Monday, 6 June 2016

Queen of Hills – Darjeeling

We were in Siliguri, for enjoying a weekend in leisure when this idea suddenly stricked our us. And as usual next day morning we moved on for Kalimpong without any planning as such. One can easily get shared cabs for Darjeeling and Kalimpong from Darjeeling More, Siliguri at Rs. 150/- per head.
While on the route we were very excited. It’s very common within us. We all are peak lovers and we love the journey throughout. We keep getting excited everytime we start climbing up the hills. It took us around 3 hours to reach Kalimpong. But as soon as we reached there, the summer welcomed us. We were fed off with the scorching heat of sun in Kolkata and a bit less than Kolkata in Siliguri. We didn’t want any more summer. So soon we decided to move on to Darjeeling.
Without wasting any time, we booked the tickets to Darjeeling. You’ll get Shared Cabs to Darjeeling for Rs. 150/- continuously plying from Kalimpong. In the meantime we had our lunch nearby and started moving towards Darjeeling.
Way To Darjeeling
Way To Darjeeling
It’s sort of odd, but I visited many parts of North India, but this was my first trip to North Bengal, except Siliguri. I have been to Siliguri many times, thanks to my Bordi and Jamai (Elder Sister and her Husband) who have a business back there and keep visiting with them. As we started rising up the altitudes a charm of cool wind greeted us. I guess we were more happy to get escaped from the heat instead of our holiday. As it was a really unplanned journey, we didn’t carried any warm clothes except a jacket as we thought we may need that at night in Kalimpong.
Way To Darjeeling
Way To Darjeeling
It took us around another 3 – 3.5 Hours to reach Darjeeling. Darjeeling have many hotels around the Bazaar and the Mall, so one can easily land up there without any bookings for on spot discounts or deals even in the high seasons. After scanning through few accommodation options in the Bazaar area, we ended up staying at Hotel Dragon @ Rs. 1300/-
We breathed a sigh of relief and soon we noticed that it was around 4PM already. So we decided to visit the Mall and spend the evening at leisure. While proceeding towards the Mall, the Hotel’s Manager asked us whether we are interested in taking the Tiger Hill tour in the morning. He said it’d cost us 150/- per head. So we thought, though it’s unplanned tour, but as we are here now, let’s go for it, as you are never sure when you’ll be back again for a planned trip. So we confirmed him and left for the Mall. When we reached Mall, we found that some local function was going on. We spend couple of hours listening to local Nepalese music and dance performance by local girls. Though we were not much hungry but we definitely wanted to check out Momo and Thuakpa.
Darjeeling Mall
Darjeeling Mall
Darjeeling Mall
Darjeeling Mall
Finally at around 8AM we return to our hotel with our Dinner and a liquor. We spent the rest of the night enjoying ourselves. It was around 2AM when we felled asleep.
Around 3:30 in the morning, Manager knocked our door and informed us to get ready. We got ready as fast as possible and started for our first destination – Tiger Hill. Though I was really sleepy, but soon I noticed the music that was being played. It was lovely, authentic Buddhist mantra. It was something like Morning Buddhist Chanting. It was just the music but no song. I had a urge to ask about the music, but I thought of staying quiet, as everyone was almost sleepy.
Upon reaching the destination we were told that, this is not the actual Tiger Hill, as the place is closed for renovation, so now-a-days they bring all the tourists here only and we’ll get the same view from here. Well, first of all we thought it of a hoax, but later we found that all the tourists and cars were there only.
We had to walk few minutes to reach the spot due to the queue of cars. Upon reaching the spot, we barely could see anything due to the rush, so we thought of climbing up to another point. It seemed that everyone is waiting for the Sun to rise. Few ladies were selling coffee and few were selling sweaters and woolen caps. It was really cold, and we couldn’t guess the temperature. So we thought of warming ourselves a bit with a cup of coffee. It was too much rush there, and I felt like, the peoples in the front can anytime get slide down.
Tiger Hill
Tiger Hill
Suddenly, people started shouting and Wow!! It was a breathtaking view. It seemed that someone covered the Mt. K with golden plates. Our so called camera failed miserably to capture the view.
Tiger Hill
Tiger Hill
After spending around half an hour there we moved towards our jeep. Soon people started moving towards their respective cars. After all the people arrived, we started for our next destination Ghoom Monastery. Though we are not much religious, but we loved the silence. After spending few moments we moved towards Batasia Loop.
Ghoom Monastry
Ghoom Monastry
Ghoom Monastry
Ghoom Monastry
It seems that, almost all tourists have their breakfasts there only. We also couldn’t resist trying the Samosas and Momo’s. We bought our tickets and moved on. While on the way to Batasia Loop someone told us, this is the place where “Mere Sapno Ki Rani” was shooted by Rajesh Khanna. We loved the Eco Garden in Batasia. We thought of trying out local Nepalese dresses which were being rented there.
Batasia Loop
Batasia Loop
Batasia Loop
Batasia Loop
After spending couple of hours, we started for our Hotel. We asked the driver dropped us at Mall instead of our Hotel as we were planning to have our Breakfast at Glenary’s.
Glenary's
Glenary’s
After having our breakfast and few authentic chocolates, we started rushing towards our hotel, due to nature’s call 😛
Well, though it as unplanned, we all started discussing about staying there for one or two more days. But we couldn’t, as our return tickets were on the same day from NJP. We started for Siliguri at around 10 AM. At around 2PM we were back again to our own lives.
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Though we had not planned to visit Darjeeling at the beginning, but while on the move we found Darjeeling Tourismvery helpfull. It can be your single spot destination for everything in and around Darjeeling.