Whenever I am thinking of holidaying, I always end up planning a trip to the hills. I have an undying love for the mountains!
I was new in my current job when I met two interns from The United States. These two angels were planning to go to Darjeeling over the weekend (plus a weekday). They asked me to tag along and I pretty quickly said YES! When I thought of spending the weekend in the hills, I hardly had worries about taking a day leave from my 15 days old job.
We booked our train from Kolkata to Siliguri and reached Siliguri late at night. All the way, we kept hearing fellow passengers talking about "too much rainfall in Darjeeling". This conversation did disappoint me a bit because I was looking forward to seeing the Himalayas. We reached Siliguri late at night and to my dismay, it was raining incessantly. We did not have any hotel booking in Siliguri so our auto-rickshaw driver helped us to check-in to one. It was an average hotel (rather pretty bad) but that was perfectly okay as we had to start over for Darjeeling early the next morning.
We started at 8 am in the morning in a Jeep. The drive through the hills was pretty mesmerising with greenery all around. The gushes of cool fresh air with a tinge of an earthy smell (due to rain) gave me a high. We crossed a small town of Kurseong dotted with small tea shops, beautiful houses and cute kids (with pink cheeks) loitering around. You can either explore this small town or go-ahead. We did not stop here due to our time constraint.
As you will approach Darjeeling you will get to enjoy the pretty sight of railways tracks with lots of prayer flags, small tea shops serving the best of momos and tiny thatched houses, again flaunting the vibrant prayer flags.
During our train journey, we had booked a hotel in Darjeeling using the Lonely Planet India Travel Guide. This hotel was more like a homestay-small and clean, with a small library.
With little time to waste, we headed straight to explore the city and here are the things we did.
Bhutia Busty Gompa
St. Andrews Church
Happy Valley Tea Estate
Glenary's— Bakery, Resturant & Pub
Thupka and Momos
- Souvenir Shops
- Tea Tasting
We covered most of Darjeeling on foot except few places such as Tiger Hills and Dali Monastery. It was tiring but worth it. You get to soak the beauty around at your pace. With two days in hand, we had surely had a great time out there but there were places which I wish to see again (view of the Himalayas :D). I am surely going back to this mystic land sooooon again. And this time with confirmed tickets. 😛