‘Amazing, fantastic, serene’ and many more adjectives tumbled out of our lips as we started our ascend to Takdah from dusty roads of Siliguri. We were glued to the dense greenery and the ribbon river Teesta keeping us company on our drive to Takdah.
It had been a planned yet unplanned visit to this beauteous small town in Darjeeling district, on the lap of Himalayas. A working trip combined with travelling pleasure and we were on. S(my friend and travelling companion) was equally enthusiastic about this treat, and indeed it was a treat. Just as we had left the dusty stop at a budget hotel in Siliguri behind, we faced the narrow mountain road with wonder in our eyes.
A little town with a market place, busy central road and nature, nature and more of nature all around. You name it, this place has it. Heritage Bunglows, tea estates, forests, hills, chilly air, and Kanchandzongha. The majestic Himalayas. Our hosts at Saino Heritage Bunglow was waiting eagerly for us. A home stay with a difference. The rooms are well decorated,clean, and well placed. The bungalow itself is a pleasure to stay in, with warm welcoming hosts, the Moktan family. Ah! The pleasure of a green, hilly serene surroundings, a bungalow stay with food to order. Divine experience.
Lamhatta:An hour’s drive from Takdah, all uphill with Majestic Kanchandzongha as our companion. Here we had our first encounter with Lalit. I have always had a preference for friendly drivers, but this one took the cake. He regaled us with stories of the hill, politics,life, family, and country. One philosophical opinion for each of these topics. Wish we had our country run by people like Lalit. The journey to Teesta River and Rangit’s conflux – Lover’s viewpoint and Lamhatta was full of tax free entertainment and Kachandzongha with its silver golden glitter smiled at us.
Tinchuley:Tips of three small hillocks in an arrangement of ‘chullah’ or a mud stove added to that dense forest and you have a fantastic picnic spot. The view along side the roads stopped an argument right at the middle with its sheer beauty. And then Kanchandzongha!
Teesta Tea Estate:
A must must must visit. The serpentine roads through Ranglee Rungliot (a brand name owned by Duncans) had me scratching my head, as I was suffering from loss of appropriate adjectives. So I will stick to ‘beautiful’ , too much of beauty actually. But the tea estate is going through a severe crisis as Duncans are diversifying and have stopped paying their employees showing loss at business as the prime cause. The dismal condition of the workers really saddened us. However, we got hold of some export quality tea ( how? Let us not discuss) from the estate. The top of the garden has a killer view and I went click happy.
The Orange Garden:
An orange orchard maintained by Nirmal Food Products at Baramangwa was our next stop for the day. The orchard was a veritable spice garden with orange trees covering the vast terrain. The orchard also has a factory outlet which is free for visit and at the end of the trail, the hosts offer incredibly tasty orange juice for the guests.
Then there was a brief visit to nurseries to collect some local orchids and shops and most of all meeting the people. No visit to Darjeeling District is complete without collection of packets of specially flavored tea leaves, we too bought some incredible flavors and felt very cheerful at the bargain that we got. That’s it friends and so much more to tell you about.
I will leave with some information about this incredibly beautiful tour spot in my next post.
Friends click on the link to plan a trip-
Write up &Pic credit: Mohua Roy