Team-BHP > Travelogues


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 4th June 2020, 21:22   #1
BHPian
 
ABHI_1512's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Calcutta
Posts: 140
Thanked: 1,383 Times
Default Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue

Lockdown days are soon going to be over and done with, in a few days time. So,just thought of putting on some words to a journey made some years back to Kaluk,Borong and Yuksom situated in the not so traveled Western Sikkim. Western Sikkim is very popular with the Trekker's because of high elevations and in particular the famous Goechela Trek which originates from Yuksom-the ancient capital of Sikkim. Borong is a small hamlet near Ravangla and is a perfect place for birders specially.The views of the mountain tops of Mt Narsing and Mt Pandim is best seen from the hamlet. Borong also holds a special place in the heart's of Calcutta BHPian's because of Wildflower Retreat and which is a gem of a place to spend a day or two. Kaluk is also a small little place en route Pelling and which i usually choose to stay than the usual touristy Pelling. We have the luxury to visit the Himalayas through an overnight journey and when combined with few holidays along with the weekend, it gives us Calcuttan's a perfect excuse to make a dash for the hills. The plan was to spend some time in leisure while wandering at the nearby places just to get the feel of being on a holiday

Some pictures to start with :

Kanchenjunga-Our single point solution for all the sorrows in life
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5195-compressed.jpg

One view of the Kanchenjunga and that is all what matters
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5242-compressed.jpg

Yuksom Coronation Throne
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5434-compressed.jpg

Kathok lake in Yuksom
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5442-compressed.jpg

One can sit around and laze in those chairs looking at the mountains all day long
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5470-compressed.jpg

Baahon resting at one of the most breathtaking parking ever
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5481-compressed.jpg

Scenes which looked straight out of some pictures
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5508compressed.jpg

Giant Buddha at Ravangla
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-18527228_10210646268327816_1142814306994112383_o.jpg

That's the oasis in the middle of nowhere
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-18558577_10210646233406943_6241088266640013895_o.jpg
ABHI_1512 is offline   (13) Thanks
Old 4th June 2020, 22:38   #2
BHPian
 
ABHI_1512's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Calcutta
Posts: 140
Thanked: 1,383 Times
Default re: Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue

So armed with a rough itinerary, I made the hotel bookings after talking with the guys at Ghonday Resort-Kaluk, Red Palace Hotel at Yuksom and Windflower Retreat at Borong. All the hotels were okay with no advance payment and provided me the option of paying at the hotel directly which was perfectly fine. Charting out the route and it made sense to choose Yuksom as the first destination.

And hence started the journey to one of the less traveled sides of the state of Sikkim. As is the norm for me since many years now, started in the evening around 7 and made our usual stop at Hindustan Dhaba just before Shaktigarh. I have literally seen this Dhaba grow in front of my eyes from a nondescript one in 2009 to a one with razzmatazz in 2019. The food is the usual stuff and i quite like the taste out here. Dinner was over with some usual accompaniments and then the usual route to Siliguri through Burdwan-SH7-Malda-Raigunj-Botolbaari-Islampur. SH7 presented us with awful visibility due to fog and the last 50 kms took me almost 2 hours. I had to stop and follow a heavy duty truck just to get some visibility through fog and also because the road is two lane and it was a nightmare driving through that stretch. Also back in those days, the Malda bypass was not operational and neither was the bottleneck before Farakka. I still remember the pain of driving on the wrong side and then through some interior village roads before connecting back to NH34 just before the Farakka Barrage. Malda bottleneck was a nightmare in that trip and after some spirited driving through the twists of Dhantola-Botolbaari stretch, finally reached Siliguri at around 9.30 in the morning. Went straight inside the Mainak Tourist lodge to freshen up and also took the breakfast there only. The place offers decent services for the buck and i have always found the Govt. Tourist Lodges decent enough to stay.


This was the view of the Gazole toll plaza just after connecting to NH 34 from SH7
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-0fbd559ee0334764aab17af268028338.jpeg

Baahon got some respite from a stressful drive through fog
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-33b45f4496884861a6065ab2b75a79b1.jpeg

Gazol-Raigunj stretch was equally bad with fog but still drivable,this was near the Kulik Bird Sanctuary
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-e07b597c283c4686bc5381021879049f.jpeg

This was the fog position around 8.30 in the morning on the Dhantola side
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-4c685e91aaf848debdc8c5aa5ee89069.jpeg

Breakfast over and I started again, now towards the rest of the journey to Yuksom. It's always a nice feeling to go through the Sevoke road with its green canopy surroundings. The weather was wonderful enough to enjoy the ride as well. As soon as we reached Sevoke, the railway crossing made us halt. Used the halt to click some pictures which otherwise wouldn't have been possible.

Sevoke gave me this picture
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5381-compressed.jpg

Some pictures later, quickly moved through Melli Bridge towards Jorthang. Now, back in those days, the road towards Jorthang was undergoing widening and work was ongoing making the road slushy because of rock cutting. Reaching Jorthang was itself a task since there were stoppages for rock cutting.

This is how the road looked after the road block was lifted
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-f33f5b19e49642f1bd41da83ebe1f2f6.jpeg

The road looked like this while traversing through slush
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-a8881003296a4797a53df09a487d8727.jpeg

Finally reached Jorthang and took the steep Zoom road to Soreng and towards Dentam and onwards to Yuksom crossing Pelling. Now,this road was preferred because the other route through Geyzing and Legship was undergoing works too and was under pathetic conditions.

Views en route Jorthang
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5102-compressed.jpg

Stoppage due to rock cutting
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5116-compressed.jpg

The Jorthang saga took almost took the fun out of the drive. The road towards Zoom from Nayabazar is a 7 kms uphill steep ride and shortens the distance towards Yuksom somewhat. Neverthless, crossed Kaluk, Dentam and finally reached Yuksom by around 5 in the evening. Crashed for the night after a tedious drive but not before finishing off piping hot momos for the evening and equally delightful dinner.

Some pictures through the route:

The familiar little water falls en route Pelling
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-c705e6519b1a4157a8dd88da718c8827.jpeg

Rimbi suspension bridge
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-6c3f3ef7a6504f06bbfa36640a5e7d73.jpeg

Natureís bounty
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-e1cbf65a5b214ba88921c91f398713bb.jpeg

Such frames are possible all through your eyes can see actually
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-fa63a07999464cc6980fccf9c0363317.jpeg

Yuksom finally welcomes us
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-8574ed94765f4daf985f16fafc60f6d2.jpeg

Last edited by ABHI_1512 : 5th June 2020 at 01:33.
ABHI_1512 is offline   (9) Thanks
Old 5th June 2020, 11:29   #3
BHPian
 
ABHI_1512's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Calcutta
Posts: 140
Thanked: 1,383 Times
Default re: Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue

Woke up to a brilliant day with bright sunshine and misty views. Having grown up in the hills, the air around had that familiar kind of feel. The freshness of everything kind of rejuvenates the city souls that we have become now. Walked around the hotel property which is located on a sort of cliff and the owners also living beside the hotel in their traditional house. The hotel offers fantastic services for a place as distant as Yuksom. The place is not more than a one street village if i may put it so with little shops and small eateries lining up the street. Yuksom is a base point for the trekkers who do the Dzongri and the more arduous Goechala trek. Not too many people spend the night here but then of course we did.

Breakfast was done in the open courtyard overlooking the mountains and it was the usual delightful fare. The courtyard is a place where one can spend hours sipping a cup of coffee or just laze around doing nothing. Some time spent in leisure and off we went to see some local sights.

Rare orchids adorn the compound and are pure delight to see
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5476-compressed.jpg

The colors simply pop out with all their vibrancy
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5479-compressed.jpg

Baahon after getting a morning wash
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5484-compressed.jpg

View through the orchids
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5488-compressed.jpg

Now who wouldn't want to sit on that chair for hours ?
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5494-compressed.jpg


Yuksom is actually the ancient capital of Sikkim and the Norbugang is the ancient coronation throne of Sikkim is where the history is all about. Armed with some local knowledge(courtesy the delightful owner of the hotel), we started for the coronation throne. First up was Kathok Lake, or the soul lake of Kathok Rigdzin Chenpo-one of the three pioneer lamas who conducted the historical coronation of the first chogyal of Sikkim at Norbugang,Yuksom. Lamas perform purification rites every year to retain the sanctity and religious importance of the lake. The lake is wonderfully situated amidst the hills. Some time spent at the lake and the next stop was the ASI protected Coronation Throne Norbugang. The parking to the place is through a narrow dirt road which is often blocked by the local tourist Boleros. Somehow managed to park the car when not too many tourists were there but made a cardinal mistake, more on that later.

The Coronation Throne is where the first Chogyal of Sikkim was crowned. The place has a historical significance and is now a protected site under the ASI. The place can be best enjoyed in silence while strolling through the quaint place. Spent some quality time around the place and also visited the monastery beside. It was when the time came to take the car out from the parking lot, all hell break loose. The road to Norbugang is a narrow dirt road as i mentioned earlier but the parking space is not that big and the local tourist Boleros often outnumber the space and park their cars along the dirt road. It became a nightmare to get my Baahon out of the parking space since every inch of the space was taken already and no driver was in sight

Kathok Lake
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5451-compressed.jpg

Pine leaves being burnt to ward off evil and bring prosperity
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5454-compressed.jpg

Prayer lamps are a sight to behold when they are all lighted, just that someone added the feather for some special effects.
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5401-compressed.jpg

The great pine tree is considered sacred and holds special significance
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5418-compressed.jpg

The little Buddha
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5437-compressed.jpg

That's the little Gompa adjacent to the coronation throne.
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5435-compressed.jpg

The great Sage overlooking the valley
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5402-compressed.jpg

Prayer wheel beside the shrine
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5407-compressed.jpg

Norbugang throne
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5415-compressed.jpg

The great sage himself in all his glory
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5433-compressed.jpg

Joys of childhood discovered in the field just behind the coronation throne
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5421-compressed.jpg



After much haggling and requesting some of the drivers, two of them agreed to move their vehicles just so that i can bring my car out. It took a monumental effort to get out on the main road of Yuksom. Thought of exploring the oldest monastery of Sikkim- the Dubdi Monastery but then weather kind of played spoilsport. Knowing that itís a hike of around 45 mins through a narrow pathway and the fear of rains looming large, we kind of retreated and after spending some time at the Yuksom helipad, came back to our abode for the night.

View of the dark clouds which just about stopped our plans for Dubdi Monastery
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-ddacdc84c41245ff88886719af5fe56b.jpeg

Baahon at the Yuksom Helipad soaking in the views
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-1139835a9e6d4ab290ede5420db693a1.jpeg

Quarters around the Helipad with almost identical shape and sizes
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-ee477ff7a54f43a2971e6b730186ee1f.jpeg

This was after we reached the hotel and had our lunch
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-0a82bd69021347b8af5f1ba3a960508c.jpeg

Ominous clouds maintained their presence through the night as well
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-c8396dadcf504decbb88e699d21ed73f.jpeg

Last edited by ABHI_1512 : 5th June 2020 at 14:59.
ABHI_1512 is offline   (8) Thanks
Old 5th June 2020, 14:22   #4
BHPian
 
ABHI_1512's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Calcutta
Posts: 140
Thanked: 1,383 Times
Default re: Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue

Today we were to move to our next destination-Kaluk but there are places to see en route mainly the sacred Khecheopalri Lake and the Rabdantdse Ruins. We had the best of experience at the Red Palace Hotel in Yuksom and it is highly recommended to spend a day or two in this lovely place. The hotel also has a little library inside to satisfy your reading soul. In fact, all the places of this journey presented us with wonderful hospitality throughout.

We started early from Yuksom after bidding good bye to our wonderful hosts. The day was a special day for the Buddhist community as well since we witnessed a wonderful ceremony right inside the compound of the palace and continued to witness it even on our way back.

The ceremony was a delight to watch with little kids carrying the holy scriptures along with them
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5456-compressed.jpg

Someone decided to check the weight of the bridge, the bridge came out with flying colors
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5509-compressed.jpg

The roads were bereft of any traffic and the perfect chance to click some pictures
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5513-compressed.jpg

The road to Khecheopalri lake was a delightful drive, that the tarmac was freshly laid made it even better. Reached the place and parked my Baahon right in front of the police post of Khechuperi. It's almost a kilometer(if not more) of walk to reach the sacred lake. Some pictures :

Walkaway to the lake with resting places in between
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5564-compressed.jpg

Scriptures along the walkaway
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5563-compressed.jpg

Would have loved to know the translations
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5561-compressed.jpg

Prayer flags against the clear blue sky creates an aura in itself
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5550-compressed.jpg

Long view of the vantage point
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5546-compressed.jpg

Prayer stones kept by faithfuls
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5542-compressed.jpg

Such a serene surrounding all around the lake
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5537compressed.jpg

Devotion
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5535-compressed.jpg

Long view again
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5526-compressed.jpg

Tashi Choling Monastery at Khechuperi, it was newly built back then and offered some beautiful views
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5572-compressed.jpg

Baahon standing upto the rule of might
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5515-compressed.jpg

Khecheopalri visit over, we proceeded towards Pelling and had lunch over there. Our next stop actually helped us digest every ounce of food that we ate. Rabdantse ruins is another protected site under the ASI and it also holds a special place in the history of Sikkim. It is an archaeological site and also tells about the history of Sikkim. Regarded as the ancient capital of Sikkim, the ruins are a must visit despite the walk of around 2 kms. The views of the Kanchenjunga from the place is breathtaking to say the least. Some pictures of the place:

Just when you enter the compound, you are greeted with two billboards which are self explanatory.
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5145-compressed.jpg

The story behind each place is uniquely fascinating
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5146-compressed.jpg

That's the walkaway to the Rabdantse site
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5151-compressed.jpg

A tedious little walk has got some motivating quotes along the way as well
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5158-compressed.jpg

Little directions along the way
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5250-compressed.jpg

Not a tough trail but can certainly drain you out on a hot summer day
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5247-compressed.jpg

View of the mighty Kanchenjunga from the ruins will make every step of your trek worthwhile
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5242-compressed.jpg

The man was blissfully enjoying the peak sitting atop
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5220-compressed.jpg

Some views will remain with you forever
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5195-compressed.jpg

The boys were looking for the vantage point without realizing the dangers down below!
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5180-compressed.jpg

ASI should maintain the place a little more carefully
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5164-compressed.jpg


View of the ruins which tells you about the past glory
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5219-compressed.jpg

With a view of the mighty Kanchenjunga overlooking the ruins
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5226-compressed.jpg

The good time spent watching the mighty Kanchenjunga peaks from the Rabdantse ruins and the sunset amidst the clouds is one of the beautiful sights ever. It was almost dark and soon we were on our way back to Kaluk. I remember, there was this broken road just before Dentam and it was like i couldn't see anything beyond my car bonnet. Just managed to cross with full acceleration and little maneuvering and finally reached Kaluk and went straight to Ghonday Resort. The room was cozy and warm enough to induce a good sleep in the evening itself. Some hot Chai and snacks over, it was an early dinner at Kaluk after some walk around the property.

Last edited by ABHI_1512 : 5th June 2020 at 20:27.
ABHI_1512 is offline   (9) Thanks
Old 5th June 2020, 16:22   #5
BHPian
 
ABHI_1512's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Calcutta
Posts: 140
Thanked: 1,383 Times
Default re: Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue

The next day morning at Kaluk gave us some outstanding views from the room itself. It was surreal to watch the early morning sunrise over the mountain peaks. Every now and then you come across a place where you would want to spend the rest of your life in peace, believe me when i say -Kaluk at that moment became the place for me, yes some sunrises can do that to you as well. For some, may be that's exaggeration but then i would let some pictures do the talking here.


That's the view from the bed
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5329.jpg

First view of the mountain peaks
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5330.jpg

Morning tea never tasted better !!
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5342.jpg

That's one of the quirkiest breakfast areas ever with the mountains peaks to boot
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5352-compressed.jpg

Dash of some color across the small resort
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5354-compressed.jpg

The mesmerizing views of the morning sunrise lingered on till the breakfast and there after the views of the mountain peaks disappeared among the haze and the clouds. Breakfast done and off we went to see the Singshore suspension bridge-apparently the second highest gorge and suspension bridge in Asia. Truth be told, i have seen enough of suspension bridges since my childhood in Arunachal Pradesh where almost every other bridge used to be a suspended by cables or bamboos as well

The lure of the "Highest" turned me on actually and we somehow ended up at the base of the bridge, only to find that the bridge is closed to vehicular traffic. Nevertheless, since it was already noon and just kind of parked Baahon and enjoyed the near empty bridge all to ourselves. We also thought of exploring Chayataal which is en route but somehow the urge to just laze in the resort took over everything.

Baahon at the base of the Singshore Bridge
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5144-compressed.jpg

Singshore bridge-the second highest gorge and suspension bridge in Asia
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5139-compressed.jpg

An empty bridge is always an invitation for a photo opportunity
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5126-compressed.jpg

Startling information-I always thought Calcutta will have some connection with the bridge but it was Guwahati that stole the thunder here
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5134-compressed.jpg

Face of innocence- as much as i tried to cox him to smile at me, he simply stared straight !
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5142.jpg

Night view of the entry-Ghonday resort
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5266.jpg

Picture with the lovely ladies of Ghonday resort
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-img_5347-compressed.jpg

The rest of the evening went around some chit chats with the young and happening staff and overseer of the resort. The whole resort is run by an extended family and it does lack that professional approach to hospitality but they more than make up for it through the warmth and ever smiling faces. Next day was to be the last destination of the trip and we were more than eager to see Ravangla and Borong. Some additional pictures to enjoy :

The first view from the bed and clicked with the mobile, I didnít even wait for the camera fearing the great disappearance
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-1937a79c0d104c579b7eff232b949c65.jpeg

Yeah, thatís Darjeeling tea
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-dc6524864f1a489ba17107ccc2669704.jpeg

The room was pretty darn good for a place like Kaluk
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-296613d884e446908d9bc32af7c19454.jpeg

Baahon showing off as usual
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-14b525a52c67400582ac65e447167ad8.jpeg

Last edited by ABHI_1512 : 5th June 2020 at 20:21.
ABHI_1512 is offline   (11) Thanks
Old 5th June 2020, 22:07   #6
BHPian
 
ABHI_1512's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Calcutta
Posts: 140
Thanked: 1,383 Times
Default re: Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue

Kaluk was a great experience and we so looked forward to experience Borong. I have been to Ravangla before but not Borong, so it was an added incentive to visit the place. We bid adieu to our wonderful hosts at Ghonday resorts Kaluk and proceeded towards Ravangla through Legship. Initial bad roads through Rinchenpong kept aside, the road from Legship till Ravangla was a newly laid surface and it was butter smooth to drive. Reached Ravangla town in around two hours or so, stopped for some chai in the town central. Chai done and we stopped at the Ravangla Buddha Park for some pictures and without spending much time, coordinated our arrival at the Wildflower Retreat Borong and if i remember correctly, the man who would single handedly define the word hospitality was aptly named Dhananjaya. It was later that I came to know about the special relation between the retreat and TBHP !!

Legship-Ravangla stretch was smooth and buttery with enough twists to keep you interested
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-legship.jpg

This was the town central of Ravangla, a quaint little clean town
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-18589023_10210646226846779_1227540358754301282_o.jpg

You are never too far from a hotel serving bengali food, no matter where you are !!
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-ravangla-town.jpg


Reached Borong and the first thing we did was to have lunch, the typical bengali homestyle lunch and it was superbly good considering the location. The cottage allotted to us was beautifully done and the walls adorned some breathtaking shots of the birds of Borong shot by a fellow BHPian. I also knew that the certain Mr Dhananjaya could rustle up some delightful momos and i made the request for momos for the next morning

The evening was spent walking around the property and the road in front which goes further till another resort in Borong. Also drove down again till the Buddha park to get a night shot of the Giant Buddha but i didn't get what i wanted since it was drizzling somewhat. The night was spent talking to the guys around and got to know about a rare breed of dog aptly named(if my grey cells are still active that is) Georgia and also about the paper making unit just beside the property.

The Giant Buddha at Ravangla
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-ravangla.jpg

Side view of the whole park on the way to Borong
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-18620522_10210646263047684_2040752785434181694_o.jpg

Night shot of the Giant Buddha but it could have been so much better
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-buddha.jpg

The next day morning was another experience not to be forgotten in a hurry. In fact, I decided that day only that we would be back to Borong pretty soon, its another matter that it is yet to happen again
Early morning views of the hills have something in them. It is another matter that Wild Flower Retreat is a lovingly created piece of heaven. I so wanted to stay another day in Borong but alas the perils of livelihood have the power to trample upon your wishes sometimes !! Dhananjaya kept his word and presented to us one of the juiciest momos i have ever eaten and that too with chicken. For me, anything other than Pork inside the momos is almost blasphemous but then i have learnt to compromise somewhat. The breakfast turned out to be the best of the whole trip and along with the views,made it one of the best ever. Soaked in the views and the atmosphere of the property before moving onto the old and new Ralong Monastery. Bid goodbye to Dhananjaya with a promise to come back again.

Some pictures of the property and both the monasteries :

Don't know whether the same board still exists or not !!
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-wild-flower.jpg

That's a sunset worth staring at
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-18620881_10210646225926756_7196593628076325237_o.jpg

Mt Pandim from the cottage window
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-borong.jpg

Dining area provides some great views as well
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-borong-dining.jpg

Mt Narsing at its full glory
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-mt-pandim.jpg

That's one of the cottages of the property and apparently one of the biggest as well
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-borong-cottage.jpg

That's the cottage where we stayed, this picture almost has stayed with me since.
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-borong-cottage-1.jpg

The wooden swing was a such a delight to watch
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-borong-garden.jpg

This picture almost came out like a postcard
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-18620734_10210646253847454_5865812664075950477_o.jpg

Baahon posing in front of the old Ralong Monastery
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-old-ralong-5.jpg

Entry gate of the old Ralong Monastery and Baahon got his place to show off
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-old-ralong.jpg

The new Ralong monastery was undergoing some massive paintjob at the time of our visit
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-new-ralong-2.jpg

Freshly painted chairs inside the new Ralong monastery
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-new-ralong.jpg

That's the entry view from the cafeteria of the New Ralong monastery
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-ralong-monastary.jpg

The boundary wall of the New Ralong monastery constituted of these small chorten like structures all around
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-ralong.jpg

The visit to both the monasteries took some time although both are with in a five kms radius of each other. With the visit to the monasteries over, the holidays were nearing to their end cycle as well since now it was time to start for the return journey back to Calcutta. I decided to go via Temi tea estate and on towards Singtam and back towards Siliguri the usual way. Stopped by Temi tea estate for some pictures and a hot cuppa and without much drama made it to Singtam for a very late lunch. Started for Calcutta at around 5 in the evening and reached Calcutta the next day at around 10 in the morning with our usual coffee stop at CCD,City Center Siliguri and breakfast stop at Shaktigarh. A wonderful journey through some beautiful little hamlets came to an end but i promised myself a return pretty soon. Well, i did return to Kaluk again but the longing for Borong still remains as strong as ever.

Some parting pictures :

Thatís Georgia as far as I remember
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-255bac2f12cd456d93cb8080956a60df.jpeg

This shot was taken in the previous day while approaching Borong from Kaluk
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-a71f142daf664ddbbba4237ace408377.jpeg

Temi tea estate
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-f28410f8eb7c4099afd6022069399580.jpeg

Baahon posing gleefully for one last time through the journey amidst the hills and the clouds
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-da8e5cb504b9449f98c7d837dfab6751.jpeg


Stay well and stay safe my fellow BHPians and I hope that we will be on the long roads again soon,

Cheers

Last edited by ABHI_1512 : 5th June 2020 at 23:52.
ABHI_1512 is offline   (17) Thanks
Old 6th June 2020, 00:31   #7
Team-BHP Support
 
CrAzY dRiVeR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Bengaluru
Posts: 13,713
Thanked: 41,330 Times
Default re: Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
CrAzY dRiVeR is offline   (3) Thanks
Old 6th June 2020, 17:34   #8
BHPian
 
Samfromindia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Kolkata - Pune
Posts: 468
Thanked: 1,424 Times
Default Re: Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue

Nice write up ! Reminded me of my Sikkim trip 3 yrs back. We all seem to be inspired by the same person or the set of travelogues

Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-2017_12_26_sikkim.jpg

Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-dsc_0124.jpg

Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-dsc_0131.jpg

Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-dsc_0139.jpg

Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-dsc_0156.jpg

Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-dsc_0205.jpg
Samfromindia is offline   (3) Thanks
Old 6th June 2020, 20:44   #9
Newbie
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 22
Thanked: 9 Times
Default Re: Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue

Good write up and even better pics. Surely a place on my wishlist.
TheVegabond is offline   (1) Thanks
Old 7th June 2020, 14:29   #10
Newbie
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: Kolkata
Posts: 21
Thanked: 78 Times
Default Re: Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue

The photos are a great to watch, which tell the travel story itself in another way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ABHI_1512 View Post
. Started for
Calcutta at around 5 in the evening and reached Calcutta the next day at around 10 in the morning
As the day journey specially during the winter is comfortable and safe for me due to better visibility, no compulsion of feeling sleepy but Kolkata to Siliguri you traveled during night, is there any specific reason for that? I can understand Kolkata to Durgapur is no issue even during night as road is one of best there but why did you prefer night journey on the whole stretch of south Bengal to north bengal? Curious to know your choise regarding this.
topse is offline   (1) Thanks
Old 7th June 2020, 16:27   #11
Newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Kolkata
Posts: 10
Thanked: 14 Times
Default Re: Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue

Great photos. Had visited Ravangla and Pelling in 2012. Reading through the travelogue brought back old memories. Thanks for sharing.
Mile_Breaker is offline   (1) Thanks
Old 7th June 2020, 20:58   #12
BHPian
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Kolkata
Posts: 38
Thanked: 159 Times
Default Re: Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue

Detailed writeup. You are reminding me of my holiday to Borong and Kaluk in 2016. Your stay in Yuksom is excellent. Natural scenic photos give the flavour of the travel. Sharing a few pics of my trip.
On the way to Borong
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-borong1.jpg
Sunrise from Wild Flower Retreat
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-borong2.jpg
Sakyamuni Buddha Statue
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-borong3.jpg
With my Xylo
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-borong4.jpg

Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-borong5.jpg
With Dhananjoy at Wild Flower Retreat
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-borong6.jpg
From Mandarin Resort, Kaluk
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-borong7.jpg
Sleeping Buddha from Kaluk
Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue-borong8.jpg
Travelmania is offline   (1) Thanks
Old 8th June 2020, 13:29   #13
BHPian
 
ABHI_1512's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Calcutta
Posts: 140
Thanked: 1,383 Times
Default Re: Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samfromindia View Post
Nice write up ! Reminded me of my Sikkim trip 3 yrs back. We all seem to be inspired by the same person or the set of travelogues
Donít know about the person but the same set of wheels might be the connecting dots here ! Cool set of pictures there

Regards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheVegabond View Post
Good write up and even better pics. Surely a place on my wishlist.
Thanks, Sikkim should be on the wish list of any one who likes nature at its pristine best.

Regards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by topse View Post
The photos are a great to watch, which tell the travel story itself in another way.

As the day journey specially during the winter is comfortable and safe for me due to better visibility, no compulsion of feeling sleepy but Kolkata to Siliguri you traveled during night, is there any specific reason for that? Curious to know your choise regarding this.
Thanks much, photos are an integral part of any travel. And regarding your question about driving in the night, I have always preferred driving in the night only. The choice greatly influenced by the unpredictable nature of NH 34 where jams and traffic mess around Farakka, Malda, Berhampore, Sujapur, Kaliachak, Dalkhola was famous during the daytime back in the days. Itís another matter that roads have improved now but i still prefer and enjoy driving in the night for all of my longer drives.

Regards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mile_Breaker View Post
Great photos. Had visited Ravangla and Pelling in 2012. Reading through the travelogue brought back old memories. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for the good words,

Regards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Travelmania View Post
Detailed writeup. You are reminding me of my holiday to Borong and Kaluk in 2016. Your stay in Yuksom is excellent. Natural scenic photos give the flavour of the travel.
Thanks for the good words Abhijit Da, and your pictures have just added to the beauty of the journey. I hope we all can be on the good roads again soon to keep adding to our memories once again,

Regards.
ABHI_1512 is offline   (3) Thanks
Old 16th June 2020, 16:47   #14
GwD
BHPian
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Kolkata
Posts: 28
Thanked: 39 Times
Default Re: Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue

Your beautiful pics make me want to chuck everything off and start off on a long drive tour. I haven't been to west Sikkim and your photos have made me put it on my bucket list. Will definitely have to travel in your tire tracks and your footsteps. Look forward to more stories from you.
GwD is offline   (1) Thanks
Old 19th June 2020, 23:53   #15
BHPian
 
ABHI_1512's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Calcutta
Posts: 140
Thanked: 1,383 Times
Default Re: Kaluk, Borong and Yuksom Diaries - A Photologue

Quote:
Originally Posted by GwD View Post
Your beautiful pics make me want to chuck everything off and start off on a long drive tour. I haven't been to west Sikkim and your photos have made me put it on my bucket list. Will definitely have to travel in your tire tracks and your footsteps. Look forward to more stories from you.
Thanks for the good words GwD.. I am sure you will love the West Sikkim part of our beautiful country. I hope we are all on the long roads again pretty soon.

Regards.
ABHI_1512 is offline   (1) Thanks
Reply

Most Viewed
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks