Darjeeling Day 3: Goodbye The Land Of Kanchenjunga

All over the world, Darjeeling is quite synonymous with tea and tea gardens; yet in this Darjeeling trip we hadn’t visited one single tea plantation. We had seen in Google maps that even the nearest tea garden is quite some distance away, a distance which cannot be travelled on foot in a limited time.

I decided — to hell with logic, and set off on foot to visit the nearest tea garden and return to the main city within a couple of hours (since I had a train to catch)! I took the logical husband along.

Darjeeling 5- Guitar House-The Azure Sky Follows - Tania Mukherjee
The House With The Giant Guitar!

Sometimes I am so awed at how Sayan handles all my craziness.

I gave up after a few minutes of uphill walk and a brisk talk with a local tea seller. The day before a dishonest cabbie in the taxi stand told us the Shrubbery Nightingale Park had shut down and is no longer operational. The local shopkeeper however informed us, that not only is it fully operational, but also easily accessible on foot! The kind lad even showed us the way.

Darjeeling 6- The Azure Sky Follows - Tania Mukherjee
No Idea What Mr.Husband Was Upto!

Now we know where we were heading to!

Shrubbery Nightingale Park

We reached the park at around 10 AM. The entry price cost us INR 10. Apart from us, there were around 10 more travellers in the park. The giant space, beautiful decorations, a cafeteria and several park staff working on beautifying the area ensured it is fully functional.

Nightingale's Park 4- Darjeeling- The Azure Sky Follows - Tania Mukherjee
Shrubbery Nightingale Park
Nightingale's Park 10- Darjeeling- The Azure Sky Follows - Tania Mukherjee
The Nursery At Shrubbery Nightingale Park
Nightingale's Park 7- Darjeeling- The Azure Sky Follows - Tania Mukherjee
View From Shrubbery Nightingale Park

Mount Kanchenjunga was clearly visible from the park. The clear blue sky and the pleasant sunshine encouraged us to try out ‘photography skills’.

Nightingale's Park 3- Darjeeling- The Azure Sky Follows - Tania Mukherjee
I am Sure The Park Is In Full Bloom While In Spring

We meandered around the centre of the park with occasional photo-stops until it was too late. We hurried back to our Darjeeling nest and checked out of the hotel bidding adieu to one of the best hosts we have come across.

The Jeep Full Of Locals

A traffic personnel helped us get on a shared jeep to Siliguri from Darjeeling town. The jeep was jam-packed with locals. We got two back seats.

We whooshed passed the houses, the Darjeeling railway station, the unfinished Buddhist learning centre, Batasia Loop, Ghoom. “Shit! We are indeed leaving the Himalayas” kept crossing my mind.

Darjeeling 2- The Azure Sky Follows - Tania Mukherjee

Darjeeling 3- The Azure Sky Follows - Tania Mukherjee
The Buddhist learning Centre

Darjeeling 4- The Azure Sky Follows - Tania MukherjeeDarjeeling 7- The Azure Sky Follows - Tania Mukherjee

An aged co-passenger boarded off the jeep; the gap was soon filled by a beautiful young girl. Unfortunately, the girl didn’t have the best time since another oldie with oily hair almost sat on top of her.

The locals merely paid something in the range of INR 10- 20 to get off at point-to-point locations. The jeep provided regular shuttle service for them.

Darjeeling 8- The Azure Sky Follows - Tania Mukherjee

The vehicle dropped us off at Siliguri for INR 125 each seat. We got into a modified autorickshaw to get to the New Jalpaiguri Station. Just a matter of around 20-30 more bucks per head.

Waiting for the train in the station we thought to ourselves, “Though we aspire to travel the world, including the Polar Regions, it doesn’t matter how far we go, how luxuriously we travel, this Darjeeling trip will be the most special trip of our lifetime forever.”

Nightingale's Park 11- Darjeeling- Dry Leaves- The Azure Sky Follows - Tania Mukherjee
What Was Wrong With My Other Leg?!

*****

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46 thoughts on “Darjeeling Day 3: Goodbye The Land Of Kanchenjunga

  1. Lovely to see the Kanchenjunga through your lens. I have not yet been there but have heard so much about this. Darjeeling has been calling out to me. Have to plan a visit soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Darjeeling is lovely and so charming that one wants to head back again and again. Once is definitely not enough. I would love to see Darjeeling in the rains and hope to get there again. Nice post that brought back all my Darjeeling memories.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Such stunning landscapes and mountain views.

    Even though I am sure the park is in full bloom in Spring, often it is nice to be somewhere when there are fewer tourists as well 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What an incredible journey! I loved experiencing it with you and your pictures really bring it to life. Although it was an unexpected destination, it looks like everything worked out in the end 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Darjeeling looks so peaceful and beautiful, and i know that some of the best tea in the world comes from the area, The views from up the Nightingale park are to die for and i can’t believe how cheap everything is there. It’s the perfect place to just walk and enjoy the nature.

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    1. India is hard for a foreigner. The myriad culture shocks will leave you baffled. Though Darjeeling is nothing like that, it’s a slow, subtle little town. Absolutely lovely!

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  6. How bizarre that the cabby told you the park had shut down! Those mountains look incredible, thank you for sharing your story with us

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I am an Indian and I haven’t been to Darjeeling yet. My mum had visited during her uni days and keeps raving about it till date … and now I can see why. Those views are breathtaking. And I think getting squished in between the locals is all part of the great Indian experience 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! You are not in real India until you get squished! You must head to Darjeeling as soon as possible. The nature of the town is so different from the rest of India. Frankly speaking I don’t like the big Indian cities (even though I live in one and have a hometown in other), but the mountains are so so different!

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  8. Some lovely views of the mountains and great photos all round. It’s always great when locals offer help and advice, another reason to ensure you engage when travelling. Thanks for travelling and enjoy your next adventure!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I hate taxi drivers! So many of them are either intentionally dishonest or just clueless about the location they serve, which means they should find another job! Glad you were able to find your way. The views are stunning!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are absolutely right. I find Uber services better in India, atleast they have a map to guide but in small towns Uber isn’t available and we have to resort to normal taxis! Not to mention the traditional taxis have no honesty while charging you money. They are supposed to charge on per-metre basis but none of them do that. The reason why Uber is loved in India!

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  10. You revived the memories of my recent visit to Kurseong.
    I don’t understand why taxi drivers give wrong info.The boy was so kind to lead you to this beautiful garden.
    Lovely pictures. I feel the mountains are calling me.

    Liked by 1 person

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