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334 Kms from Lalitpur
Best time to visit - October- April
Often called as the "Queen of all Hill Stations", this is one of the most popular in the whole world. This place is wrap...
(Oct 8)In Siliguri, I learnt that transport to Darjeeling had resumed. A bus ride through scenic route, greeted with mist smudged verdant hills coming to a halt at the highest altitude railway station, Ghum (7300ft). It rained sporadically but intense, perfect for some tea. I paid a quick visit to “Guru Sakya" and “Yiga Chholing” monasteries; so serene just to be in the sanctity of these places. A monk shared some insights to the recent state affairs, how demands for a separate Gorkha state was creating unrest, etc. Thankfully things have returned to normalcy making this visit possible. Darjeeling was nippy, toy trains and the quaint hills making for a picture postcard. Ethereal views of valley, by the window made lunch all the more satiating. In the evening, I left for New Jalpaiguri to catch my train to Guwahati.
8. 'Barfi': ‘itti si khushi’ in Darjeeling toy train
Day 2Since I had nothing productive to do for the next day, I decided to ride to Darjeeling and have some tea at the famous "Glenary's". My big brother Santanu had initially planned to just see me off till the foothills but the sight of the hills persuaded him to join me till Darjeeling. A foggy-rainy ride of 3 hours and we found ourselves at the famous mall road of Darjeeling. We walked, we ate and we clicked to our heart's content and after a refreshing cup of tea at Glenary's we started our ride downhill. I was riding on hills after months and I made the most of it. By this time Miss Mallick had finally boarded her train which was by now close to 15 hours late. Late at night I went and picked her up from the railway station and even though I was shocked and worried after seeing the size of the backpack she was carrying, I was excited with the prospect of "The Proposal Ride" finally kick-starting the next day after much delay.
Darjeeling, the queen of the hills in West Bengal, India, is hitting the news for all the wrong reasons nowadays. Once peace prevails in the valley again, there can be no better quintessential place to relax than Darjeeling. Nature has been very kind on Darjeeling in terms of aesthetic beauty. But, unfortunately the history of Darjeeling and its people is disturbing. Darjeeling saw power struggles among various community groups. The British Raj ruled over the town for quite sometime and its influence is visible even today. The British frequented Darjeeling as a summer retreat and the tradition has been picked up by the Indians. Residents from West Bengal and other neighbouring states flock to Darjeeling in the summer months.If you are tight on time and wondering how to enjoy Darjeeling in one-day flat then you are in the right place.
Darjeeling, like its contemporary Indian hill-stations such as Shimla and Dehra Dun, is famed for its boarding schools. Brought up in strict discipline, pupils go onto graduating into well-developed alumni. The picture in focus, is set in the football field of St Joseph's School, North Point. The hallowed portals, ranked as the fifteenth best boarding school in the country, have seen members of the Bhutanese Royal Family, and former billiards champion Michael Ferreira in their prestigious alumni list.While walking along the hills of Darjeeling, this sight is very common. Jam-packed houses, with little flecks of green peeking out, and a Buddhist pagoda, that stands out. Buddhism is popular among the majority Gorkha population, though there is a significant base for Hinduism as well.
The hotel is located within a few minutes distance from the Gandhi Road. The property was actually a residential family property. The couple came up with the idea of constructing a hotel for the tourists. They constructed the upper floor for lodging and the ground floor was kept for the restaurant and café.
Things to do: Take a ride on the Himalayan Railway to the Ghum Monastery; have a candlelight dinner at the iconic Glenary's; take an hour-long walk from the main town to the picturesque Happy Valley Tea Estate; try your luck at spotting a red panda at the Singalila National Park.
DarjeelingThose who want to avoid the Darjeeling crowd can stay at Rangaroon and yet get all the taste of Darjeeling tour. You can easily make a day trip to Darjeeling and visit all the places of attraction. Visit the Darjeeling Zoo, Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Japanese Peace Pagoda, Darjeeling Mall and other places of interest. You can also take a visit to the Ghoom Monastery and the railway Museum at Ghoom Station.Stay At:There is only one homestay at Rangaroon. – Khaling Cottage Homestay. It is a very beautiful homestay having 4 rooms in total. The hosts are really friendly and go all out to make your stay comfortable and memorable. Their motto is "Come as guests, Leave as family". And the will really become your family after your stay.
How wrong can I be?! The climate at Tiger Hill – the famous spot to see the mighty mountain, put the one at Pelling to shame. The huge crowd gathered on the hill sadly started walking back with disappointment.Like at Sikkim here also the tour was arranged by the hotel people. The morning tour included two more spots also for which I didn’t bother to get up from the seat at all in that rainy climate.Another cab came around 9.30 AM for the next round of sightseeing called the 5 point tour. The climate was villain again at many spots.
166 Kms from Lalitpur
Day 4, PokharaHeading to Pokhara with 7 hours Journey in the afternoon from Nagarkot, it was really long journey but also worth to see the sight seeing along the road way to Pokhara, we reach there in the evening, our Hotel near the Phewa Lake.. Cant see to much in evening...but we really exciting to wake up very early morning as we are planning to discover Phokara and the lake...And... this is what we saw in the early 5.30 am from outside our the Hotel after 15 minutes walk heading to the street..
The following morning we headed back to Pokhara taking the same route. Morning showers turned the route slushy making the descent more challenging than initially thought. Moving ahead, the riders literally stopped and kissed the road as we hit leveled tarmac after 3 days. It had been quite a spell.
After a hail storm the previous night, we woke up to a rainy morning all set to ride out to Pokhara. After a quick briefing about risky terrains, we rode in moderate showers through extremely slushy roads out of Kathmandu. The condition of roads improved as the skies cleared. Munching miles through the twists and turns, we rode through the serene valley along the Trishuli River.
Day 5 was my day of facing my fear. My fear of heights. It had rained very hard the whole of last night so we received a message from the paragliding company that they might have to cancel the flight. Secretly I was very happy about it. I registered but it didn't come through because of the weather. Yes, no one could blame me now for being a wimp but then things panned out differently. We went to the paragliding office at the designated time and they said the weather condition has improved so the flight is on. Damn! My heart drowned. I put up a brave face and hopped on to the car with a few other passengers and the pilots. Once we reached atop the valley (from where we had to take off) we were informed that we will be given enough time to prepare ourselves mentally however my pilot (Patrick from France) decided that we will be the first ones to jump as the wind was strong and the weather could get worse so he didn't want to waste any time and started preparing for the jump. I froze. Patrick started harnessing me and asked me to run as fast as possible when we hit the edge of the valley. I literally froze at the edge but it was too late by then. I was pushed by my pilot and within the next five seconds I was flying with the birds in the middle of that ravishingly green valley. I felt liberated. I felt happy. I was so numb with happiness that I couldn't react. I just surrendered myself to that moment of unbelievable happiness.
Day 4 we headed to Pokhara, almost six hours bus ride from Kathmandu. This place boasts of laid-back charm but it turned out to be a haven of adventures and misadventures for us. First of all, we got lost while locating our tiny hotel. Post that we headed out for a walk, lots of shopping and of course some dinner and drinks. We were doing good so far but some live music in a corner took us to a pub nearby and we walked there, ordered a few drinks but soon realised that the pop music was not our scene. Oh by the way, I registered myself for paragliding (yes, that was the big surprise). So yes, we exited the pub and started walking back to our hotel but soon the weather threw a big shock. It started pouring, so heavily that we had to take shelter. No restaurant visibly open at that hour, we started running faster but the rain was so heavy we could barely manage to walk. We had to pause. We looked around and found a small restaurant that was still open however we didn't know how to get there so we hopped from one balcony to the other to reach their balcony. We knocked on their door and were greeted by rather surprised but very welcoming restaurant helpers who were on the verge of shutting down the restaurant. We were literally shivering from that rain water exposure and they were kind enough to offer us a drink. They even decided to escort us to our hotel under the huge umbrella (the one that we see outside a hotel balcony).
We felt relief after taking the bags off, freshen up and went for the walk around lakeside. We enjoyed lakeside music along with the tasty food including Thakali rice as dinner. As we were to move to Dhampus early tomorrow, we returned back to the hotel on time and it was already the bed time. I wished ' good night' with the silent desire of getting beautiful window view of Mount Fishtail, tomorrow morning.RAIN, RAIN AND RAINAs I woke up in the morning at around 7:00 with the sound of thunderstorm, my wish to see the mountains went in vain. All I can see was clouds and rain. We waited for few hours but there were no symptoms of minimizing it rather it was going heavy. As Bikash had some work in the Internet, we left the hotel room and went to the nearby cyber café. He took some time to finish his work, as we stayed there watching the rain. We had no chance to move as planned, we didn't even have raincoats to cover us as well as our backpacks. And another bad thing - similar weather was on the forecast at least till the afternoon. It was frustrating time till. Despite all frustrations we had lunch on time, came back to room and slept more.
The bike ride to Pokhara is somewhat easy one during the daytime but it's quite challenging during night. Because of the varying terrain, the road condition also varied in different sections. Our ride was pleasant except for few places. During the ride we once stopped in the roadside café to have tea and few times in the middle of nowhere due to the insects over the highway, which loves to come closer to the eyes and once it enter to the eyes, you have to stop everything, relax and remove it.
After darshan at the temple we took lunch and done little shopping as a sovereign and get back to the hotel by trolly. We pick our luggage and leave for Pokhra- a city famous for it's night life. On the way to Pokhra we took some stops in between like Davis Fall-a Swiss couple Davi went swimming but the woman drowned in a pit because of the overflow. Her body was recovered 3 days later in river Phusre with great effort. Her father wished to name it "Davi's falls" after her. After that we move to Mahendra's cave. This deep cave includes Shivling, Ganpati idol etc etc then go to Phewa lake . Here we took boat ride . This lake is 20 Mtrs deep and we all scared when there was totally black all around but it was thrilling as well as amazing boat ride. After that we reached Pokhra city nearly 9 PM and took the room in the hotel for overnight stay. Then we explore the market and took dinner in the restaurant & met with some foreigners & back to the hotel for overnight stay.
After Breakfast, enjoy a visit to the Bindya Basini Temple and the Gupteshwar Cave, considered the longest cave in Nepal where the Shiva Lingam is preserved. Finally visit the Davis Falls and Seti River George, a fascinating waterfall locally known as the Patale Chhango (Nether Fall), which means Underworld Waterfall.
229 Kms from Lalitpur
I reached Patna around 1:00 pm and got down at the Mithapur bus stand. From there I took an auto to the railway station ...
I reached Patna around 1:00 pm and got down at the Mithapur bus stand. From there I took an auto to the railway station and from there another auto to Patna Sahib. By the way, if you want to know how I found out about the right autos and buses, I did what every clueless person would do; ASK. I asked my fellow bus travelers, auto drivers, locals as well as the supreme ‘Google’ and they were all happy to guide me.I had to rush as my train, although expected to be late, was set to arrive at 6:00 pm on the Patna Junction and I was yet to retrieve my suitcase from my friend’s house. It was simply a race against time. From Patna Sahib, one can either walk to the gurdwara or take another auto. The final road resembles any crowded old city such as Sadar bazar in my home town of Meerut or Chawri Bazaar in Delhi. There are all kind of shops and a great many tea stalls.Takht Shree Harmandir Sahib ji is one of the five holiest sites in Sikhism, as it is here that the tenth sikh guru Gobind Singh was born. It isn’t as majestic as Golden temple in Amritsar but is worth visiting once. It is undergoing a major makeover and once that is finished, it will be able to match upto the golden temple in its grandeur. Still, the white main building is beautifully constructed and the inside sanctum was open to devotees to pray.
The plan was to reach Patna on the afternoon of Dec 8 and attend my friend’s wedding on Dec 9. This was supposed to be followed by a one day exploration of Patna on Dec 10. After Patna, I had planned a tour of Buddhist towns of Bodhgaya, Rajgir and Nalanda till Dec 13, when I had to be back to catch the same notorious Magadh Express from Patna Junction in the evening. As happens in most travel journeys, not everything went according to the plan. I entered Patna not on the afternoon but on the midnight of Dec 8 and made my way to the venue where my friend was set to be married next day.Anyone’s first impressions of Patna are mostly similar. It is a crowded city, full of traffic jams and chaos. The city has no inner public transportation system and shared autos is the only medium to commute. While autos do a decent job of connecting different parts of the city, the autorickshaw pilots (sarcasm intended) cram as many humans as possible to make an extra buck. So, until and unless one is okay to squeeze himself/herself in a corner of a crowded open auto, it’s better to take a cab. I took the auto.Bihar, however, has a dignified resilience behind all the decadence and one can feel it while traveling around. The people are hospitable and can laugh away all their troubles with a nice sense of humor. I had a great time at my friend’s wedding and as she departed with her husband next morning, it seemed strange that my arrival in Patna should coincide with someone’s departure.I was too tired from the wedding to venture outside on the Dec 10, the day after wedding. The whole day was spent resting at my friend’s house and feasting on some delicious home cooked food.
My base camp for most part. Interestingly more chaotic that any other part of Bihar I'd been to
296 Kms from Lalitpur
Best time to visit - N/A
Once the capital of the Magadha Empire which later evolved to become the Mayryan Empire, Rajgir is a valley surrounded b...
For the dinner, I bought a marwari thali for Rs 100, which offered unlimited chapatis and multiple gravies. While the thali filled me to the brim, it also made me sleepy. The restaurant was in a guest house and I negotiated a room there for Rs 300 to spend the night.Since my priority had been Nalanda and I had also arrived late, I couldn’t visit any other place in Rajgir that day. Next day, I had to leave for Patna and catch my train in the evening at 6:00 pm. Since I also wanted to visit the famous Takht Harmandir Sahib ji in Patna, I would have to leave Rajgir early. Therefore, I decided to wake up early next day to visit Rajgir’s most famous spot, the Vishwa Shanti Stupa. I could finish that in the morning and then leave for Patna early. With all this planning going on in my head, I slipped into a slumber.Next day, I woke up early at 6:00 and walked to the bus stand by 6:45 pm. From there, I hired a tum tum for a return ride to Vishwa Shanti Stupa. Now, when it comes to these tum tum drivers, you will have to negotiate hard as they will try to overcharge. Nothing better if you are in a group, but if you are alone, wait for a tum tum that has some riders. Since I was too early and in a hurry, I could only bring him down to Rs 250.The shanti stupa is around 5 km away from Rajgir and there is big gateway to mark its location, which one see while coming from Gaya. You can either get down from the bus there or come back in a tum tum as I had done. There are many other historical and tourist spots on the way to stupa such as Bimbisara’s prison, Ajatashatru’s fort as well as a small lake called ‘ghora katora’. For travellers short of time, these can be given a miss.Built by the Buddha Sangha of Japan, Vishwa Shanti stupa is perched atop 400 meter tall Ratnagiri hill. Buddha is supposed to have frequented this hill for three months to preach many of his disciples.There is a trolley service available to take tourists up but I preferred hiking up to the top. The climb isn’t very difficult and took about 25 minutes.
Rajgir was the capital of the Magadh Empire before Patna. This place is also of huge religious significance for both Buddhist and Jain religions. The Vishwa Shanti Stupa, Ajatshatru Stupa, Ajatshatru Fort and Venu Vana are important Buddhist sites. Digambar Jain Siddha Kshetra Temples are a group of eight temples in the four hills surrounding Rajgir and are an important pilgrimage site for followers of Jainism.
History and culture excites you? Visit Nalanda :)
80 kilometers away from Gaya and an undisputed worth visit. History writes this place down as the capital of Magadhan empire and was also of Lord Buddha's favorites. His teaching were panned down here. A popular winter health resort is what this place has shaped itself as. All credits to the hot water springs and lush green forest. A great kickback location.
241 Kms from Lalitpur
Best time to visit - N/A
Also known as Gorakhshpur, this is a town on the banks of the beautiful Rapti River. This is in the eastern part of the ...
326 Kms from Lalitpur
Best time to visit - September to March
Pelling is approximately 130 km far from Siliguri and 115 km from Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim, and is very well conne...
Perhaps the most popular name in Sikkim right after Gangtok, Pelling abounds in travellers because it offers the most brilliant views of Mount Kanchenjunga. The vast number of hotels this hill station is home to are proof of its fame. With its monasteries, cultural festivals and a multitude of nature trails, a trip to Pelling is almost therapeutic; it rejuvenates you in ways like no other.Pelling is a 6 hour drive from Lachung and you need to book a car in advance. Leave early in the morning. Indians do not require Sikkim Tourism permits for Pelling.Things to do in Pelling1. The best views of Mount Kanchenjunga are from Pelling and you absolutely can't get enough of it.
Drive to Khecheopalri. The enchanting lake is cradled by pine forests and shrouded in local myths. You could head to Yuksom next and in the evening, visit the Pemayangtse monastery.
It was a very misty morning at Pelling making a man standing 10 meters far invisible. The hope of seeing Kanchenjunga faded away but not the mist. It just kept coming. But I was not ready to give up, thus Darjeeling came in to picture. But before that just a quick sightseeing of Pelling.
Pelling, a beautiful town in the West district of Sikkim, is becoming the second biggest tourist destination in Sikkim after Gangtok. The main attraction of the place is the breath-taking sight of the Khangchendzonga and the neighbouring peaks. The famous Pemayangste monastery is less than a kilometre from here and is a major tourist hotspot. It also provides sites for mountain biking, rock climbing, village tours, meditations, educational studies and several other activities. The scenic town of Pelling is a perfect holiday destination for all nature lovers. How to Reach Pelling Air: The nearest Airport to Pelling is Bagdogra Airport, Siliguri, which is a four hour drive from Pelling. You can take a taxi or bus from here to reach Pelling. Rail: The nearest Railway Station from Pelling is Jalpaiguri Railway Station, which is at a distance of 170 Kms from Pelling. It is well connected to major cities like Chennai, New Delhi, Howrah, Alipur and Darjeeling through Guwahati Express, Ndls Bgp Express, Mas Njp Express and Dbrt Rajdhani. Road: Pelling is well connected with the other cities of Sikkim via Sikkim State Road Transport Corporation (SSRTC) and some private travel services. Buses are available to get to Pelling and thus taking a bus or a rented/private vehicle is a good idea. However, owing to high elevation it’s better visited in Sumo or similar vehicle. rom Gangtok– 115 kms – 5 hours From Bagdogra– 135 Kms – 5.5 hours From New Jalpaiguri– 130 Kms – 5.5 hours From Darjeeling town – 109 kms – 4.5 Hours. There is an alternative short route through which the distance comes down to about 70 kms. But this route is quite steep and may not remain operational throughout the year. From Kalimpong – 85 kms – 4 hours From Jorethang – 42 kms – 2.5 hours From Ravangla – 45 kms – 2.5 hours Pelling Weather As is true for the entire state of Sikkim, weather here is unpredictable in nature. Weather in Pelling may change from Bright and sunny to clouded and gloomy in a matter of minutes. The cloud and sun plays a contineous game of hide and seek creating a mesmerizing environment for the traveller. April, May and June are the summer months in the plains and high season at Pelling as people try to avoid the excessive heat of the plains and find comfort in the mountains. Weather during this time is pleasant with average temperature around 15 to 20 centigrade. July to September is the rainy season, and it rains quite heavily here. Landslide is common and occasionally Pelling may not be accessible by the main road. This is the low season and hotel and tour costs come down sharply. So if you are looking for a budget friendly tour and don’t mind carrying an extra umbrella, you may consider Pelling most suitable for you during this season. October – November is the festival season in India and again a high tourist season in the hills. Pelling weather around this time is similar to the Summer months. But visibility is better with great views of the mountain range available during most of the days. December – March are the cooler months with temperature going below 10 degree. Most international tourists visit here around this season. Indian visitors not afraid of a little chill, may enjoy Pelling during the winter months. The best part of this time is post monsoon visibility remains excellent and since it is not a very high season, you can enjoy travel without having to hustle with other toursts. Sightseeing in Pelling Pemayangtse Monastery Sanga Choeling Monastery Khecheopalri Lake Sangay Waterfall Sewaro Rock Garden Singshore Bridge Rimbi Waterfall Kanchenjunga Fall &More....For more Please Visit ....https://www.facebook.com/TravelographybyPlabanBhattacharya
DAY- 2A Proper Start to the DayIn the Morning it was just awesome to watch the view along our balcony. It was a typical weather with clouds as it was slightly raining but the absolutely blew our mind...
We immediately changed our plan and decided to go to Pelling. We hired a car, the driver demanded Rs100 per person extra as the condition of the road was terrible. We had no other choice. We reached Jorethang at 2 pm and another bad news was waiting for us! There was only one share jeep for Geyjing, but for an unknown reason the driver refused to take us to Geyjing. After 1 hour of pleading and pleasing him, he agreed to go but demanded Rs.500 extra! At 4.30 we reached geyjing.Its a small hamet. From there we had to trek 10 kms to reach pelling. When we reached , there were no sign of any human, no electricity,as if the city was abandoned. We were exhausted, hungry, worried and at the same time a bit scared too! we walked down the road and saw only one hotel was still open . Fortunately we booked a room for five of us and after having a heavenly Roti Egg curry we slept off. The Kangchendzonga Next morning we went to visit Pemayangtse Monastery and Rabdantse Ruins - as Pema suggested. Oh, she is a good friend of mine and she is from Yuksom, presently studing at Scottish church college.By 8 am we reached Pemayangtse. Pemayangtse Monastery is one of the six major monasteries of the Nyingma school in Sikkim, and the main holder of Lhatsun's tradition in the world. It was founded by Lhatsun Namkha Jigmed in 1647 A.D. It was originally started with a small shrine called Tsangkhang on the spot of present monastery probably in the year 1647 A.D. Later the third Dharma King Chogyal Chagdor Namgyal (1686-1716 A.D.) and Khenchen Rolpai Dorjee (Vajra Master of Pemayangtse) expanded this Lakhang and re-established it in the year 1705 A.D. and was named it as Sangchen Pedmayangtse monastery in Tibetan which means "most sacred lotus summit monastery" which was started with an enrolment of 108 monks.We entered the main shrine. The first floor of the monastery has a notable collection of ancient Buddhist antique idols, sculptures and decorated paintings. In the second floor Padmasambahva's eight incarnations in fierce form and the Tripitaka texts are also seen there. On the third floor particular note is a seven-tiered painted wooden structure, portraying Guru Rimpoche 's Heavenly Palace known as "PEDMA DRAWAI SHING KOD", which was originally built by Lhatsun Namkha Jigmed himself and later renovated by Khenchen Tsundre Rinpoche.The room was dark, uncannily quiet, those scary paintings and those tibbetan masks and that low hymn created a surreal world.
While thousands of travelers and photographers explore India's vibrant beauty, there are certain places in India which are not being traveled yet. Pelling is one of such places. Nested at an altitude of 7,200 ft and blessed with the blessings of world's third highest mountain range i.e. Kanchenjunga range, this place renders some unpredictable experience for adventurers and photographers. You will find fewer tourists so this place is quiet and serene, not much commercialized as compared to Gangtok. It was about 115km long road trip from Gangtok and as I was there in autumn season so the whole Pelling was almost converted into the carpet of alpine vegetation and numerous waterfalls. In winter season, Pelling is in the blanket of snow. It is the best place for trekkers to undertake the treks of Sikkim. My best part of the journey was living with locals at their home to know about their culture. Through the series of photos i will show you some of the spectacular view of Pelling.
Patan City is also known as Lalitpur or the "city of beauty". Patan is well-known for its intricately carved temples, narrow lanes and quaint shops. See the intricate stone-carved Krishna temple, Patan Durbar Square and Hiranyavarna Mahavihar (golden temple).