When people talk about their travels to different parts of India, it is a rare thing to hear about places that are offbeat. We have a tendency of going to tried and tested places which have by now, been exploited. Instead, let’s explore those that are really beautiful, untouched and are worth our time. Ghum is one such place, the name itself is inviting.
Located in the lap of the majestic Himalayas, Ghum is a traveller’s paradise and only 6kms from Darjeeling. There is also a heritage train that will take you from Darjeeling to Ghum! What more do you need?
The railway station of this surreal place is situated at a height of 7,407 feet, making it the highest railway station in India and one of the highest railway stations in the world.
On your next visit to West Bengal, reach New Jalpaiguri and either take a cab or a train that will take you to Ghum. It is 6-7 hours journey by the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway and a 3-4 hours journey by road.
Another reason to visit Ghum is that to reach the railway station, you have to pass through the famous Batasia Loop – a spiral railway loop that is known to be scenic and thrilling at the same time. Batasia Loop is also where the famous War Memorial to honour the soldiers who gave their lives for the nation since independence.
Ghum’s Monastery which is also known as Yi Gha Choling Gompa houses a 15 feet high image of Buddha. This monastery was built in 1850 and has a colourful history you can read about before your visit. There are three other monasteries in Ghum that will offer you the much-needed respite from the noise of the cities and a chance to explore your inner self.
Another highlight of Ghum is the Tiger Hill which is really in Darjeeling but only 5kms away. Why should you visit it? Because it gives you a clear and unforgettable view of the famous Mount Everest and also of Kanchenjunga which is the third highest peak in the world. But this will happen only if you are lucky as clouds have, in the past, spoilt the view for many enthusiasts.
What are you waiting for? Ja ‘ghum’ le!
Preview Photo: tnpscthervupettagam.com