Tour & Travel - Darjeeling & Sikkim
The trip came as a post board rescue in continuation of our last trip to Puri. The idea of visiting a hill resort excites me in itself and with the place being one of the most talked about destinations of the country, I was literally enthralled. So off we were for the trip and first stop on route was the Jalpaigudi station. It is considered to be the base to launch for these hill points. You know every hill destination always has a launching pad !!
he usual train journey up-to the base was boring except for the anxious curiosities for what was going to unveil at these Himalayan laps. The real fun started once we were at
The journey after that was nothing short of a dream. The road trip up to Darjeeling was really refreshing. The curls and curves of the road were enough to have us swinging to the turns of our carrier. After we reached there first destination of every trip..The Rest House. Built at one of the most exotic location of the hill city ..overlooking a cadence on one side and looking down upon the world below..the place was going to make the stay all the more beautiful. The city had all the exquisities that hill stations have to offer with a pinch of uniqueness of its culture and practices that made the place leaving us mesmerized by the environment all around. The sunset point had a charm of itself when contrary to other major hill resorts this one involved a 2 hour ride.. for which we were required to leave our abode at 4 in the morning...!!so much for a sunrise ??? yeah and believe me when I say that it was more than worth it. The Tiger-hill as they call the place was most organized sun rise point I have ever seen. Other point of interest there was the rock-garden. Beautifully carved out figures and themes from single piece rocks and stones were an unbelievably charming creations. After a two day stay it was time to move on to second leg of the journey. The destination was the hill state - Sikkim.
The five hour drive from Darjeeling to Gangtok refurbished the idea of the offering that nature has on cards. The fun and excitement of seeing snow in real had already captivated my mind for so long that i could not wait much longer before fulfilling the dream. Having settled at a hotel surrounded by varied flora all around spent the day uncovering the mystique of the city and getting the permits to enter the forbidden territory ...the area where the brave army personnel reign for the area lies abut China..the friendly enemy as I like to call it. Once the formalities were done with we finalized a vehicle for the next day and retired to our settlement. A lot was going to come up and so were the preparations required. The thrill of what I was going to see, saw me getting up so early that I was amazed at my behavior.
And when the journey began the beauty of scenic began on reveal the most be-charming images. The posers of creating such a path at such difficult terrains and the effort put up by The Border Roads Organization simply took my respect for the defense forces at new level. The snow clad roads all along and the silvery mountains among which an iota of vegetation seemed to be a marvelous patch on a spread were enough to set me fascinated by what I saw. On the route were seen the army men ready in groups to help any vehicle stuck in the snow. More goodwill poured at the army camp where arrangements of hot tea/coffee were made for all visitors. What more could one hope for at such altitude and surroundings. En-route we passed through Chang lake..one which remains frozen for three fourth of an year. After light refreshments and interaction with local habitation who were more than willing to extend any help...of-course as far as it did not affect their economic routines..we set to the the Nathula pass. The place was something beyond what I had even imagined. trifling snowfall over the existing mass of white spread and standing at breathing distance from the Chinese soldiers infused loads of energy in every one there. Of course attempts to have goggles and other stuff exchanged with them were sternly but politely refuted by Indian personnel at guard...for them the only thing in mind were the wars that we already had with China and losses we had in terms of personnel.
The emotional attachment moved us way beyond ever before. Spending some time there and then at the war memorial it was time to return. The prevailing warnings of a major storm break also hastened the return. And as it is with every trip..the most boring stage is the return journey. Tired but eclectic, we found ourselves at loss of words to praise what we had seen in last four days...we finally came to the terms with the fact of life...You finally have to move on...But for me the journey was one of the trips that would remain vivid in my memories for a very long time.