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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    On those good old days I used to get down from the train

    I had gone to Darjeeling more than once. Why I don't know I didn't like the town much. So, when my friends planned to visit the hill-station once again, I reluctantly agreed. We reached New Jalpaiguri (NJP) on time, and for a change, planned to go to Darjeeling by 'Toy Train'. All of us were enjoying the leisurely journey. But my friend Punyabrata and I planned a different adventure. When the train reached Ghum, the highest railway station of India, both of us got down. We told other friends that we would reach Darjeeling later.

    We came out of Ghum station and asked the porter about nearby places. He was rattling some names. The name ''Lepchajagat'' struck us. Lepchas are the original inhabitants of Darjeeling (They are different from Nepali, Gurkha, Mhadesia and Bhutia). Lepchajagat means the world of Lepchas. We somehow got a rickety car at Ghum station and went to Lepchajagat.

    It was a beautiful village at a distance of around 10 kms. from Ghum station. Nature was cool, pleasant and beautiful beyond the power of my description. We only slept on the grass for three hours. After three hours, we very reluctantly returned to Ghum and managed to reach Darjeeling.

    Last year my brother informed me that the State Government has been developing Lepchajagat as a tourist spot and some tourists, who want to avoid the din and bustles of Darjeeling, come to Lepchajagat. I remembered that day in the early nineties. I asked myself if this small world of Lepchas is still that beautiful and serene after the invasion of tourists.

    I am thinking that as a family man, I can no longer get down to a station abruptly and discover new places, like what I used to do in my younger days.
  • #633587
    Nice to read the story of the author of his olden days venture to get down at a unknown station and then going to a remote village and discovering the beautiful locales of it. Normally our Indian villages are beautiful and free from pollution and Lepchajagat village seems to be more enchanting. . By the way we are envying as to why we are not having that kind of toy train to enjoy some hilly areas and nature. I wish the author to share some wonderful photos of toy train moments along the curves and share the village to which he has gone and discovered the wonderful nature and existence of people over there.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #633608
    I remember having read somewhere that it is possible to get down at one station, walk up to the next station using short cuts and board the same train again at next station. Is it actually so?
    Let us encourage each other in sharing knowledge.

  • #633611
    Yes, Mr. Kailash Kumar. It is so. That is possible in every narrow-gauge line. Even you can get down from the running train and again take the same train while running.
    Non-violence is the greatest Dharma; So too is all righteous violence.

  • #633612
    Very interesting and engrossing narration by the author in his usual creative style and I really loved reading not.

    Journey by a toy train is a very different type of experience and I have also experienced it in Mettupalayam-Ooty route and I still remember how much I was surprised when I saw the train TT stepping on a side plank fixed to train compartment. From inside it appeared as if he is floating in the air.

    The author is very right that in the later age it is not possible to escape en route to new and unexplored places.

    Knowledge is power.

  • #633617
    In old Hindi songs, when the toy train appears , the heroine will be inside the train and the hero would get down walk around the hills and meanwhile the toy train would be chucking taking a long circle round about !
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #633619
    As usual, the author made a good presentation of his experience on his way to Darjeeling. Lepchajagat is not known to me. I had been to Darjeeling but not to the other place. If somebody knew are there with me I might have visited that place also. However, it is very nice to know about Toy Train. Is this Toy Train is similar to what we see in Zoo to have round around the Zoo? In know metre gauze and broad gauze but Toy Train is new to me.
    drrao
    always confident

  • #633631
    Darjeeling Himalayan Railways (DHR) is popularly called Darjeeling Toy Train. It starts from NJP (earlier it used to start from Shiliguri) and goes to Darjeeling. The last three stations are Ghum (the highest station in India), Batasia Loop and Darjeeling. It is a narrow gauge train route and it started in 1882 (approximately). Nowadays, the engines have become very old and the running of trains has become irregular.
    Non-violence is the greatest Dharma; So too is all righteous violence.

  • #633638
    I remember having read somewhere that it is possible to get down at one station, walk up to the next station using short cuts and board the same train again at next station. Is it actually so?
    Let us encourage each other in sharing knowledge.

  • #633652
    Mr. Kailash Kumar: I do know that people get down from the tory trains, purchase something from some hill-folk and then again board the same train.

    But I don't know about taking a short-cut to reach next station and board the same train. However, considering the topography of the toy train route in NJP-Darjeeling route, it may be possible for local people, but not for the tourists.

    Non-violence is the greatest Dharma; So too is all righteous violence.

  • #633678
    There are many amazing places that have an abundance of natural beauty because mankind hasn't yet spoilt it. Many trekkers and backpackers love the explore the unexplored. People of such little-known places shun publicity for the fear that their daily lives and their place would change forever.

    I've seen pictures of crystal clear lakes and rivers in Shillong and Meghalaya that are amazing but if such places are popularised for tourism ultimately they lose their natural beauty. Some examples of places adverse affected by publicity and popularity at Mount Everest, Galapagos islands.


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