I have decided to write about the trip to Darjeeling today cause I am so desperate. I am so desperate that I don’t want to forget those memories. And I also want you guys to go make memories in that paradise at least once.
When you are going with a group of people, under supervision with a fixed schedule you can’t enjoy much. I have felt it during my travel to Calcutta, Sikkim & Darjeeling trip. But, thankfully out of all the places, we were able to spend at least 2 days in Darjeeling.
Darjeeling is a place that made me feel this connection which I never ever had anywhere before. It’s the place that haunts me every single day. Whenever it passes through my mind I feel overwhelmed, there are days I have cried at night longing to go back. This is an absolutely strange feeling. If you ask what is so special about it. I still can’t figure it out.
Taking the road from Sikkim to Darjeeling is the most beautiful thing, your eyes can’t hold on to everything and even your mind fails to process all those mind-blowing views.
Being in South India, the Northern part makes everything magical, it’s like being at the top of the world. I have been to Kullu & Manali before, but this journey is different. Darjeeling trip was the very first time that my brother and I got to travel without our parents. We were supposed to go together… but my mom was recovering from surgery at that time. It was so heavy for us to deal with, but I ended up craving more independence after this trip. It hit me differently to that extent.
I felt a strong bond with Darjeeling compared to Sikkim, it is that… We went there during May 2nd week, 2 years back… And Sikkim is so cold for me. Because it was my 1st long trip after I was back into form from my illness. Sikkim just left me frozen from the skin to bone. But, Darjeeling is completely like me… it’s, the weather at that time was like my mood swings.
On the 1st day, all we did was shopping and I still remember the smell of Darjeeling and how it felt. The bustling nights with people full of happiness. You can get to meet and hear Tamil tourists here and there… You can get to taste an endless number of street foods. It’s just a friendly neighborhood. At night, it’s so cold.. so cold that when you step on the floor barefoot, you are dead.😂
On the 2nd day, we were made to wake up so early to see the sunrise. It’s the day I fell in love.. the entire day felt like magic for me.
Our carrier ventured through the road that had the thick pine forest along the side as well as too many different trees whose name… I don’t know. We went behind cars with tourists who already got before us. And we finally reached the spot, Tiger hill. At first glance, an enormous crowd rushed to witness the magic. To tell the truth, I was like, what’s so special about Sunrise. Because you know people of all ages and even people who never woke up that early were waiting there. But it is so special.
It was too cloudy and everyone concluded that it’s a bad day to watch a sunrise. And then it happened. I have never seen a sky that turned complete yellow, glistening like gold. It’s just like… Everyone was so happy, we were shouting with happiness. Strangers passed their happiness through smiles. I still remember that really old couple, whom I get to take a photo along with the rising golden ball.
But then suddenly it started to rain. Who would have thought? It started with drizzling and the red sand gets wetter and everyone rushed. This is the reason I said Darjeeling weather is equal to my mood swings, it feels sunny, and then it starts to rain without giving a moment to predict.
On the way, we went to this old Buddhist temple with the big Buddha sitting erect whereas the really cute little monks and gentle old monks are singing to him with so much love and respect. I froze as it became so cold. Thanks to the drunken taxi driver who put on the heater I became warm while getting back to our room.
Then, it was a busy day. After a bath and breakfast, we are off to continue the day. It started with me getting an opportunity to witness the extraordinary sighting, which even makes my eyes shine when I talk about it to someone.
The view of Mt. Everest from the staircase of the Buddhist temple!
After climbing those steep staircases, I sat and I was staring at the white clouds, I noticed something weird about those clouds and then my pupils widened as soon as I realized that it wasn’t just clouded. It’s was a range of snowy peaks. I started to call out to my brother and then we get to know that it was Mt Everest. I can’t believe my eyes. I called my mom and dad and I cried out of happiness. It was a grateful moment. And for the first time in my life, I felt so small and humble realizing how big and powerful nature is and will be.
Darjeeling has this warmth in the air, unlike Sikkim where you can feel the warmth among the host and people wherever you go.
Next is Darjeeling Zoological park, where I got to see the Red Panda, an endangered species that I have been wanting to see for a lifetime. They are so lazy and cosy. 😂 We get to see all sorts of the beautiful creation of nature, sadly caged. The peasant bird -a bird full of life and colour which I have never encountered before.
Now, I should definitely talk about this…..You should never miss Darjeeling tea. I just drank 3 cups of sample tea while watching the lush green tea estate and the hanging houses at the cliffs… I literally made puppy dog eyes at my brother to get that tea. If you taste it you will realise that it is pretty obvious why it’s so special. It smell like spices and tasted so sweet with a tint of spice. After tasting that, I hated every other tea wherever I drink. Darjeeling tea left me with great expectations.
Finally, travel can’t be fulfilled if you did not visit markets. We roamed around the market too many times those 2days. I remember the roads I strolled around so clearly. I remember those soft shawls hanging on the shops and the vegetable shops with rushing nomads. And the ras malai in the mud pots and the variety of mushrooms that sold so fast. I remember those vibrant flower shops and the flee shoe shops. I remember the huge dogs sitting in such a carefree way and the blooming creepers in the walls around the slopes. I still remember the huge dog who I petted and hugged while the two men who tagged with me were busy buying vegetables and I remember the antique shop which had the most pretty ornaments and bags.
There are a few regrets I still hold on to. I failed to look at the night sky. Instead gazed only at the bustling ground life. And, I regret not riding on the Darjeeling toy train, which Darjeeling is so famous for due to our tight pre-planned schedule.
I remember them so much and I want to remember them until the next time.
I want everyone who reads this post to visit and see more than what I saw and feel what I felt. I will be definitely going back there once everything gets better. Sure we will…
(Make sure to comment on the places which made you feel this way)