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When all trees have been cut down, when all animals have been hunted, when all waters are polluted, when all air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money. - Cree Prophecy

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Darjeeling

Just that we have heard so much of it so often and anyways we shall be so close, so as well include Darjeeling..thats how this famous hill station came in to our schedule..
After that train journey and that night’s stay at the NJP station itself (that itself is a big story, so many warned us of the north Bengal, notoriety, not advisable late night venturing out etc and so we coiled there in the station esp after the train reached late at midnit!)..this inspite of having a friend at Siliguri which is a sort of twin city of NJP..and btw folks, never buy the idea that siliguri (bcos of its proximity or words of friends like Bimal) is a hill station or atleast a plesant place..NO..one wud only luv to run away from there..and so we did as fast as possible from NJP and siliguri..try_n_avoid_them_if_u_can places!
The route to Darjeeling though was good if not exotic..a typical tree and greenery filled route with lowering temp as we climb..but the roads were pathetic..(main reason being heavy rains just b4 we went)..add to that the horrible traffic and rough drivers..inspite of the rains we didn’t get to see any interesting sceneic water falls..
If Darjeeling has become a biiiiig concrete jungle the carbon spewing gaadis have made it an environment nightmare..but there are less plastics on the road sides, esp bcos of the ban on usage of plastic. No shop gives u plastic covers and u can see people carrying cloth bags or things wrapped in papers- like in our young days..hey, what a nice culture to come back isn’t? The hotel we stayed – Shangrilla Regency was a very impressive place! Don’t miss the Kanchenjunga view from their top floor restaurant if u go there. But be warned! One can die of gluttony..man! what amounts they serve for breakfast, phew..
The best part of Darjeeling wud be the Tiger hill visit. Don’t give it a miss bcos u have to wake up as early as 3am and leave hotel by 4 to see the sunrise..but its worth every ounce of laziness u beat with gold..the sunrise and the colorful kanchend’zonga (ya, that’s our Kanchenjunga) is just out of the world..then there is the left over of the brits like glenarys, english style pubs, good continental places! add to that scores of ‘pure veg’ restaurants, cookies joints and what not..good walk paths also, but too much of building all over have eaten in to the hill side views..
And then to that steam engine hype: every one wud have spoken of that toy train aka steam engine train of that ‘meri sappanon ka rani kab..’ fame, 100 years and all that..thats a big let down..the amount of black smoke it throws and the fact that most of it makes it way in to ur face thru the window and that it goes at such a slow pace wading thru the nasty and crowded roads is no fun..

Rating – so so
Will I go again- NO!
Best time to visit Darjeeling – pl see the prev line, still want to? Then early oct, before puja so u can beat the crowd..or late feb if u like snow n cold

for the photos pl go here

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