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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Darjeeling, West Bengal, India

Nov 6, 2013 - 28 October - Karmi Farm

After a three hour very bumpy jeep ride over mountain roads with beautiful views, we arrived at Karmi Farm on Monday afternoon. We are really out in the wilds here and the place is not marked on the maps. Karmi Farm is run by Andrew Pulger, whose Sikkimese grandparents once owned this land. Andrew's father, a Scotsman, married into the family in the 1950's and ran the tea plantation, which is now managed by Andrew. The farm is also a guesthouse with a very rustic main house and lovely bungalows and dormitories scattered close by. There is a...

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Oct 27, 2013 - 25 October - Darjeeling

We left Calcutta on Thursday to catch the overnight train to Siliguri, then onwards in jeeps to Darjeeling. The Darjeeling area belonged to the Buddhist kings of Sikkim until around 1780 when it was invaded by the Gurkhas from Nepal. The East India Company got in on the act in 1816 and later returned most of the area back to Sikkim in return for British control of any border disputes. In 1828 two British officers discovered the Dorje Ling monastery surrounded by uninhabited land on a ridge and decided it was ideal for a sanatorium (they...

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Aug 10, 2012 - Cross Border to Siliguri, India Then Onward to Darjeeling(West Bengal)

8-10 From Kakarbhitta: After breakfast at Hotel Kanchan, Robin, the very helpful manager (son of owner-it's family run) exchanged out Nepal rupees & got us a rickshaw negotiating a good price to take our packs across the border to the Indian immigration which was a considerable distance further than the LP said. Easy checking out of Nepal and easy into India (but being India it took 3 times longer filling out all the paperwork and didn't include the special permit for Sikkim). Short walk to bus park where we got a bus to Siliguri...this...

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Mar 11, 2012 - Darjeeling - Day 2

It was a very cold night and the alarm didn't help going off at 4am but we got up anyway. We need to get down the road to get a jeep taxi up to the observation point at the top of the mountain to watch the sunrise over the Himalayas. Only problem was we couldn't get out of the hotel, the front door was unlocked but the metal gate outside the door was padlocked shut and no key was in sight nor anyone to open it for us. We searched the reception desk for a key, looked for another way out but no luck. In the end Roger found the staff bedroom...

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Mar 10, 2012 - Darjeeling

For the first time that I can remember on the trip so far the sky is cloudy. Only a light, high cloud but a definite change from the clear blue skies we have got used to. We pulled into New Jalpaiguri roughly on time and the train disgorged the majority of it's passengers out onto the platform. We now faced the challenge of getting to a town called Kurseong, about 30 kms away, to catch the Darjeeling Hill Railway up to Darjeeling itself. The train should run from New Jalpaiguri but a section of track has been disabled by a big landslide for...

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Jan 19, 2012 - The India Part - Montreal to Darjeeling via Delhi

Inauspicious start with a 1 1/2 hour delay in Montreal plus another 2 hour delay in Frankfurt because the PA system was kaput! Arrived at hotel in Delhi after 25 1/2 hours on the go - the one plus was no traffic from airport to hotel at 4:30 AM! On and off sleep to get ready for Fri AM flight to Bagdogra in the State of Sikkim in northeast India along the Bhutan and Nepal borders. The trip was a 4 hour 95km climb into the foothills of the Himalayas.The speed, the hair raising driving with sharp switchbacks together with steep drop offs on...

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Nov 8, 2010 - Calcutta/Darjeeling

It's 9am on Friday, I'm sitting by the open window of our hotel room in Darjeeling gazing at Khangchendzonga (8500m) - the start of the Himalayas. Uninterrupted crystal clear view of snow covered mountains with smaller lush green tea-plantation covered mountains and valleys in the foreground. We have been watching the sun hit the peaks since 5 this morning (from our bed naturally). Gobsmacking. Getting here was quite exciting too - overnight train from Calcutta to New Jalpaiguri then a shared jeep to Darjeeling (2100m) which you have to...

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Feb 25, 2010 - Darjeeling Is My Cup of Tea

Darjeeling in the Himalayas We arrived in New Jalpaiguri rail station and were picked up by our driver Pimba for a three and a half hour drive up mountain roads that were not wide enough for two cars in spots and were hung on the side of a mountain with drops of a thousand feet on the other side .(no guard rails).Marc’s language skills have abandoned him The conversation goes like this ,M “What’s your name? ” P” Pimbasa” M “Oh Pimbasa” P “No Pimba, sa (sir)” It can only get better from here. The toy train runs up the mountain at 30 km for 7...

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Long Reach RTW

Dec 5, 2009 - Darjeeling

I loved staying at the Planter's Club, and visiting the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute in Darjeeling. But Darjeeling itself has been destroyed - see the attached photos. It was once known as the Queen of the Hills - the place to which the British escaped from the heat of Calcutta. Now it is a mecca for Indian tourists who seem to come for tacky shopping and cheap guest houses. Politics has also wrecked the place. There is a movement to rename the state Gorkhaland - most of the inhabitants here are Nepalese. The Gorkhaland movement is in...

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Asia Journey

Dec 4, 2009 - Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Darjeeling

The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute was founded in 1954 in Darjeeling, India. Although we probably think of sherpa Tensing Norgay - who first climbed Everest with Edmund Hillary in 1953 - as Tibetan, he lived in Nepal and then made Darjeeling, India, his home. It was from Darjeeling that many of the original Everest expeditions set out. Tensing's success on Everest made him a national hero in India. Prime Minister Nehru seized the opportunity to found a world class mountaineering instiuitute in India, and Darjeeling was the natural...

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Dec 3, 2009 - The Planter's Club, Darjeeing, India

There were two reasons I wanted to come to Darjeeling. Firstly to visit the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI), founded by sherpa Tensing Norgay, who with Edmund Hilary was the first man to climb Everest. See the next log for photos of the HMI. The second reason was to stay at a Raj era hotel. Darjeeling is a hill station in north east India which was set up by the British to escape the heat of the Calcutta summers. Darjeeling is 7,000 feet above sea level, hence temperatures are cool. In the good old days of the British Raj,...

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Nov 2, 2009 - Darjeeling

Darjeeling (population of ~110 thousand) is a stunning town full of colonial-era buildings nestled into a green hillside and overlooking the Himalayas which are dominated by nearby Khangchendzonga (3rd highest mountain in the world). It's bustling with tourists (mostly vacationing Indians) and has a very pleasant feel to it. Since our train broke down on the way here, we decided to take a "joy ride" on the toy train for a few hours. The train had to undergo repairs and was an hour late, but eventually completed it's journey. I guess it's...

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