavenly aromatic tea, whose taste and standard is still unmatched with regard to any other tea. Rather than can calling me a Tea connoisseur, I would call myself a tea lover and my yearning to fulfill this desire is unfathomable. One more fascinating thing is you would almost travel in parallel to the Hill Cart Road (NH 55) and tracks criss cross the roads. The train then moves through the Batasia loop( a spiral loop) to descend towards the destination. From the Batasia loop, view of the pristine peaks and the hustle and bustle of the town is mesmerizing.
Rightly called “Paradise unexplored”, Darjeeling offers you a handful of places to visit like Japanese Peace Pagoda, Sandakphu trek, Rock garden, Tea plantations and monasteries. The most beautiful landmark is the Tiger Hills. Where else in the world can you witness the “Best of Sunrise”?The twin peaks of Kanchenjunga gets embellished with the golden-orange sprinklers on it, rays from the saffron-yellow star in the Solar system. Pristine white snow capped peaks of Everest adorn it on either side. I bet “Woahhh!!” would be your reaction. The image just stays in front of my eyes and I am at a loss of words to articulate its beauty. Never forget to start your journey in the wee hours, because the route to the Tiger Hills gets trafficky in the peak season. If you are an adventure seeker, do head to the Teesta river and experience the nail-biting and enthralling white water rafting.
Do visit to explore the unexplored paradise (at least on the web xP). The green ambience, clean air and cloudy sky is sure to transport you to a different world.
P.S: Don’t forget to taste delectable homemade kachoris, samosas and pakoras served by local women xD.