All hell breaks loose when it’s your daughter’s birthday party and for me, it was no different. Planning for weeks, calling up relatives and of course meticulously planning every minute by minute activities. We were having this birthday party a day after her actual birthday since the weekend would ensure good attendance. All shopping was done, the menu for the evening planned but there was just one problem, my office picnic was also scheduled the same day. The saving grace was that the picnic was in the morning and the birthday party was in the evening. But on the other hand, so many activities would for sure make me dog tired.
One of our senior colleagues stays at Deulti which is around 60 Kilometres from the city and also a good picnic spot. For many times we had been invited by this colleague of ours to visit him but that never materialized instead the office picnic gave me a good opportunity to visit Deulti.
I have travelled so many places around the India and abroad but for some reason or the other I have never managed to travel to Darjeeling. I still remember when I was around eight (1988) a big family vacation was planned for Darjeeling but it was cancelled the very day we were supposed to board the train as there was travel restriction imposed due to the ongoing Gorkhaland agitation. Reluctantly we had to change our plans to the sea beaches of Puri.
This time, however, I was sure not given Darjeeling a miss thus cut short my stay at Kolakham and proceeded to Darjeeling. We wanted to start early so that we can reach Darjeeling as early as possible and enjoy our stay. We started our journey from Kolakham at around 4 AM and after travelling through Lava – Rishop – Riksum – Lamahata – Kalingpong we finally reached Darjeeling.
It was a bright and sunny morning, a perfect time to enjoy the morning chill and with a cup of Darjeeling Tea in my hand, I was simply gazing at the ranges towards Sikkim. It was not yet tourist season thus the hotel owners were frantically doing the last minute patches to the newly constructed dining area. My daughter had managed to find a playing partner of her age and was busy building sand castles amongst the heaps of sand that were there for the construction. My wife, on the other hand, was relaxing back in the room.
Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr oooooooo mmmmmmmm a thunderous sound erupted and the ground started shaking violently. Since all the houses have tin roofs thus the sound was amplified even further. All around hell broke loose the trees were violently shaking and then the locals started shouting “Bhoochal Ayooo”. Even though I don’t understand Nepali but by then I knew it was an Earthquake.
Visiting the Dooars region and not visiting Gorumara National Park would be like visiting Agra and not visiting Taj Mahal. Gorumara is one of the main tourist attractions when it comes to the tourism around Doors region. Most of the hotels, resorts and jungle lodges are located around Lataguri which is in a stone throw distance from the Dooars safari entry points.
My first encounter with Gorumara was in the year 2011 when I went for the first planned holiday with my family which included my wife and my one and a half-year-old daughter. Since my daughter was quite small thus all my planning’s were kept in mind that my young daughter needed to be fed and rested at regular interval else if she falls sick our holiday will no longer be fun. This is the same reason all the sightseeing tours and the safari tours were planned on separate days giving ample time for us to prepare well.
In my previous blogs I have already told you about the two-day tours Jhalong -> Bindu -> Murti and Samsing -> Suntalekhola that you can visit on your vacation to Dooars and today I am going to tell you about another day tour that you should never miss during your Dooars tour of West Bengal.
I am sure every traveller would love to visit a new country and due to its strategic position West Bengal has international boundaries with three countries (Nepal, Bangladesh & Bhutan). Indians do not require a passport to travel to Bhutan and with a distance of just around 115 KM, it makes the best day trip that you can take from Dooars and that too to an international destination.
If you are in Dooars the second day trip after Jhalong ->Bindu -> Murti would be the one to Samsing -> Suntalekhola. This is relatively a short day trip and you would be back to Lataguri at around 3 – 4 PM. But this all depends on you as to how much you would like to explore. Personally, for me, I could have stayed back an entire day.
You would depart from your hotel right after breakfast and you do not require an SUV or a Jeep to go for this trip. The road conditions are relatively all right and a smaller Maruti Van would do the job. This leg of the journey will take you through some famous tea gardens and the views that you would get would only be nothing less than that the tea gardens of Darjeeling.