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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for West Bengal, India

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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Oct 23, 2013 - 22 October - Calcutta

A 5am start today to catch our train to Calcutta, or Kolkata as it's now known. We have a few days there before catching another train to Siliguri up in the hills of Darjeeling. Juan left yesterday with the truck to drive to Siliguri, where we will all meet up again. On Wednesday 6 of us hired a car and driver for the day to take us round the sights - this seemed the easiest way to see a lot in a short time. We visited Jain temples, which were so heavily decorated they were like something from a fairy tale, a Kali temple which we didn't go...

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Sep 12, 2013 - India

As part of our studies of India, the class watched a documentary entitled "Born Into Brothels" which profiled a group of children living in a brothel in the red light district of Calcutta, India. The children from these brothels seemed to be like any other child, glowing with curiosity. Though unlike other children, children who have more of an opportunity to realize their curiosity by being privileged with a better education and better circumstances, these children were bound for a destined track. The girls, like their mothers, would...

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Sep 10, 2013 - Indian (not the one Christopher Columbus "found")

Before really looking deeper into India through the documentaries and articles written about it, I knew that there was a lot of poverty in India. It is rather common knowledge, most countries around the world, specifically in Asia, that have large populations are generally poor. And it seems so easy for us as people in America who are mostly all coming from much more privileged backgrounds to dismiss this as a fact, and to then forget about it. With all the known statistics and numbers and generalized "hey, those people are poor" that we...

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Trip Journal


Mawh Bee-lawg

Sep 9, 2013 - INDIA

Born into Brothels was a very ambiguous movie, meaning there was much to absorb while watching. It was hard to focus on the main topic of the movie which was the poverty and situations these children faced. Rather I took interest in the woman attempting to help these children living in these Brothels. I thought it was a wonderful that her main priority was to get these kids into good schools but was it her goal or their wish? It is hard for me, a white American teenager, to be able comprehend the situation these kids not that much younger...

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May 1, 2013 - My Trip to Kolkata - City of Joy

Tantalising tastes and smells, alluring structural design and cultural surprises, pickle it all up and consider a million miles from home at Kolkata city. A city of friendly contrasts, Kolkata has an alluring traditional charm and soothing pace of life which cannot be experienced in other metros of India like Chennai, Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad. It is tough to discover an explanation that would do justice to Kolkata, capital of West Bengal. My perception towards this city changed when I first visited Kolkata in December...

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Nov 18, 2012 - Mirik

After a breakfast of hot samosas [yes Jain :)] we walked up the hill to see a Buddhist Monastery. The name is Bokar Monastery. This monastery is a highly sacred place for the Buddhists of the region. Inside the monastery we found few monks creating a mandala, which is a very beautiful and neat geometric rangoli. It is very peaceful inside the monastery and from outside the monastery is equally beautiful. We also noticed a beautiful idol of Saraswati devi in the garden of monastery. After the uphill we walked down hill to Sumendu lake. This...

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Nov 17, 2012 - Sikkim Tour

Day 1 : Mirik : There being no direct flight, we took 2 flights to reach Bagdogra from Mumbai via Kolkata. From Bagdogra airport we proceeded for a small meal and then to Mirik (3 hrs. journey). Night halt at Mirik – Hotel Jagjeet. http://www.jagjeethotel.com/mirik.html Day 2 : Mirik-Darjeeling : After breakfast we walked up the hill to see a Buddhist monastery and Mirki lake. Post lunch proceeded to Darjeeling (2 hrs. journey), en route halted at Nepal border for shopping. Night halt at Darjeeling (Sterling Resorts – Ghoom). Day 3:...

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Aug 27, 2012 - Calcutta

8-27 Had complimentary breakfast then to the bus station where we discovered our info from yesterday was wrong, only buses to Jessore leave every hour. The only direct bus to the border(Bhonapore/Bonapur) leaves at 11am! So we take (are taken, literally) a local - stops every 100 meters, ha - and arrive 2 hours later. Right on another sloooow local to Banopur border by noon and because our LP says no exit fee we spend our last few taka on bananas, pomegranatesm,cookies, and tea. Big mistake! They do charge an exit fee so we have to use some...

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Aug 18, 2012 - Siliguri

8-18 Bon was able to connect Skype to talk to Tiff before leaving. Taxi to shared jeep station and got one with front seats for us although we have to wait an hour for it to fill. Road to Siliguri has lots of repairs being done where it looks like there have been landslides. We pass by at least 3 large dam projects, all about half finished. Skies are blue at first but just as we are getting down to more hot/humid elevations it clouds over and surprisingly cooler temps. Siliguri is just a big city but everything we need is on the main Hill...

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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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