Towards the Wonderful Himalayas

After the Guwahati consultation, on the 24th August Bhargavi, her daughter Prabha and myself travelled to Darjeeling. The home of tea, the Queen of the Hills is described by Wikipedia as: "Darjeeling (Nepali: दार्जीलिङ्ग (help·info) ) is a town in the Indian state of West Bengal. It is the headquarters of Darjeeling district, in the Shiwalik Hills on the lower range of the Himalaya, at an average elevation of 6,982 ft (2,134 m). During the British Raj in India, Darjeeling's temperate climate led to its development as a hill station (hill town) for British residents to escape the heat of the plains during the summers, becoming known as the Summer Capital.
Darjeeling is internationally famous for its tea industry and the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The tea plantations date back to the mid 19th century as part of a British development of the area. The tea growers of the area developed distinctive hybrids of black tea and fermenting techniques, with many blends considered among the world's finest.[1] The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway connecting the town with the plains was declared a World Heritage Site in 1999 and is one of the few steam engines still in service in India.
Darjeeling has several British-style public schools, which attract students from many parts of India and neighbouring countries. The town, along with neighbouring Kalimpong was a major center for the demand of a separate Gorkhaland state in the 1980s, the democratic movement for a separate state has begun again, this time without any accompanying violence. In recent years the town's fragile ecology is threatened by a rising demand for environmental resources, stemming from growing tourist traffic and poorly planned urbanisation."

We were flying to Bagdogra via Calcutta. In Bagdogra we visted an inclusive education programme for children with disabilities.

As it was a weekend day, we met only a few blind children who were singing and playing the tabla.
After a 3 hours drive up to the clody, rainy hills we arrived at Darjeeling, where after some adventures found our hotel, the beatiful Dekeling Resort.
"Hawk's Nest Resort combines every comfort and convenience with a unique experience of British and Tibetan history. Constructed in the late 19th century by Sir William Ferguson Ducat. The mansion is typical of those built by British of the Raj period who favoured Darjeeling as a summer retreat from the heat of the Indian plains. Recently restored to its original splendour by the Dekeva family. Hawk's Nest is now available for discriminating vacationers and honeymooners looking for a very special experience.

Each of the four luxury suites include two large rooms cable television plus a large private bath with adequate supply of hot and cold water. The authentic wood and glass work in each room is complemented by original tiled fireplaces which have been carefully restored to working order. A supply of fuel is always at hand and our staff is at your service to assist in keeping a warm glow in the hearth and to bring delicious meals from our Resort kitchen. Each suite enjoys a view of our floral gardens and the Darjeeling hills, crowned by the spectacular Kanchenjunga range." (http://dekeling.com/#Dekeling%20Resort)

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