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 feetwith 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.
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!
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 you 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 of 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. 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 the 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 on that 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 on one side and the other side is the sea. Though the waves are small 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 go 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.
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 the deer can’t hear we are here or they will run away. But after all the cautions we couldn’t find any deer. So we headed back to the hotel. I have some problem with my head maybe 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 went 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 to 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 have 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.