Blogs from Darjeeling, West Bengal, India, Asia


Asia » India » West Bengal » Darjeeling » Sandakphu May 4th 2019

It was an eventful beginning to our trip with the tropical cyclone 'Fani' scheduled to hit the Orissa coastline on the day we were boarding our train, May 3rd. Although we are over 400 kms. away, the news continued to predict devastating consequences in Kolkata as well. On tenterhooks the entire day, we (my wife and myself) decided to take an early cab to the station to avoid getting caught in the storm. Waiting at the train station for a few hours, our train, Padatik Express departed as scheduled at 11 PM; thankfully not much excitement thereafter. Next morning, the train took forever to reach New Jalpaiguri (NJP) and when it did, it was no less than 4 hours late. NJP to Dhotrey (8,500 ft.) Fortunately however, we had a 4 WD car waiting for us ... read more
Dhotrey Village - Our Base Camp
Enroute to Tonglu
View from Tonglu top

Asia » India » West Bengal » Darjeeling » Sandakphu September 15th 2017

Mesmerising Sandakphu – God’s abode in West Bengal, India First Part: Sandakphu Himalaya has always attracted me since I was 24. Though much late in my life but it came to me like blessings when I first met my husband and listened to his countless travel to the very place. After my marriage we planned to go to a place which is the highest point of Singalila Range in the district of Darjeeling, West Bengal. Sandakphu is often considered to be a trekker’s paradise. The word paradise cannot be explained unless one see with his/her own eyes what raw nature feels like. It is quite mesmerising when you see the gamut of Himalayan ranges in your close vicinity and that too standing in the middle of a beautiful hamlet. To experience what we have heard and ... read more
Sandakphu-Trek Map
Sunrise at Sandakphu
Sunset at Sandakphu

Asia » India » West Bengal » Darjeeling March 15th 2017

I wouldn't say that I didn't enjoy Nepal, but my luck was rotten there and the country, lets say... tested me. Though not looking as outwardly poor as India - and prices here tend to reflect that too - the infrastructure here is poorer, what with so much challenging terrain and weather to contend with. Almost everything in Nepal from houses to roads - which are the worst I have seen anywhere - seem poorly constructed. Thus I was glad to be leaving but I still had the small matter of getting back to Kathmandu first. My last night in Phaplu was f*cking freezing. I had brought enough cold weather clothing into the mountains with me but it was on the jeep ride out of there that I found myself wearing it all. The windows had ... read more
View Over Darjeeling
Colourful & Detailed Murals
The Mall

Asia » India » West Bengal » Darjeeling » Sandakphu July 8th 2015

It was the winter of 2014..we planned our trek to Singalila National Park and reach Sandakphu, a popular trek destination which allow the trekkers to witness the Mt. Khangchendzonga massif along with some prominent peaks like Mt Everest, Mt Makalu, Mt Lhotse ,3 sisters etc...But unlike others we did not started our trek from the usual starting point of Maneybhanjan rather we did the trek in a reversal mode..On reaching Siliguri, we took a car and reached a small hamlet in West Sikkim called Okhrey, it took us around 7 long hours via Jorethang and reach this beautiful himalayan village of Okhrey, we stayed the night in one of the few Homestay that are manged by locals with strong essence of Tibetan culture. Next morning we took our early breakfast and started our journey to the ... read more
Bersay Rhododendron sanctuary
Gorkhey village

Asia » India » West Bengal » Darjeeling February 10th 2015

Asia » India » West Bengal » Darjeeling February 9th 2015

Asia » India » West Bengal » Darjeeling » Rimbick May 26th 2014

It was an interesting trip from Kolkata to Radhikapur (North Dinajpur District near Raiganj) by train where 11 of us made so much noise that the TTE ( Train Ticket Examiner) remarked to another passenger that this 'lot' must be travelling in train for the first time. It just happened that the 'other passenger' happened to be one of us! We reached Radhikapur station in the morning mist of things which is really not the nice cold mist but that of pollution. We were warmly received by the extended family followed by all the pets (parrot, dog). Time flew as I learned to play football in the open field. We also played various board games. The occasion was to attend the festival at Swaminath temple. There were over 50,000 visitors on the occasion of Buddha Purnima ... read more
Lebong Tea Estate
Mountains and Mist

Asia » India » West Bengal » Darjeeling March 16th 2014

A short flight from Calcutta took us north to Bagdogra where our new guide and driver were waiting to drive us up into the mountains, starting from a height of 500ft and ending at 7000ft in Darjeeling. The road was steep with multiple hairpin bends and some fairly rough potholed stretches.Darjeeling is situated in a pine-clad valley, with the town clinging to the steep mountainsides, consisting of small houses, shops and taller concrete townhouses linked by numerous small narrow streets, alleys and steps. We walked up the hillside, slightly out of breath, due to a combination of the steepness and also the altitude, to the Mall. The Mall, which sits high up on the mountain should have spectacular views but we were thwarted by low cloud and mist, is a square surrounded by small shops selling ... read more
Yiga Choeling Old Monastry
Tea Plantations at Darjeeling
The road to Darjeeling

Asia » India » West Bengal » Darjeeling February 28th 2014

Molested In A Jeep! We arrived sleepy and clueless in New Jaiglupuri. We hadn't booked a driver to pick us up but we had heard that it was easy to find a share jeep to Darjeeling. Darjeeling is a windy uphill 3.5 hr drive away. The first guy to approach us offered 200rp per person. A complete bargain compared to the 2500rp wanted by the hotel for the same trip with a private driver. We accepted and he led us to the back of the car park to a waiting jeep. We threw our bags on and decided to go to the toilet. The jeep doesn't leave until its full and the guy promised us we would wait only "10 minutes". Taylor was a little nervous about leaving our bags there but I reassured her they'd ... read more
All rugged up and ready to explore

Asia » India » West Bengal » Darjeeling June 27th 2013

my first trip to Darjeeling was way back in the year 1975, possibly leaving my younger bro just born that year with granny. my only recollections of that trip were possibly a ride on a horse and a train line. Later on I heard stories of my antics as a three year old and saw photographs of the horse rides. we had stayed at the planters club i was told and mum dad would hold me from both sides and swing me as they trooped about. the second time was with the folks and my bro, we were returning from Guwahati in Assam and I remember the train journey in a first class compartment. i also recall a restaurant where we had lunch. this was in the year 1979 a year before my second and final ... read more

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