Hills of my Bengal

I love traveling to hills; my nearest location being Sikkim and northern part of Bengal. Last month, took a short and sweet break from work and went to Reshi - Sillery Gaon. It was not the first visit though.

The old lady of Sillery - Bengal (India)

There are few places where I go more than once, this circuit is one of them. It is so easy to book accommodation and go to these places. Now probably it has become more like my extended family.

Few tips if you want to go. If you are adding Zuluk to your wishlist, book it via Mr. Sebastian Pradhan of Reshi (Reshi Khola some call it). He will be able to do the bookings for Zuluk and Sillery on behalf of you. Quite hassle free process it is. But if you are planning to drop Zuluk and only want to stay in Reshi and Sillery (if you have less time in case) you can call either Mr. Pradhan or Mr Dilip Tamang of Sillery Gaon. He is quite a nice guy actually. He will again book the rooms for you at Reshi.

We reached Reshi around lunch time. Had an awesome lunch and found a big rock by the riverside. While my friends were busy finding objects and subjects; I slept on the rock for quite a few hours.

Last time identified these rocks but people did not allow me to sleep :-(
Moods by Rishi

Sometimes I love to do nothing, not even photography. Completely soaked in the mood, woke up only when a boy got one plateful of fish fries (caught fresh from flowing river Reshi) for us. Amazing, is not that?

Next day it was Sillery. Our bad luck, it was full of clouds. Just like the last time.

Early Morning | Misty Mountains of Bengal

This time, wandered through the village. Old ladies and little kids were chatting by the small fire they lit up. Shot a couple of portraits.

Face from the Hills of Bengal

Mingled with kids and had a long walk towards Remiti view point. On a fine clear morning, you can actually see Kanchendzonga, Macha Puchare, Bhutan peaks and Chinese peaks (I did not get to see, this is what Mr Tamang told us). Need to go back again and again till we can validate.

Yay!! | From the Hills of Bengal

It was really cold at night. We had arranged for Sikkimese rum and mouth watering chilly pork. That made the evening excellent. Then we joined the group of guys on the other room. Eventually it turned out that some of us were colleagues earlier. It was an amazing experience for rest of the night.

Some notes on the places:

Reshi: Riverside. Just relax primarily. Have fresh fish dishes. Get a chilled Hit Beer (local favourite). Shoot some of the frames of the flowing river. Some unknown flowers and insects. Night time, light a candle and start sharing your ghost stories! The place is absolutely safe and free from maddening crowd as of 2011 October.

Zuluk: Hill top. Decent valley view. Really chilled and snowy nights during winter. Pit stop for Jelep La (The old silk route).

Sillery Gaon: A magical hamlet. A very romantic place. They are naming it “New Darjeeling”. Absolutely no crowd here. Safe again to get lost in the jungle. If you get a clear sky, do call me. I am missing it every time. Want to see Kanchendzonga from this side of Bengal!

Some tour plans that you can do on a long weekend:

Plan A

Day 1: Night - start from Kolkata to NJP
Day 2: Morning - reach NJP. Start for Reshi. Reach Reshi by noon (Approx 4 hours). Stay at Reshi.
Day 3: Start at noon for Sillery (Approx 1.5 hours). Stay at Sillery.
Day 4: Start at noon for NJP to catch train OR stay one more day at Sillery.

Plan B

Day 1: Night - start from Kolkata to NJP
Day 2: Morning - reach NJP. Start for Reshi. Reach Reshi by noon (Approx 4 hours). Stay at Reshi.
Day 3: Start at noon for Zuluk (Approx 3.5 hours). Stay at Zuluk.
Day 4 (Bit hectic. Can be broken down): Early morning start for Jelep La, Old and new Baba Mandir, Tsomgo Lake (Changu Lake few Bengalis call it!) and come back to Zuluk at afternoon (Around 14:00). Have your lunch at Zuluk and start for Sillery Gaon. Reach Sillery in the evening.
Day 5: Stay at Sillery.
Day 6: Start at noon for NJP to catch train.

And of course some contacts:

Mr Sebastian Pradhan (Reshi Khola)
+91 9932744407 / +91 9932680170

Mr. Dilip Tamang (Sillery Gaon)
+91 9635005318

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