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Old 13th April 2010, 21:24   #16
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Originally Posted by trammway View Post
and booked a Sumo to Darjeeling (drop) for Rs.1250. Meanwhile I got my
....
The co-passenger at the Kolkata to NJP train already told us to choose the coronation bridge road instead of rohini road to reach Darjeeling, so I insisted the taxi driver to take us through the coronation bridge road. Rohini road is the common road everyone travels with lots of traffic, the coronation bridge road is actually a road that goes Gangtok along side we were enjoy the beauty of Testa river and the road diverts to Darjeeling in some place.
You got the taxi driver to take you via Peshok road AFTER you fixed the rate?!

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Old 13th April 2010, 21:48   #17
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You got the taxi driver to take you via Peshok road AFTER you fixed the rate?!

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Sutripta
Nope, the deal was discussed and fixed before payment. He asked only Rs.900 for the Rohini route, the extra Rs.300 is for the route we have chosen but it is worth it.
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Old 13th April 2010, 23:23   #18
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Today it is again a great day in Darjeeling, after reading many of the East Travelogues I decided not to visit the Tiger hills for the sun raise view as today I witnessed the fog rolling on the road at 9:00am in the morning and I'm sure at 4:00am nothing will be there. so we picked the idea from Bhimal to go for mixed point trip. This is basically commercial term to take you around the town for sight seeing options. We picked Japanese temple, Peace temple, Zoo, Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (with in the zoo) and Tea gardens view.

We had a nice chap as our driver introduced by Bhimal to take us around, His name is Yogesh and he could be contacted over +91-9775963813

At first I was surprised to see even latest vehicles in Darjeeling runs with three alphabetical state/rto identification letters which is out from the country about 2 decades back. See it yourself with Yogesh TATA sumo number plate.
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Kids were ready with monkey caps and we started our first sight seeing in Darjeeling, the roads were chaos with messy traffic, most of the vehicles we have seen are TATA SUMO, MM540, MM Commander, Bolero, Maxx and few other cars. The drivers are normally very rash.
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We reached the really peaceful Peace temple (first sight) and climbed the steps to only see the Japanese temple. Both of them are really beautiful and cannot be missed in Darjeeling trip. For my family members this is the first time they are visiting a Buddhist temple.
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The Japanese temple had a elegant wooden steps to reach the prayer hall where the statues of gods were present, I couldn't take pictures as there was a sign board requesting for the same.
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On the middle of the staircase we found a wall hanging with a request for noble cause, Japanese know the pain of Atom bombs.
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The opposite side of the wooden staircase had a glass window with a blissful Japanese garden along side the temple. after climbing the staircase we had the drum sequences played along with the priest who was signing some Japanese song. For this purpose the temple had a half of the hall covered with mat and 10-15 drum plates and drum sticks, so the visitors can follow the drum beat of the priest to play themselves while praying the god inside.
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We have completed our prayer and got down through the same wooden staircase, the entrance of the temple also had a pillar with some Japanese Kanchi scripts, I couldn't read them for sure.
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Next comes the huge and majestic peace temple in white color and golden buddha statues on all the four side of the dome. It was great sight indeed. We climbed all the steps to reach near the boddha statue and walk on the corridor around the dome where lots of stone carving of life of buddha explained.
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After this temple visit, we have headed towards the Zoo and HMI, en-route to our next location I found a defunct rob car service commissioned during British era, the taxi driver told me there is no more rob cars in Darjeeling and everything was decommissioned. What a poor state of the administration to ignore such a wonderful service.
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The drive ended soon on the Zoo, we have to again climb up to reach the zoo gate, man I know why the people of Darjeeling are so slim where ever we go we need to climb up around 100 meters, my parants had tough time and ofcourse me too as I need to carry the kids once in a while.

Before reaching the zoo entrance we had couple of street side shops selling darjeeling special souvenirs and Adhava is already took one among them, that was a Darjeeling cap.
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We also grabbed some roasted corn from the road side vendor
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The zoo consist of HMI hence we need to take tickets for Rs.30 (children below 6yrs of age doesn't require ticket) and entered in the well maintained zoo in India. It was green and clean, I really appreciate the care takers for their efforts in keeping the zoo clean and green.
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Some of the pictures from Zoo enclosures here:
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we reached the HMI to see the museum where most of the everest climbing / conquering activities from the past were photographed kept. Along with the tools and personal dresses used by the sports personal. I also witnessed lots of military vehicles visiting the HMI very often.
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After HMI visit we were heading towards the tea gardens and on the way we found the HMI's training rocks on the road side. The taxi stopped at that point to take view of Darjeeling and Adithya was already on the rob to try climbing the rock I was bit shocked and rushed to control him.
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After a little bit of travel we finally reached the tea garden and man it was breath taking view from the top of the gardens. That too with a cup of tea in the hands I really enjoyed the view while my wify went down the tea estate path to discover the process of tea harvesting.

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Again as all of the Darjeeling areas are attracted by the tourist here also a bit of commercial stuffs, one can rent the Darjeeling traditional dress for Rs.30 to pose the camera. I could see the honey moon couples are more interested towards this dresses in many places.
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We were almost dry with our body energy and pulled the trip back to our hotel, I must say it was a great day and everyone enjoyed it.

Tomorrow is the last day in our schedule at Darjeeling, hence one more post on this heaven on earth will follow

to be continued...

Last edited by trammway : 13th April 2010 at 23:28.
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Old 14th April 2010, 18:13   #19
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Very Nice one.Waiting to hear more
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Old 14th April 2010, 19:17   #20
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Awesome, seems like you are enjoying your trip. Waiting to see the Landrovers, Darjeeling used to be full of these some time back.
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Old 14th April 2010, 19:52   #21
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Yesterday evening at around 7:30 I went down from the hotel thinking that I could do some souvenir shopping, no way there was not even a single shop opened at that time. The entire Darjeeling went on hibernation.
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With the help of SirAlec I have done so much of Darjeeling visit and today I got my first every LandRover ride that too with a distinct Landrover of SirAlec. I will let him describe the story behind this super smart India's only British Army driven LandRover. I did manage to click few jeep's picture sitting inside the LR.
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I have been dreaming of seeing Landrovers and LR rides in Darjeeling, but it is like dream never comes true as most(all) of the LR already departed from Darjeeling soil, but today with the help of SirAlec and his driver my entire family achieved an opportunity to travel in the heritage vehicle.
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Kumar the LR driver is a smart and nice gentleman landed in our hotel early morning only to show us the beautiful vehicle he brought, after taking a breath we all jumped into the vehicle and he pushed the vehicle towards tea garden, as we have already seen it yesterday I told him we will directly head towards the Tiger Hills(The peak of Darjeeling).

While we were travelling on the LR we found the Kanjanjunga was clearly visible, I didn't click pictures as I thought taking pictures from Tigerhills will look more beautiful. While we were approaching the Tiger Hills I once again spotted the same LR that was got in to my camera on the very first day working like donkey, here is the clearer picture of the same.
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I realized the mistake I did after we reached the Tiger Hills, You know what it was completely covered with a thick blanket of fog, nothing visible around. Only for few minutes we could see some objects from near location, but the Kanjanjunka only left as a wish.
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Then there was colorful chap, who realized I'm somewhat fed up as the fog played a spoilsport on my trip. He was sitting quite and posing for me to take all the required pictures of him.
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Then I spent some time around SirAlec's LR and captured some good number of pictures , but then we are offroaders and with SUVs we really don't find bored to do anything even if it is a simple photo shoot session.
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After a while we rolled our TigerHills trip and visited a Monastery, this one is the oldest monastery in Darjeeling built during 1850. Dalailama visited this monastery by 1993 and really a colorful building.
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My wify tried out the prayer wheels in smaller sizes and larger one put inside the monastery.
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After getting permission from this Darjeeling ladies, I took their prayer wheel custom picture just to make sure we didn't perform the custom wrongly.
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We need to pay Rs.10 per person to take pictures inside the monastery, hence we clicked few individual photos alongside the buddha inside the monastery.
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Today we found the entire Darjeeling weather went down multi-fold and it was chilling.

After a little while we went to Batasia a Gurkha Memorial place, it's small park which is surrounded/fenced by toy train railway track with beautiful flowers on it. The center of circle shaped park had a memorial pillar and a jawan's statue.
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While we were in the park I located the Toy train approaching us from far away.
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The train slowly moved an reached the park and halted for few minutes for the passengers to go around the park, I took this opportunity to click few pictures of the old marvel.
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The Batasia made our final destination on the Darjeeling sight seeing plans and we reached a hotel to have lovely chowmein and closed the wonderful Darjeeling experience.
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Last edited by trammway : 14th April 2010 at 20:07.
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Old 14th April 2010, 20:53   #22
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Great one. After reading this travelogue I feel I need to visit it once atleast in life

By the way - I have a query, I am a hardcore south indian. Unless I eat rice, I dont find it filling How do you guys managing food there? Is South Indian food available?
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Old 14th April 2010, 21:10   #23
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Great one. After reading this travelogue I feel I need to visit it once atleast in life

By the way - I have a query, I am a hardcore south indian. Unless I eat rice, I dont find it filling How do you guys managing food there? Is South Indian food available?
The North East is the one side, many of us have really not explored and that is the most beautiful part of India. I will once again find time to visit Sikkim, Arunachal pradesh and rest of North East side.

Ok, to answer your query the rice items(South Indian) are always available elsewhere in the country as the same way we in South India get North Indian food, so no worry about it. In fact I have seen many hotels serve Idly in the morning breakfast in Darjeeling.

But I would recommend you to taste the food of the locality to enjoy the whole trip.
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Old 14th April 2010, 23:28   #24
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At first I was surprised to see even latest vehicles in Darjeeling runs with three alphabetical state/rto identification letters which is out from the country about 2 decades back. See it yourself with Yogesh TATA sumo number plate.


This is an interesting fact. New Taxi registration has stopped for the past 12 years. And TAXI plate is traded and is a a high value commodity.

Normally if the TAXI goes old the owner does not sell the plate and his route permit along with the vehicle.

PS: I hope you enjoyed your trip. and the vehicle ride.
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Old 15th April 2010, 01:03   #25
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By the way - I have a query, I am a hardcore south indian. Unless I eat rice, I dont find it filling How do you guys managing food there? Is South Indian food available?
Actually on the contrary to the popular belief, North-Eastern and Eastern people eat rice as main food. So you won't have to worry about getting rice. But getting Sambar/rasam might be problematic except on big cities like Kolkata/Guwahati. And we normally take daal with rice instead of Sambar/rasam. You can easily get curd so the problem of curd rice is also easily solved.

But as Siva said, I would prefer to have local cuisine of that place. That itself is an experience.
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Old 15th April 2010, 13:16   #26
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Hey Trammway:

Great travelogue! North East is a wonderful place to visit and being from the North East, I can vouch for that. Thought the security situation is always in news, but believe me in India today everyplace in the same-currently based out of Chattigarh so can vouch for that as well.

Though Gangtok and Darjeeling remains the most frequented cities, there are other attractions as well, which one can explore. Eastern Himalayas, might Brahmaputra, greenery all around. True, Sylvan Dee in its beauty.

Thanks for visting the North East!

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Old 15th April 2010, 19:10   #27
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PS: I hope you enjoyed your trip. and the vehicle ride.
When I boarded on to your Land Rover I realized that the attraction of the day was your LR, and it goes without saying we all have enjoyed every second we spend on the LR.

Thank you so much for providing such a great opportunity. I must thank Kumar as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fatboyslim View Post
Hey Trammway:

Great travelogue! North East is a wonderful place to visit and being from the North East, I can vouch for that. Thought the security situation is always in news, but believe me in India today everyplace in the same-currently based out of Chattigarh so can vouch for that as well.

Though Gangtok and Darjeeling remains the most frequented cities, there are other attractions as well, which one can explore. Eastern Himalayas, might Brahmaputra, greenery all around. True, Sylvan Dee in its beauty.

Thanks for visting the North East!

Fatboyslim
Thanks pal. Just now returned back to New Jalpaiguri from Darjeeling and sitting in Kanjanjunga express. I had a terrific day in the Toy Train and the details will be published today or tomorrow.

We are now heading towards Guwahati .. wait for more information on East of India.
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Old 16th April 2010, 19:06   #28
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Hope you've reached Guwahati by now. How was the journey, waiting for updates and more photos of the trip.
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Old 16th April 2010, 23:08   #29
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Its heavy rain in that area.? Hope you are enjoying your trip
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Old 19th April 2010, 14:41   #30
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any updates man!
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