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From 1,500 metres to 123 metres asl in 34 kms

Day 8 Darjeeling > Siliguri > Mughal Sarāi

Today all we had to do was to drive the 62 km down to Siliguri in order to catch an overnight air-conditioned sleeper train from New Jalpaiguri to Mughal Sarai just out of Varanasi.

Didn’t realise how bushed I was as I couldn’t focus and update my blog. Instead went to sleep at 5.30pm / 17:30 and didn’t get out of bed till 9am / 09:00 though I know that I was awake every 3 hours. So it was a late 10.30am / 10:30 departure from Darjeeling.

55 sec VIDEO

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11 sec VIDEO

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A very late just after noon breakfast come brunch stop at Kurseong Tourist Lodge.

A masala omelette 58 rupees / NZ$1.20 / US$0.90 plus a small pot of coffee for 100 rupees / NZ$2.10 / US$1.50. Add the various service charges and a tip I handed over 200 rupees / NZ$4.20 / US$3.10.

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Kurseong

Thomas the Tank Engine? Wonder where the Fat Controller is?

Thomas the Tank Engine? Wonder where the Fat Controller is?

Then at Kurseong turned right and started the downwards drive along the Matigara – Kurseong Road / Subash Ghisingh Marg / Road. I lost count of the number of switchbacks that we had to take to drop the short 34 kms from Kurseong being at 1,500 metres / 4,783 feet above sea level to finally be at Siliguri just 123 metres / 404 feet above sea level.

What a change in temperature as well.

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To kill time we stopped part way along the journey by a field of tea trees.

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Shekhar our driver and JD

Shekhar our driver and JD

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Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary

Then just 11 km out of Siliguri we stopped at the Sukna Forest Village.

https://indikosh.com/vill/322400/sukna-forest

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Next door was the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary.

So what can you see in Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary?

Actually lots of flora and animal life in wide variations.

There are 330 different types of plantations that have been recorded in the sanctuary. Amongst forest plantation you will see Khair, sisoo, simul and tropical sal forests. Other major plantations includes teak, udal, champ, lali, jarul, gamar, mandane, bamboos, ferns, orchids, sidha etc.

https://www.darjeeling-tourism.com/darj_000093.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahananda_Wildlife_Sanctuary

The whole place was a bit run down the put it mildly. We saw no animals.

http://simanachariya.weebly.com/travel-information-of-mahananda-wildlife-sukna-latpanchor-punding-gulma-toribari-seventh-mile-and-latlong-sector.html

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Gin Rummy

Gin Rummy

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Here are some more images from Dr “Google”:

https://www.google.co.nz/search?q=sukna+to+sukna+forest+village&rlz=1C1GGRV_enNZ751NZ751&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjNoPWN_YHaAhUBTrwKHeVMAbUQsAQIVw&biw=1396&bih=662

https://www.google.co.nz/search?q=mahananda+wildlife+sanctuary&rlz=1C1GGRV_enNZ751NZ751&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjIx_Kv_4HaAhWFgrwKHackC7sQ_AUICigB&biw=1396&bih=662

29 sec VIDEO

10 sec VIDEO

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Finally at 4.45 pm / 16:45 got to the railway station at New Jalpaiguri where we said our farewells to Shekhar our driver.

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Hans, Joe, Sally, Shekhar, Bruce, Robyn, Ngaire, Tova, Ken

Hans, Joe, Sally, Shekhar, Bruce, Robyn, Ngaire, Tova, Ken

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When I went to another platform to find the toilet came across a place where they served either eat in or takeaway food. As I saw a tray of freshly cooked biriyani come out, so that was dinner for me 100 rupee / NZ$2.10 / US$1.60.

Back at the platform while waiting for the train got another bottle of cold Thums Up 30 rupee / NZ$0.60 / US$0.50.

Thums Up is a brand of cola in India. The logo is a red thumbs up. It was introduced in 1977 to offset the withdrawal of The Coca-Cola Company from India. The brand was later bought by Coca-Cola who re-launched it in order to compete against Pepsi.

As of February 2012, Thums Up is the leader in the cola segment in India, commanding approximately 42% market share and an overall 15% market share in the Indian aerated waters market. Thanks Mr Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thums_Up

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Yes, it was a basic overnight train. Unlike the first overnight train that was a 4 berth with curtains, this was a 6 berth with no curtain. Short story I ended up again on the bottom bunk, though initially was allocated the middle bunk. I am just glad that I didn’t have the top bunk. You have to be a wee hobbit to get up into that small space.

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Finally 2 hours after getting to the station we pulled out at 7.40pm / 19:40.

Posted by bruceontour 20:27 Archived in India Tagged mahananda_wildlife_sanctuary Comments (0)

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