Darjeeling – It stays with you!

Darjeeling – It stays with you!

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This is not a Commercial Post and opinions are exclusively mine. All photos shot on Nikon D5300 and iPhone 6 Plus. Copyright reserved.

Our Trip to Darjeeling was an amazing one! It is slow paced and has that colonial charm which makes it intriguing yet sexy.

Nearest airport being Bagdogra, Darjeeling is another 80 kms from the airport.

Takes around 3-4 hours by car, depending on traffic and weather.

Come, let’s embark on my magical experience at Darjeeling. This might help you plan better in your trip.

On our way to Darjeeling, we stopped at this amazing place called Sonada’s kitchen. It was a small shop but the momos were amazing. Few pics are given below…

Close Up of the amazing juicy momo…

We were given a royal welcome at the hotel that we had booked for ourselves. This Darjeeling tea was served to us at checkin. We stayed at hotel Mayfair and enjoyed our stay thoroughly. The property has immaculate service levels and the smiles on the faces of each and every person there, makes it so special for you…..Located near the mall, oppposite Governor House, the location is amazing. It has two entrances, one below and the other almost on mall road…Room 103 is highly recommended.

The next day, We had booked a joyride on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) to ghoom, driven by a steam engine. Amazing experience, and I would put up a separate post, else it would be an injustice…

Tip : Book in advance at IRCTC website. The tickets run out fast…you might not get tickets on same day….and go for the steam engine one….the thrill of riding a 200 year old steam engine cant be expressed in words!

If you intend to go to Happy Valley Tea estate for a tour, buy the visit passes from here. They give you a 10% discount on anything that you buy from the tea estate. You will not get this if you buy your passes directly at the tea estate….

Darjeeling station…

This was the steam engine which pulled our compartments for the joy ride. In this picture, it is trying to dock up to our compartment.

The prince of Darjeeling station…..

Another close up of the steam engine!

Yes, that’s Kanchenjongda or Kanchenjunga, as seen from Batasia Loop, on a zoom lens!

That’s the view from Batasia Loop…

That’s Ghoom station….said to be the highest railway station in world at 7000 feet….The joyride takes you to this station from Darjeeling station and takes you back. It takes around 2-3 hours to complete the joy ride!

Remember the movie – Barfi?

Couple of scenes were shot here….:)

The Legendary Keventers…..come here for the world famous continental all day breakfast…..Must Try!

The legendary Glenarys bakery. Now renovated….Must Try!

View from the open sit out of Glenarys….

Come here for delicious steaks / sizzlers or pastries/ puffs and some good live music…

The amazing mixed platter sizzler at Glenarys. Must Try…

Don’t miss the complimentary bun and the poach!…

Don’t miss out on the stroll at the Mall and do catch up with some traditional dance programs performed by locals….Must Try!

Take in slowly the fresh crisp air….enjoy the landscapes and get your batteries recharged…

The flora….

Well, that’s Lord Ganesha getting clicked by me…:)

The amazing baked yoghurt at hotel Mayfair. Must try!

The local style kodi chicken curry at Mayfair. It is not there in the menu. Ask for it….

At 3 degrees in the evenings, a bonfire is a must. Mayfair has some rooms with fireplaces which they light up if requested. Preferably, book rooms with fireplaces. Note, you would require a fire place only in Dec end, Jan.

While talking to thr hotel people, I came to know that a Kanchenjunga view point was very close by. And this is what I got to see….it was foggy….wonder what would it be on a clear day…! Must Try!

Few more clicks from thr viewpoint….Note, this viewpoint is just next to the Governors house and is very close to Mayfair.

That’s the upper gate of Mayfair….

Some more flora….!

When in Darjeeling, a visit to one of the tea gardens is must…We had gone to Happy Valley Tea Estate. This is a tea estate located near to Darjeeling and is at the highest altitude amongst others. It is said that altitude adds a specific aroma and taste to the tea. And yes, 95% of the tea is exported. We carried back some first flush and second flush ones and loved the taste and the aroma.

The bud and the two leaves…..

The tea flower ….

Don’t forget to carry back some tea from here. You wont get this anywhere in India….Must Try!

The mesmerising landscape….

My good friend ( cute doggy) taking a power nap on a su day afternoon, at the mall….

This is the 170 year old curio shop – Habeeb Mullick and sons. They basically belong to Kashmir and have eventually settled down here, long time back.

Don’t forget to ask for some Thankas ( Hand paintings done by Tibetan Lamas). You get the authentic ones here…also, ask for the meditation bowl made from five metals. You can also get some masks….

This place has a huge collection and ensure, you take out some time for a visit to this shop…Must Try!

Let me tell you….you are guessing wrong! That’s not White wine…that’s Darjeeling Tea served at their tea Lounge. The lounge is right on the mall, has a sitting area with amazing views and has many learned people to tell you about Darjeeling tea….You can taste different varieties at the lounge for a charge per cup! Sipping heavenly Darjeeling tea with a view of the breathtaking landscape at Nathmulls lounge is strongly recommended. Must Try!

That’s Mr. Bhuvan at Nathmulls. He knows his tea well and can explain you with immaculate passion for hours, on the variety he has. The collection of tea is world class and the rates go from nominal to as high as INR 20000 per kg. A visit to Nathmulls is highly recommended.

Main Tip : Whatever you do in Darjeeling, do it slow. Don’t rush! You would be able to enjoy more, soak in more of the place…..its like having Darjeeling tea. Slurp it slowly, enjoy the flavour and soak it in!

Happy Travelling!

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