Let me make the confession – I am hopelessly in love with Darjeeling. Right from the first time I set my foot on the hills! I had been lucky to visit many places with my family as they had equally itchy feet. Every holiday we used to pack our bags and the whole family went for a holiday. But, despite being a Bengali, I never happened to visit Darjeeling all these years. And how I longed to visit that place!
So when the opportunity to visit Darjeeling came, I was super excited. Though skeptics warned me that Darjeeling was no longer as beautiful as it had been! The moment I steeped on Darjeeling, I knew this place was going to be special. The first time I visited Darjeeling was in 2012 with my husband, and it was an instant love affair for both of us.
What makes it so special? Walking down the misty roads of Darjeeling is my favourite. Just imagine walking down a misty road hand in hand with your beloved – road that leads to nowhere! The toy train ride from Ghum to Kurseong is also a fairy tale ride. I am a die hard romantic and Darjeeling has all the ingredients to rekindle the romanticism in me which somehow gets lost in the everyday rat-race.
The Chowrasta Mall itself is a wonderful place to relax. And while on the way to Chowrasta, on seeing the Nepal Curio shop, I always shout excitedly that this is the place where Feluda had visited with Topshe to see Thankas! Tell me if there are any Feluda (a famous detective created by Satyajit Ray) fanatics who have not been excited on seeing the shop!
The luscious tea gardens are another attraction. Walking in between the tea gardens and having fresh Darjeeling tea is a must done ritual for me. And how can I forget about the Keventers and Glenary’s. Both of these offer one of the best English breakfasts. Keventers is my personal favourite – sipping hot chocolate and viewing the Kanchenjunga is a deadly combo.
The more I visit Darjeeling, the more I realize that I am hopelessly and madly in love with this place. My tryst with Darjeeling started from 2012 and every year we have made it a ritual to visit Darjeeling at least once a year. And this year I had one more reason to love the place – the cute red panda at Darjeeling zoo!
Now something serious
Darjeeling is a wonderful place. But like other places there are some reasons to get alarmed. Indiscriminate rise of buildings is gradually destroying the charm of the place. Also the sewage and garbage disposal system is a problem here. Darjeeling’s neighbor Gangtok has achieved to be a clean town, but not so here. People and the tourists still drop wrappers and discards anywhere on the road. Nowadays AC rooms are available here. If steps are not taken to check the pollution, very soon the Queen of Hills will cease to charm us.
Darjeeling is a place that breathes new life in me. A place where I am always ready to go. A place that I loved and is special to me.
This post has been written for the #Specialplace topic on Indispire