How to apply for a Indian Transit Visa from Bangladesh

Transit! A word that is somewhat not loved by the travelers around the world. What if we didn’t need any Visa to get into a country. A World without borders! Is it possible ? Are we capable of readily shedding our borders to work together as one real society? We can just hope for that. I have been busy and couldn’t write on the blog but i am back now. I will be going to Bhutan on 18th of this month. As this is a budget tour I had to look for all possible options where i could save money.  The first big one that came up was by not Flying and instead going by road. As there is no direct access to Bhutan from Bangladesh, I needed a transit visa of India. Which is a kind of a pain in the ass. I applied from Chittagong and there weren’t any details how to apply for a transit visa. But now as i already applied for the visa and got the visa today I thought of writing in detail how to apply for an Indian transit visa.

Here is Step By Step Process:

First, you need to fill up the online application form and get the document printed.

Link : http://indianvisa-bangladesh.nic.in/visa/

When apply online be careful not to put wrong inputs. Most of the information you need are in your passport.

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Expected Date of Arrival – the transit visa takes around 1 week to process so give your expected arrival date 10 days later from your application/submission date but not too much difference. Select the Indian Mission in which you want to submit the document. I prefer you select Dhaka as they have better facilities and give more transit visa than others. I applied from Chittagong and i had to stay there 2 complete days just to submit the documents. There is no actual line for transit visa you have to get in the same line as Business Visa. They don’t have much problem letting the business visa submit but they don’t even let you drop when it’s your turn.

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You just have to wait there not sure whether you will be permitted to submit the documents for visa. We were actually 2 persons who got Indian Transit visa within those 2 days and i was actually thinking of leaving as it’s been almost 4 hours i was waiting for my turn before i got the call from their officer to go inside.

 

Anyway back at it. When filling the form there might be some confusion what to input in some steps. In the section of Visible identification marks write None. If you have national id card enter your national id card no or you can just input the personal no from your passport. Educational qualification will be Higher Secondary if you completed your HSC or Studying after completing HSC. There are a lot of options choose the one according. City of Birth , Nationality , Religion , Passport Number , Place of Issue , Date of Issue , Date of Expiry can be found in your passport. For a place of issue, it’s Dhaka for all the passport but still check to be sure.  For nationality select how did you got your nationality by birth or by naturalization. It means either you father lived in another country he married your mom who is from here or the opposite and you acquired the nationality.

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Make sure you keep the temporary application id saved. It will help you to change the details later if necessary.

For Any other valid Passport/Identity Certificate(IC) held section input if you have any other valid passport of another country.

Are/were you in a Military/Semi-Military/Police/Security. Organization? If you are then select yes and input the details.

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Employer Name/business put your employer’s name or company if are doing a job.

Past Occupation – Select what you used to do before.

Previous Nationality: for your father and mothers details even this is optional you have to select it like I did in the screenshot.

Mobile No. : Don’t enter the first 0 when entering your mobile no.

Postal/Zip Code: if you don’t know your postal code find it from here. http://www.bangladeshpost.gov.bd/postcode.asp
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Duration of Visa (in Months) : Even though it says in months please enter it in days like 30 days or so. Cause when we print this it changes from months to days so if you put 1 month it becomes 1 day. 
Travelling to another Country after India? Click the box and write the name of your country. : here you need to enter the country name where you want to go for example i will go to Bhutan so i entered Bhutan

Port of Arrival in India : Select this as your want it. For travelling to Bhutan you should choose : By Road Changrabandha / Jaygaon. Which is actually the Burimari Border of our.

Port of Exit from India: Select this as your want it. For traveling to Bhutan you should choose: By Road Changrabandha / Jaygaon.

The purpose of Visit: Enter it as you want to like for business enter business I am going for traveling so I entered tourism.

No. of Entries : Select this double for Bhutan as you have to enter twice in India , If you have to enter thrice select Triple. (Say you will go to Bhutan and again back from bhutan and again to nepal then you need triple)

Have you ever visited India before? : If yes enter the details if not just select No.

Last Indian Visa No/Currently valid Indian Visa No. : If you already have a tourist or medial or any other visa of India enter the details of that one. The Visa no should be like VJ or VK00112 something like that.
Reference Name in India : Enter the details of someone you know in India . If you don’t know anyone use the below one :
Mr. Firoz Khan
Hotel Garib Nawaz
9, Chowringhee Lane,
Kolkata-700016
Phone : +91 22175452
Reference Name in Bangladesh : Enter details of someone close to your , your parents or family members details.
Image Upload: Upload one of your recent images.
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Photo Specifications

  • Format – JPEG
  • Size – Minimum 10 KB, Maximum 1 MB
  • The minimum dimensions are 350 pixels (width) x 350 pixels (height).
  • Recent front-facing photograph with a white background to be uploaded by the applicant.

Now enter a hotel name where you might stay if you get the visa. Just google for a hotel in your preferred location. Enter the details of that hotel. You can use Hotel.com or Booking.Com to book a hotel without any headache. Also to get the hotel information from there.

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Now This is the final step : Check if all the details you just entered are correct if not modify and change it . After it’s done go to the next step and save the Permanent Application number.

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After that we are finished applying you just have to print the form. For transit visa you don’t need appointment date.  Download the form now , print it and attach 1 of your recent passport size photo 2 by 2 size .  Remember, You don’t need e-token for transit visa . Sign below the photo and at the bottom of next page as you signed in your passport .

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Now just go to the Gulshan Indian Ambassy branch if you selected Dhaka Indian Mission next day to submit the form. If you selected IVAC Chittagong then go the Chittagong branch or others.

Ok to the next and most important step.

What supporting documents you need when applying for a transit visa.

  1. 2 Passport size photo of yours (2 by 2 size) white background.
  2. Minimum of 150 Dollar endorsement receipt or Bank statement of your account or your parents. It’s better and easy to get the endorsement – Just outside any of the Indian mission embassy you can it done by some brokers for 400-500 tk ($200 dollar endorsement) . If you want to do it yourself you have to go to Bank preferably zonal head office and pay the required amount of exchange money and get the endorsement slip. Say for 200 dollar you have to pay BDT 16,000+ and they will give you 200 Dollar note and the slip.
  3. For double entry transit visa you have to show the main copy and photocopy of your Bus Ticket both Leaving and Return Ticket. If you are applying for Bhutan transit visa you can get it from SR SHYAMOLI . From Kollanpur to Shiliguri , Ticket Price : 1500 BDT (AC) . – Contact number : 01716478951 / 01945709907
  4. Photocopy of Your Birth Certificate or National ID card. If possible Both.
  5. Main Copy and Photocopy of Utility Bill (Current Bill, Gas Bill, WASA Bill) – You can get it from your Landlord/homeowner as well.
  6. Photocopy of your passport from Page 1 to The last used visa page of yours.
  7. Photocopy of your reference or parents national id card & business/visiting card.
  8. If you applied as a student – Your Student ID Card Photocopy.
  9. If you applied as a Job holderNOC (No objection certificate) copy from your office – in your office pad preferably.
  10. If you applied as business – Main Copy & Photocopy of your Trade Licence,  Main copy & photocopy of your Visiting Card / Business card,
  11. Check if your passport has a minimum validity of 7 months.
  12. If you have an old passport please attach and submit that as well with your current passport.
  13. The printed copy of your online form.
  14. For bhutan they asked for a hotel reservation confirmation so if you don’t have one already –  (I applied in the chittagong branch where they asked for it , But when my friend applied in Dhaka they didn’t ask for it)

For Hotel Reservation Go to :

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  • Enter your Check-in and Check-out date.
  • Select the reason for traveling.
  • Select how many rooms you need , How many persons adult and children. Then click Search

Now you will see a lot of hotel names and their prices. The price showing is per day price . Select one you might want to stay in.

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So to next page just scroll down a little and you will find the booking option like below image. Select you room no, room type and other details. There you will find a column name Conditions – check for 

  • SEMI-FLEXIBLE, pay when you stay No credit card required to reserve

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So after choosing that click reserve now. And to next page, you will be asked to register on the site. Enter your name as passport, and email address correctly .

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Now you will be asked to enter your mastercard or visa card details (no security number needed), Don’t worry you won’t be charged if you don’t stay. (Note : In some hotel they will give you a date before which cancellation is free but after that date you will be charged a amount.) So don’t just reserve look for the details.  After a successful reservation they will email you the reservation confirmation. Print that and submit along with your other documents.

Now if you don’t have a mastercard or visa card , got to : http://www.hotel.bt/  , Select your destination and hotel , price and then from the contact page contact them using the mail and ask them to send you a reservation mail. After they send you print it and submit. 

 

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That’s all for now. I hope you get the process of applying a transit visa. The screenshots are for Bhutan Transit visa – so you just have to change few of the details when applying for other country. Most of them will remain same. I will be back with the travel blog of Bhutan after completing my journey. Please keep me in your prayers. Till then take care and good bye.

Off to India: Darjeeling Sight Seeing (Part 3)

Hey, guys, I am back with the 3rd of my Darjeeling Tour. Sorry for being late. I was really busy with my work and studies so didn’t get enough time to write. But I will finish on this one cause I don’t know when I will get time again.

Darjeeling Zoo

Survived Cancer
Have Diabetes
Needs 13 Tablets a Day
Not Wealthy
Age 73
Backpacker!
So what’s your excuse for not travelling the world?

If you have problems like sleeping in hostels, lodge, don’t have enough money, can’t get along with people! Then I suggest you watch the documentary A map for Saturday which is about backpacking for 1 year and traveling the world as a solo traveler. You will get to know people when you travel, you will know different ways of living, enjoy unforgettable moments and most importantly when you get back you will miss those moments. When does someone ask you what you have done, what you saw there? It’s like you can’t describe it cause he doesn’t even have time for listening but the only thing you will be happy about is those memories which will be always with you & inspire you in your work, life, see the world and people around differently.

Darjeeling Zoo

10th October(Day 4): So today we slept till 8 AM in the morning & it was really refreshing after so much hangover from the journey and all. Today we will be going on the actual sight seeing. We booked a car for sightseeing for 1000 rupees. He will take us to 6 places. The first one we went to was the Darjeeling Zoo. Which is nicely decorated. There were few animals there i.e Tiger, Bear, Lion, Wolf.Fox, Deer & some rare animals like Snow Leopards, TiWolf.The outlook of the zoo was very nice.

Darjeeling Zoo

Inside the zoo, there is a place called Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI) . It was established in honor of Tenzing Norgay after he and Sir Edmund Hillary climbed the Everest in 1953. It has a well-stocked museum with mountaineering displays and many expedition artifacts, a boarding school for mountaineering students, houses for the trainers, a restaurant, a souvenir shop and more.Himalayan Mountaineering Institute is now a complex of various activities and units. It is said to be a destination by itself and a pilgrimage for all the climbing enthusiasts. It comprises of a residential school for mountaineering students, Swiss-style houses for the sherpa trainers.

Then we saw the Tenzing Rock just beside the road. Tenzing Rock, a gigantic natural rock in Darjeeling is named after Tenzing Norgay. Some tourists were climbing it. It’s mainly used for training. The right face of the rock can be used by amateur climbers or even tourists for climbing

Darjeeling Tea Plantations

Then we went to Tea Plantations . There are more than 86 gardens that produce the famous Darjeeling tea. Though there wasn’t much to see but I captured a nice video of the clouds.

Darjeeling Cable Car Ropeway

Then we went to Darjeeling Ropeway. Which is a ride of 20 minutes by cable car. One of the best ways to experience the panoramic views that Darjeeling is so famous for. You will be amazed to see the spectacular view of the valley around. The clouds going through you and you are hanging in the cable car. The feeling is just splendid. You will travel from an altitude of about 7,000 ft. (or 2134m) down to 800 ft. (or 244m) where the last station and after 5-10 minutes break you will be back. You will see the tea garden from the cable car and the mountains and it’s just amazing the view from up there.

Darjeeling Cable Car

Then the driver took us to Japanese Temple & Peace Pagoda .  Japanese Temple it’s a  two storied white building was built in a traditional Japanese style in the year 1972.

Darjeeling Japanese Temple

Just beside that is Peace Pagoda that showcases four avatars of Lord Buddha. From the top of the Pagoda, you get a panoramic views of Darjeeling landscape. Though it was closed but i did get some photos of the outlook.

Peace Pagoda Darjeeling

The next and last of our sight seeing today is Rock Garden & Ganga Maya Park Darjeeling. Which is downhill. So we had to drive for like 15 minutes or so around 10kms to reach there. When we reached there it started raining and we had to take cover in the small shops beside the garden. Also, it’s almost 1 PM and we are really hungry so I saw there were bread and eggs and so I asked the shop owner lady to make me a sandwich. You wanna know something? Don’t tell anyone ok? It was the best sandwich I have had in years. So I ordered another one and surprisingly the tea we had there were also better than all! So a few minutes later rain stopped and there was a big waterfall and you have to pay like 5 rupees as fee to enter inside the park. They built a lot of ladders over the waterfall! You have no idea what it looks like and when they did there. You can go to top of the waterfall the top by using the ladders! Though the main source of this waterfall is up in the mountain. The park was really beautiful. It was like a drawing some drawn and left it. Flowers, decorations & nature’s beauty. At 1.30 we came back to our hotel. We will leave for Kolkata tomorrow but there are many places left to visit. So we called our car driver guy who was very friendly at the time of whole sightseeing. To be honest when we asked him how much time we have to finish this places he said i won’t tell you that you can take your time! Which is a rare thing in a tourist attraction like that. So we wanted to go to Kalimpong, Mirik . So we decided that we will get up early in the morning tomorrow and pack our bags and on the way we will see Kalimpong. We didn’t saw Mirik lake cause it’s completely opposite to the road we will be going and we need more time so today we did some shopping for us from the Best Buy & near shops.

Rock Garden

11th October(Day 5): It’s 7’0 clock here. We are off to Kalimpong. The driver didn’t came he sent someone else. So the last day at Darjeeling started. We were crossing a Sight seeing place called Batasia Loop Darjeeling we asked him to stop there so we can do a quick seeing of that. He stopped there and as we didn’t had our breakfast he even asked us to finish it there in a hotel cause we won’t find any better where we are going. If you are taking a toy train joy ride from Darjeeling, you will pass by this magnificent loop. Otherwise, take a cab from Darjeeling town and visit the Batasia Loop. It’s located on Hill Cart Road . There is no better place to get a 360 degree view of Darjeeling’s landscape including the hill town and the snow covered peaks of the Eastern Himalayas with the majestic Kanchenjunga on one side. And all this from the middle of a lovely garden with flowers around which the toy train track is laid.

Triveni Darjeeling

Then we were off to Kalimpong and on the way there is a place called Triveni from Peshoke View Point where two rivers meet with each other. There is a story of these two rivers  told by our driver that Teesta and Rangeet, the two major rivers in Sikkim, emanate from Himalayan glaciers. While Teesta resembles a young woman from the highlands — her sparkling water follows a straight path, traversing through lovely valleys and deep forests, the Rangeet meanders. Why do the two rivers take different paths from the Himalayas and why do they look different before they finally meet in the plains of Bengal and flow together for eternity. But after doing some research what i found is different. You can check the embedded post below or go here : http://on.fb.me/1p0bNgz

and : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/Rivers-in-love/articleshow/10125831.cms

A LEPCHA FOLKLORE: THE TRUE STORY OF RONGNYU and RONGEET.

Posted by DarjeelingTimes.com – Darjeeling News on Thursday, August 28, 2014

After that we were driving beside the Tista river. The road is a little bumpy there but don’t worry the rest is good. So like after 30 minutes we reached Kalimpong. I wasn’t feeling good so I didn’t enter there. But here are some photos taken by Habib vai.

Kalimpong

You can do Paragliding in there for only 2500 rupees for 20 minutes. Don’t worry there will be a guide with you and don’t miss that cause it’s once in a lifetime opportunity.We also saw Buddha statue & park , Deolo, Mangal Dham, Dr Graham’s Homes . 

Kalimpong

So from there we headed to New Jalpaiguri. From there it took around 2 hours to reach New Jalpaiguri. Then we had our lunch and all and at 8.45 we got in our train.

New Jalpaiguri Train Station

In the morning we reached Kolkata and I did some shopping. Then habib vai booked a hotel for them they will stay another day and will come back by Plane but as there wasn’t any air ticket for that day and I didn’t want to stay in Kolkata so I got on a Bus at 11.30 AM and left for Bangladesh.  I reached Dhaka at 3.45 AM. Then i stayed in Dhaka that day as i was too tired to come back to Chittagong.

 

That concludes my journey of India – Darjeeling – Kalimpong . It was a journey i will always remember. It was my first solo travel as i didn’t even knew the people i was going  there with. I made up my mind within just one day that i will be coming to India and i actually did. So if you want to travel some place don’t stop cause no one is going with you or you are scared to go alone. Travel to explore the places. See the beauties of nature. What is the worst that can happen? It will take you more time to reach there, you will get lost few times or maybe you will be sick? but think what you will miss if you don’t go. you don’t know what will happen in life the next moment. So Enjoy the life! This is it for today and I hope I will be back again with another travel story of mine. I am thinking of Going to Bhutan, Nepal & Maldives. I don’t know when i will be able to but be sure if i go there i will write up about them.

Note: There are more photos of this tour in the Facebook Album if you want to see go here : Darjeeling Tour Photo Album

 

Off To Darjeeling  : Part 1

Off To Darjeeling : Part 2

 

Off To India: The Mountain of Clouds -Darjeeling  (Part 2)

To travel is to live. When we travel places it’s not just about the place or the people it’s their culture, it’s a new way of seeing things. Different people and their different lifestyles. Their struggle for earning their livelihood and finding the happiness in little things. Their way of doing things differently & learning new things from them. Whom of you know me know that I am a travel freak. If I had enough money I would travel the whole world. Still I made some plans for travelling around the world. I try to save some money for going to new countries which started with India. Though I stayed in India for only 7 days but it was one hell of a tour.

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention to arrive safely in a pretty and well preserved body; but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming ‘Wow! What a ride!’”

– Hunter S. Thompson
So this is the second part of India tour. I hope you liked the first part of the blog. The train journey started. I bought a book for me from the Sealdah station “Love stories that touched my heart by Ravinder Sing. I was amazed to see there were very good books in the little bookstores of the station.
SealDah Station
So we got introduced with the three foreigners. They were from Belgium. They were doing some kind of course here in India. They travelled most of the places around like Delhi, Kashmir, Shimla, Manali, Shilong. This time, they were heading towards Darjeeling & Gangtok( Sikkim). They were very friendly we talked almost 3 hours. Habib vai was feeling sick & the others fell asleep. I have a sleeping problem kind of like insomnia so I was talking with them. They seemed very curious about coming to Bangladesh as well. I did give them some information about which places to visit and some other advice as well when travelling to be safe. I also gave my number so that they can contact me if they come. We shared our insights on India and I think, their thoughts the only thing they complained about was not getting the ticket directly from the Sealdah station.
Sealdah Station Life
So one of them had some kind of exam the next day and he left us and started studying in his tab. The others also went after few minutes. So I was alone wandering around the train doors :/ nothing to do, Then another Indian guy about my age came to smoke and we got introduced. He gave me some info on Darjeeling and which are the must for sightseeing. I asked him about how to go to Sikkim and he told me Bangladeshis, Pakistanis & Chinese, Nepalis are not allowed there without proper permission even the Indian need permission. We need Inner Line Permit from the high commission of India situated in Delhi. After a few minute, he left also and I had to go to sleep cause there was no one to talk. One thing I noticed in the train that some of them brought Pillows with them and they are very comfortable travelling in trains. Their trains are very fast compared to our trains and clean as well.
Sealdah Station Life
10th October(Day 4): 
So we reached New Jalpai Guri train station at 8.00 clock. After reaching there, we
did our breakfast in Jamai Hotel with Aluu Porotaa & Chicken masala. After that, some bookies were trying to get in and show their offers but we didn’t give them any chance & got into a Maruti Suzuki from the station there which will take 10 person and 200 rupees each. You can also reserve one for 2k or so as well. The driver was really good with his driving skill and actually after staying in darjeeling I got to know that every single one of them are very good.
Darjeeling
Anyway, the this is the starting of a great 3-hour journey which you can’t describe. We were going up, up and up and the mountains of Darjeeling they were making mad with their beauty. The roads were super clean and well made. I was really amazed to see how they made these roads so high. Actually, I was thinking how they bought the Road Rollers and other heavy trucks there. The height of our Bandarban is 3488 feet with GPS accuracy of 3 & Darjeeling is 7600 feet. So you can imagine why I was confused how they made the roads there. So after crossing 4000 feet everything changed and we entered into the CLOUDS! yeah, I was wearing shorts and tshirt and it was freezing cold. You will notice another thing there that your won’t hear anything. Seriously your ear will get blocked and on and again blocked because of the height. If you have highfobia than don’t look below. It’s really scary :/  The roads are dangerous like hell as well. The view was mesmerizing & the best part were clouds. It was covering us, going through us.
Clouds !
Clouds !
You can’t describe this feeling in words 🙂 You have to be there to feel it. Beside the road you will see a train line going up. It’s the world Himalayan Railway Train of Darjeeling aka Toy Train. Which was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1999, only the second railway to have this honour. Though it’s closed because of the Landsliding. It was made In the mid-19th century, the British rulers built a recovery home away from home in the Himalayan city Darjeeling where the stress of colonial rule and the hot Indian climate could be put away for the summer. A sanatorium and a military depot were set up. The soft climate was not only good for recreation but also supporting extensive tea growing and plantation. Subsequently, Darjeeling became a well-known new British settlement and trading point for tea. We reached the Darjeeling main city and there were houses built on the mountain. I was thinking how they made those there and it’s not like just only one floor they made one over another. Girls were coming from school and they were nicely dressed but they didn’t wear any Jackets or sweater I mean no warm clothes but it was 13-degree celsius out there and I was freezing and shaking in cold. There was an Old couple sitting in the back of the Maruti with us. Their age will be around 70 or so. They were here to celebrate their anniversary & spend some time together on their own. The husband and wife they were so close and caring it made me realize the fact that love is a very hard thing to find & who have it are the most happiest person on earth.
Darjeeling Tea Garden
So after getting off from Maruti we were trying to find a Hotel named Hotel Crown retreat which I researched about before going to Darjeeling. It had some offers going on and had good reviews from their past customers. You should check the rating and customer feedback before you decide to stay in a hotel and it’s better if you can book the hotel online because you will get more benefits and discounts. Anyway, we couldn’t find the hotel crown retreat and there was no phone number given there so we checked in another hotel named Hotel Broadway.
The manager of the hotel is a nice guy and the staffs there are very helpful. After Bargaining we booked a room with two king sized bed with a balcony for 1400 rupees per day. So we paid 2800 rupees for two days in advance. The rooms were comfortable and were great according to the price. If you go to Darjeeling make sure you check if the washroom has hot water or not 😛 because it’s really cold here :D. So we took a nice refreshing shower and we were so tired we all fell asleep. It was a 37 hours continuous journey for me.

View From The Hotel

 

I woke up at 6 PM and opened the door to the balcony. BOOM it struck me like a needle. It was fucking freezing out there. I closed the door instantly and wore my jacket. Everyone was still sleeping so I thought let’s take a look around. So I got out with my camera & it was almost dark and tourists were roaming in the roads. Some of them were buying clothes and other things from the shops. I also bought a pair of hand gloves because my hands were freezing.
My Cam 600d 273
It was nice feeling going there by myself and the satisfaction of reaching Darjeeling with just one-day planning. All credit goes to Habib Bhai who let me hook up with them in this sizzling tour. So when returning to the hotel I saw that Habib Bhai & Faruque bhai is also out. So we went to the newly decorated Gol Chottor, which was previously used for horse racing and all. Couples were sitting there holding each other :3 I need to get married soon :/ Then We had the famous Darjeeling tea there. I confess though the best Darjeeling tea leaf is being exported outside still what I had there is the best tea. It’s only 10 rupees so we had few more. I took some photos there and saw the football match of Indian Super League between Kolkata & Kerala on the big screen to spend our time. On our way back we went to KFC and had their special burger. Then we came back to the hotel with another burger for Hassan Bhai who was still sleeping.
Darjeeling
The temperature dropped even more. The real feel is now 10-degree celsius. So we did our dinner in the hotel restaurant just below. Which was very good and we were so hungry we ate like an elephant. I saw the beast inside Faruque Bhai!! Oh, My God, this guy can eat! I mean really eat! He ate so much that I think I don’t eat that much in a whole day! Another thing is that he was the best one of us who adjusted with Indian food really good. We all had to cope up with the Indian Foods but he was really cool with these foods and ate everything:3 So after having dinner we got off to bed and I opened my notebook and noted few things so I can write this blog post. The reason for that is I forget everything so quickly:3 Then I was watching tv and we were gossiping. We were laughing on Faruque vai. We talked to our home & I talked with ammu.
View from Maruti
View from Maruti
Then I was browsing and went to the balcony. Stayed there for 30 minutes and felt the weather, Darjeeling in the night, Trucks bringing water inside the city from down below Jalpaiguri. They do this everyday bring water from Jalpaiguri so if you go there don’t wash your clothes there or waste water. Then I  was thinking yeah I did it. My first tour outside Bangladesh. That’s it for today the blog post it already big and I hope you like it and I will be back with the last and 3rd part of my Darjeeling tour. Enjoy!
India Tour: Off to India Part One

So you already know I got my Indian visa few months back and I was planning to go there.  Finally just few days before my visa expires I went to India as a solo traveler. I love to travel and explore places. I have been travelling a lot lately, but I never gone solo before. In all other time, my friends were with me. This time, I was waiting for Rikon vai to get his visa so we can go together but he didn’t get the visa due to some passport related problem. So I was preparing myself to go alone. As much as I was excited to go to to a new county alone, I was scared as hell!  Cause I was going to India! Which is one of the biggest country and I never been to a foreign country before. So I had a lot of thoughts how to communicate with the people there,  things I should avoid and so on.  I know that their language is Hindi and I will be in Kolkata who speaks Bengali just like us with just a little different pronunciation. I couldn’t take many pictures on the way as I had heavy bags with me. But i didn’t miss any chance of taking pictures when i reached Darjeeling even when i couldn’t focus due to low light and heavy clouds. So if this post doesn’t have much pictures then be sure you will be flooded with pictures in the next one.

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I only had two days in hand before leaving for Kolkata via Haridaspur immigration point aka Benapole Border( called Petrapole by Indian People). So I did my research on Kolkata & Darjeeling also on immigration process, things I will be needing to go to Kolkata,  I read a lot of blogs on travelling to India, which train I need to get on, As I will go to Darjeeling so how to go there and which places are must to visit for sight seeing!  I also tried to book a hotel there via MakeMyTrip app suggested by Adnan vai but as I couldn’t decide which one will be better so didn’t. I also downloaded some other apps Like GrabTaxiCheapFlights and Oye. So I was well prepared for my visit to India.

7th October (Day 1): The day before my journey to India. I packed my bags. As my backpack was with Onick vaia I had to pack my clothes the other bag of mine. Which is not good for travelling. Things I packed for travelling – clothes, books for reading in bus & train,  Jacket as I will be in Darjeeling where the temperature goes down below 10 degree Celsius which is really cold for people like us from high-temperature countries, torch, archived few TV series in my Cell,  Camera & a Notepad. Later at night I don’t know why I posted a question seeking help in a Group called Travelers of Bangladesh to check if anyone is going to India same time so I can hook up with them. Maybe I wasn’t ready for going to India alone! So one guy named Jawad bhai mentioned Habib Bhai who was also going on the same time and Habib Bhai said I can hook up if I want to. I wasn’t sure about them as I don’t know him.So what I did was I checked his facebook profile to find out few things about him. But there wasn’t much in his profile and ammu was saying not to go with them.I was lying that I know him, I met him before but in reality I never seen him. I talked with him over the phone asking for advice what else I need, how much money I should take and all. After talking with him, it felt like he is a good guy so I asked him to buy a ticket for me & he said he will. So I will be leaving for Dhaka tomorrow.

8th October (Day 2): I got up early in the morning, I came to the bus counter and bought my ticket for Dhaka. It was TR Travels. The bus started at 10 AM. It was raining heavily and I was enjoying my journey. It was a nice feeling. It took me almost 7 hours to get to Dhaka and I was really tired when I reached Dhaka at 6 PM. I wasn’t feeling good. I bought $200 for my expenses in India. I also had around 7K BDT cash with me. I called Habib vaia a few times to check whether he got the ticket or not but he didn’t pick up. So I was confused what to do. I thought if he doesn’t pick up the call I will sleep tonight and I will fly by plane tomorrow morning which takes around $80 and only 1 hours to reach Kolkata. Where by bus It will take around 12 hours.  I also found a very good deal on MakeMyTrip which was a combo offer for Flight & Hotel booking. The offer was Round Trip + 2 days stay at a 3-star hotel in Kolkata for around $180. But all in vain Habib Bhai called at 9.30 and said he got the ticket and the bus will leave at 10.45 PM. So I did my dinner. My mom was worried about me going with someone unknown and asked me to leave my camera here (it’s been only 1 month I bought this new camera canon 600D) in Dhaka. As always I refused by saying nothing will happen don’t worry.  I left for bus station at 10 and it was 15 minutes away from my aunt’s place. I reached there first and was waiting for Habib vai and his friends.  After 10 minutes they came and we got to know each other. Att first meeting Habib vai seemed very nice and fun loving guy. His friends Faruq vai & Hasan vai is also a good guy and this tour would have been incomplete if Faruque vai wasn’t there. So our bus was 15 minutes late and it left for Benapole border at 11 PM.

9th October(Day 3): Our bus got stuck in Ferry. There was huge jam and we had to wait 2 hours to get into a ferry. So We reached at benapole at 8.10. We were already 2 hours late. The immigration process is another nightmare. To be honest, it’s so easy a child can do it but the people, Bookies, Coolies they make it look like hell. You better go through hell but not the immigration process. But In this blog I will share every detail you need to know for the immigration process!

Immigration Process: First you need to fill up a card they will give you. Which is easy just a few basic things like Your name, father’s name, birth date, visa no: which can be found in your visa, departure date, passport no, passport expire and issue date etc. Then you need to pay the travel tax which is 500tk BDT and one-time payment.

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You can it in any bank near you or in the border where you will find a small office or room with Sonali bank or other banks name on it. After you paid the tax they will give you another receipt which you need to show along with your passport to immigration staff inside. After you do that they will seal your passport and the immigration part of Bangladesh is done. Now you will go to the Indian immigration where first you have to get in line and the Coolies will ask you for money to get you in front but believe me, it’s better you go in line. Cause everyone is waiting like you. It’s selfish to do something like that always try to follow the rules. So you will go inside the immigration office and again they will check your baggage and then again you have to fill up another card like the one you filled in for Bangladeshi immigration but this one for Indian immigration another office you. They will check your passport and visa and take a picture of you. After you do that you are ready to enter into India! What do you think? It’s really easy? It’s tough? Actually it’s easy but as I said the people around you will make it look like hell. Anyway just don’t bribe anyone to get this quickly done. Do this by your own and you will be beneficial. You will see 2 types of coolies there one who are wearing red and another who are wearing green shirts. I was thinking may be some of them are Bangladeshi and the other ones are Indians. Based on the shirts as the national flag of Bangladesh is green and red I thought may be the green ones are Bangladeshi. Actually the thing is they are Trinomul & Congress supporters and yeah some of the Bangladeshi ones do wear green. So we are off to India. It’s 10.45 so it took us around 2.30 hours to complete the process.

After crossing the immigration, Habib bhai asked us to convert our dollar into rupees from the money exchange booths situated just outside the immigration office. Habib bhai converted 200 dollars to rupees. Then we booked a taxi to go to Bonga station to get on the train to Kolkata. You can go directly from Dhaka to Kolkata by bus. GreenLine, Shohag & some other bus are providing this service they will get you into a bus from Dhaka to Benapole and then after crossing the border you will get into another bus of their waiting in the Indian side. But the thing is it takes more time and the bus leaves after all the people who came by one bus crosses the immigration. So if you want to take the shortcut and save your time follow the way we are going. So it took around 30 minutes to reach the station and in the meantime we made calls to our home and let them know we crossed the immigration. You will get Bangladeshi sim working inside India for 2 Kilometers from the border so you better do this quick.

After reaching the train station Habib vai  booked 4 tickets for us and the train will leave at 11.30 sharp. So we didn’t have any time to do our breakfast yet the last time we ate was yesterday at dinner. I was really hungry but there was no time to eat. So we got in the train and it was a local train which was stopping on every station. After two crossing two stations, the train became very crowded with people and it was really hot inside. I wasn’t feeling well and dizzy as well. So after crossing 6-7 stations Habib vai got down and brought some foods & drinks for us. It’s really amazing what I saw in the train. The people were sitting side by side even when it’s really tough to move an inch. They were sweating but no complains. The ladies and guys were sitting side by side which is not possible in our country. I saw some Feriwalas selling goods like Chips, Chocolates, Apples, Nuts, Lassi & lot other stuff which I don’t even know. I was thinking how they can live by selling these things cause only a few people were buying those. Habib bhai was talking with local people about what is the easiest and best way to go to Darjeeling and all. So after 2 hours 45 minutes of journey we reached Kolkata Shealdah Junction. Which is very big and crowded. Everyone was running for their desired train. So after reaching Kolkata we tried to book a cab and go to a place called Fairly palace. Where you can book train tickets in foreign quota if you are a foreigner travelling to India. But we didn’t get any taxi cab instead we got on a AC bus. Which was jam packed with people and we had to stand inside and sweating even when the ac was running. After going few blocks, the ac wasn’t working anymore due to some technical problem. So it got more frustrating for me as I had to adjust with my bags in one hand and people pushing from behind to get in front. I was really mad at Habib bhai for not taking taxi cab but what to do now! One thing I noticed inside the bus that people were adjusting with one another if there’s any room or space available they were letting other use it which is a very rare scenario in our country. Also when the ac got switched off they didn’t say too many things. The bus driver and conductor was polite as well. He took half money from the passengers as the ac was not working. The bus driver was also worried about the Black smoke coming out from the bus. He talked to the mechanic asking should he bring the bus into the garage. So they are really worried about the environment. I felt really good seeing this. So it took us around 50 minutes to get to Fairly Palace and 60 rupees for 4 people and then another 30-40 minutes to get the tickets from there. It’s easy they will give you a paper where you have to put certain information’s like your name, birth date, journey date, which train you want, passport details etc. There were other foreigners as well.  So we got the ticket from there. The price was 375 rupees per person. The train will leave at 10.45 and it’s called Super Fast Darjeeling Mail. After seeing the name I had no idea why is it called super fast and I was like how fast can a train go. So then we got to a Bengali hotel called hotel Khalek. We were so hungry we ate like monsters. We bought 3 sim cards for us so we can talk to our home. I also bought a net package so I can use facebook and all. As I can’t live without internet :3 . So after finishing this we gone to a place called Goal Chootor in new market. This place was awesome :p I saw the actual form of kolkata there nice girls, peoples, couples hanging out. The hole day I was thinking where is all the nice girls and now I found them 😀 The thing that got my attention was the attitude. There were many girls and guys hanging out they weren’t even looking at each other. They were busy within themselves. I forgot to tell you we had tea and the cups were so small that I had to drink twice! As I am a tea guy and I drink a hole big glass of tea everyday. The price was higher than Bangladesh too. 10 rupees per cup. So we left from there and reached Sealdah again at 9 PM. We got on our train. And in the other compartment there were 3 more foreigners. So the actual Journey to Darjeeling Started from here.

This is it for this blog. I don’t want to make it too big. So I will write the second part of this blog till then enjoy!

As always I got some inspiration from the movie I watched today Lord Livingston a Malayalam Movie which is about Nature and travelling, the hidden beauty of nature! So this Kuakata trip was in October 2013 just few days after the Eid ul Adha . I wasn’t sure I will go . So October 17th I woke up in the morning and i have to come to Chittagong from Feni with my family. So We got on a CNG at 10.00 AM and got home at 1 PM. I did my lunch and started browsing for information on how to go to Kuakata from Chittagong. Adnan Bhai will go from Dhaka via Launch to Barisal & Rikon vai will come to Dhaka first from Shylet and then join Adnan Bhai. I on the other hand will meet them in Barisal anyway i can. Till now i don’t how to go so on doing some research i found that there’s two way one is going to Dhaka and then via launch to Barishal or I have to go to Noakhali and then via Lunch from there but there is no time left cause the launch starts at 1 PM everyday. So i got out and gone to the Bus station to check if any of the bus goes directly to Barisal. So i went to the bus station and as it was just after the Eid there’s wasn’t many bus available.  I found the the Eagle Paribahan is the only bus which goes directly to Barisal and the bus will leave at 5.30 and it’s already 4.45. So i bought the ticket with 1250 tk and ran for a rickshaw and went home. I packed my bags as fast as i could and again got on a rickshaw. But i got stuck in the Traffic jam and i paid the fare and started running. When i reached it’s already 5.35 and i couldn’t belive my luck when i saw that the bus already started but it’s also stuck on the Jam. So i got on the bus and yeah like that i was off to Kuakata! We reached Dhaka at 11.30 PM at night and then to the Feri at 2 PM. I didn’t ate anything because there was no shops open and there was a strike so the Feri we were supposed to get on won’t start. I was a little scared as the cell battery died and i couldn’t contact anyone. Also there was one more family with me in the bus and rest was empty. I was thinking what if there are not passengers what if they kidnap me and all and thinking all about these i don’t know when i fell asleep.

October 18th 2003:

So when i got up at 7 AM in the morning i saw that we are on the Feri and it just started. I did my breakfast then and we reached Barisal at 11 AM . Then i borrowed the mobile of the bus conductor and called Adnan Bhai who was waiting for me. So i met adnan bhaia and rikon bhaia and ate in a hotel. They reached at 8 AM in the morning. Then we couldn’t find any bus which was going to Kuakata cause most of the them were full because of Eid. People were going there to have fun. Then when we did find a bus there was only seat in the Roof. So we got up and it was just splendid. The view from there, the breeze, It was refreshing and along with us there was a group of Bauls who had Dhol and all that. We again had to change the bus and got on a Micro and then again another bus which crossed like 3-4 Feri and then at 4 PM we reached our destination Kuakata. For me it was a continuous tour of 23 hours. I was so tired that i couldn’t even walk. So adnan Bhai booked a hotel close to the beach and we got refreshed & as we didn’t ate anything we were really hungry. So we went to a small hotel to have some tea! Then adnan Bhai told me that there’s a place little far from the market where they fry the Crabs, Shrimp & other fishes you choose instantly. One more thing i forgot to tell you that the mass medium of moving around in Kuakata is Motor Bike. So we hired 2 motor bikes and to go there and have our Dinner. We along with our driver went there which took us around 30-40 minutes and if you go to Kuakata be sure you don’t miss it. The bike ride beside the beach is another awesome experience in itself! The bike will be going fast and the breeze will blow your hair and you will feel a little cold and listen to the roar of the Mighty Sea. Waves will come roaring and go pass under the bike wheels. When we reached there i got to know that it’s actually a Majhi Para or you can say the people who does fishing in the sea lives here. So after reaching there we chose the fishes ( Hilsha/Ilish , Koral ) we want to eat along with some crabs and Shrimp. They started cooking them for us and when it was ready we were really hungry and let me tell you this was one of the best Dinner of my Life! They felt really fresh and the way they cooked it that’s something else. After finishing our dinner we returned to our hotel and had we were so tired that just after laying for sometime in the bed we fall asleep.

October 19th 2003: So today is the 2nd day in Kuakata. Today we will be going to the Majhi Para again to have our lunch there and then we will be going to FatrarBan. Which will take around 20 – 30 minutes via boat. We ordered them to make our lunch ready and we started for  Fatrarban. After reaching there we saw some small red crabs roaming here and there. Fatrarban is actually a small island forest on the sea. Then we went inside the forest and  we will come through the other side of the forest where our boat will be waiting for us.  We didn’t realize that this 20 minutes road will be so rough and tough. It was all mud and watered because of the rain yesterday that we barely could walk without half of our legs going inside the mud and we could feel some of the crabs running just under our foot. It was really tough but i loved it anyway. The greenish nature was outstanding. Then we got on our boat again and started exploring the sea side. We saw few trival villages there. On our way back to the beach we found some fisherman doing fishing on their boat.

 

Travelling – Adventure – On the Way to NijhumDip

Travelling is a part of my life. We are in this world for a while eventually we will die. But the world is a magical place where so much is hidden. Our eyes seek to see those places. The beauty of nature, living the lives of other people, their culture, they struggle it makes us see the difference between them and us. It turns us into a Storyteller. We make new friends. Travelling is not how many miles you travel it’s how much your learn from those and how many friends you make. You get to know you are just a little part  of this world!

 

So I enjoy travelling. I try to travel places as much as I can. I travel to escape from the busy life, to have some alone time with friends, to cheer with them, get to know new people & make some new friends. Blend in their culture, enjoy their festivals with them. There are many places I want to travel.I don’t have enough money now and I have some responsibilities I have to fulfill so  in the future when I can I will go there. Spain, Germany, and so many other places maybe one day I will share what’s on my list with you guys.

Today i will share the story of my recent visit to NijhumDip. First let me give you some info on the island.  It is a small island under Hatiya upazila. It is situated in Noakhali District in Bangladesh. Once it was called Char Osmani . The population in Nijhum Dwip in 2001 was 15,670. Their main occupations are cultivation, fishing and livestock farming. The island produces vegetables.

DAY1: There are only 2-3 hotels available. Also, there is no electricity so they use solar energy and when travelers come they use generators. And there is a Bazzar which awakens at night.   These bazaars are the only places in the islands to have electricity from generators. . The best time to visit NijhumDip is during Winter.You get to see a lot of Migratory Birds that time and also you don’t have to suffer from heat. As you know  the temperature of Bangladesh during summer over 35-40. If you go in winter you won’t feel it too much. First we started our journey from Chittagong BRTC at 9 .30 PM in Resala. After 7 hours of  Journey we reached Chairman Ghat. From here we have to go to Hatiya by Sea Truck or Boat. Which will take us to Karmuddi Ghat Hatiya . So we bought tickets and the Sea Truck started at 7.00 AM. In the meantime, we finished our Breakfast in the Hotels around. So after starting the journey by Sea truck we started playing 29 Cards in our seat. But after a while the view from the boat was so good that we stopped playing and gone outside to enjoy the view. By the riverside, there was a green field it was so good one of my friend quoted that let’s play Football there.  Seriously I never saw such good field in Bangladesh. Then we reached Hatiya around 10 AM. From there we hired MotorCycles Which will take us to Moktar Ghat. Then we started our bike Journey from there. The bike was going so fast I had to wear my Sun Glass to keep my eyes open. This bike journey was speechless. The roadside trees were saving us from the Mighty Sun. And the roads were newly made so it was smooth. The island Hatiya was just a sea of Green. I also loved to see that it is developing I saw a lot of Schools, Colleges there and the students were attending in large numbers.  I just loved the 2 hours we spent in that bike.

The Road Journey by Bike
The Road Journey by Bike

Then we reached Moktar Ghat at 1 PM . Then we had to hire a Boat and After 30 minutes of the boat ride we reached the mainland of NijhumDip.

Then again there was a Bike Journey of 15 Minutes to get us into the main part of NijhumDip where the hotels are. This 15 minutes ride is another thrilling experience. You will start to see the forest beside the road in one side and the other side is the sea. Though the waves are small but still it’s nice. So we stayed in a Hotel of Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation named Obokash. After booking the Hotel, we came to the Local Bazar and finished our lunch. Then we all headed back to the hotel and I was tired and  slept for some time. In the evening, we all gone out to Enjoy the Sea Beach. We felt the high wind and started walking from one end to the other. Then after a while we saw a Boat which was anchored. So we all enjoyed the view of Sunset from there and we started singing together all the songs we knew. It was an amazing experience.

 

Sunset at NijhumDip
Sunset at NijhumDip © Sinbad Konick
Sunset at NijhumDip
Sunset at NijhumDip © Sinbad Konick

 

Sunset at NijhumDip © Sinbad Konick
Sunset at NijhumDip © Sinbad Konick

We came back to the hotel we had a little gossip about the life, some horror stories and then we finished out Dinner and again back to the beach. This time we shared stories and then no more talks just silence and feeling the winds and thinking about the life. No sound and that’s everyone was having their own moment which we can’t have in our City life. Which is always busy no one has time to think about just work and follow the routine.
After 2 hours, we came back to the hotel. I had a wonderful sleep after a long time.

 

Day 2 :

Today I got up early in the Morning. It was refreshing and the air was clean. Just the perfect start in the morning.  I heard one of my friend saying let’s go see Deers. They come by the river at this time of the morning. So I got up and left the hotel with my camera. But sorry to say no they were long gone. So we took some photos there and headed back to Hotel. Then we finished our breakfast and started the search for Deers in the deepest forest. The cloud was threatening us but who cares we are Heroes of today nothing can send us back from finding Deers today. After a while a there was a lot of winds and thunderStorms in the forest and I had to use my Tshirt to cover the camera from rain. But it was a wonderful moment the air was so refreshing and we were walking in the forest. Also, we were walking too slowly that deers can’t hear we are here or they will run away. But after all the cautions we couldn’t find any deers. So we headed back to the hotel . I have some problem with my head may be some kind of migraine problem. I can’t get wet in the rain it gives me a headache. So I stayed in the hotel and my friends gone back to the beach and played Football.

Then we finished our lunch and there was a Pond in the back of our Hotel we went there finished our bath and also did some swimming. After some rest in the hotel we went back again to another part of the Forest to find the Deers. This is the last day we must have to find deer cause they are the reasons we are here. With a lot of hope we started finding a small child was with us to show us the way. After a lot of hard work we actually found a Deer but it was a far away from us and we just had a glimpse of it. So we were heading back by the side of a pond and the child was saying that the Deers will come to this pond for drinking water. So we stayed there for a while but nothing came by and we headed back. When we were going back the bike driver said did you saw the Deers? I said no not clearly, He said wait you can see them here and he started to move the Headlight of the bike towards the Forest and I was surprised there were a lot of Deers. At last I saw the deer of NijhumDip. In the night, we finished our dinner and came back to the beach . We started singing, gossiping and had a lot of fun.

 

Day 3: Today we will leave NijhumDip. But this time not by Road we will be back by a small ship from Hatiya. So we started again by Bike then boat then again bike. Then again boat and we were just going to miss the Ship. We got on the Ship and it was another awesome journey. First few hours I was really worried it was raining heavily and all I was thinking about KalBoishakhi. Later I thought if I die I will die happily. So I came back to the deck and started having fun with my friends and this was an amazing journey.There were a lot of winds which was trying to take us with it . We saw a  view of Naval Port which we never seen before cause this time it was from the sea and normally we used to see it from the roads and towards the sea. Then the whole city from the Ship it was a wonderful experience

 

We travel, some of us forever, to seek other places, other lives, other souls.” – Anais Nin.