I do not know why, every bengali I ever meet has got a strange nostalgic attachment with Darjeeling. Technically its just another hill station in West Bengal. But, its every bong’s dream escapade. Well, we’re also bong and so we started our journey for it.
How to go:-
The nearest and most convenient (accesibility-wise) town there is Siliguri. And, its extremely well connected with various parts of India via its airport at BAGDOGRA and railway station at New Jalpaiguri (overnight journey from Kolkata). From there lots of shared cars (mostly SUV and some small ones) make trip to Darjeeling, Per seat costs around around 150/– 200/- which sits 10 people. The journey is around 5 hours journey, considering a 1 hour food break. Fares are reasonable enough, so do not hesitate. Also, if budget permits, one can hire a full car, which will definitely be more confortable and will cost somewhere around 1800-2500/- one way.
Where to stay:-
We were put up at The Planter’s Club, near darjeeling mall. Its one of the oldest buildings in the town. Its basically a club for the tea planters and their families and in its golden days, no common man were allowed. Well, times have changed and so did the rules. Nowadays, the non-members just have to take a temporary membership at 150/- and they can check in. Other than this, Darjeeling is flooded with hotels, lodges and guest houses of different budgets. One can find a room there from 200/- to 15000/- per day, hence you can easily identify the range. A visit to any of the popular travel websites can give a clear idea. Our reason for staying at Tea Planter’s Club is very simple. My mother went with us and our son was just 2 years old then. So, mom needed a good balcony overlooking the road so that she could just sit and relax with a good book and junior needed open space to run around…. And, I somehow have a longing for the old spacious buildings still having the old-age charm. Wife didn’t comment anything and hence we landed there.