west bengal, a state in the eastern part of India, has a plethora of tourist destinations and sightseeing spots. But people tend to opt for the popular places more while planning a visit. I would like to acquaint you with an offbeat destination in the state. Its Takdah, a quaint hill station in the Darjeeling district of West Bengal. Today is my first edition of Takdah diaries.
In this article, I will try to state briefly my journey to the place and what are the key attractions in Takdah. I hope you will enjoy the Takdah diaries.
The journey starts…
I had planned the trip late and had no option for train tickets. Flight tickets were the only option, from kolkata to Bagdogra. Yes, my hometown is in Kolkata, the capital city of West Bengal. And Bagdogra is the place where there is an airport and is close to Takdah. Our flight was on a Saturday morning and the flight reached before the scheduled time. It was like a boon in my Takdah diaries.
We had booked our stay at Rose Villa Heritage Homestay. They had sent a car to pick us up. We had only cabin luggage with us and so saved on the luggage collection time. We spotted our car outside the airport and started the 3 hours journey to Takdah.
A picturesque journey…
The journey started from Bagdogra via Siliguri to Takdah. We crossed the Teesta valley, and the coronation bridge and started feeling the cool breeze in the air. The tea gardens and the lush greenery around greeted us with their incredible charm. I was feeling delighted that my selected destination for a short and sweet trip was not at all bad. The roads through the mountain trails seem to beckon us to mingle into nature's exotic beauty.
We reached the homestay and received a warm welcome from our host. He along with his parents and grandfather were the owners of the homestay and had been maintaining it well. More details about the homestay coming soon in the next article on the property review under the next episode of Takdah diaries.
Lunch and evening stroll
After freshening up, we went for lunch inside the dining hall of the bungalow. We had ordered for veg lunch and were overwhelmed with the delectable taste of the food. After finishing our lunch, we sat down in the garden engulfing the beauty of the view in front of us. We had some rest and then ventured out to check the nearby spots by walking. There were walking pathways especially made in between the bungalows, homestays, and the forest area. Just to mention, the area in which we were staying was under the jurisdiction of the Takdah forest department.
It was quite peaceful to walk around the place, with the tall trees on both sides of the walk. We went inside the premises of the forest bungalow to enjoy the eco-friendly views. There was a swing inside the park of the bungalow. We sat there for some time to enjoy the golden color of the sky as the sun was setting behind the horizon. After we came back from the evening stroll, a hot cup of tea with some biscuits was served at the homestay. An absolute need after the walk up and down the sloping paths.
A visit to the tea gardens
My write-up on Takdah diaries is incomplete without mentioning our visit to the tea gardens. It is the key attraction of Takdah. Large stretches of tea gardens can be observed throughout the region. We went to visit the tea gardens, the next day morning (Sunday) and were amazed by the greenery around. The sunrays were sparkling on the green leaves of the tea plants, enhancing the beauty substantially. We climbed up the slopes for a better view of the gardens. It was an amazing experience with the eyes being treated and greeted with nature's enthralling beauty.
Our next destination was Triveni Lover's viewpoint at Tinchuley. The place is significant for the confluence of the rivers Teesta and Rangeet. If you love camping, then you can also stay at the tents or camps placed just on the banks of the river Teesta at the meeting point. It was mesmerizing to watch from above, the meeting point of the two rivers. We could clearly distinguish the color of the river waters.
We then moved on to Chhota Mangwa, another breathtaking place near Takdah. Besides enjoying the green landscape, we stepped into an Eco Villa for some refreshment and also to check out the pristine views of the scenery. The villa is almost like a painting with beautiful cottages, a well-maintained garden with blooming flowers, and clear pathways for walking. It was a pleasant experience to walk inside the villa and then climb up to a point higher up to stand and watch the scintillating views of the mountains and the gorgeous valleys.
We returned back to the homestay for lunch. Delectable and yummy Nepali cuisine dishes were waiting for us. We had earlier requested for such a lunch and were delighted to check out the spread. There was rice, beans curry, chicken curry, saag and dal. Each one of the dishes were tasty and delicious. The aroma of the food allured us and we literally gulped all of them as fast as we could. We were extremely satisfied and thanked the homestay owners for the food. After lunch we decided to rest a while and then visit a nearby Buddhist institution.
Diwakar Buddhist Institute
We were suggested by the homestay owners to visit the nearby Diwakar Buddhist institute. It was a pleasant walk, a little steep but manageable from the homestay to the institute. As we approached the place, we could hear the humming sound of the students reciting prayers and the beating of the drums and trumpets. We went inside and were warmly greeted by one of the teachers. It was a lovely experience watching the students reciting the prayers in rhythm with bright and smiling faces. We offered our prayers and took some pictures before leaving the institute.
Takdah Orchid Center
Our return flight was the next day on Monday. We had our breakfast, thanked the homestay owners, and started on our journey. Before moving to the airport, our plan was to explore the Takdah Orchid center and the Teesta valley. Our first stop was at the orchid center. It's elegantly arranged and is considered to be one of the best centers in Asia. You will love to watch the varieties of orchids – the Himalayan orchids, the wild orchids, and so on.
We then started on our journey towards airport, crossed the Coronation Bridge and approached the Teesta valley. It was an incredible experience watching the beautiful Teesta river flowing in between the forests and the plains. The vastness of the river is something to be amazed of. Spending few moments gazing at the river seemed not enough. I felt like spending a whole day just sitting at the backs of the river and watching the ripples in the water stream.
The return journey
It was tough to depart from this wondrous place and return back to home. But I had to, promising to come back again later. We reached the airport, had lunch and then boarded the flight back home with wonderful memories to cherish.
A travel enthusiast craving to explore the exotic destinations in the world, deciphering the mysteries and the thrill concealed in them.