Getting to Darjeeling, and to Kalimpong, Gangtok and many other places in the North East of India..
Bagdodara Airport is the gateway to many places in North East India including Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Gangtok, places we visited in the last few days (in Gangtok now). Bagdodara is about an hour hop from Kolkatta and is connected by Indian, Jet Airways and Air Decan. But, the connections from Chennai weren't that great and we had to languish in Kolkata for about 5 hours before catching our flight to Bagdodara.
Like few other airports in India, Bagdodara airport is also functioning out of an Airforce Station and the only connectivity seems to be to Kolkata. From here, we traveled by road to get to Darjeeling which is the fastest way to get there.
Darjeeling, the queen of Indian hills is less than 110 kms from the Bagdodara Airport, but it took us over 3 hours to get there. Its a shame that the only road connecting Darjeeling to plains is narrow and poorly maintained. On top of it, the narrow stretch is shared by the rail road. It requires special skills and nerves of steel to navigate through the highway and it is highly recommended that you do not attempt to drive to, or for that matter in Darjeeling.
If you have a time on hand and would like a leisurely ride up the hill, then train is an option. The lines were first laid by British and that's pretty much what you get even now. Darjeeling is connected to Siliguri by train and take over 8 hours to cover a distance of about 110 kms.
We stayed at New Elgin Hotel in Darjeeling. Touted as a heritage hotel, it does offer good views and ample car parking, a rarity in Darjeeling. Also, it is right in the center of Darjeeling and is very close to Chowrasta, the happening place. However, we weren't happy with the room we got. We got a rather small room for 4 of us and more than that it was smelly and squeaky.
More photos in flickr
In Sanskrit, the word 'Durjay Ling', means 'Siva of invincible prowess, who rules the Himalayas' and the name Darjeeling came from that.ReplyDelete
Mark Twin wrote of Darjeeling as :
"THE ONE LAND THAT ALL MEN DESIRE TO SEE, AND HAVING SEEN ONCE BY EVEN A GLIMPSE WOULD NOT GIVE THAT GLIMPSE FOR THE SHOWS OF THE REST OF THE WORLD COMBINED."
We love to read more about Darjeeling famous for black tea, 4000 different varieties of flowers, etc.
Happy Vacationing Visu and family,
Nice post ! Good pictures ! Is the area clean of trash like plastic wrappers bottles etc., ?ReplyDelete
And if you are still in Darjeeling then please bring me 250gms of the famous darjeeling leaf tea.
Enjoy your vacation !
Is ram giving us free tea here?then +250..errr...sorry...nope +500gms for me too....i have no conditions on darjeeling tea or assam tea..anything is fine with meReplyDelete