I stumbled upon this name Lepchajagat around a year ago. A quick Google Search created an urge inside me, to visit this place instantly. As usual, without wasting much time, I planned a trip to Lepchajagat along with Darjeeling and Tinchuley immidiately. Tinchuley during that time was an offbeat and unexplored destination. Unfortunately, that plan of ours couldn't materialize due to sudden political unrest.
Well I took this opportunity in an optimistic way, and planned for destinations around South Bengal, which I'd have never visit otherwise. Being an ardent mountain lover, I could never think beyond my love for North Bengal, North East and other Himalayan destinations of India. Well, fortunately the destinations like Salboni, Bankiput, Baranti & Garpanchkot, Joypur Forest was really overwhelming, specially Mousuni Island - which I completely fell in love with.
However, whatever it be, my love for Himalayas is more than anything else. As we say in bengali - " Sob ek dike, pahar ar ek dike. Pahar er aladai moja ache" (I'm okay with other destinations, but mountains have different aspect altogether). Unfortunately, sea beaches or forests doesn't attract me much. Although after my visit to Sundarban and Dooars, I'd love to explore more of forests!
Finally, once the political unrest came to end, we ended up planning a short trip to Tinchuley. And finally, we felt like we were back on track!!
Well, I always had this dream of spending a New Year in Darjeeling with a cup of Darjeeling Tea in hand overlooking the almighty Kanchenjunga with a fine Novel in my hands. Unfortunately, I'm not much into Novels. Short Stories are fine, but Novels makes me bore. So, I thought of taking up the opportunity of X-Mas - New Year holidays, I quickly chalked out my dream plan of visitng Darjeeling and clubbed up Lepchajagat. As we had already been to Tinchuley, we clubbed up Chatakpur which lately has become famous for it's serene beauty and unobstructed view of Kanchenjuga.
So here's our final draft of the Itinerary that we adhrered to
26th Dec - Day 1 : NJP - Lepchajagat
27th Dec - Day 2 : Lepchajagat
28th Dec - Day 3 : Lepchajagat - Chatakpur
29th Dec - Day 4 : Chatakpur
30th Dec - Day 5 : Chatakpur - Darjeeling
31st Dec - Day 6 : Darjeeling Sightseeing
1st Jan - Day 7 : Day Trip To Mirik
2nd Jan - Day 8 : Joy Ride. Darjeeling - NJP
We booked up the hotels accordingly well in advance, considering the rush season due to the X-Mas - New Year holidays. Although we didn't book any vehicle this time, as we were on a tight budget, so planned to travel in shared vehicles or hire vehicle as and when required on spot.
Gradually we were becoming restless, as days were nearing by and our excitement was reaching another level! Finally the D Day arrived.
25th Dec - Day 0 : SDAH - NJP :
Finally the D Day arrived and we were really excited with our upcoming trip. We had our reservation on Darjeeling Mail and accordingly we reached Sealdah well ahead of scheduled deperture. We had ample time left so we had our dinner at Janata Ahar (a budget friendly IRCTC accredited & subsidised restaurant). Within few minutes our train was announced and we embarked on our journey to our beloved North Bengal! We were overjoyed to go back again! The rest of the journey was uneventful.