World of Excitement

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By Abijit Chatterjee

Life is a journey. We face ups and downs in journey of life too. After finishing a long time when we sit for calculating the incidents which make us happy we get surprised. Because it might be that a small token made us happier than a huge bulk. Likewise a cute trip to Himalaya can be more enjoyable than a tough expedition. Even different time of year gives different shades to a particular place and to fill our moods with wonderment and of course we get confused. This time my destination is Sandakphu again.

There are lot of trains and bus services to Shiliguri from Kolkata. Or one may avail plain from Domdom to Bagdogra and from here to Manevanjan by road.

Our train touches N. J. P. station at almost 8.30am. At first we finish our primary duty to take a car to go to Manevanjan, though one may take bus which is going to  Darjeeling via Ghum or may share a jeep to reach Manevanjan via Sukhiyapokhri. The way to Manevanjan is same as  Darjeeling up to Ghum and from where we have to make a left turn. Crossing Sukhiyapokhri we reach Manevanjan at 2.00pm. It is a small place with market and few private hotels. Like previous journeys we start for trekking next of reaching here. 

2nd day

Coming on the way of car we make a downward movement to the right side from Tunling in the morning. It is within a dense forest with a solitude atmosphere. And with this amazing feeling we arrive Joubari. Taking a sip in tea we go down by the narrow, muddy path which ends at Gairibasa on the hill of the right hand consciously. 

Next way is also within dense forest with upward movements and here we meet with Red Pandas breeding and research centre. Upward root makes our speed little slower but do not make our enjoyment little smaller. Because the time is being spent now to enjoy the grace of nature. All of a sudden we meet with the lake of black water just the side of the path. The name of the place is by the lake Kalipokhri. The total route to Kalipokhri is on the ridge and Kalipokhri is on the top of this ridge for that one can enjoy vast area both slopping side of the ridge which is dense forest. In the month of April the forest gets covered with red rhododendron flower. Its a mind blowing scene. In the afternoon we take a short travel around this place after taking shelter in a hotel and returning hotel come close contact with the local pupils and come to know a lot about this place and common habits of local folks.

3rd day

Today out route is toward rightward. A route which is left ward has gone towards  Nepal . Within woods we are going on the way of car. How far we are going upward the atmosphere around us gradually turns red in colour because of Rhododendron flower. Here the combination of red and green has changed the world of beauty. Walking down for 2 km we come to Bibekvanjan. Here is a check post of forest dept. where we face a checking. This way is almost under  Singhalila Reserve Forest . One has to pay Rs.25 per head and Rs.100 for per movie camera. Sandakphu is just 4km away from here, but the total way is upward direction. From here one route has gone towards Rimbik through the dense forest. We slowly start to move upward by taking the way of bus. The beauty of this route reduces the tiredness of the path and within 11am we put our feet on the highest part (3636mtr) of this state Sandakphu. Mind gets obsessed with cheerfulness. Blue sky is shining brightly with Kanchanjangha,  Mt. Pandim , and Kabru etc. In the left side one can vision some famous peak from a long distance as Everest, Sotse, and Saklu etc. But cloud may dishearten anyone. We walk incoherently here and there and get fascinated.  Earlier we booked own rooms in Hill Council Bungalow. One may choose from some private hotels or PWD Bungalow. 

4th day

In the morning we hurry up from our beds and rush to watch sun rise. A crimson glow from sun spreads its veil firstly over the Kanchajangha and then one by one over other peaks. One may enjoy the venture of colour here. Red, Golden. Silver appears randomly and puzzle ones eye sight. Nothing but a heavenly grace touched the core of mind. My truant pen stops me from sketching this unparalleled incident on the paper. So, readers forgive me. Only my heart may share the supreme feelings. 

Now its out turn to return. From here there are many routes to reach Rimbik. We would follow the route Gurdung Sreekhola Rimbik. Its true if one wishes to reach Rimbik before sunset but for this time we would spend a night at Gurdung. From Sandakphu the route to Gurdung is through dense forest in downward movement. To go in this route one should take the help of guide. We also do so. Numerous fragrances of unknown flowers mixed with sweet notes of unknown birds in .the woods make us crazy. Walking downward we reach picture like village Gurdung.

5th day

Gurdung is less cold than Sandakphu. Taking a good breakfast we start at 8am. In the mild sun ray we walk down through the forest by a narrow lane crossed few small bridges on the waterfalls. Ultimately come   down to the Shreekhola Nala. The name of the place is also Shreekhola. The natural beauty at Shreekhla is no doubt rare. In the lap of hill one can stay in beautiful guest houses or may pass away this place.  By availing a car to Shiliguri from Shreekhola is an easier process. But we start walking and the way is comfortably plain. Our minds which are stained with the colours of flowers suddenly feel that our bodies have reached at Rimbik.  We take rest for one night here. Car to Shiliguri may be booked from here.

--------------------------------------------------- ***N.B.

For good trekkers this trek may be completed within 3days. For that first day from Manevanjan to Gairibasa, 2nd day Sandakphu, 3rd day from Rimbik its the turn to return. But those who wish to move slowly by enjoying the natural beauty they may finish within five days.