A short one, lasting only a few hours — the journey by train from Siliguri to my hometown Hasimara, can be quite pleasant. (Afraid I cannot help you with the specifics. My mental faculties are unfortunately not up to processing distance, time and directions).
The route will strike you as very scenic, cutting through tea gardens and farmlands; although daily commuters may not even bother looking out the window.
Since I live in big city Bangalore, however, and visit only about once a year, I never tire of the breathtaking beauty of Dooars. Situated in the foothills of the Himalayas, this region is a doorway to Bhutan from India. Dooar means ‘door’ in Assamese, Bengali and Nepali, hence the name! And then you have the Teesta and Torsha rivers to add to it’s charms.
If you do tire of looking out the window, though, there are attractions within. You can buy yourself some coffee and ‘timepass’ to distract yourself. (I swear roasted groundnuts are sold as ‘timepass’ on the train! And don’t be alarmed if someone screams ‘baldy! baldy! They are not referring to your thinning hair but selling boiled eggs — eggs are deem in Bangla and so ‘boiled deem’ gets shortened to ‘baldy!’)
What I also never miss is jhalmuri or masala muri – puffed rice with chopped onion and green chillies, tomatoes, coriander, some spices, nuts and a dash of mustard oil. But I wouldn’t want you to get too adventurous unless you have a strong digestion or a Gelusil tablet handy.
What you could try instead is a bowl of chana gorom or ghugni (black gram cooked in gravy). And if you aren’t the coffee kind of person, there’s lebu cha or excellent lemon tea, for you.
Lastly, don’t forget to wave at kids, if you spot any through the window.
What has been your most favorite train journey?
This post is the tenth in a series of 26 posts that I am writing throughout the month of April as part of the A to Z challenge 2016.