In a chilly December morning last year, we reached the Tenzing Norgay Bus stand in Siliguri, North Bengal after a night-long bus journey from Kolkata. Our stay was at the Gossip homestay in Kuwapani - a serene, quiet, and quaint hamlet in the Kalimpong district of North Bengal.
After reaching there and freshening up, we wanted to explore the nearby places. We started walking through the main road and the homestay manager joined us. While walking, we came to know about a few relatively lesser-known local trails leading to adjacent villages, tea estates, and waterfalls. During the next few days, we hiked to a number of those trails. Here is a quick snapshot from those trails.
1. Surreal sunrise in Samabeong tea estate: This little-known tea estate is about a one-hour journey from Kuwapani by jeep through winding mountain roads and then a small 40 minutes hike. Organic tea leaves produced here are exported and the market price is 35-36 thousand rupees/per kg. These seasonal leaves are produced in small quantities. The sunrise point in the tea garden provides spectacular views of both the sunrise and on a clear day, a part of the Kanchenjunga range.