Sunday, May 4, 2014
From Darjeeling City To Countryside Pelling In Sikkim
We woke up to a steady drizzle. It spoiled my plans for an early morning run. After breakfast we started off for our next destination, a quaint hill station in Sikkim called Pelling (6250 feet). We braved our way through a thick cloud of fog, the wide expanse of tea gardens on the outskirts of Darjeeling was a spellbinding sight. The four hour journey was an unpleasant one because of extremely bad roads right till Pelling. I later read online that this area is prone to regular landslides and hence it is tough to maintain the roads. Somehow I don't buy this argument. If tourism has to be boosted in Sikkim then the condition of the roads has to be improved as there's no other mode of travel (train or air) that connects this gorgeous region with the rest of the world.
Jorethang river accompanied us for most parts of the journey. As we entered the outskirts of Pelling, the thick foliage and a tingling chill welcomed us. After checking in at the hotel we went out for our first excursion. The Dantum Valley has a nice peaceful brooding feel to it while the scenery from the humumgous Suspension Bridge was breathtaking but it was Teesta river that occupied most of our attention. The water was chilly and gurgled along hurriedly. As we headed back to the hotel, the evening descended on us much more quickly than what we had anticipated. By 6 pm it was pitch dark and foggy with no familiar sight of street lamps. Pelling hasn't been subjected to commercial exploitation yet. On one side, you can cherish its uninhibited naturalness but then basic development of roads and civic administration can do a world of good to this upcoming hill station in India. And yes, the flowers dotting this small hill station are simply beautiful.