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North Bengal-Sillary Gaon

North Bengal-Sillary Gaon

Sillary Gaon The ‘New Darjeeling’

 

Sillary Gaon, a quiet hamlet in the lap of nature, in the Darjeeling district, is a wonderful weekend getaway for those who are tired of crowded streets and horn blaring all day long. The name ‘Sillary’ is derived from the name of a plant called ‘Cinchona’ that grows in abundance in this region. The Cinchona plant is used as a medicine to treat Malaria and is still cultivated in this region. Nestled amidst huge pine forests, this village offers panoramic views of the ‘Mighty Kanchenjunga’ and the FishTail peaks during the winter months when the sky is crystal clear. The sky remains covered with fog most of the time in the other seasons of the year. Thus, viewing the peaks in their full glory will be left to the fate of the tourist during the Spring, Summer and Monsoon months. The place, but, surely looks enchanted, for different blossoms of all colours and sizes cover up the region during these months, giving it a marvelous heavenly charm.

Sillary Gaon is at a height of about 6000ft, a growing tourist hub, often lovingly called the ‘New Darjeeling’ owing to its beauty. Sillary is a five hours journey from NJP Railway Junction.  One might choose to hire a car till Pedong, or opt for a shared vehicle. A stony diversion, three kilometres before Pedong, half a kilometre ahead of ’20Mile’, another tourist spot, leads to the sleepy village of Sillary. The 4.5km undulated path is motor able, but trekking this stretch is better option to avoid a bumpy, roller coaster ride of half an hour in the car.

Our host, Mr. Dilip Tamang welcomed us very warmly in the Nirmala Resorts. Every facility was provided to us by Mr. Dilip. The village offers many other homestay options as this is the mainstay of many of the families residing in the village. The village shelters about thirty families and tourism is the main source of income for them. The warmth and hospitality of these simple village people is sure an added bonus to the charm and beauty of the place. Walking lazily around the place, listening to the songs of birds and watching the sun go down behind the towering mountains was time well invested for us in the evening of our day of arrival.

The next morning we headed to the Teen Chuley viewpoint. A trekking trip to the Tin Chuley  viewpoint as well as the Ramitey viewpoint is a must-do when you visit Sillary. The Teen Chuley viewpoint, along with its grand view of the snow peaks, also overlooks the Sillary Gaon at a distance and the lush greenery of the hills and the pine forests all around. The breathtaking calm and peace, that nature serves in ample here, soothes and heals the very soul of a person. The Ramitey viewpoint has something more magnificent to offer. The sunset and sunrise over the beautiful white peaks is a priceless experience; but, this view point, a trek of 1.5kms from the village, presents unmatched beauty of the Teesta Valley. A long stretch of the Teesta River , with its numerous bends and turns, as well as its confluence with the Rishi River is visible from this point. A clear, fog-free day might even ensure visibility of the city of Gangtok at a distance. It, surely, will mesmerize any person, giving a picture that will stay in the heart forever.

The second day of our stay in Sillary brought about an unexpected and distinct experience. Mr. Dilip Tamang suggested a refreshing bathing experience in the Reshi Kola river. The river is more like a small and swift flowing mountain stream with mirror-clear, cold water. The water does not run much deep in this section at Rishikola and huge boulders in the bed of the river ensures a great bathing experience, although one must be careful of slippery and shaky pebbles. This destination is a forty-five minutes drive from Sillary and Mr. Dilip happily made all the arrangements, including hiring the car at a minimal cost. An unforgettable surprise, just a little example of the enormous hospitality we received from our host and the locals during our stay in the village.

The Damsang Fort and Hanuman Top are other sight seeing options around the place. The Damsang Fort, built in 1690, last had sheltered the Lepcha king, Gyabo Achuk. The fort, however, has now been turned into ruins by the inevitable hands of time added on by the earthquake of September, 2012. Beyond the Damsang Fort is the Hanuman Top with a sculpture of the Hanuman. It gives one a bird’s eye view of Kalimpong and the adjoining regions along with the lofty peaks.

Sillary Gaon, with all its grandeur, the pristine calm, and awesome sights, has surely made a permanent place in our hearts. The stunning beauty of the Nature made our departure difficult. We did leave, as we had to, only with a promise that we sure would come back, someday.

8 Best Travel Destinations for Students

8 Best Travel Destinations for Students

We hope that you have not spent all your money on buying college essays because we have prepared a list of the best travel destinations for students. However, COVID-19 has a significant impact on many people’s holidays, and there is still hope for a happy ending. Anyway, you still need to know what are the best locations for a student who not only to relax and enjoy the holidays but also to explore the world.

1. Palma de Mallorca The main city and port of the Spanish Autonomous Community of the Balearic Islands, Palma de Mallorca, is a great place to relax. The resort is known for all kinds of entertainment, constant sunshine, and vivid nightlife.

2. Spain Spain topped the list of the best destinations for student trips. The country has a pleasant, sunny climate, delicious food, and plenty of opportunities for sports activities. Barcelona offers the Basílica de la Sagrada Família and the Casa Mila, both of which will appeal to art lovers. The capital of Catalonia is one of the most dynamic cities in Europe. Barcelona attracts young people from all over the world with its bars, clubs, discos, especially lively at night, culinary delights, and love for fashion. It is one of Europe’s favorite destinations for young people. If you like a more active holiday, head to the Costa Brava where you can go scuba diving. You shouldn’t forget Madrid, too. Lovers of architecture highly praise the Spanish city. However, Madrid is full of not only historical monuments, but also clubs, bars, cafes, and discos. Students can find entertainment for all tastes from the popular Lavapiés quarter to the fashionable Salamanca district.

3. Croatia If Spain seems too sophisticated for you, you should choose Croatia. This country with a Mediterranean climate has something to surprise you with. Located in the south of the historical region of Dalmatia, the Croatian city of Dubrovnik attracts tourists of various categories, including students. The main feature of Dubrovnik is its medieval appearance, giving the town a truly fabulous atmosphere. Split is not worse than Split with its tourist attractions. The resort is known for its magnificent Mediterranean scenery, fabulous beaches, affordable prices, and incredible festivals and events.

4. Singapore If you want something more exotic, go to Singapore. It has a favorable climate, excellent infrastructure, and transport connections. In the famous Indian Quarter, you can taste exotic food and enjoy cheap shopping. You can also consider cruise options. Singapore is quite futuristic and will surely amaze any student. Moreover, there are many universities and colleges in the city, so finding a local guide of your age or a company to drop by the bar is not a problem.

5. Amsterdam Of course, it’s impossible not to include Amsterdam on our list. It’s a student paradise with cheap street food and lots of entertainment. Try local hamburgers and rent a bike – it’s cheaper to get around the city than using public transport. Art quarters, coffee shops, the red-light district, and windmills with vast fields of flowers in the suburbs — in Amsterdam, any student will find attractions to enjoy. Greece also offers plenty of opportunities for student holidays. There are many historical sites, snow-white beaches, and excellent food and drinks. In addition, the trip here will be very affordable.

6. Portugal If you want to relax by the ocean, you should consider Portugal. Two things are always present in the Portuguese capital. These are the sun and music, the main ingredients of youth recreation. Affordable entertainment options enhance the attractiveness of Lisbon for students. Another wonderful destination is located in the north of Portugal. The city of Porto offers a combination of Flemish architecture, Atlantic gulls, and sunshine to its many visitors. The city is also famous for its excellent wine, which is highly appreciated throughout the world. Students in Porto will particularly enjoy the numerous bars that are scattered along the coast.

7. France France ranks third in the world by the number of international students. Its capital, Paris, attracts students with its museums, historic buildings, and famous architecture. Moreover, people all over the world cherish the French capital for its cuisine and vibrancy. 8. Budapest Even though Budapest is a marvelous and modern city, it offers attractive prices for its guests. The capital of Hungary is a combination of ancient attractions and wild nightlife. Here you can chill in ruined pubs (there is a whole list of them), drink Tokaj in the mountains overlooking the Danube, and then soak in thermal baths.

5 Beautiful Lakes in Ooty apart from Ooty Lake

5 Beautiful Lakes in Ooty apart from Ooty Lake

Ooty, also known as Udhagamandalam, is a charming hill station in Tamil Nadu. It is the capital of Nilgiris district in the state of Tamilnadu. Situated at an altitude of 7,440 feet, Ooty is one of the top hill stations in South India and also one of the top places to experience Tamilnadu Tourism. Often referred as ‘Queen of Hills’, Ooty is a nature lover’s paradise and also one of the top places to visit near Bangalore.The rolling hills, lush green vegetation and the misty landscapes attract large number of tourists to this hill station. The pleasant Ooty weather and the verdant green surroundings make Ooty Tourism is extremely popular. Apart from Ooty Lake, this scenic hill station also boasts of several lakes which are the important places to visit in Ooty. This is also one of the popular 2 day trip from Bangalore.

Pykara Lake is a placid lake formed by the backwaters of Pykara Dam in Ooty. Situated on Ooty – Mysore road, Pykara Dam built on Pykara River is a beautiful place offering breathtaking scenery. This is a blessed lake for the Todas, the local tribe of Nilgiris. Pykara Lake is one of the top Ooty Tourist Places and an ideal place to experience beautiful boat ride. Boating in the backwaters of Pykara Lake is a memorable experience and one can also catch a glimpse of wildlife like Elephants roaming on banks of the lake.

Emerald Lake is serene lake located near Emerald village in Nilgiris district of Tamilnadu. Situated amidst dense forests, it is one of the top places to visit in Ooty as part of Ooty Tour Packages. The lake is part of the Silent Valley National Park situated on the way to Avalanche village. The blue waters of Emerald Lake surrounded by lush green meadows and forest is simply mesmerizing. Emerald Lake is also a haven for a variety of birds. It is also notable for the scenic sun rise and sun set views near the lake. Besides these, there are also various activities for tourists around this lake like trekking, fishing and boating.

5 Hidden Hill Stations in Tamil Nadu

5 Hidden Hill Stations in Tamil Nadu

Known for its colorful culture, exotic arts, great temples, stunning hill stations and authentic cuisine, the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu is a great travel destination that suits every kind of traveler. Travelling around the state is indeed a wonderful experience, especially spending some time with your loved ones amid the natural surroundings in the pristine hill stations. Ooty, Coonoor, Kodaikanal, and Yercaud are the main crowd pullers during summer. Besides, there are also some hidden and secluded hill stations in Tamil Nadu which one must visit at least once as part of South India Tour Packages. Take a look at our list of 5 unexplored hill stations in Tamil Nadu here.

Valparai At an altitude of about 3500 feet, Valparai is a soothing hill station in the Annamalai Hills of Tamilnadu. This beautiful hill station is known for its tea and coffee plantations, dense forests, gushing waterfalls and meandering streams. This unexplored hill station in Tamilnadu is heaven for nature-loving souls and trekking enthusiasts as it is less crowded and pollution-free. Sholayar Dam, Nirar Dam, Aliyar Dam, Monkey Falls, Loam’s Viewpoint, Grass Hills and Balaji temple are the popular places to visit in Valparai. Also, Valparai is home to incredible wildlife like the Nilgiri Tahr, spotted deer, gaur, leopards and many species of birds. Don’t forget to take a morning stroll through the tea plantations in Valparai that will help you unwind your soul in the lap of nature.

Meghamalai If you are looking for a calm and tranquil weekend getaway from Madurai then Meghamalai in Tamilnadu is the perfect place. Situated at an altitude of about 1500 m in the Western Ghats, Meghamalai, popularly called as High Wavy Mountains, is renowned for gorgeous views of lush green mountains, deep valleys, dense forests, tea estates, cardamom plantations, lakes, etc. Meghamalai Wildlife Sanctuary, Meghamalai Falls, Suruli Falls, Thoovanam Dam, and Vellimalai are the top places to explore in Meghamalai as part of Madurai Tour Packages. Its long winding roads through the thick plantations are ideal for nature walks. It is a great place for wildlife enthusiasts and bird watchers as the Megamalai Wildlife Sanctuary located here offers a variety of fauna and flora.

Yelagiri Would you like to enjoy heavenly nature with a peaceful environment, then Yelagiri would be the perfect destination for a short weekend gateway. Located at an elevation of 1,111m from the sea level, Yelagiri is a cluster of 14 hamlets surrounded by orchards, rose gardens and green valleys and is one of the popular places to visit near Bangalore. This quaint hill station is not polluted like the commercial tourist destinations and is rather secluded amidst four mountains. Punganoor Lake Park, Jalagamparai Waterfalls, Nature Park, Telescope Observatory, Jalagandeeswarar Temple, Government Herbal Farm, etc are some of the popular places to visit here as part of Yelagiri Tour Packages. Tourists can also enjoy a trek in Swami Malai, the highest point in Yelagiri that stands tall at 4,338 ft with spectacular views.

Kolli Hills You might not have heard about this little hill station of Tamil Nadu, but Kolli Hills is all about untouched beauty of nature. It is hidden from the radar of most tourists, and this is what makes it more tempting. Lies at an altitude of 1300 m, Kolli Hills or Kolli Malai is a range of hills located in the Salem district of Tamil Nadu. Travelling to Kolli Hills is also an adventure itself as the route has about 75 narrow hairpin bends makes the journey extremely thrilling. The pleasant climate and lesser-explored trails in Kolli Hills offer plenty to do in the outdoors. The hill station also has other attractions such as Arapaleeswarar temple, Agaya Gangai waterfalls, Siddhar Caves, Botanical Garden, Masila Falls and Selur View Point which tourists can enjoy as part of Tamilnadu Tour Packages.

Devala Hectic life in the bustling cities makes you realize the need to be close to nature. Located on the Kerala–Tamil Nadu border in Malappuram, Devala is an ideal destination for the purpose. Devala is famous for its undulating hills, thick forest, and vast tea plantations. Devala is synonymous with the Wild Planet Jungle Resort, an eco-friendly premium plantation resort located in the middle of tea plantations nestled amidst the dense Nilgiris rainforests. Set in 100 acres of land, the resort offers activities such as open jeep safari in Nilgiri Rainforest, angling, zip-line, monkey crawling, kayaking, archery, and mud ride. Visitors interested in a longer trek can head to the hill named Churulimala nearby. A trained safety squad supervises all the activities. If you are lucky you can even sight elephant herds wandering in the hills.

6 Most Popular Wine Regions of India

6 Most Popular Wine Regions of India

As with other trends, India has adopted the wine drinking culture quite splendidly over the decades and paved the way for wine tourism in India. Where once there was hardly any wine industry to speak of, today, there is nearly 2,500 hectors of vineyards spread across the country and have produced many reputable wine brands. Besides, these regions are also known for their sprawling vineyards set amid the verdant landscapes and rolling hills where you enjoy the wine tasting sessions as part of India Tour Packages. Sipping on and clinking that sparkling glass of wine as you watch the setting sun kissing acres of vineyards – This is something that every wine-lovers must experience in life. Here is the list of 6 most popular wine regions in India:

 

1. Nashik Maharashtra accounts for two -thirds of the wine production in India and Nashik is the main region. Situated on the banks of River Godavari, Nashik is fondly called the wine capital of India. The wine industry in Nashik has been growing steadily since the mid-1990s. Now, there are almost 40 vineyards around the area that produce red and white wine. The grape varieties grown in the Nashik region are Chenin blanc, Sauvignon blanc, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Chardonnay, Merlot, Riesling, Viognier, Tempranillo, Malbec, and also Thompson Seedless grapes. The most popular wineries to visit in this region are Sula, York, and Soma. Located at Gangapur Dam, Sula Vineyards, sprawling over 3,000 acres, is the biggest and the most popular vineyard in India and among the must include in Nashik Tour Packages. Another important fact here is that these wineries today host vineyard tours and offers wine tasting sessions along with estate stay for its guests.

2. Nandi Hills Another predominant wine region in India is the Nandi Hills in Karnataka. Located at an altitude of 800 – 950 m near Bangalore, it is home to the largest swathes of vineyards and the top wine producers of Karnataka. The moderate climate and the loamy soils, scattered with gravel limestone and gneiss granules at places help the production of high-quality Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Chardonnay. Kanwal Grower, the pioneer of the Indian wine industry, established his first vineyard the Grover Vineyard here. Covering over 410 acres, Grover Zampa is the third largest wine producer in India. It focuses on producing premium wines, with the standout being its award-winning La Reserve brand of oak matured Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz reds.

3. Bangalore Soma Vineyards, SDU Winery, and Alpine Wineries are the other prominent vineyards in this region that can be visited as part of the Nandi Hills Tour Packages. There are extensive wine trails across the vineyards and also possible to visit the winery’s barrel room. Akluj Akluj is the new sub-region in the district of Solapur officially but in the wine perspective, it is under the Pune region. Flanked by the landscapes of the Deccan Plateau, the region has extremely low soil fertility and low rainfall which opens a new door for varieties such as Muller Thurgau, Sangiovese, and Chardonnay. Akluj is home to the prestigious Fratelli Winery, an Indo-Italian vineyard that started in 2007. Along with Sula & Grover Zampa, Fratelli is one of India’s biggest winemakers and produces some outstanding reserve wines on its 240-acre estate. It is known for making the Sette Reserve Red, the best red wine in India. The vineyard also offers interactive tours and tasting of a variety of red, white, and sparkling wines, including late-harvest dessert wine, dry Chenin Blanc, Sette, Chardonnay, and Sangiovese Bianco along with a choice to stay at the luxurious resort nearby. Other than Solapur, Fratelli operates in two more vineyards at Garwar and Motewadi, and all are blessed with verdant landscapes, making them a charming place where wine enthusiasts can take a tour and sample their wines as part of Pune Tour Packages.

4. Narayanagaon Escape the city’s hectic life and delve into the pleasures of the countryside with this excursion to the Narayangaon wine region which is home to Chateau Indage, India’s oldest winery. Situated amidst the lush green landscapes near Sahyadri valley, Chateau Indage was first established in the name of Champagne Vineyards in 1982, which was mainly an export unit of champagne or sparkling wines. Later in the year 1986, it produced its first wine ‘Omar Khayyam’ that won many awards on an international platform and their flagship product ‘Marquise de Pompadour’. A name synonymous with winemaking in India, Chateau Indage produces 32 different varieties of wines. The vineyard organizes wine tours during weekends that nearly takes about 2 hours, followed by the wine tasting session at the ‘Ivy Cafe and Bar’. If you want to stay longer, there are cottages on the property overlooking the wine trails. Apart from Narayangaon, they have vineyards in Himachal Pradesh and Nashik.

5. Dindori The wine connoisseurs who want to indulge in luxury wine tours in India must head to the Dindori region near Nashik as it has some of the best grapes grown around the region. Dindori is home to two popular wineries, Charosa, Chateau d’Ori, and Chandon. The wineries of Dindori are embedded with the finest methods of winemaking, and touring this place is an experience of a lifetime. The second-largest winery in Maharashtra after Sula Vineyards, Chateau d’Ori is known for producing some of the most quality wines like Cabernet Merlot, Viva Rosé and Sauvignon Blanc. Spread over 400 acres, it has the largest merlot plantation in India. While, the Charosa Vineyard is one of the latest entrants to the bevy of Indian wines and has the distinction of introducing the Reserve Tempranillo, a special Spanish grape flavor to the Indian market. Visitors can take a vineyard tour and savor wines at the tasting rooms of these wineries.

6. Baramati Another popular wine region in Maharashtra, which is home to Four Season’s vineyard. Modeled on a French chateau, this 50 acres awe-inspiring winery overlooks the vineyards along with the pristine view of the Sahyadri valley that nourishes the grapes for the perfect yield to produce those flawless wines. It specializes in producing the best of red, white, and rosé wines, that are sold under two brand names; Zinzi and Four Seasons. And its Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc, Barrique Reserve Shiraz, and Ritu are the few wines that won awards and positive critical acclaim in both Indian and international platforms. So if you are in search of a sophisticated ambiance on your wine tour as part of Maharashtra Tour Packages, Four Seasons winery is the place to be at. Another winery in Baramati is the Vallonne Vineyard, a boutique winery that is known for its French-style wines like Malbec, Rosé, Vin De Passerillage and Anokhee Cabernet Sauvignon that are unique offerings to the Indian wine market.