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‘All of the sights of the hill and the plain Fly as thick as driving rain; And ever again, in the wink of an eye, Painted stations whistle by’
-From a Railway Carriage, Robert Louis Stevenson
There was time, when I often wondered, why poets are so much in love with Monsoon! What is the hidden romanticism in a season like a monsoon? I mean, why a normal person should like waterlogged lanes, muddy feet, struggle with umbrella and being drenched like a duck. The unpredictability of the weather, lack of sunshine always triggered my urge to lie down and have few more cups of coffee. That’s all about my old monsoon days.
I never thought that in my coming years I am going to be a monsoon traveler. In 2017, I had to go to Dooars (of course, unwillingly) for some professional reason. But that visit reacted with my negative thoughts and a whole new thought changed my point of views! It was like, a ‘Eureka’ kind of feeling.
Well, if you are scrolling down this article, then I can guess that you are planning to travel in this monsoon. But maybe, a bit confused or demotivated by friends and well-wishers.
I have also faced these kinds of bouncers but tackled those like a pro, you know! There is no logic behind cursing monsoon. If I am just having a bad day then a tree beside my office can be moody enough to jump on my neck without giving an alert even in summer, or the notorious mosquito can bless me with Dengue in my own bedroom as well. So, there is no valid reason for being confined in such a beautiful weather.
Let me elaborate the reason behind my enthusiasm about traveling north Bengal during monsoon. Here are 9 reasons: why you should explore North-Bengal in Monsoon.
“To one who has been long in city pent,
‘Tis very sweet to look into the fair
And open face of heaven,—to breathe a prayer
Full in the smile of the blue firmament.”
-To One Who Has Been Long In City Pent, John Keats
Why do we travel? Just for a break, right? Break from the hustle and bustle of city life and boredom. I have visited Mirik, Darjeeling for at least 8 times. But, could not explore her in those crowded spots. The same kind of hustles, and sounds of car-horn. I know, I am not blessed with my personal heaven. But during travel, I always wished to feel like ‘the first human of the earth’.
I never thought that my dream will come to life. 90% of travelers never make any plan in this monsoon. And, you know, one traveler’s bad weather is another’s miracle, right.
So, undoubtedly, the crowded places will appear as the heaven for souls like me. No one is shouting to bargain, no one is willing to sell anything- these are all I wanted. Even the hotels and other stay options are less crowded. Though I always try to book my stay before, and my Mirik visit could never be complete without mentioning my staying experience.
The name of the homestay was, Haamro Ghar (Our Home). And you will feel like home in a true sense. There are two different homestays with the same name in Mirik. Haamroghar Cheap Stay, this one is the best option for the backpackers and trekkers.
The second one is Haamro Ghar Holiday Home, this one is actually a two roomed apartment with a kitchen. This homestay, 5 mins away from Mirik Lake, is great for couples, small families. These two home stays in Darjeeling are my most favourite ones.
There is a belief in India. Mother Nature renews herself in Monsoon. The heavenly rain washes away the layers of dust from the leaves, the dried ponds get the boon to relive their youth again, and the rainforests appears alive.
You really can’t connect with my words if you just spent your monsoons, sitting beside your window or cursed the traffic of waterlogged city roads. Visit Dooars, and discover the romantic poet inside you. The aroma of freshly washed leaves will snatch your worries and give a reason to smile alone. The sound of dripping water from the trees, the songs of happy birds will not allow you to think about any unhappy things. You will love to be lost.
Everybody is aware of the demand and supply, demand and scarcity and then no demand equations of the economy. Monsoon is no demand or better to say less demand time. So you can easily avoid regular tourist scams, high transport rates. If you are lucky then you can enjoy discounts on hotel and homestay rates as well.
Though I hate to experiment about my travel stays. Staying during travel is always a hazard-free thing for me. I just visit bookyourhomestay and choose my temporary home in a minute. It’s really safe, cozy, secure and homely. You will get homestays in Kalimpong, Dooars, Sikkim, Darjeeling and other parts of North-Bengal.
4) Feels like a whole new place
I have already talked a lot about the rejuvenation of Mother Nature during Monsoon. But I will add another dimension of that. Suppose, you have visited Echhaygaon during winter. The playful fogs, chilling mountain breeze, and a silence – these will become your lifetime definition for this place. Try it in Monsoon. And, your definition will be changed for sure.
The entirely known place will appear as a whole new place. More new trees, suddenly appeared streams, greener, newer and chattering forest of Echhaygaon will welcome you this time.
Enjoy living in a beautiful homestay amidst of this mesmerizing landscape, Echhaygaon Tashi Homestay. Wake up in a homelike ambiance, enjoy the complimentary breakfast and explore your Echhaygaon
5) Rare Frames
I have a lot of photographer friends, especially travel and wildlife photographers. I have heard the stories behind each of their frames, the hardships and wild adventures (phew!). I have accompanied them in few of their expedition and luckily two of the Monsoon journeys as well.
Be it Dooars or Kalimpong or Darjeeling, Nature let you freeze many unseen and rare frames during Monsoon. And I know you are not willing to miss it.
6) More Authentic and Raw
Original beauty is actually the makeup-less natural one. Be it a damsel or nature. Forests and hills of North Bengal, in Monsoon, is like that damsel, just finished her holy bath, singing a tune of her own, with her locks on her face, dropping waters from those lucky locks …..See, Monsoon made me a poet (almost).
You will get the raw and authentic North Bengal. Wildly dancing streams, recklessly moving with a soothing sound. This kind of views never is included in customized regular travel packages. So, no makeup and artificial presentation you see!
During my visit to Kalimpong, I got the chance to feel it. And I was so lucky, that I booked a homestay, as raw as nature in Monsoon, still comfortable enough. I am talking about, Lonely Planet homestay.
LonelyPlanet Homestay is made with Bamboo and Mud, Windows and Door are design in a typically Bhutia Traditional Style. Nature Lovers and Birdwatcher will love this place, you can experience a true village Homestay. This homestay completed my Kalimpong trip.
7) Revisit Childhood
I remember a TVC, maybe of some candy, a group of children, returning from school, splashing in rainwater on their way back home..careless, worry less. I was so affected by that advertisement that I often did the same. God! I miss my childhood.
For years we learned to be complicated, calculative and careful. What we got I don’t know, but we lost many things. Be carefree again. Hydrate your skin in rain, be drenched and break the chains of do’s and don’ts.
My Dooars visit was one of those childhood revisit thing. Because it was my first travel experience in Monsoon, and I was like – crazy! I was staying in Dooarsini Resort.
It was more than I expected. There are many things to mention, but I will never forget the cozy comfort of luxurious log cabins.
8) A Cosy Travel Break
All of us experienced the monotony of staying in the same room for years. Many people suggested me to change the interior of my room, the bed placement, the types of furniture and the house to the extreme!
We travel to get the break from these same boring surroundings and our own same life. Let me think, about the worst.. suppose, you visit Kalimpong and Mother Nature is not allowing you to get out of your room. She is in a mood of showering for 2 days. Now, you are cursing your plan, frustrated and irritated as well. But, let me give a reason to enjoy this.
As I have already said, we travel to have a break. That’s what you are having. Relax, take a deep breath and hold a cup of tea and observe. The Black clouds hovering above the mountains seems like heavy to carry themselves. The moisture in the air informing you about the rainfall of a far land or an adjacent village may be. The rainfall on the green tea gardens and that godly aroma.
What else you are expecting from a holiday break!
The beautiful Kalimpong will appear more lustrous if you can stay in The Birds View Home Stay, it will provide all the necessary amenities.
In Jalpaiguri, you can try, Sabujer Kole Resort and Homestay, One and Only accommodation at top of a hill of Gourigaon in Chalsa, the heart of Dooars surrounded by forest, hills and tea garden.
9) Tea-lovers Heaven
Monsoon is a good time for a tea testing experience in North Bengal. I don’t know if you know, different hills nurture a different kind of tea leaf. Imaging those green slopes of the hills, oozing baby clouds and mild rain.
During my visit to Makaibari, I got the chance to visit those gardens, lived the life of the locals. The genuine smiles, the hilly folk tunes provided me with many memories to cherish for a long time. And I just can’t stop praising my brother for suggesting me to stay in Makaibari Homestay.
Makaibari Homestay is in the village of famous Tea Garden, MAKAIBARI TEA ESTATE in Kurseong, Darjeeling, set up by the local families who work in the tea farm.
Here, travelers can enjoy the day to day typical village life of the local people by working with them in the tea garden (activities like Tea Picking, Tea Factory Tour, and Tea Tasting Sessions). It would be an everlasting experience for sure!
Loving tea does not mean that you have to visit a tea garden or have a tea testing trip. It can simply be – enjoying an aromatic, warm tea and enjoying magnificent Himalaya. Those chilling breezes playing with your locks. Sounding like a dream, isn’t it! But, there is a place where the reality is beyond this dream.
I am talking about Takdah, Tinchuley. Just pick your mobile and book a stay in Cosy Nook, then thank me after coming back. I do not know who adorned this place with this lovely name, but this name is perfect for this place.
Trust me, I know, what your well-wishers are suggesting, and how they are demoralizing your Monsoon wander-lust. Let me guess few,
– Do not think of that! Traveling in monsoon can be dangerous, you can face landslides, road blockages. You can get stuck in any remote area.
– Are you crazy! Are you planning for Dooars in Monsoon? Go for a check-up! Don’t you know about the monsoon mosquitoes and bugs? Be afraid of Dengue at least…
– And blah blah blah……………………………….
But I think I have given you enough reasons to start planning for your Monsoon adventure, right! So stop planning and start packing. Don’t let Monsoon dampen your urge. Let’s visit North Bengal and start our own Bollywood Dance in the rain.