Hey everyone! I am so excited to write about this trip from back in 2014. It was really exciting but the fact that I was in 10th standard and had to return home and to my normal, boring routine was kinda the sad part cuz…. board exams! Duh! We had gone to Darjeeling for the first time (and my father, after like 30 years as he had studied in one of the renowned boarding schools of Darjeeling called St. Paul’s till 10th grade).
So to start off, let me tell you, my sister and I were extremely excited since we got to enjoy during Durga Puja and while everyone was sad after the end of this beautiful festival, my family and I then went to Darjeeling for almost a week. We went to Siliguri by train and then we had a car drive us up to the beautiful town. The transition from the hot, humid and polluted city of Siliguri to the beautiful hills, cool weather, forests and finally Darjeeling was absolutely stunning! We had even stopped by this place for the famous Darjeeling momos and steaming cups of tea in the shivering cold weather.
Once we reached the particular place in the town, the car had stopped before the lane started since cars weren’t allowed in the lane. So we dragged our luggage to our hotel called Pineridge. Even though it’s a very old hotel, I found it to be very cozy. Fun Fact: Pineridge is rumoured to be haunted. Plus it was near the mall, no not a shopping mall. Here, mall is an open space surrounded by different book, souvenir and tea shops. There were benches for people to sit and relax and enjoy the view of the Kanchenjanga Mountains. In the evening, there was always a dance or a singing function and funnily, karaoke as well! The mall led to a shopping arcade which is full of cheap yet great quality and cute looking ‘Jansport’ bags worth 200 rupees, warm leggings with cute designs that you’ll find so many people wearing here. You’ll definitely find some amazing and cool stuff at extremely cheap rates and it’s not even crowded which is always a plus!
The people of Darjeeling are always tip top and the girls are all dolled up with perfect straight hair, nice make up and really cute outfits and hand bags. For the first time I really felt my soul connect with a place. I guess I might just love hill stations and this was my first.
Now let’s talk about my favourite thing in the world- food! My favourite places are- Penang’s, which is an amazing restaurant, famous for their mouth watering chowmein and momos, Glenary’s which is an extremely famous café for their baked goods, tea and snacks and my favourite of all is Keventer’s which is also a café. They have amazing sausages, beverages, sandwiches and the prices will certainly not burn a hole in your pocket.
We had first gone to Tiger Hill the next day at 3 am, to watch the beautiful sunrise over the Kanchenjunga Mountain by a jeep. Not everyone is lucky enough to watch both the sunrise an the snow capped mountain range since the sky remains foggy due to the cold weather but we were extremely lucky to see both. It was really stunning and mesmerizing.
In the morning, after breakfast in Keventer’s we headed to my dad’s school, St. Paul’s, which is a very famous school there. The campus is absolutely huge and beautiful. The school looks totally like one of those beautiful foreign universities. It also has its very own church and many buildings. A scene from the movie ‘Barfi’ was shot there. And in the movie ‘Main hoon na’, with Shah Rukh Khan as the hero, the college that they showed in the film was also St. Paul’s.
We had also visited the famous Japanese temple, the Batasia Loop. On a toy train ride in Darjeeling, one passes the beautiful Batasia Loop where the tracks overlap and encircle themselves, hence the name. Unfortunately, we had to miss the famous toy train. But we obviously couldn’t miss out on the famous Darjeeling tea garden. My parents had also visited the zoo which had so many animals and also red pandas. We went to a couple more places but these were my favourite sights.
But we also spent some days just walking around and exploring alone and grabbing an ice cream from Keventer’s, enjoying the view and eating 100 rupees thalis for dinner at this restaurant called ‘Hasty Tasty’. Fortunately, the cafes, restaurants and the mall were near our hotel. But after 9 pm, you won’t see a soul on the road. People in Darjeeling like going to bed very early, I guess.
All in all, the trip was a huge success and I have literally fallen in love with the beautiful town. I was truly very disheartened when we drove down to the city of Siliguri for the train station, which was a total contrast to Darjeeling. I would highly recommend you guys to visit Darjeeling, if you haven’t already. It is also a very cheap holiday option and the place is obviously very lovely.
Thank you, if you have reached the end of it. Writing about my best travel experience really made me feel nostalgic and relive those beautiful memories. Back then, I was so upset since I had to attend school, so many classes and I had my class 10 board exam in March. Fun fact: Today I had my Economics board exam (yes, I am giving my class 12 CBSE now and I am almost done with it). Time flies, doesn’t it?
“Travel is the only thing you buy, that makes you richer”