Weekend destination from Kolkata

Roaming at Rinchenpong

Rinchenpong is a small and beautiful town in west Sikkim near Gangtok. Just imagine yourself looking at the majestic Kanchenjunga range just after you woke up! Yes, Rinchenpong can just offer you that. The mountain views of Rinchenpong are more virgin and pristine than that of Darjeeling and Pelling. The small town is still untouched by commercialization. So if you really want to see the eastern Himalayas peacefully, Rinchenpong is a perfect destination. Our visit to Rinchenpong was quite by chance. After completing the Barsey trek, we were wondering how to utilize two more days that we had. Our...

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Barsey – a walk among the rhododendron trail

A short trek amidst the canopy of greenery, a riot of colours and grandiose views of the Kanchenjunga range – the Barsey or Varsey trek has it all. So when we had an extended weekend, we decided that the best way to spend it is by taking a short trip to Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary. Not only would it give us some respite from the scorching heat, but also quench our thirst for the mountains for a while! With our backpacks, we boarded Padatik Express to New Jalpaiguri. After reaching NJP, we took a shared jeep to Jorethang and from...

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Rabdentse – Ruins of an ancient capital of Sikkim

The ruins of Rabdentse Palace lies just a few kilometers from the Pemyangste Monastery on the way to Pelling. Sikkim is a mystical land with all the ancient monasteries and intriguing places to visit. Rabdentse is one such place. You find the signboard of this ancient site out of nowhere on the highway to Pelling with an equally curious line – “Follow the Path and you will reach the Palace” written on a simple entry gate. Being totally addicted to ancient monuments, we decided to follow wherever the path led to. As we entered, there was a well-marked path...

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Sundarbans – a visit to the wilderness

Sundarbans had been in our bucket list for a long time. Somehow it eluded us for some reason or the other, but this year we managed to squeeze a couple of days for a trip to the Sundarbans which finally turned to be quite a memorable event! Our trip started from the Science City from where we boarded the bus. After travelling for over three hours, we reached Godkhali near Goasaba. From Godkhali, it was a boat ride followed by a van and then again by boat, we reached the village of Satjelia. It was going to be our...

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Walking through the misty roads of Lepchajagat

Lepchajagat or Lepcha Bustee as the locals call it is a world of its own. As you take the road towards Sukhiapokhri from Ghoom, a 7 km drive will take you to the misty dreamland of Lepchajagat. The tall pine and fir trees give a grand welcome while you wander into this world. Lepchajagat is one of the unexplored places near Darjeeling, though of late, it has gained prominence in the tourist circuit of Bengal. It is only 18 Km from Darjeeling, a small quaint village surrounded by the forests. Lepchajagat had been in our bucket list for long....

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Rongo – the village that looks like a picture postcard

Rongo, a small picturesque mountain village in the Dooars region of West Bengal is a perfect place to recline and relax. Situated on top of a mountain, It is a small picturesque village with very hospitable locals. It serves as the head quarter of Cinchona plantation in the Kalimpong subdivision. It is a significant place for plantation and growing of medicinal plants. Rongo can be reached after crossing Chalsa and then turning left at Khunia More after Chapramari, Sechu and Gairibas. From Gairibas, an uneven uphill motorable road of abpout 7 km will take you to your destination. But mind it;...

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Maluti – the hamlet with 108 temples

Maluti, a nondescript hamlet is situated near the Bengal– Jharkhand border at Dumka district of Jharkhand. What sets apart this village from others is the presence of as many as 108 temples clustered in a radius of about 350 metres. The History: It was during the reign of emperor Alauddin Hussan Shah of Gour (1495 – 1525) when the Sultan had camped with his entourage near Maluti. During this time, the Begum had lost her pet hawk (Baaj pakhi in Bengali) and was quite upset. The Sultan, to please his queen announced that anyone who finds the bird will be rewarded handsomely....

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Adina Mosque Malda

The Adina Mosque is situated about 16 kms from the town of Malda. It was built by Sultan Sikandar Shah and is the largest Islamic monument of Bengal. It is one of the finest architectural structure built in Bengal during the Muslim period. As we first entered the mosque, we were awed  the vast dual coloured wall.  Below, the wall was made of grey stone upto about 10 feet. The upper portion of the wall was made of red bricks. The Adina Mosque has many distinct remnants of Hindu deities on the gateways and the walls of the mosque. Also the...

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Excavation sites at Gour Malda

The excavation sites at Gour, Malda tells the tale of the erstwhile kingdom of the Bengal rulers. A bye lane from the road towards Firoz Minar from Qadam Rasool mosque will take you to the excavation sites. There is very little called road, it is just a muddy and dusty path. A few minutes walk or you can take your vehicle too and you will be standing in front of a mammoth wall – the Baisgazi wall. Baisgazi Wall: There is a huge wall called the “Baisgazi Wall”. As the wall is measured 22 Bengali yards i.e. 42 feet...

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Gour, Malda – the erstwhile power centre of Bengal – II

In our previous post, we had written about the grandeur and beauty of Gour, the ancient power seat of Bengal. We had told the stories of the Kotwali Darwaja, Lottan mosque and Tantipara mosque  in our previous post. The rest follows…. Lukachuri Gate: Next we passed through the “Lukachuri Gate”. It appears to have been built by Shah Suja, brother of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb in 1655 AD. This has large double storeyed gate, with guard’s room on sides and a Naqqar Khana (drummers chamber) on top is built of brick and stone and is the eastern entrance into the...

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Gour, Malda – the erstwhile power centre of Bengal

Malda – the first thing that comes to our mind about Malda is mangoes. But Malda is much more than that. Malda has a very rich history and was the seat of power for many empires. Malda thus have a few historical relics scattered throughout with Gour and Panduah being the most famous. The history of Malda can be traced back to the medieval periods and centres around the cities of Gaur and Pandua. Gaur being an ancient city, its mention can be found even in the Hindu Puranic texts. The historical records of the city however can be...

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