The trip to Darjeeling included visits to the regular spots like Ganga Mayya Park, Rock Garden, Batasia Loop (an engineering marvel), Tea Garden, etc. and I had a good time taking pictures of waterfalls, hills and ofcourse the heritage toy train. But the thrill factor seemed to be missing as I was looking for some unique view points to satiate my hunger for photography.
My driver mentioned about Tiger Hill Observatory from where one can see a beautiful sunrise and also the Kanchenjunga bathed in morning light. But then comes the cache. One needs to wake up early and be there to grab a good vantage point as it gets pretty crowded with tourists. As much as I love photography, I am also sucker for sunrises and sunsets. Knowing very well that it was my only chance to be able to witness nature’s magic at Tiger Hill, I decided to wake up at 3 am and be at the observatory well in time.
It was a cold wintery night with temperatures in the lower single digits and it was a real challenge to not only wake up, pull myself off the blanket and head out, but also stay put at the location for a good 2 hours before the sun actually started popping up. I reached the observatory at 4:30 am and immediately located an isolated spot from where I was sure to get some amazing views. Luckily no one had spotted it before me.
The cold was unbearable and my only solace was my camera with which I kept experimenting taking pictures of the night sky, thus diverting my mind. As the morning light set it in, the enormity of the vast landscape was palpable and the layers of hills in the soft morning light mesmerised the senses.