The mountains are calling and I must go - John Muir

After having some hectic weekdays in a row, when a long weekend comes, I feel it. While standing alone on the balcony, on a sleepless night, I feel it. I always feel that mountains are calling and I must go. In this pandemic situation, we all hardly go out anywhere. Three months back, in November 2021, when the situation was quite stable, I planned a quick weekend trip. I explore Kurseong, the land of white orchids.

Where is Kurseong?

Kurseong is a small hill town in the Darjeeling district in West Bengal. Under the eastern Himalayan ranges, Kurseong is at an altitude of 1482.55 meters or 4864 ft. Surrounded by Himalayan mountain ranges, this place offers a mesmerizing view of Mount Kanchenjunga, Jannu, and Kabru.

Why we chose Kurseong?

We chose Kurseong to explore the natural scenic beauty of the Eastern Himalayas. Forever flowing, Teesta and Mahananda flow down to the meadows, several waterfalls, the hill forests, tea gardens, and the misty climate most of the time making the Kurseong pure and mesmerizing. We wanted to explore Kurseong because it was a less populated area, so the natural beauty of this place remains purer and more soothing. Another reason to visit the land of white orchids is it was a very budget-friendly trip.

How to reach Kurseong?

To visit Kurseong everyone has to reach the NJP or New Jalpaiguri Junction first from any part of India, as it is the nearest rail station to Kurseong. Then they can book a car to reach Kurseong. The nearest airport is Bagdogra airport to visit Kurseong.

Let’s explore Kurseong, the land of white orchids

As per our plan, along with my four friends, I left for Kurseong on Friday, 19th May. We boarded the train at around 8.00 p.m. from Howrah to NJP station, as NJP station is the nearest railway station to Kurseong. As soon as the night progressed, we all became more and more excited because, with the rising sun, we were all about to reach the land of clouds. 

But such a big night cannot be spent just sitting, naturally, no one would sleep, so we played antakshari. But bad luck. As soon as we started a song, our co-travelers shouted at us. “Is it the right time to sing songs and make noise? Don’t you see, we all are sleeping here?” One stranger shouted. What can we do then, we became silent and spent the night talking together.

With the first ray of the rising Sun, we sew mountain ranges on the far horizon. Around 9.00 a.m. Our train reached the NJP station, we took a car and set off on the way to Kurseong. We took Hill Cart Road. It was the oldest road to reach Kurseong. There is another new road which is faster, but we choose the old one for its mesmerizing view.

We reach our destination

At around 12.00 pm, we reach our homestay near the highway. We had already booked a room there. After the long journey, we all became tired and took some rest. In the afternoon, we got ready for an outing. We first looked around our homestay. It’s a small homestay surrounded by pleasant hill forests, toy train just passed then from beside.

The gorgeous Margaret’s Deck

On the first evening at Kurseong, we went to see Margaret’s Deck Tea Lounge. It’s a tea lounge hanging from the lap of a hill. We enjoy our evening, with different kinds of tea and listen to the history of this tea garden from an employee there. After we return to our homestay, had dinner and went to bed early.

Our first morning at Kurseong

After waking up, we all are thrilled by looking out at the windows. A lot of mist makes the outside mesmerizing. At around 8.00 a.m. we went out to explore Kurseong. After reaching the Kurseong bazaar, we desperately check out every store and bought several types of local handmade accessories, tea packages, etc.

The scary Dowhills

We booked a car and first go to see the Dowhill and Victoria boys’ and girls’ schools. Dowhill is locally called Death Road. There is a rumor that the road and old Victoria boys’ school was a haunted place. After sunset, no one, even a dog, would ever seem on the road. We saw the road is really quiet and sometimes scary as well. But it was filled with natural beauty. We also sew the new Victoria’s boys’ and girls’ school from the gate. After crossing that we cross a beautiful road between the hill forests, the scenic beauty stole our hearts.

Hill forests, tea gardens, and villages

We entered the forest area and spent some time. We clicked lots of pictures and create wonderful memories. After that, we reach Kurseong eco-park but unfortunately, it was closed at that time because of the covid situation. Then we visited the Makaibari tea garden. It was a large tea garden and its tea is world-famous. We had a tour of the tea garden and bought some tea from its home store.

Next, We reached the chimney along the hilly path surrounded by forest. The chimney is a small village. The British rulers made a huge chimney at this place, which was still there and, as its name, the village is so-called. We met some local villagers and talk to them.

Our lunch with local dishes

At around 2.00 p.m. we became very hungry so we told our driver bhaiya to stop the car for lunch. Our car stopped near a local restaurant. We ordered the local foods of Kurseong, Thukpa, and momos and those are delicious in taste. We visited the Kurseong railway station and checked out the toy train timings.

A bird’s eye view from Eagle’s Crag

Later we reached Eagle’s crag, which was a watchtower at Kurseong. A 360° bird’s eye view of Kurseong hill town can be seen from this place. Eagle’s crag was the last spot we visited. We didn’t know how we spent the whole day wandering around.

Time to return home

In the setting sun of the afternoon, Kurseong is looking more pleasant to us. Before the evening we went to NJP with our luggage to return home. On the morning of the next day, we reach Howrah station. From there, we took a cab and reach home. We always remember the misty Kurseong for its pure beauty.

To know more about Himalayan Hill station trips read our article on A trip to Spiti Valley: Heaven between Tibet and India

Keep exploring, keep scrolling!

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Piyali Das
I am Piyali Das, a content writer. I am a travel freak and want to express my passion for travel into my contents.

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