Darjiling-Gangtok Tour 2013


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    HARESHJOSHI on #67346

    “Let’s visit some difference place this time ”,said one of my group members.”Darjeeling-Gangtok”,I suggested and was overwhelmed by all 10 friends.But these places were almost 3000 km from our hometown,Mandvi-Kutch,Gujarat and decided to go by AIR.On Sep 30,2013,we boarded Spicejet flight for just Rs.4000 per person,offseason rates,from Ahmedabad at 6.30 am via Delhi-Kolkata to Bagdogra,the nearest airport for Darjeeling-Gangtok,managed by indian army,and reached at 14.00 pm.Darjeeling is in northern side of West Bengal at 7000 feet height,adjacent to Nepal and Gangtok is capital of Sikkim state.
    From Bagdogra,Darjeeling is almost 100 km and Gangtok 115 km on the otherside.At the airport,prepaid taxies were available but only 8 passengers were allowed in Tata Sumo at the counter.So we hired Tata Sumo from outside and paid Rs.500 for10 members to drop Siligudi,a big junction 8 km away,from where we hired another Tata Sumo for Darjeeling @ Rs.120/- per person for 10 members for almost 92 km journey through hilly area which took 3.5 hours. Sharing taxies are available till evening only.Another option was narrow guage heritage train from morning and was taking almost 8 hours.But the track was damaged in middle and shortened to Kursong,a beautifull town ,50 km away. A famous film song,”Mere sapnoki rani kab aayegi…” of Aardhna was filmed on this train which shows beauty of Darjeeling hills whole the way.
    We landed ourselves in hotel Polinio,a good budjet hotel near mall Road with spacious,clean rooms and veg restaurant for Rs.900/- per room per night for a 3 bedded room for 3 days.Good service,good furniture,hot water were also plus points.The faces of people of Darjeeling looked totally different from us and resembled to nepalese.80% business,including tea-coffee stalls,merchant shops are managed by women.Men mostly work in hotels and driving. Being in East,The Sunrise & Sunset is almost one hour earlier than western India.The market is closed around 8 pm and opens at 8 am with bright sunsine. A really different place and experience..!!! Atmosphere was pleasant with day temp.18 degree and night 10 degree mostly cloudy.
    For sightseeing,we hired a Tata Sumo for Rs.1800 per day.First we we visited Peace Pagoda,a Buddha temple on height surrounded with lush green trees, green grass and enchanting view of mountains. It was a piece of mind experience.

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    HARESHJOSHI on #67352

    Our team,Haresh Joshi [myself],Chandrakant Mota,Chimanlal Nathani,Jayesh Mota,Anil Vyas,Uday Sachde,Nilesh thakkar,Jiten Mota,Kamlesh Mota and Kalpesh Nathani,headed towards Rock Garden.The roads of darjeeling are very bad.You will be bumping everytime.But the scenes on the way to Rock Garden were marvellous.Really GOD gift to Darjeeling..!!!.Rock garden is like a sauccer surrounded by mountains and greenery.Quite peaceful and rocking sound of many falls…Hardly 3-4 tourists other than us…interior place..but 2 young girls were on ticket window…!!! Law & order must be very good.Charge was just Rs.5 per person…chilling water and cold wind delighted us

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    HARESHJOSHI on #67356

    Our next destination was famous Tea Gardens of Darjeeling after lunch on a roadside dhaba…food was average as there are few veg restaurants.The scenic beauty at Tea Garden was so amazing that I have no words to describe..!!Green slopes..lot of clouds passing through us…small village homes in green tea gardens on opposite mountain..whole green valley..scattered green trees among the tea plantation…simply wonderful..
    We saw some men & women wokers,smoking and playing cards in tea plantations together…enjoying life in their own style..!!
    Ready tea packets were sold outside the Garden.But bargaining was also there and the tea was not so testy when we tested at home.Though Gujraties like Solid test and the tea was mild.The last destination of the day was Himalayan Mountaineering Institute [HMT] from where whole Darjeeling can be seen in a single seen.Abundant information about trekking was there.The statue of first Everest trekker,Tensingh,is also there

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    HARESHJOSHI on #67366

    Next day October 2,2013 early morning at 4 am we departed to see sunrise at Tiger Hill,a high point mountain.Bad roads and curves made many friends wamiting.To our surprise,on the way at 4.30 am,a young lady carrying a thermos stopped our Tata Sumo and requested driver to take with us.Being no space,she kept herself hanged on outside doorstep of the vehicle.Driver told that she was coming there to sell hot coffee..!! Salute to their workdedication and trust on law & order of the region..!!!! When first sunray falls on snow capped Kanchanjanga mountain,it looks totally golden and gradually silver..But due to heavy clouds,we could not see the wonderful moment…Chilly winds of Himalaya made us frozen but hot tea sold @ Rs.10/- per cup by many women there,provided some relief.
    On returnway,we visited a war memoriel.Scenic beauty and garden were encananting..Narrowgauge tourist train from Darjeeling also comes here and take round at the edge of the memoriel and shows wondeful scenes around.

    When we reached our hotel,we were told that transport strike was announced on the next day.Freequent and sudden transport strike and “Darjeeling Bandh” is main problem with Darjeeling….We decided to leave Darjeeling and proceeded towards Meerik,another small hill station,56 km from Darjeeling.The hotel owner was kind enough to refund us one day hotel rent..!!On the way we stopped for tea-coffee.All 3-4 stalls were run by ladies who were very frank to talk with men.They said some of the land was in India and some in Nepal .But Whole the way was full of untouch natural beauty…not less than heaven …We made our driver stopped … captured shooting and photoes for lifetime memories.. uRain

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    Vinod Raman on #69399

    Nice story so far Haresh ji.. please post the rest of the story also 🙂

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