Wednesday, March 13, 2013


For many travelers, Darjeeling offers a bit of a respite from India's usual madness and unpredictability. Situated at 6,700ft on a steep hillside of the Himalayan foothills, the small town moves at a comfortable pace. 

Porters and sherpas hoist massive loads as they methodically ascend the narrow staircases that wind through the hill station as school children smile and scamper between their legs.

Like all streets in India, the hum of life and cars and horns and animals is still there-- though perhaps at a few decibels lower than other areas of the busy country.

On clear mornings, the world's third highest peak, Mt Kangchenjunga (28,169ft), looms in the distance and dwarfs its surroundings. From Tiger Hill, a lookout point in the nearby town of Ghoom, spectators gather in total blackness to await sunrise, huddled together with blankets and cups of steaming chai and coffee, waiting patiently for an unfiltered view of the massive mountain.

The respect and general calmness more commonly associated with Nepalese and Tibetan culture has obviously migrated across borders into Darjeeling. 

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