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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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!