The Gorumara National Park, lying in the flood plains of Murti and Jaldhaka rivers, is the pride of Duars. On the right bank of the river Murti, very near to the North Garumara Range of the famous Garumara National Park, is a wonderful place for nature observation called the Dhupjhora South Park. It is an ideal place for a relaxation at the weekend. A fairly medium sized team, all from our office, with the exception of Gopal of Venus Hotel, assembled at the campus of our Siliguri office on the lazy saturday of 12th July 2008. The nine members of our team were myself, Uttam, Gopal, Tapasda, Praneshda, Parthoda, Rathinda, Ashisda and Shogen, Gopal's driver. We started after 2.00 pm in Gopal's Opel Corsa and Tapasda's Santro. Had a brief lunch stop at Gautam's Dhaba, Sevoke bazaar. The next stop was at Chalsa bazaar. We shopped there for live chicken and some vegetables. The two cars assembled there and took a right turn towards Batabari more. Tapasda led the way and took a left turn from Batabari More. Upto this road the way is familiar to me since it is the same road leading to Murti Lodge of the WBFDC. From Dhupjhora bazaar, Tapasda took a right turn. We crossed the Dhupjhora primary school and took a left turn towards Bhagatpara. The mud track passed through a vast plantation of beetlenuts known as the "Guabari". Finally, on crossing a treacherous muddy track over a small stream, we reached the gate of the Dhupjhora South Park resort.
We selected the farthermost cottage, nearest to the river and the overlooking machan. At about 8 p.m. we set out for our nightly adventure of catching riverine fish. Narain, a local fearless boy, was our guide and trainer. he has excellent abilities of catching fishes in the dark.
Amazing Ankush is the son of my close friend Bapi Datta. At his little age of 3+ years, he can effortlessly ride big bikes on busy roads.
Ever since he started walking, his father tried to make him an expert bike rider. We saw Bapi making him sit on the petrol tank of his bike and leaving the handlebar control to him now and then. Gradually, the duration of balancing the bike increased. Initially, he let him ride only on empty roads. Once his control over the bike increased, he let him ride through busy roads. Of course, the foot brake and gear was controlled by Bapi sitting on the pillion seat. Ankush's little feet cannot reach the controls.
Now, in his most outstanding feat, he made a two way trip to the hills of Sevoke and Kalijhora, covering a distance of about 50 kilometres. More so, he made the trip atop a 225 cc Hero Honda Karizma bike, an enormous bike for a 3+ kid.
As you all know, travelling is my passion. Another of my passions is the internet. I used to miss the internet a lot during the course of my travellings in remote corners. Yes, mobile internet was available for quite a long time in this region. But they were way too costly. But not any more. There are a number of affordable mobile internet services provided by different service providers like Airtel, BSNL, Reliance Mobile, Tata Indicomm, Vodaphone, etc. And don't underestimate the power of mobile internet. Browsing is not limited to the cellphone screen alone. You can easily connect the cellphone to a laptop or PC through a data cable or a bluetooth connection and browse happily on the big screen. Hereafter, I am limiting my discussion within this post to unlimited GPRS plans only. Airtel provides the cheapest solution, with their NOP scheme calling for a meagre sum of Rs. 104/- per month. But there is a catch. You will understand it once you expand the name of the scheme. NOP stands for "net on phone". With this scheme, you are allowed to surf on the phone's tiny screen only. If you want to browse in a PC, Airtel has a costlier scheme called Mobile Office which comes at Rs. 498/- a month. However, there is a buzz that there is a wayout hack to get even the NOP connection on PC. The cheapest full fledged unlimited GPRS scheme is from Reliance Mobile. They charge Rs 150/- per month (for prepaid). BSNL has an unlimited GPRS plan of Rs. 199/- only for their postpaid customers. Prepaid customers has to pay 2 paise per kilobyte(KB). The plans for other service providers are slightly costlier. Next, let us learn about the process of channeling the internet connection from your handset to your PC or laptop. You can use three types of connections, data cable, bluetooth or infrared. The last one is really worthless, for its meagre rate of data transfer. The fastest connection is possible through a USB data cable. Corresponding software depending upon the manufacturer of phone is required. For Nokia phones, there is the Nokia PC suite. For Sony Ericksson phones, they provide the Sony Ericksson PC suite. There is the EasyGPRS software for Samsung phones.
I never believed my tours and adventures are going to pay me off someday. Yet this unbelieveable has happened. Google has sent me my first payment of 102 dollars (Rupees 4067). I received the cheque today. This adsense program from Google is really great. Now I shall write my blogs with renewed vigour and enthusiasm. Do you want to earn some money by writing about your favourite subjects? Then start blogging now. Be patient. Success will come. Contact me if you want to learn more. Cheque out the picture of my cheque yourself.
Under the leadership of Bholada, from NESPON, Siliguri, a couple of dozens of adventurous guys planned for a pathbreaking adventure to the Gurudongmar Lake, North Sikkim, near the origin of river Teesta. The terrain around Gurudongmar remains snow clad throughout most of the year. We set out in our expedition in the month of August, for the simple reason that the region remains free of snow in that month. Strategically, August falls just after the heavy monsoon and before the onset of winter. We could only hope, but could never be sure, that the torrential rains will stop during our journey.
Most of our bikes were Royal Enfield Bullets. Ours and Somit's were Bazaz Calibers. Two more were from the Hero Honda stable. Only a lone make was a Suzuki Shogun. Our most valued member was Mr. Sahabuddin, ace bike mechanic. Because of his presence in our team, we were free from the tension of a mechanical failure. Spare parts required for every conceivable problem were kept at bay.
After weeks of planning, one fine August morning of 2003, we set out for our journey from the Kanchenjungha Stadium of Siliguri. We took the National highway No. 31. The branch NH 31A runs all the way to Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim.
Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC) has a wonderful tourist bunglow named Parijat Guest House near Gorubathan. It is also known as the Dalimfort Bunglow after the historical fort of the Lepcha king. The Lepcha king, in his struggle against the British army, used this fort on hilltop as his stronghold. We four friends, along with our families went on a small holiday trip to Gorubathan on 21st January. The Team consisted of myself, Moon, Manas, Arpita, Biswajit, Seema, Sagarda, Gopadi and four kids. We boarded the morning passenger train from Siliguri Town station at 8.30 am. This railroute passes almost wholly through the wilderness of the Terai & Dooars. It is populated with all sorts of wild animals, the elephant being the largest. You can spot an elephant quite frequently or can even collide with one. Its true! Every year quite a handful of elephants die on this railroute by colliding with passing trains. Just after crossing the beautiful Gulma station we entered the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary. Crossed the pretty river Teesta at Sevoke. Then we brushed aside the Mongpong picnic spot at the bank of Teesta. Just after Mongpong, we passed through two very dark tunnels at Pilansat. Such are the marvels of this wonderful rail journey.
Alighted at Odlabari station. Called my friend Sujit. He arranged a Mahindra jeep for us to take us to Dalimfort bunglow.