Day 3 - 16th Feb (Contd..)
The trek to the ruins of Damsang fort was not very long and about 4 km each way. I was told thr is absolutely nothing left of the fort now except for some bricks piled up, but still would be interesting visit if one is keen on history. So after allowing my body to recover from the pampering of the delicious lunch we started late evening accompanied by Kazi himself and a young village boy who also volunteered to come with us.
The initial route was a steep climb over some rocky steps
But then it eased out as we left the village behind and the dense forest took over.
We also realised it was not just the 4 of us trekking, but the fifth member, a dog of the Sillery Village, had also picked up the scent of some adventure and decided to accompany us and at times following us to check that the last man is not left behind at times ahead of us to show the way.
After almost three fourths of the journey covered Kazi just detoured us for a climb over some rocks and slope and suddenly we found a beautiful road far below.
It was 20th mile between Kalimpong and Pedong. Was sure no one on that road or habitat knew they were being watched from so high above.
We continued through the lonely woods.
Came across almost 5 different trees which had a common base root. They were really rare.
And then we reached Damsang Fort.
If anybody expects the Red Fort or the Amber Fort they will be disappointed. This does not have the grandeur and is in ruins. But the History of the more than 400 year old fort was no less interesting. It was built by the Lepchas but conquered by the Bhutias by treachery then fell to the British. It witnessed a whole lot of onslaughts from all possible enemies around including Tibetians and Gurkhas from Nepal.
We were the latest to conquer it.
The tall trees all around were probably as old as the fort.
And he too took a liking for the fort too and went on a meditating mode.
We started our journey back after spending half hour amidst the ruins. As we neared Sillery we could get a good view of the village from above.
And the Xylo was waiting patiently for our return at the other end of the village.
The night was dark and cold. Aalok and I decided to soak into the atmosphere and not sit inside the room, which as it was very small, but to sit out in the small balcony / terrace / extension outside our room.
The locals also came and joined us and it was a great exchange of knowledge about each others culture.
Cranked up the Xylo at around 8.30 in the evening and then after dinner at 11 parked it, in between two huts to cut out the exposure to the strong winds that were blowing across in the open space that it was initially.
Dinner was chicken along with fresh vegetables and Dal. Just that I had chappati instead of rice as in lunch. Went of to sleep by midnight to conclude my 3rd day.