Kurseong is a hilly resort in the Darjeeling hills, few
hundred miles away from Kolkata which can be reached in
over night journey by train or by road. Go by Train or
Air from Kolkata and take a bus or cab to reach Kurseong
in two hours time. You can take the heritage Toy train
from Siliguri / New Jalpaiguri.
When the toy train reaches the town of Kurseong at around
mid-day, you will see the area around the station bustling
with activity. Crowd thronging around shops, tea-vendors
and restaurants, travellers on the
to Darjeeling settling down for a quick lunch, porters
unloading luggage, taxi drivers getting ready for passengers.
Meanwhile, the engine is de-linked from the train and
shuttled out on a different track to the yard at one
end of the town. Then it comes back and is re-attached
to the train from the opposite end emitting white steam
scarcely different from the wisps of fog swirling all
around the place. There is a chill in the mountain air
and if the sun is visible, it is pleasantly warm.
you walk a little distance away from the station to the
roadside or up the steep road to Downhill, you get a view
of the plains far below stretching to the horizon like
a great carpet laid out at the feet of the majestic mountains.
During the season just before the monsoon, it is a pleasure
to watch rain clouds cling to the blue-green slopes and
accumulate at the top the mountain ranges.
It is perhaps this vintage point that made Kuseong, "the
place of White Orchids", popular among many great personalities,
especially writers and poets. Mark Twain spent some days here
in 1885. Rabindranath Tagore often visited this place and
is said to have composed many poems here. His elder brother,
the painter Abanindranath Tagore, who was the founder of the
Bengal School of Painting was inspired a great deal by the
beautiful spots around this town. Sister Nivedita, the famous
disciple of Swami Vivekananda also settled down for some time
India's struggle for Independence, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose
was interned at Giddapahar by the British government for two
around the town, the slopes are covered with tea bushes which
yield some of the finest varieties of Darjeeling tea in the
world: Castleton, Makaibari, Ambootia...
most prominent feature of the town is the TV tower at
Eagle's Crag dominating the western skyline. A short
walk from the station takes you to Eagle's Crag viewpoint
form where there is a breathtaking view of the plains
below. In the north, you will see the snow-capped Kanchendzonga
beyond the Ghoom ridge for the first time on your way
hour is an unforgettable experience in these slopes.
Each day when the sun goes down below the opposite ridge,
the sky is aflame with colours that only nature's pallette
can conjure. At night, lights from distant settlements
are visible in the south glowing like fireflies in the dark.
If you love nature and peaceful surroundings, if you like lazy
afternoons and splendid nights illumined by starry skies, you
might not want to say goodbye to Kurseong at all.