Places in Siliguri, West Bengal where you could ride for recreation -by Kritika Pradhan
West Bengal is the only state in India where Himalayas are in the north and sea is at the south, with both plains and plateaus covering the remaining region. Now you can well imagine the Geographical landscape of Siliguri. Ok!! a little information about this city "Siliguri" before i take you on a journey through these sceneries, sunsets, tea gardens and himalayas.
Siliguri is a city which spans across the Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri districts in the Indian state of West Bengal. The city is located on the banks of the Mahananda River and the foothills of the Himalayas.
Due to it's booming economy, it has drawn people from Bihar, Jharkhand, North Bengal, North-East, Sikkim and other parts of India in search of livelihood. Siliguri also has a large population of Tibetans and a notable number of Bhutanese permanently settled in the city.
Here is a list of places in and around Siliguri where you could ride for recreation. As these place offer mesmerising view, mind-bogling landscape and amazing street food, with local wine.
1. Kadma: It's located inside Bagdogra army area, you can get a view of the Darjeeling foothills from here. There is a restaurant near a narrow bridge which is run by locals, it is not a regular restaurant as it is located near a river and admits a garden where they grow their own organic vegetables, chickens, lemons. They've made little hay huts around the garden, where you can sit and enjoy natures creation while indulging into moth smacking local delicacies.
2. Rongtung: It is at a distance of 2 kms from Sukana, it is hairpin roads, sharp turns and steep slope that lead you to Rongtung. The view from here is beautiful. You'd be awed by the sunset here, witness spectacularly beautiful sky burnt sunsets.
As you get a glimpse of the himalayas you also get to see the whole of Sliguri, which is a plateau.
Sunset 3.Rohini: It is a the only toll road in Darjeeling district "Rohini Toll", starting from Siliguri it merges with NH55 in Kurseong town. It is a new route built to make the journey from Siliguri to Darjeeling time efficient and hassle free. You would find all the local vehicles (Sumo Gold) using this route carrying locals back an forth. It is the shortest route to Darjeeling, it has an amusing no. of small food joints on the edge of each sharp turn. I was awed to see their creativity with such low budgets and varieties. The veg momos, alu dum with bhuja, alu chops, tea, channa are light, tasty and hygienic. A purple sunset over a blue mountain & green meadow.
4. Sewak: There is a small village inside Sewak road, the road is the highway to Sikkim, Kalimpong, Bhutan. After crossing the army camp you find yourself driving through this highway adjacent to thick forest, as you cross the petrol pump you are greeted with a Teesta river flowing down stream towards your right and foothills towards your left.
5. Duday Basti : We weren't here for the view or the scenic beauty, but to meet a Nepali baba who lived in the Shiv temple and smokes pot, it appears that my brothers visit him often as he has just turned into a baba an enjoys educating people about the worldly affairs an peace of mind.
6.Gajoldoba Reservoir : It is a reservoir formed by the first Teesta Barrage, which was built for irrigational purposes. It is surrounded by the Baikunthapur forests, and is an hour's drive from Siliguri. The reservoir is used by many water birds from Ladakh and Central Asia including brahminy duck, bar-headed goose, pochard, pintail, shoveller, mallard, black ibis, and many species of stork, cormorant and duck.
I had no clue that places like Gajoldoba existed anywhere near Siligur. I was born here yet until yesterday i wasn't aware of how ignorant I had been towards my own hometown. From Himalayan range to a beach like feeling. Everything was here in this small city in the Western regions of India. I enjoyed the leisurely contemplation of the scenery, perfect dusk and this river which resembled a beach. Sand shore, blue, clean water and few fishermen boats with pointy edges, it was spectacularly beautiful, we had bought edibles from the Shack like shops, their deep fried small fish which was crispy, fresh and delicious.
You can follow the author Kritika Pradhan here: