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Old 16th March 2015, 12:35   #76
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Default Re: West Bengal - A treasure for tourists

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Originally Posted by rahul4640 View Post
Touchwood, just today I went to Pashupati market by crossing the border and had come back, without paying a single rupee. Immediately upon crossing the border there was a counter where two girls were seating. They asked for my driving license and the blue book, made me sign and let go. I asked them that as I should go only upto the market, did I need to pay anything for the car. She replied that I need not pay anything and also cautioned me saying some special custom checking was going on and I should better not purchase anything. While returning one young fellow stopped my car and demanded to know why I had not stopped at the customs office. When I told him that I did not know that, he demanded twenty rupees donation and let me go. I proceeded very slowly from there till the Indian security guards, who simply did not pay any attention to me and let me go.
Glad you took the initiative of going to Pashupatinagar. Must have been an excellent drive. I am already getting Nostalgic thinking about it.

Thanks for sharing your experience.
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Old 16th March 2015, 19:30   #77
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Default Re: West Bengal - A treasure for tourists

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Originally Posted by AJ-got-BHP View Post
Glad you took the initiative of going to Pashupatinagar. Must have been an excellent drive. I am already getting Nostalgic thinking about it. .
And I must also add that though I only went maybe some two or three kilometres inside the border, I could clearly see that the West Bengal registered cars even outnumbered the Nepalese registered ones, at least in Pashupatinagar. But I did not stay there long. Having fulfilled my dream of driving in a foreign soil, I returned back soon.
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Old 16th March 2015, 21:46   #78
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Default Re: West Bengal - A treasure for tourists

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Originally Posted by rahul4640 View Post
And I must also add that though I only went maybe some two or three kilometres inside the border, I could clearly see that the West Bengal registered cars even outnumbered the Nepalese registered ones, at least in Pashupatinagar. But I did not stay there long. Having fulfilled my dream of driving in a foreign soil, I returned back soon.
Did you move ahead to Mirik or returned to Darjeeling ?

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Old 17th March 2015, 11:47   #79
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Default Re: West Bengal - A treasure for tourists

Amazing compilation Samba & extremely helpful for people who are just getting into the mode of weekend trips. Rated 5 Star!
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Old 20th March 2015, 22:11   #80
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Default Re: West Bengal - A treasure for tourists

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Originally Posted by AJ-got-BHP View Post
Did you move ahead to Mirik or returned to Darjeeling?
I went to Mirik first and then to Siliguri. It was only later that I went back to Darjeeling, this time taking the usual Rohini Road.
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Old 24th March 2015, 13:40   #81
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Default Re: West Bengal - A treasure for tourists

When we share our Travel Experiences about Darjeeling, another Hill Station that comes to my mind is Kalimpong

Though I would not rate it as highly as Darjeeling as Summers is definitely not the time to be here as it may get a little too hot for your liking, but definitely it is a getaway destination to spend some tranquil time in the hills in the monsoons or in winters as there is nothing much to do.

Distance From Darjeeling : Approx a 50Kms Drive : Darjeeling - Ghoom - Jorebunglow - Peshok - Kalimpong

Distance From Siliguri : Approx a 65Kms Drive

Accommodation : There are plenty of Hotels and Resorts in Kalimpong. However, we stuck to The Summit Garden Retreat & Spa located in Barsana Road (a diversion from Upper Cart Road) as it had just opened when we had gone in June 2013 and we got a Steal Deal !! Also, considering the fact that we were in Kalimpong just for a night on our way down from Darjeeling to Siliguri and since there is nothing much to do there, we chose a better accommodation to enjoy the place and just relax.

Posting Some Pictures from our Travel -

Enroute from Darjeeling to Kalimpong :
Mt Friend's 85PS Duster RXL was in my Hands
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Pictures of the Summit Garden Retreat & Spa :
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View from the Property and other Misc. Snaps :
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The Property is located right beside the Kalimpong Art Gallery; a must visit :
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We ventured out to this Monastery located in the Hill Top of Durpin Dara. It's named as Zong Dhog Palri Fo Brang Monastery and is located in an area which is totally under the supervision of the Army. Really enjoyed this short 6-7 Kms drive from Barsana Road. Posting Some Pics :
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Done with the hills and resting beside a stream :
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Note : Suggest NOT TO make Kalimpong your Holiday Destination; a stop over is always welcomed here !!
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Old 24th March 2015, 20:13   #82
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Default Re: West Bengal - A treasure for tourists

Quote:
Originally Posted by AJ-got-BHP View Post
Note : Suggest NOT TO make Kalimpong your Holiday Destination; a stop over is always welcomed here !!
On the contrary, I'd say Kalimpong may well qualify for a standalone holiday destination. I've been here 3 times. Twice with family, and once as part of a trekking team that moved on to higher destinations keeping Kalimpong as a base.

Accomodation: I have stayed in the Park Hotel and Morgan House. Of these Morgan House is highly recommended. A colonial stone bungalow, it is now a WBTDC managed hotel. Light up a fireplace in the night (dunno if they still allow that), curl up with a book, listen to endless ghost stories associated with the place. Ask the cook to make excellent chicken for you. Pahari chicken is always tastier than the broiler variety we get in cities. Ask them to lay out a table on the front lawn, and have breakfast/lunch there.

Sights: Admittedly Kalimpong doesn't have the number of sights, or heritage of its sister hill station. But the Buddhist monasteries on Durpin Dara hill and Tharpa Choling are worth a visit. So is Dr Grahams home, a colonial era boarding school. There used to be a very good Tibetan restaurant outside DGH, serving momos and thukpas.

You can also use Kalimpong as a base and make a trip to Lava (at 8000 ft, the highest town in WB Himalayas) and Lolegaon. Lava has another Budhhist monastery and you can live in WBTDC Log huts. Lolegaon has a good WBTDC resort.

Disclaimer: My information is more than 15 years old. The era when I used a Film SLR, so no photos to put up either .
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Old 24th March 2015, 20:30   #83
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Default Re: West Bengal - A treasure for tourists

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Originally Posted by predatorwheelz View Post
On the contrary, I'd say Kalimpong may well qualify for a standalone holiday destination. I've been here 3 times. Twice with family, and once as part of a trekking team that moved on to higher destinations keeping Kalimpong as a base.

Accomodation: I have stayed in the Park Hotel and Morgan House. Of these Morgan House is highly recommended. A colonial stone bungalow, it is now a WBTDC managed hotel. Light up a fireplace in the night (dunno if they still allow that), curl up with a book, listen to endless ghost stories associated with the place. Ask the cook to make excellent chicken for you. Pahari chicken is always tastier than the broiler variety we get in cities. Ask them to lay out a table on the front lawn, and have breakfast/lunch there.

Sights: Admittedly Kalimpong doesn't have the number of sights, or heritage of its sister hill station. But the Buddhist monasteries on Durpin Dara hill and Tharpa Choling are worth a visit. So is Dr Grahams home, a colonial era boarding school. There used to be a very good Tibetan restaurant outside DGH, serving momos and thukpas.

You can also use Kalimpong as a base and make a trip to Lava (at 8000 ft, the highest town in WB Himalayas) and Lolegaon. Lava has another Budhhist monastery and you can live in WBTDC Log huts. Lolegaon has a good WBTDC resort.

Disclaimer: My information is more than 15 years old. The era when I used a Film SLR, so no photos to put up either .
my Friend !! That's exactly what I meant and have mentioned the Durpin Dara Monastery as well.

Kalimpong does have some good accommodation indeed at a very reasonable cost unlike Darj and yes Lava Lolegaon is very much doable from here
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Old 25th March 2015, 00:59   #84
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Default Sandakphu and Phalut

Sandakphu and Phalut

Distance - Sandakphu is about 55 Kilometers from Darjeeling and 31 Kilometers from Manebhanjang. Phalut is another 20 Kilometers from Sandakphu.

Road Condition - Good road till Maneybhanjan. Maneybhanjan to just before Lamey Dhura is tarred but steep. After Lamey Dhura it is rocky and steep

Stay Options - Very basic stay options at Sherpa Chalet on the Nepal side and West Bengal tourism lodges on the India side.
Contact details of Sherpa Chalet Lodge, Sandakpur - Phone # 0091 9332599261, 9932592516

About Sandakphu from wiki - Sandakfu or Sandakphu (3636 m; 11929 ft) is the highest peak in the state of West Bengal, India. It is situated at the edge of the Singalila National Park in Darjeeling district on the West Bengal-Sikkim border, and is the highest point of the Singalila Ridge. Sandakphu has a small village on the peak with a number of hostels. The peaks of Kanchendzonga and Everest can be seen from its summit.
From Sandakphu the best view of the mountain Kanchendzonga is possible, which is known as the sleeping Buddha or the sleeping Shiva.

A quote by Fabolia Jacob on Sandakphu - In Darjiling, trekkers who are too old or don't have time to walk seven hours a day for the allotted time of five to ten days, can always trek upto Sandakphu by Jeep or Landrover. The journey is memorable and tests both the mettle of the driver and the intensity of the vehicle.

Best time to visit - February if one wants to see snow and get a clear view of Kanchenjungha, April if one wants to see the Rhododendrons. The Singalila forest is a reserve forest and is closed during the rainy season i.e. from July to September.

Map of Sandakphu and Phalut -
West Bengal - A treasure for tourists-sandakphu_map.jpg

Pictures taken at different times of the year in no particular order -

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The Road -

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A few videos of the road -






Last edited by BlackPearl : 25th March 2015 at 01:02.
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Old 7th April 2015, 15:38   #85
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Default Re: West Bengal - A treasure for tourists

Sundarban

Drive duration and distance- 80-100 kms from Science city. Its a 2-3 hours drive.

Route 1- Science city - Baruipur- Canning - Godhkali
Road condition is good but heavy small town traffic in day time.

Route 2- Science city - Basanti highway - Bantala - Canning - Godhkali
Road condition is good to worst in some places. Traffic is very less. Road repair work is in progress. Once the repair is done this will be the best route. Its 20kms longer than route 1.


Hotels- There are numerous hotels/resorts in this sector. We stayed at Sunderban Mangrove Retreat. It was a nice experience.

Day 1-

3rd April 2015- We started around 8-30 am from science city and drove through route 1 till Godkhali. We reached Godkhali around 10-30 Am. They had parking arrangements with shades. We parked our five cars over there and headed to the Jetty. Parking cost per day, per car is rs 100.

The launch was already waiting for us. By the time we boarded the launch it was 11am. We reached the resort by 1-15 pm.

West Bengal - A treasure for tourists-img_6390.jpg

On arrival we got our allotted rooms , got freshened up , had lunch and took some rest. Around 4-30pm we headed out for a small launch trip to a spot where we can see few migratory birds. By the time we reached the place the light was low and the birds were beyond the reach of my 300mm lens.

Few pic from this afternoon trip.

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A selfie with the Sarang. (The captain of the launch is called Sarang)
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Cruising in moon light was a memorable experience.

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Reached our resort by 7pm. The resort owner organized local Tussu dance with snacks. Enjoyed it till 9pm. Had our dinner and retired for the day.

Day 2

4th April 2015 - Today our plan was to visit three popular spots in Sundarban. Sajnekhali, Sudanyakhali and Dobaki.

After breakfast our journey started at 8-30 Am. Our first halt was at Sajnekhali to collect the permits to proceed further. This place has a watch tower and a museum. Soon after collecting the permits we proceeded to Sudanyankhali.

A view from Sudanyakhali watch tower.

West Bengal - A treasure for tourists-img_6615.jpg

It was high tide and around 12pm. So chance of spotting wild life around this time was really low. From here our next destination was Dobaki. Had our yummy lunch in the launch with mangrove forest on both side and pin drop silence of the forest. The only sound we could here was the roar of the engine.

Pics on the way to Dobaki.

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Around 2pm we reached Dobaki. We walked till the Dobaki watch tower to see the flora and fauna of the mighty Sundarban.

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In jungle people are caged!

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Sundarban is famous for the notorious Royal Bengal Tigers. Chances of sighting a tiger is very rare over here. One must be super lucky to spot a tiger. But tigers over this area are very dangerous and they have killed thousand's of people. In 2015 itself till 3rd April 43 people were killed by the tigers. The fear of tiger in this area is commonly spread among every villagers. One might not spot a tiger but one can experience the thrill of Sundarban, the silence of Sundarban and most importantly the natural beauty of Sundarban. Its a heaven for nature lovers.

Soon after Dobaki we headed back towards our resort. While coming back it was low tide. In low tide possibilities of spotting animals are more.

Pics on the way back to resort.

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Reached back to our resort around 6pm. As usual it was followed by a local cultural program (Baul Sangeet) with snacks. Around 9-30 pm had our dinner and retired for the day.

Day 3

5th April 2015 - We woke up lazily around 8am. Few of us woke up early to take a walk around the village where our resort was located. I was too lazy to wake up early. Had break fast and started our return journey to Godhkali around 11am. Lunch was served in the launch. We reached Godkhali around 1-30 pm. Started from there at 2pm and took the Basanti highway (Route 2) for the return leg of our journey. Reached science city around 4-30pm.

The launch in which we traveled. (The right one)

West Bengal - A treasure for tourists-x-1.jpg

The cabin inside the launch where one can take rest. There were 5 cabins like this. One in the upper deck and four in the lower deck. With these cabins the launch was also equipped with two clean western style washrooms.

West Bengal - A treasure for tourists-x-2.jpg

This 6 cylinder naturally aspirated inline diesel engine powered the launch. It was smooth and powerful.

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The resort where we stayed. Rooms had A/c, they were clean & comfortable. On the flip side there were few/many big spiders!

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....and how can i miss a pic of our cars !

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Finally a picture of our whole group.

From left to right-
Swift- Mr. Souradeep Chaudhury and family.

i10- Bhpian Avrendu Majumdar and family.

Punto - Mr.Rana Adhikary and family.

Alto k10- Dr Soumyadip Chaudhury his family, Mr Arghya Pan & me ( In violet Tshirt)

Tata Zest - Bhpian Arindam Bandopadhyay and family.

West Bengal - A treasure for tourists-img_6768.jpg

Last edited by Samba : 7th April 2015 at 15:54.
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Old 7th April 2015, 16:18   #86
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Default Re: West Bengal - A treasure for tourists

You guys rock! Another memorable trip and delicious travelogue. Waiting for the next one...
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Old 8th April 2015, 00:37   #87
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Default Re: West Bengal - A treasure for tourists

Thanks Samba for doing the hard job of creating the travelogues all the time. Again a great one for sure..
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Old 8th April 2015, 10:24   #88
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Default Re: West Bengal - A treasure for tourists

Seems to be an excellent outing !!

Good to see BHPians having some fun times all together.

Excellent initiative Samba once again in posting some lovely pictures as always.
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Old 10th April 2015, 13:01   #89
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Being a member of the Sundarban trip, I am also having few pictures which I am sharing. Hope it will add some vision to the already well described travelogue by Samba.

First lets get to know the Sundarban:

West Bengal - A treasure for tourists-dsc_1621.jpg

Sudarban is known for it flora and fauna but high tides can be disastrous:

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Few wildlife we have found in our trip:

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Only amphibian we found in our trip:

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Finally after a whole day trip we found a place which brought back smile to few of our members:

Want to take your 4X4's for a off-roading
West Bengal - A treasure for tourists-dsc_1802.jpg

The trip ended faster than we expected. But it means there is another one to start in the near future.

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Attached Thumbnails
West Bengal - A treasure for tourists-dsc_1543.jpg  

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Old 13th April 2015, 18:07   #90
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Default Re: West Bengal - A treasure for tourists

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Originally Posted by Samba View Post
Thanks a lot. Waiting eagerly for your epic Rajasthan travelogue!
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ear-s-eve.html (West Bengal to Rajasthan Road Trip to celebrate New Yearís Eve)

Here it starts Samba.
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