Day Trip: Dooars and Clouds and Childhood

North Bengal is my home. Literally. My ancestral home is in Siliguri and I have frequented North Bengal and its surrounding regions during my school days. No wonder I am interested in wildlife and my favourite holiday destination is Forest.

To me, summer vacation has always meant the silence in the forest, the chirp of crickets, the whistling winds and the rattling of the grass, the burble of the passing river or some unknown jhora, the musical cacophony of birds and long drives.

The Long Drive
The Long Drive – Mobile-shot

But for the last 4-5 years, with my board exams and college entrance exams, I was unable to visit Dooars. I have been to many other forests in the meantime but nothing compares to the ambiance of good ol’ dooars. So this vacation, when Kolkata faced the wrath of 42°C I headed to Dooars. I knew torrential rains have affected the forest and the hills in a massive way, and I knew it will be closed, but I needed the familiar environment.

Peacock and Green
Peacock and Green

So one day, I suddenly planned to visit Siliguri with Ma. There my aunt has arrived from USA with my sister after 4 years and I couldn’t wait to meet them and go on a day trip.

It was a good opportunity for me to meet the clouds and my old home at the same time. Ah, those old memories.

Dooars has changed a lot, but it still feels the same.

9
Malbazaar jn. Station
One of the oldest station of North Bengal
One of the oldest stations of North Bengal

This time I visited Malbazaar, a town on the edge of Gorumara National Park and Chapramari. It is a town now bustling with people and pollution. We first went to this newly built Hanuman Temple. It is a massive structure with 8-10 air conditioners to keep the Gods chilled. We arrived at New Mal Junction on a local passenger train we boarded from Siliguri Junction Station. From New Mal Jn. we hired a car for the five of us- Ma, Aunt(Pishi), Uncle(Boro Pisho), Mahi (sister) and I. The car took us to the temple and then we headed straight towards my beloved Murti.

The newly constructed Hanuman Temple. A monument of extravagance.
The newly constructed Hanuman Temple. A monument of extravagance.

Bonanti, a tourist lodge was once the only Lodge on the banks of River Murti which runs through Gorumara National Park and thus, if you are lucky, you can sight an elephant or a full herd on the banks of the river, or maybe a Rhino or two, or Spotted Deer chilling off on the gravel-filled river side. But now Murti hosts a bunch of Tourist lodge that popped up here and there like wild mushrooms, clearing small patches of forest leading to rampant deforestation. Still a percentage of the greenery is intact.

6
The Cloudscape

The clouds covered the blue sky and they looked like cotton candy on a blue backdrop. The sky never looked so amazing with the lush green beneath it and the water flowing, leaping over and splashing against the rocks, looked like melted crystal. Such serenity is rare.

My Aunt and my uncle.
My Aunt and my uncle.

On our way through the forest outskirts and round the Khunia tower, Mahi spotted two Peacocks and was super excited to get a glimpse of the magnificent National Bird. She even saw a young tusker while the train made its way through Sukna Forest. She’s a lucky girl.

4
The Big One

Clouds accompanied us all the way back and rained a little when we were returning. Overall I tasted a part of my childhood memories. I lived it for a day.

3
Cloudscape
Back to Home
Back to Home – Mobileshot

13 thoughts on “Day Trip: Dooars and Clouds and Childhood

      1. Dry as a bone. We may have entered another prolonged drought period with the wacky weather developing over the Pacific. El Nino, El Nina, or whatever. We usually end up with either too much rain or not enough, much like your monsoons.

        As for floods, the Brazos River (which runs near us) is still high due to upstream inputs. Thanks for your consideration, Agnij.

        Like

      2. Well, we haven’t seen the sun for a long time now. Even the roads are turning green with moss. Thanks to superb drainage system of Kolkata that we don’t have to face flood problems.

        Like

      3. Not so much here, even with all the man-made drainage and retention and bayou systems to keep the water flowing to the Gulf. Still, with more and more natural forests and soil being traded for concrete and buildings, we are sadly creating more problems for ourselves in even the slightest downpour. :/

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Shannon. I will be returning to the North Bengal this winter once again. Migratory Birds will be my priority this time. 😀 Hope to get some cool story there.

      Like

  1. Fabulous *_* Firstly, the cover pic….it caught my heart. It seems no less than the front cover of any wildlife photography magazine. And thanx for this wonderful trip. For a moment I was lost in the silence of peace….the green forest of dooars. The pictures are all too lively….the luminous clouds, the endless roads and the calmness of the river…… 🙂
    Eagerly waiting for the next post 🙂

    Like

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s