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Darjeeling Introduction

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Darjeeling is in the state of West Bengal, it is famous for two main things its tea and its railway.  It was the latter that brought us here with Emma's brother Alex, a noted rail nut (or enthusiast).   Darjeeling is about 1500 km (or 940 miles) from Delhi so we flew from Delhi to Badgora airport a few miles from Siliguri where we stayed the first night.  This was so we could catch the train from New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling the following morning.  The railway is a narrow gauge line, which is recognised as a UN World Heritage site because of its unique engineering features and contribution to local heritage.

We had some difficulty with the tickets which were not confirmed so we hopped on and off at a couple of stations before Andy and I decided to find a car, while Alex continued by train, eventually securing a seat in the two carriage train for the rest of the journey.  No standing passengers are allowed, hence the need to get on and off to make sure no one else was claiming their seat.

The journey from New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling is about 55 miles, it took us about 3 hours by car and Alex over 8 in the train.  The road and railway follow much the same path going from New Jalpaiguri, situated in the plains, to Darjeeling about 2100 metre up into the Himalayas under the gaze of Mount Kangchendzonga the third highest peak in the World (8598m). 

We stayed two nights in Darjeeling where we sampled some tea, saw the sun rise near Tiger Hill and visited a few other locations near the town.  We also all had a ride on the train, on the tourist special which is pulled by a steam locomotive, that takes in one stop from Darjeeling and then returns.

Andy and I then flew home, while Alex enjoyed an extra night at Darjeeling before taking an overnight train from New Jalpaiguri to Delhi, a full 24 hour journey.

 

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