This week, The Musafir Stories speaks with a dear friend, traveler and host of the podcast Baap beeti, Vaibhav Dewan!
Today's destination: Darjeeling and Kalimpong!
Nearest Airport: Bagdogra Airport, IXB
Nearest Railway Station: New Jalpaiguri, NJP
Prerequisites - NA
Packing - Make sure to carry warm clothes and accessories
Time of the year - April, September-October is a good time
Length of the itinerary: 6-7 days
- Vaibhav shares his itinerary around Darjeeling and Kalimpong, traveling with a toddler! The journey starts with a flight to Bagdogra or New Jalpaiguri, depending on your mode of transport.
- The team hails a cab ride from the station to reach Darjeeling. The first day is spent seeing around the area, including the Cable car/ropeway, which is one of the longest in Asia.
- The area near Chowrasta and the Mall road are full of tourists along with eateries as well as local shops to shop for souvenirs as well as restaurants and cafes.
- A visit to St.Joseph’s school, North Point is also well worth the time, and is the location of the popular bollywood flick, “Yaariyan”
- Tenzing Norgay Rock and Gombu Rock are other attractions in memory of the famous Sherpa mountaineers, Tenzing and Gombu Norgay.
- While in Darjeeling, make sure to try out the world famous Darjeeling tea. A visit to a tea estate also helps one understand the history of tea as well as the numerous types of tea grown in this area.
- The local markets around the mall road also have a variety of momos sold by locals, make sure to try that out.
- Other nature related places that should make it to your itinerary include Rock Garden, which has a variety of plants and trees and involves a small trek to a waterfall.
- Next up on the itinerary was a trip to the Dali monastery, along with the museum - a great chance to interact with the monks and understand the buddhist religion and culture. There are other popular monasteries like Ghum, Aloo bari, Bhooti Basti among others.
- A visit to Darjeeling is incomplete without experiencing the Darjeeling Himalayan railway - make sure to take a joy ride on the popular ‘toy train’. A short trip to Batasia loop is a must do - the location of the popular hit “mere sapno ki rani’ starring Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore! The railways are also a UNESCO world heritage site!
- Next stop is the Japanese peace pagoda built by the Nipponzhan Myohoji foundation to promote peace in the aftermath of the 1945 bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
- Another important point of interest is Tiger Hill, one of the most visited spots to get a view of Mt. Kanchenjunga, the third highest peak in the world at 8586m, after Mt. Everest and Mt.K2.
- Some popular eateries in the area include Keventers, Glenarys, Kunga’s, Nathmull’s, HImalayan coffee, Margaret’s deck. Also don’t forget to try the local spicy chilli - Daale, but try at your own risk!
- Kalimpong is not too far away from Darjeeling but provides an offbeat experience compared to it’s more popular sibling. Places to check out include Lamahatta park, Durpin monastery, Cacti park and pineview nursery, Graham’s homeschools, Morgan house and Crookety, Mangal Dham among others.
Vaibhav’s podcast - Baap Beeti: https://open.spotify.com/show/5cELVD4HYXq0sAQ2lSKacc
Link to the Andaman Islands episode: https://shows.ivmpodcasts.com/show/the-musafir-stories-india-travel-podcast-yg3r-RgjYIgajKrExt2J2/episode/99-andaman-islands-with-vaibhav-dewan-mznq-IqY1WlDHPAvAzyb7?startTime=0
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