After reeling 28 hours on the Rajdhani train halted at New Jalpaiguri a small district in West Bengal much to my relief. Roughly speaking it is the end of the great plains of India and the beginning of the reign of mountains. At around 2pm I was in a taxi on my way to Darjeeling. The day was bright and breezy, and the sky was azure like a true October day. We drove through small houses and betel nut trees. As the road turns and trailed upward the place became greener and carpet of tea gardens took over.
The topography changed drastically as the Bolero began to ascend many steep mountains. You began to see less brown Indian faces and more of Mongoloid features. It was already twilight and partly cloudy when we entered Darjeeling so I couldn't figure anything about the place. It was the worst time to arrive at any new destination. But early morning, much to my surprise I was greeted by the mighty Mount kanchendzonga. I watched the mountains changing color with the sun from the train station. It hovered over Darjeeling like a hen looking over her chicken. The skyline here is dominated by this snowy mountain ranges. Darjeeling wouldn't be so favored if it wasn't for this. Das Photo Studio has an archive photo collection of Darjeeling dating back to 1850 and strikingly Kanchendzonga mountains featured in almost every important photographs of the town. Mt. Kanchendzonga at an elevation of 8,586m is the third highest peak in the World. Until 1852 it was considered to be the highest peak in the world. The name Kanchendzonga means 'five treasures of snow' as it also represents the five peaks in the same range, four of them above 8,450m. The peaks doesn't look much but they are three times higher than Darjeeling, which sits at 2,050m.
It's good to be back in the mountains!