darjeeling, mirik and ilam bazaar: bits and pieces

i had been waiting for months to make this trip happen. but i couldn’t believe that it was actually happening when i was on the night bus to kakarbhitta. we were delayed by a huge traffic jam and it took us nearly four hours to reach naubise. i received a very sad news that night, a message at 3 am about Tulsi dai passing away. i was so shocked and saddened. it had only felt like yesterday when he had called me up… Tulsi dai worked at the Siddhartha Art Gallery and has for many many years. he has supported and helped to realize so many art exhibitions..including Kathmandu Int’l Art Festival.

Tusli dai, you are being dearly missed.

***

Darjeeling was fun but also disappointing. i don’t know why but i had this picturesque idea of the hill station. i had been there as a child and riding on the horses at chowrasta had always felt special. one time when we were in darjeeling, i had had a terrible toothache and i refused to let the dentist look at my tooth and i wouldn’t stop crying..hahaha…i vaguely remember that. i was about 8 or 9 years old then.

and so i had this fairy tale idea of darjeeling…and when i finally got there two weeks back, i was taken aback by the crowded and dirty streets…the narrow roads and just…well, it was soo different than i had imagined. nonetheless, i had fun..revisiting the zoo, getting drenched in the sudden downpours..hahaha..we didn’t even get to wear our shoes! going to the tea gardens, exploring the streets…we went to lebong and watched a football match and then took the uphill walk to chowrasta. that was quite a hike! it was through the narrow steps of bhutia busti..where barfi was filmed. we walked quite a lot.

i guess i was also disappointed because i didn’t really find yummy momos…the one i ate along the way in this place called Sonada were really good though. Also, there is this hotel called Revolver which i had read about. i really wanted to eat at the restaurant there..but well, the person there was quite rude and told us that they couldn’t cook for us, even when we were going to order a day in advance…so much for all the internet recommendations….blah blah blah.

we went to joey’s pub near the rink mall, but couldn’t find a place that was playing live music…besides a crowd singing and dancing away at chowrasta…

i guess for me, i just wanted to get away from kathmandu and it was a trip worth making. i loved the way the clouds creeped into the room. that sudden chill. it felt like i was flying somewhere high above the clouds and was looking down from an airplane. that was beautiful.

mirik, a short distance away from darjeeling was a nice place to visit too..but i wouldn’t stay there for more than a night. besides, no one would exchange nepalese rupees there. so weird. also weird that you can use your NTC sim card there, coz it’s close to the border. the road to mirik from darjeeling is really beautiful, tall pine trees and tea gardens along the way. amazing! too bad the same view doesn’t really continue once you switch on to nepal’s side from pashupatinagar (which is on the way to mirik)…hahaha…lots of logging instead. what a pity. :-(

Ilam bazaar is quite big and modern…we had great momos there. when i travel, i tend to eat quite a lot…hahaha. Tea was great too. and so was dal bhat! We walked up to the restaurant at the top of the tea gardens and drank tea. it was really nice! from ilam bazaar we took a micro bus to birtamod and then a night bus back to ktm.

and guess what, our DELUXE bus had a LCD tv and disco kind of lights. oh my god, it was terrible…the loud music and the hindi movie. one of the most memorable things of the trip were probably the songs that we had to listen on the bus and jeep rides! ahahahah..oh my god. terrible. there was one that went like: “Malai juidai maryo Facebook le…malai phasayo Facebook le…” oh my goodness, someone actually had the time to create and record songs like that….sth is seriously wrong with nepali music! someone do sth!

darjeeling bus stop

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3 thoughts on “darjeeling, mirik and ilam bazaar: bits and pieces

  1. Maybe I should promptly start singing anti facebook song, that might save the Nepali music scene. Yeah, right – as my wife would say to my such comments.

    I guess Sikkim is more fun than Darj? I haven’t been there, but yeah wanted to check out that Revolver place because I’ve heard about it so much. Looks like you had a rude awakening there. As you mention, so much about internet recommendation right?

  2. if you guys are thinking that gantok (or let’s say sikkim) is better than darj, then you are wrong, I guess so. you have many choices of places in darj, whereas sikkim has very less no. of attractions. I have been there once. anyway good piece!

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