Kolkata is the most ideal place to be in during Durga Puja. But i decided to spend it in a different way.. Far from the madding crowd. So decided to visit jalpaiguri and dooars. I spent 4 beautiful years of my life at Jalpaiguri (completed my engineering there) and had always wanted to visit North Bengal once again after returning back to Kolkata. And jalpaiguri was my in laws place as well. So this was an ideal opportunity for visiting in law's place and short visit to dooars from there.
On Ashtami at about 7 p.m left for Jalpaiguri.. Was joined by friend's and R.O.A.D Members Samaresh Da, Abhisek Toto Lahiri, Prasenjit Nath & Anish Da who were on their way to sikkim. Big Thanks to them for accompanying me since this was my 1st drive this long. Reached jalpaiguri at approx 7 in the morning. Took burdwan, SH7, right turn from kuli, kandi, moregram, farakka, Malda, raigunj, botolbari dhantola, islampur, ghoshpukur bypass route. Raigunj is in terrible condition. It was a pain crossing that stretch of 6 kms with no roads.Still due to no traffic at night, we managed to reach on time. (there were truck traffic at places but we bypassed them by going though opposite lane).
Nabami & Dashami was spent leisurely in local pandal hopping. The day after Dashami, which marks the end of Durga Puja, we visited Tea Gardens in Chalsa( meteli tea garden), samsing tea garden and Rocky Island,Darjeeling with our friends Abhimanyu Saha, Payal Saha Dey. The roads leading to these places from jalpaiguri are very scenic and are in excellent conditions. It was an awesome experience driving through forests.
The next day, me and wifey visited jaldapara. Since it was rush season and my plans were mostly last minute, it was very difficult to get a booking here. Special thanks to friend & R.O.A.D Member Jaydeep Bose for arranging a booking at Mystic Tea Resort, jaldapara. The resort is in jayashree tea garden close to jaldapara. Stayed there from 2nd to 4th October. 2nd October, the whole day was wasted trying to book jungle safari in jaldapara national park. Had to stand in queue for almost 4 hours to get it done. So couldn't do much on 2nd except for exploring the tea gardens. Can't understand why West Bengal tourism doesn't introduce online booking for the same.3rd October, we did jungle safari at the morning slot.. 5:30 a.m to 7:30. It was a good experience. After that we, along with another couple whom we met during the safari, decided to visit buxa wildlife sanctuary, jayanti river and sikhia jhora in alipurduar. It was a thrilling experience of driving in the dense forests of buxa.Had a small photography session at Jayanti River Bed.But the best part was Sikhia Jhora. Sikhia jhora is a relatively unexplored place. It has a small tributary of jayanti river running between dense forests on both sides. And you get to explore it on a boat. The ride was my first of its kind and it felt awesome.
Had seen similar scenes in Hollywood movies and it felt the same while exploring the dense jungles in a boat. Anybody visiting North Bengal should definitely try this. Returned to jalpaiguri on 4th.
Left for Kolkata on 5th early morning. Was accompanied by friend and R.O.A.D member Mithun da,who was returning from his Meghalaya Trip. Met him at ghoshpukur and together we set sail. Raigunj as usual was pain. Had breakfast at raigunj tourist resort. Didn't encounter much truck traffic and Roads were smooth mostly. Stopped for lunch at BPCL COCO MOREGRAM. This time decided to take SH7 from Moregram. But that was a very bad decision coz a stretch of about 10 kms between moregram and kuli were in extremely bad condition.
Took more than one hour to cross that stretch. After that the journey to Kolkata was uneventful. Reached Kolkata at about 8 p.m. It was a small yet sweet trip.Final Trip Odometer reading was 1714 Kms. Looking forward for more such trips..Till then