Lepchajagat and Darjeeling for two days

#1 May 19th, 2015, 22:25
Join Date:
Jun 2010
Location:
Base Location - Kolkata, Current Location - Pune
Posts:
202
Send a message via Skype™ to Satyabrata Sur
  • Satyabrata Sur is offline
#1
Office, office and office …. Sick and tired of this life. Need a break!

It was my heart was echoing for the last few months. Suddenly I got a chance to take a break. It was the spring to be set on. And what else can be more refreshing than spending time with teenage love! Darjeeling or its adjacent areas for a couple days. Booked tickets for 26th March in Darjeeling Mail for NJP. Was not lucky to get confirmed tickets, not even in case of return – tried AC/Non-AC both. I was planning for a break not for travel. So, I readily booked two rooms of the WBFDC resort of Lepchajagat to avoid Darjeeling this time. Then applied for a one day leave for 27th March at office.


Dépêcher toi, Dépêcher toi

That were the words what I was murmuring on 26th March evening when I boarded a taxi around 9 p.m. My younger brother was waiting with my mother at Sealdah. But I reached well before the time. I found a friend who was traveling too with his family, but in AC. Lucky boy! And this poor boy found their seats in Non-AC. But it hardly matters - We Are Leaving On Darjeeling Mail! Just before the journey we discovered that my mother has left the charger of her mobile at home, who has unknowingly followed by her son – yeh me! It all seemed to be a conspiracy by some unseen forces, either to have a nice undisturbed trip or with a lots of inconvenience and trouble. I asked my brother to keep mom’s mobile with him who had lost his own few days ago. Nothing to look beyond or back. It’s the time now, the clocks are ticking 10 p.m. Me and my mom started for a long waited journey, with a waving hand and smile of my brother from the platform.


Whistling through the darkness

If company is considered, though never traveled by ship - I did not find anything else more enjoyable than train. We were accompanied by another Bengali family with a baby not even a year old. She was enjoying the company of her beloved ones, around her; rather than the journey. After crossing the Ganges and getting a glimpse of the holy temple, we decided to have our dinner. Homemade Paratha and Alur Dum. Paratha can translated as Fried Roti, but my vocabulary is not rich enough to explain Alur Dum, more than, a very delicate dish cooked with boiled and fried potatoes.

After passing Dunkuni, the summer night was seeming to be not uncomfortable as much we anticipated. The temperature had fallen bit couple of degrees or may be the feel good factor made us fell so.

During midnight the baby was started crying as she had found herself in a bed of a compartment with no lights except a night lamp. We all decided to keep light switched on until she is asleep. It did not last for long, as she decided to let us all have an undisturbed sound sleep. But I was thinking about my daughter who had went to her maternal home with her mother for a fortnight.

The whistling train was traveling through the villages of Bardhaman and Birbhum. It stopped at Bardhaman and Bolpur town, which I had visited more than once at childhood. It was a moonlit night. It reminded me another journey made a decade ago. Time is passes by, leaving some unforgettable paintings of memories, drawn by feelings, filling the album of heart. Wish I could see this beauty till I die.

The Dam thing

Though I travelled to NJP trice before, through the same route almost, except once, I could not see the Farakka Barrage ever. Due to my current job and as well excitement I could not sleep, down from the bunk to see it comes. After few attempts, it paid me. It’s huge. A chain of pair of huge iron gates, joined by pillars, operated by massive ancillaries. Hardly we could see the water clearly but the sound of flowing water underneath, made me feel to see a tied river crying for flowing free.

In the town of mangoes

It is quarter past four now and I am in the same town but at the railway platform - not at the roadside dhaba with my friend, twenty years ago, on the way to visit North Bengal for the first time. We were surprised to know the price of mango 2 and 3 rupees per kilo. After finding that the medium to reach the queen of mountains, is running late by fifteen minutes, I was eagerly looking for a mango trader but found only tea stalls. There were some patches of wet places, leaving a mark of a shower. The vendors confirmed it. Meanwhile my mother also woke up. We ordered for a couple of coffee and chocolate biscuits. The ambience made it tasty. We felt refreshed. We also remembered the howling voices of the tea vendors at Mughalsarai station - “Chai, Chai”, “Cha, Cha, ada dewa gurer cha”. I was only two years old by then. During reminiscing the golden memories, the train resumed its journey to the north after fifteen minutes. It made me tipsy and I placed myself at the upper birth.
Last edited by Satyabrata Sur; May 19th, 2015 at 22:30.. Reason: grammer
#2 May 20th, 2015, 16:58
Join Date:
Jun 2010
Location:
Base Location - Kolkata, Current Location - Pune
Posts:
202
Send a message via Skype™ to Satyabrata Sur
  • Satyabrata Sur is offline
#2

Some pics - on the way

At Malda Station
Attached Images
P_20150327_041928_HDR.jpg 
#3 May 20th, 2015, 17:01
Join Date:
Jun 2010
Location:
Base Location - Kolkata, Current Location - Pune
Posts:
202
Send a message via Skype™ to Satyabrata Sur
  • Satyabrata Sur is offline
#3
At the breaking of the dawn
Attached Images
P_20150327_060802_HDR.jpg 
#4 May 20th, 2015, 17:06
Join Date:
Jun 2010
Location:
Base Location - Kolkata, Current Location - Pune
Posts:
202
Send a message via Skype™ to Satyabrata Sur
  • Satyabrata Sur is offline
#4

Day 1

Does morning shows the day

In spite of the tiredness of the four days at office - even the comfortable weather could not put me on sleep more than a couple of hours. Without wasting anymore time, I got down from my bunk, and got refreshed. In the meantime, my mother also woke up and followed my activities, so does the others one by one. Sitting by the windows I noticed a blanket of cloud in the sky and wet ground outside. So, it rained heavily! It was first reaction. It is well past six and I don’t think we have passed Kishanganj yet! That was my next reaction. How far we? I found it an hour late. If this continues, it will be very frustrating. Finally we reached NJP station at 9:15 am, an hour and fifteen minutes late. Waived hands to our co-passengers and headed for the taxi stand.
Attached Images
P_20150327_063602_HDR.jpg 
#5 May 20th, 2015, 17:12
Join Date:
Jun 2010
Location:
Base Location - Kolkata, Current Location - Pune
Posts:
202
Send a message via Skype™ to Satyabrata Sur
  • Satyabrata Sur is offline
#5

Wow.. Tea garden

I am coming to Darjeeling
Attached Images
P_20150327_082321_HDR.jpg 
#6 May 20th, 2015, 17:14
Join Date:
Jun 2010
Location:
Base Location - Kolkata, Current Location - Pune
Posts:
202
Send a message via Skype™ to Satyabrata Sur
  • Satyabrata Sur is offline
#6

Reached NJP

Men can bargain too

Now here starts my skills of bargaining to be tested - not for buying goods but to hire cab for Lepchajagat. I had to take a shared cab from Ghoom, then another one from there to Lepchajagat. Just after stepping outside the station, I found myself surrounded by the drivers. But without showing any interest to them I headed straight to the taxi booth. They said it 1650/- for Ghoom/Darjeeling. Though I had a good idea about the route and rate from the innumerous helping friends of Indiamike, I preferred for a shared cab as I was not sure how much my mother would react to mountain sickness. They started with 2,000/- and I started with half of it. I remembered very well, not even five years ago, I had been offered with nine hundred for Gangtok from the same place. Only one driver stayed and we agreed on 1,200/-. He loaded our luggage into his Swift Desire and very politely requested my mother take rest inside car till he comes back. After five minutes, he came back and headed for the destination. Then he showed me the receipt for our journey, where the rate was mentioned as 1,800/-. He complained about the system of operation of their union. They charge a lot, unjustified.
Attached Images
P_20150327_090951_HDR.jpg 
#7 May 21st, 2015, 20:09
Join Date:
Jun 2010
Location:
Base Location - Kolkata, Current Location - Pune
Posts:
202
Send a message via Skype™ to Satyabrata Sur
  • Satyabrata Sur is offline
#7
Through the clouds by road

It was a late spring morning. The sun was timid and a chilling breeze was flowing. People were on the way to their workplace in a descent pace. After half-an-hour we left behind the daily busy life as our driver speeding through the Rohini road. He also told us that this road was built by Subhash Ghising for his personal use. But after the change in power in the hills and the main road is in bad condition, this road has become the lifeline of the hills now. After few minutes we found ourselves driving through the tea gardens. I asked the driver to switch off the radio and enjoy the serene beauty by all means. Lush green bushes, sound of crickets from the big trees by the road and a slowing brightening sky. I want to live long, like an old song.

After thirty minutes, the road started swirling and the altitude was raising. People on roadside became more less. My mom went for nap and I kept viewing the scenery.

After an hour we were trapped in a traffic jam as an amateur driver of plain had some overconfidence of driving on hills. But it did not last for long.
We resumed our journey within ten minutes. After an hour the density of people and shops was grown a lot as we reached the midway of our journey – Kurseong. The driver shown us a gutted structure beside the railway track – “It is the Station, caught fiew few years ago”. I asked him, “Caught fire or something else? I know what happened to Loleygaon resport.” He replied with a smile and I got the answer. My mom said, she had stayed in Kurseong for few days before her marriage.

Fog-like clouds replaced the people on the road as we passed Tung, Soanada. The sky was looking bit dark when reached Ghoom. The car took a left turn and we left the clouds behind. After ten minutes we turned right and stopped in front of a big iron gate – Lepchajagat resort of WBFDC.
Last edited by Satyabrata Sur; May 21st, 2015 at 22:04..
#8 May 21st, 2015, 21:57
Join Date:
Jun 2010
Location:
Base Location - Kolkata, Current Location - Pune
Posts:
202
Send a message via Skype™ to Satyabrata Sur
  • Satyabrata Sur is offline
#8
Tea garden after crossing NJP and going uphill
Attached Images
P_20150327_100126_HDR.jpg P_20150327_103140_HDR.jpg 
#9 May 21st, 2015, 21:59
Join Date:
Jun 2010
Location:
Base Location - Kolkata, Current Location - Pune
Posts:
202
Send a message via Skype™ to Satyabrata Sur
  • Satyabrata Sur is offline
#9
Rocking welcome at Kurseong
Attached Images
P_20150327_104019_HDR.jpg 
#10 May 22nd, 2015, 13:53
Join Date:
Apr 2013
Location:
jalpaiguri
Posts:
255
  • chaka is offline
#10
Nicely going with the twists and turns!Following you..
#11 May 22nd, 2015, 14:57
Try to be a Traveler....not a Tourist
Join Date:
Jul 2012
Location:
South Kolkata
Posts:
1,860
  • dcyouth is offline
#11
Good start mate. Waiting for the rest details.....
#12 May 22nd, 2015, 16:27
Join Date:
Jun 2010
Location:
Base Location - Kolkata, Current Location - Pune
Posts:
202
Send a message via Skype™ to Satyabrata Sur
  • Satyabrata Sur is offline
#12
Warm welcome

Now here is the most interesting point of the whole trip. Even though I had gathered some information about Lepchajagat few years back, I came across some negative feedback on the hospitality of the resort, specially on the caretaker cum cook, only after booking. I even called up a fellow Indiamiker whether it is worthy to stay there for two days. He confirmed. I had told to myself, Let’s play the gamble. So, when I reached the resort, I was bit worried whether our stay can be enjoyable. After completing the formalities, I asked for the lunch. He was bit surprised, as he was not been informed in the morning. I told him that I could get him through the contact number mentioned in the reservation slip and I do not have his personal one even. He paused for a second and asked me what would we like to have. This given me a lot of relief - atleast minimum hospitality I can expect. After ordering the food, we went to have a quick shower. It was followed by a nice veg-meal.


My effort became worthy

Meanwhile, the weather improved. We decided to have stroll. The quiet hamlet is ideal for taking a break from our busy life. There is no industry or farming. Men goes for work to Darjeeling, Ghoom or Mirik. Few homestays has started. But that is not considered as living. We followed a lonely lane, through the small village. It heads to a sunset point. On the way found a very small temple, by the main road, 3 feet by 4 feet in size. A football playground, surrounded by pines. People meet their necessities by their own way, acknowledging the limited availability. But the steps are made small rocks. I dropped the idea to see sunset because my mother was not feeling comfortable and I did not take any risk at all. So, we returned. It was a pleasure to feel the serene beauty. I was glad to see my mom so happy. It was one of the reason why took her with me. I could not make it with dad who had given all of us this kind of pleasure many times in spite of all odds. Parents are always the same, put all their efforts and energy to make children happy by all means, and become happy with the smallest effort by their children to make them happy.

Name:  P_20150327_135055_HDR.jpg
Views: 526
Size:  80.3 KB

Name:  P_20150327_140802_HDR.jpg
Views: 497
Size:  65.6 KB

Name:  P_20150327_141731_HDR.jpg
Views: 701
Size:  62.7 KB

After returning to the base, I again headed to the shops which were on the main road only. By then it was dark. So, I rested for an hour in a homestay with shop. Had a chat with the inmates with a cup of tea. There I met a driver who gave his card, if we plan for sightseeing by his car. Within few minutes some more joined. It was a mixed conversation with Bengali, Hindi and the local language. After an hour when I headed for the resort, an aged man who used to work in the resort, volunteered to be my guide, as leopards visit there sometimes.
#13 May 22nd, 2015, 16:41
Join Date:
Aug 2012
Location:
Kolkata
Posts:
550
  • Ghosal is offline
#13
keep going....very nice
#14 May 24th, 2015, 17:21
Join Date:
Jun 2010
Location:
Base Location - Kolkata, Current Location - Pune
Posts:
202
Send a message via Skype™ to Satyabrata Sur
  • Satyabrata Sur is offline
#14
A rat.. a rat.. a rat inside

In the evening while I was lying on the bed, taking some rest, heard some noise. Someone is scratching something. I looked for the source in the toilet, beneath the bed, even open the door and checked outside. But could not find it. Then heard it again. It is coming from my backpack! I approached to it carefully. I had opened the jip. I switched on the torch of my mobile and peeped inside. Suddenly a rat jumped out. I tried to chase it down. But failed as expected. My mother was the only viewer of the latest version of the Tom & Jerry Show. Then I noticed there some holes on the wooden walls of the room. I was feeling guilty to bring my mother in such a room. The rooms of the first floor are always recommended. But they were not available. So, I had booked this room. This resort has the best location in this locality. Later I was but angry with the government. I paid more than 3,600 for more than two days. And they almost full throughout the year. Is it not enough to maintain them!


The queen beacons

Even though I had no plan to visit Darjeeling in the next day, instead Jorpokhri. There was a sublime flow of attraction in my heart for Darjeeling – the queen of hills. My mother had unintentionally mentioned about her visit to Darjeeling forty years ago. I had visited thrice –three years ago last time, with my wife. How about take my mom this time. In that case, I have to check-out from the resort before nine, carry the luggage when visiting Jorpokhri and get in shared jeep for Darjeeling from Sukhiapokri. I shared my plan and it was agreed readily. So, without wasting anymore time, I started packing up the bags. The call of the queen is hard to avoid.


Anytime tea-time

Around 8 p.m. someone knocked at the door. My mother opened the door. It is the caretaker. “Dinner ready hai (Dinner is ready)”. In reply my mother asked, “Ektu cha hobey (Can serve a cup of tea)”. I reminded her that in hills people go to bed early. It is time for the dinner not tea. To my surprise, the caretaker said, “Ha hobey (Yes you will get)”. He turned to me and said, “Maaji chai bola to keu nehi hoga. Mai abhi banakey laata hu. (Mother has asked for tea, why wouldn’t she get it. I will prepare it for her)”. I was spellbound. It is hard to relate my notion about this man, with my experience. Finally we had dinner at 9 pm. The food was tasty.
#15 May 24th, 2015, 18:16
Join Date:
Jun 2010
Location:
Base Location - Kolkata, Current Location - Pune
Posts:
202
Send a message via Skype™ to Satyabrata Sur
  • Satyabrata Sur is offline
#15

Day 2

The majestic peaks and a harmony of light and sound

I opened my eyes just before the dawn. I could hear the birds singing. I got freshen up and went to the terrace. The visibility was poor, but improved as the welkin was enlightened. A chilling wind was flowing. But it could hardly discourage me to discover the surroundings. I found the resort being surrounded by tall pine trees in three sides and the peaks in a distance in another side. After spending few minutes there, headed back to my room, and came back with my mother. It was a clear sky. The sun started playing with it its light, by drawing some spectacular shades of colour on the clouds. The birds started their opera in the trees. Few squirrels joined them while jumping from one branch to another. Meanwhile other inmates joined us. Someone proposed to have to tea there. It was readily accepted. We all had a tea party, viewing Kanchanjangha, hearing the birds singing from the trees full of flowers - a harmony of light and sound all over the place.

Name:  P_20150328_061543_HDR.jpg
Views: 478
Size:  30.3 KB

Name:  P_20150328_073109_HDR.jpg
Views: 586
Size:  53.5 KB

Name:  P_20150328_073222_HDR.jpg
Views: 489
Size:  42.8 KB

Name:  P_20150328_064016_HDR.jpg
Views: 477
Size:  79.4 KB

Name:  P_20150328_073154_HDR.jpg
Views: 1298
Size:  94.2 KB
Reply

Similar Threads

Title, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views Forum
Pelling, Lepchajagat and Darjeeling Travelogue Jun 20th, 2018 12:03 5 3140 Sikkim
Lepchajagat-Darjeeling-Chhota Mangwa, March 2012 Apr 3rd, 2017 12:19 8 6442 West Bengal
Lepchajagat and Darjeeling : details please Jul 14th, 2015 11:35 166 55752 West Bengal


Posting Rules

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Forum Rules»
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.3.2
© IndiaMike.com 2018
Page Load Success