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212 Kms from Tajpur
Finally the day for the awaited trip had arrived.We boarded our flight to Kathmandu from New Delhi. Prior to that,taking...
Finally the day for the awaited trip had arrived.We boarded our flight to Kathmandu from New Delhi. Prior to that,taking advantage of the import free shops ,we dropped some exquisite scotch onto our shopping cart.We reached Kathmandu in noon.We were heartily Received by our freinds from Nepal.We grabbed a quick bite at a local hotel and coordinated our trip from there.The food was pretty much Indian.Thereafter we checked into a local hotel of Kathmandu in Thamel region.In the evening we went to the famous Pashupatinath Temple for the arti. Even an atheist would be moved seeing the faith of the people there. Afterwards we shopped local clothes from Thamel market and went to see the nightlife of Kathmandu.Of the many exquisite items some that can be bought are shawls,khukri, Nepali cap,stoles etc.There are multiple bars offering good music and djs.However to get the real feels one must hit the pubs and bars on friday evening which is like saturday night in India.It being a sunday offered as a lacklusture evening. We snacked onto the food and returned to our hotel pretty much satisfied with the first day at a foreign land.
The bustling capital lies at the center of all the amazing places to visit in Nepal. Kathmandu is so wonderfully diverse that it is a rather pleasant assault on the senses. The resilience of the city is evident in the fact that it endured one of the worst earthquakes of recent times and has continued to stand tall and strong. It therefore is one of the most significant places to visit in Nepal. The cities of Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata have direct flights to and from Kathmandu but tickets need to be booked a lot in advance in order to save money. You could either hail taxis or cycle-rickshaws/tempos to look around or rent a 4WD for around Rs. 5000 a day.Amazing Things to Do in Nepal : Kathmandu
As I was on a bit of a budget I asked to take public transport rather than the private jeep that they offer to groups. Milan recommended against, arguing the case for comfort and the ability to stop when and where we wanted, but he understood my limitations and put plans into place. Therefore me and my guide Suma caught the 05:30 bus from Koteshwor and got underway on our 12 hour journey.Filled with anticipation, I was able to stay awake for the first stint of the journey, taking in the sights and seeing the sun rising over the corn fields, rivers and mountains. It was so picturesque that it made you forget about the unseemly hour (okay maybe a slight exaggeration).After two hours, we pulled over for a bite to eat. I was given with the choice of curried potato or sel roti (a kind of fried doughnut-bagel hybrid). Even after traveling in India, I wasn’t quite accustomed to having curry at such an early hour so I went for the sel roti. Straight out the pan. Very tasty.Back onto the bus I got, and within 5 minutes I was out. I am blessed with the ability to sleep on buses, so the rest of the journey went surprisingly quickly. I don’t think the drive will be too much of a problem for those who aren’t as fortunate however, as when I was awake I was treated to a variety of different landscapes making for a very scenic journey. We drove through little villages and forests, passed rice paddies and fields sprinkled with banana trees and palms, and all the while we could glimpse the mighty Himalayas to the north. Not your typical monotonous UK motorway, that’s for sure. They reminded me of the sorts of roads that the crew of Top Gear would go in search of in one of their yearly specials.Suma was also pointing out little places where they would usually stop in the jeep to pick fruit and get good pictures, as well as giving me little tit-bits of information about villages, their history, and some of their local dishes that he enjoys.As we approached Ilam the landscape changed again. I was quickly reenergized as the luscious green tea plantations of Kanyam came into view, and for 40km these gardens stretched before us; a patchwork of green covering the rolling hills and the steep mountain sides. Littered amongst the fields were the blue tin roofs of local homes, a feature that makes Nepal’s countryside so unique and charming. It was a breathtaking introduction to Eastern Nepal.The homestay at Shree Antu was very cute with a ski lodge kind of vibe and a pretty little flower garden out front. We were warmly welcomed by our hosts, and Suma and I were presented with a white shawl, a sign of welcome to visitors. They also brought out two what can only be described as metal towers to our table which contained a local eastern Nepali drink known as Tongba. The best description for Tongba would be a hot but slightly watered down red wine. I can’t really see it taking off in the UK, but it was okay, undeniably interesting in taste and something I hadn’t tried anywhere else. The east was certainly delivering on uniqueness.Our dinner of Daal Bhat was served at around 20:30 and it came with a lovely potato and green bean curry and pickled spinach. I was absolutely famished from the journey, and tucked in straight away. It was only until half the plate was gone that I realized I should be documenting the food. Must do better tomorrow.As we finished eating and we were letting the extremely generous portions settle, Suma told me about our plans for the next day. “Up at 4!” Shree Antu, he told me, is known in the district for having great sunrise views and they are not to be missed.So with that, we made way to our rooms for an early night, and another early rise on day two.
Langtang Valley trek is one of the lesser known treks of Nepal. It is also called the valley of glaciers treks. Infact, Langtang is the place from here you can get the majestic snow-capped mountains and the beautiful glaciers at close quarters. Langtang is only 8 hours drive towards the north of Kathmandu. This trek route was discovered by the famous British mountaineer and travel writer Bill Tilman.
Kathmandu stayOn 5th April , i reached Kathmandu . As soon we reached , people rushed into this shop at the airport to buy an NCELL SIM card . I bought an NCELL Sim Card and called my driver who was arranged by SNOWYODA . SNOWYODA EXPEDITIONS was the company who was responsible for our accomodations throughout the expedition . They took care of our rooms , trek guides , sherpas . I would definitely recommend them to anyone who wants to trek in the Nepal Region .Our ten member expedition team were accommodated in the streets of Thamel , main town of Kathmandu in a hotel called lemon tree. Its an amazing hotel with good wifi and free breakfast as a part of stay . Thamel is a busy shopping street with many shops for second hand trekking . Thamel Marg is the main place to visit . You will find exquisite restaurants and bars . The place is very economical for everyone . But do not forget to bargain .Few of places to visit in Kathmandu are Durbar square , Pashupatinath temple and Thamel Marg. Make sure to have masks in Kathmandu as dust pollution is one of its specialities .
My love for the Himalayas is unbound. To be precise, it borders on obsessiveness. Believe me, even spending months there like a hermit didn't help me a bit. I would trade living there with all the luxuries this life has to offer, and it is only a matter of time. Well that's a story for another time...Speaking of the Himalayan regions, Nepal, being our neighbour wasn't on my radar to be honest, despite being home to the world's largest mountains. But a press trip took me there, and something unexpected happened.I discovered that I was in a shopper's heaven in Kathmandu! Like a kid that drops its jaw at the sight of candies, I was blown away by all the things displayed in shops, that looked endless!I am not a shopaholic as such, but I do end up going on a shopping spree when I find something chic & cool. Happens with everyone, right?So I thought I'll share the details of things to shop in Nepal so that you could shop like a Pro!Without much ado, read ahead to find out what are things to look for in Nepal.
Once on a flight from Paro to Kathmandu, I had a chance to view Everest from the top. Since then I have always dreamt about going to the Everest Base Camp. But in those dreams, I was always walking with a load on my back, panting at every breath and finally standing in front of the World’s Highest peak.#bucketlist #dreams #TrektoEBC. *sigh…*But seemed like God had other plans for me, a relatively easier one.
303 Kms from Tajpur
Best time to visit - N/
One of the most colourful and indiscreet cities of India, Varanasi is one of the seven holiest cities for the Hindus. Al...
Varanasi, the most religious city of India, where life and death meet. Not really a touristy place but a city you need to visit once in your life. Evening aarti in Varanasi is a must visit. The holi cow, narrow roads, hustle and bustle of the city. The feel is straight out of a Hindi movie.How to reach:Kolkata to Varanasi is around 680Km. There are many trains between the two. It takes around 12 hour by train. There is no direct flight.
Our first destination was Sarnath. Situated 15kms away from the city, sarnath has many tourists for all 12 months. You have to take ticket for entering into the museum and the park. The cost for museum is INR5 for Indians. You have to deposit all your items including camera, cellphones, and any eatable outside the museum. They provide you with lockers where you can keep your important belongings. The museum has very old monuments of lord Shiva, and very old commodities which people used to have. I would recommend you to not hire a guide here. The famous Asoka chakra is visible here. A 10 mins walk in the museum will serve the purpose of visiting this place. The museum closes at 5, make sure you visit it before the closing time. There is a park close to museum. This park is huge and if you would like to work on your photography skills, you will find a lot of places to try your camera. With lots of monks praying to lot of tourists this place has its own history. You will encounter a lot of monks who will get clicked with you as well
Located in the sacred city of Varanasi and in parts of Uttarakhand, the Aghori sadhus are a terrifying sight, using their long matted hair and (frequently)nude bodies coated in ash.They indulge in shocking rituals such as eating human remains before or after they're cremated, and having sexual intercourse with corpses. A lot of people flock to obtain their blessings since it's thought they have therapeutic powers.Govardhan Puja:
Being the oldest continuously inhabited city of India, it is impossible to not be enchanted by the spiritual vibrance and order-in-chaos of Varanasi.
One of the most colorful and fascinating places on earth-Varanasi. Also known as Kashi/Benaras. Varanasi is popular pilgrimage point for the Hindus. One of the holiest place, city of Moksha for Hindus since centuries - an ultimate pilgrimage. Varanasi is the oldest city of the world. More than 3000 years old and is famous as the city of temples. Many Hindus believe that dying in Varanasi brings salvation. Apart from Kashi Biswanath Temple which is one of the major attraction point for offering Puja to Lord Shiva, ghats of Ganga is another major attraction where people watches the daily life of Varanasi. Sankat Mochan temple is also very popular for offering puja to Hanumanji. Within 3 days , how you will plan your schedule depends to you. There are certain people , who will only love to spend time beside river Ganga. I have spent more time on Ganga ghats. During first or second day, try to complete to offer puja to Kashi Biswanath temple, Sankat Mochan, Annapurna mandir and other temples where you want to.
I took Begumpura express and it will drop you in the holy city in the afternoon and you have a whole evening to be spent all by yourself by the ghats. Take a hotel/hostel near Assi Ghat (the most convenient way to start off your ghat walk)
2017 was a bit tough for me. I just wanted to disappear somewhere for some time. My plan had some barriers and they could have easily converted into excuses for the cancellation of the trip. Biggest barrier was budget. I didn't want to ask money from my parents. So,i finally managed to organise 4000rs which i had saved in the previous few months. But i was confused about destination and after searching for few days i decided to go varanasi.
318 Kms from Tajpur
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...
The Journey:We started our journey to Darjeeling on June 11th 2018 from the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose airport to Bagdogra. It took us a hour and a half to reach Bagdogra. From there we were picked by our Car (an Innova) which we pre-booked at the cost of Round 4000. One can also opt for a shared taxi from the airport to Darjeeling on a much cheaper rate. A small vehicle like sedan or hatchback may charge up to 3000 depending upon the season.There are several roads to reach Darjeeling, the one we headed took us three and a half hours to reach the city. However, the journey gave us some stunning views of the roadside and the cloud caped mountains.
Darjeeling also known as the 'Queen of hills'...It's a travellers blissful escape and honeymooners dream destination. This beautiful hill station is alluring it's visitors through the breathtaking panoramas that are captivating in every way. Darjeeling stands as the most visited hill stations of India all around the year. Surrounded by the snow capped Himalayas and lush green Tea gardens, it is definitely a paradise on earth.It seemed like a perfect place to escape the heat and spend some days gazing at the beautiful mountains and clouds for me, and thus our trip to Darjeeling was planned. Normally, I plan my trips after a thorough research and at least two/three months prior to my visit. But in this case it was a sudden trip, as Kolkata was becoming unbearable with a temperature rising up to 38/40 degrees.We were a group of six adults with a toddler, we booked our flights and packed our bags to explore the queen of hills, or should I say to escape the heat of kolkata. As we reached the airport I realised that the people of kolkata has a craze for Darjeeling, why not it is a place to die for with a maximum temperature of 25 degrees and a minimum of 18 to 12 degrees (At night).
Day 8, This day was dedicated for the local Darjeeling sight seeing, I avoided the tiger hill as it was difficult to wake upin the morning. You can book a local cab for the Darjeeling sight seeing including Peace Pagoda, Tea garden, Tenjing rock etc.
Today, we wake up to the alarm at 3.00 AM. Got ready in a jiffy, and by 3.30 AM was on our way to the Police Chowk taxi stand near Gandhi Road.Yes, we were to visit the Tiger Hill to have THE inexplicable view of the sunrise over the Kanchenjungha peak (or as we thought ...).We got inside a shared Tata Sumo (Rs 200/- per head) to set for Tiger Hill. We came to know that our car would halt at two other locations while returning back from Tiger Hill. These were - Batasia Loop and Dali Monastery. Though we visited both the places earlier - to me, visiting such beauties twice was a bonus for us.Our car started for Tiger Hill at 4.00 AM. The road to Tiger Hill is an adventurous one - with numerous bends and very steep slopes. Also in the pitch dark we were able to see only as far as the headlight of our car reached. But...the weather turned bad as we approached Tiger Hill. Soon it started raining. With black clouds hovering in front us, sighting of Kanchenjungha was a distant dream - let alone the sunlit Himalyan peaks.
The weather in Darjeeling remained cloudy next day too, as we had been experiencing for the last 2 days. However we were excited about our upcoming activities that day. Firstly, the Joyride in a steam engine-hauled train of Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) - popularly called as the toy train and secondly, mountain biking.At about 8: 15 in the morning, we started for Darjeeling railway station. It was around 20 minutes walk from our hotel. We chose to ride on a first class compartment in the steam engine hauled train which cost us around Rs 1300/- per head. The train started from Darjeeling at 9:40 a.m. At once we were greeted by loud and very shrill honking of the engine. The train really had fascinating interiors, though our focus was on the scenes outside - as we crisscrossed through busy streets of Darjeeling town.Note that, if you expect mind boggling mountain views or traveling through numerous tunnels or bridges in this DHR Joyride, you would be disheartened. This ride is very different. Here we found joy observing the daily life of the local people. Little children going to school, people queuing up for Pujas in temple high up in the hills, morning chit-chat among the shopkeepers and customers, the beautiful architecture of the houses or the wild flowers along the walls of the street.
The next day post-breakfast (had some snacks we stocked earlier) we started early around 8.00 am for our customized half day tour. We reserved a private taxi (Hyundai Santro) for Rs2500/- from the nearby Clubside Taxi Stand and began our journey. Our driver-cum-guide for the day - Mr. Som was very polite and cooperative throughout. You can reach him at 9083355721.The weather was not sunny; in fact it started drizzling shortly after. Though rain was short-lived, the weather remained gloomy throughout that day.
It took us around 4 hrs (with one halt mid-way at a humble eatery) to reach Darjeeling. We got down at the Gandhi Road Police point near the Clubside taxi stand. This is one of the two taxi stands in Darjeeling, the other being the Chauk Bazar taxi stand.From here (Clubside taxi stand), we walked about 7-8 min, crossing the famous Darjeeling Mall and reached Bhanu Bhawan. Then walking slight uphill with the view of St. Anthony's Church on the right, and Darjeeling Gymkhana Club on the left - we reached our hotel, ie Darjeeling Tourist Lodge (DTL) run by West Bengal Tourist Development corporation (WBTDC).Situated in a quaint location, near the ancient but gracious St. Andrews Church, DTL is perfect for budget travelers who want to spend their vacation away from the dins and bustles of the town centre. Our rooms in the annex building was large and tidy with basic amenities.It cost us around Rs1600/- plus tax (note, rate may vary with season) per night - and I do believe it was a fair deal. The chance to view the snow-clad peak of Kanchenjungha from DTL's rear garden was icing on the cake.
I think this one of the most talked about hill stations on every travel list. I am not going to dive into the details and the places you should visit. Moreover, I have already listed my trip to Darjeeling last December in another blog. Here it is!Darjeeling is 70kms or 2 hours away from Siliguri by car. Other transport options include the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway or government and private buses from Tenzing Norgay bus stand.Kanchenjunga at sunrise as seen from Tiger Hill in Darjeeling.The Mall Road, among the most popular spots there, offers a panoramic view of the Himalayas.Breakfast at Keventers with Kanchenjunga behind us.Know more about Darjeeling here.Kalimpong:
65 Kms from Tajpur
Kesaria Stupa, Champaran
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
206 Kms from Tajpur
3. Looking for Nepali handicrafts? Head to Patan
I liked the Patan Durban Square cultural heritage.
139 Kms from Tajpur
However, next day I packed my backpack and leaving my suitcase and comfort behind, boarded the bus to Bodhgaya from the Mithapur bus stand in Patna at 8:15 in the morning. I enjoy bus rides as it gives a chance to look at the inner cities and towns of new states and absorb the land as a whole instead of looking at some isolated sites.
3 Bodh GayaSet amidst verdant lawns is the magnificent fifty two meter tall Mahabodhi Temple. A chamber on top houses a figure of Mayadevi, the Buddha’s mother. Outside in the sunken courtyard stands the fifth generation Bodhi Tree. Seven spots within the temple are sacred because it was at each of these spots the Buddha stayed a week meditating after attaining Enlightenment. Bodh Gaya is quite an international town with monasteries, guesthouses, meditation centers and Buddhist temples from different countries. The Archaeological Survey of India has a small museum located nearby which houses antiquities evacuated in and around Bodh Gaya. The Tibetan, Thai Japanese, Korean and Chinese built temples in recent times.
2 Varanasi – Bodh Gaya (7 hours)Leave this morning for Bodh Gaya and on arrival check-in to the Hotel. Bodh Gaya is the most important place of pilgrimage of Buddhism. Bodh Gaya lies in fertile lands watered by the Nairanjana (Phalgu) river. Across the river more than 2500 years ago, the young ascetic Siddhartha, gazed at the serene landscape of the Uruvela village (modern Bodh Gaya). The tree under which Buddha attained wisdom is called the Bodhi Tree.
Scientists and saints have bickered over centuries. Given existentialist spectrums (the bondage by cause and effect (karma) or astrology (your life designed by you from the cave of creation or your karma or both or whatever); to freedom (through ascended masters and the law of attraction, etc. etc.), why a pilgrimage?The reason is Dharma, the nature, of what the mind contains. Buddha’s greatest gift to humanity is the re-discovery and teaching of the practice of Vipassana. Vipassana, purifies the mind and keeps it pure through practice.Purity is the absence of contamination. The truth is to be known, to be lived, to be given your own form and expression. And the truth is, the nature, of what the mind contains.
The city of Gaya is home to four major religions of India; Buddhism, Jain, Hinduism and Islam. Gaya's origins date back several thousand years when the epic of Ramayana was written. The Buddhist relevance of the city is for being the place where Siddhartha achieved enlightenment and became Buddha, the Enlightened One. Just 11km from the city is the exact tree under which enlightenment was attained. Travellers, especially Buddhists, from all over the world visit this particular place to pay respect to the place that gave birth to the religion of Buddhism.Where to eat: Hari Om International Café on the Bodh Gaya Road is known to serve the best ginger tea and coffee in Gaya. For European offerings and Italian dishes, head to Be Happy Café.Where to stay: Check out Hotel Buddha and Maha Bodhi Resort, which are both at a convenient distance to the Bodh Gaya Temple.How to reach: It is very easy to reach Gaya from the major cities of India. The Gaya Junction railway station is the main station for Gaya. The nearest airport is Gaya Airport, situated between Gaya and Bodh Gaya. Buses from Patna, Varanasi, Bhagalpur and Nalanda go to Gaya several times in a day.
While Bodh Gaya is infamously known for the birth of Buddhism, what remains relatively unknown is that the place to Hindus is almost nearly what Mecca is to Muslims. The story goes that, Gaya (from whom, the place derives its name), was a demon whose body was pious after immense penance and blessings from Lord Vishnu. Gaya- the asura was so pious, that he could absolve others of their sins by merely touching them or looking at them.No wonder, that Hindus all over the world today, come to perform “shraddha” or last rites of their progeny in order to absolve them of their sins. While the place itself is serene and offers picturesque landscapes, it is this faith that people around you walk with, wants to make you believe – “Bodh Gaya is the doorway to heaven.”
149 Kms from Tajpur
Best time to visit - N/A
As the name suggests, the history and significance of this place revolves around the Bodhi tree which is actually a peep...
Attain Nirvana at Bodhgaya.The hallowed town of Buddhism in India, this quaint place in the South of Bihar attracts many tourists every year who come here to study, pray and meditate. The amazing fact about the Mahabodhi temple is that included as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002. There are 35 such locations around India.
Sit under the Mahabodhi (tree of enlightenment) and feel the breeze tell you its story