Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Waking Up In Dilaram Village

My host at Kettle Valley home stay had promised a village walk in the morning. He had knocked on my door a couple of times, but I continued to sleep. Well, the villagers don't sleep in. While I was still struggling to get out of my bed, I could hear the usual murmur outside my room. School children passed by beneath the home stay where I stayed. My host probably thought I had changed my mind about the morning walk.


The morning freshness

But, I couldn’t do that. I shrugged off my sleep, quickly splashed some water on my face and got ready for my day out in Dilaram village. As soon as I set out, I could feel the genial embrace of damp foliage around me and I just wanted to go on. As we had walked a little bit and passed by the small village homes, I was greeted by the blossoming Dilaram Tea Gardens. Although I wanted to linger around and soak in the morning freshness, I followed my host wherever he led me. After a while, we did stop for some photographs and a quick chit-chat with the tea-pluckers, which also enlightened me about their underpaid state.



Hills and valleys hidden away in mist

As we walked ahead, there were panoramas of more tea gardens, hazy hills and dales, and a bird’s eye view of Kurseong – a small town in Darjeeling district. Then I thought to myself that if I hadn’t woken up I would have missed out on so much! It was like wherever I glanced, I had something to admire.


The Stupa of love

Now the little village homes were waiting for me to pass by and learn something beautiful about their lives. Perhaps the most endearing thing that I discovered that day was the love of an old man for his beloved wife. (It’s a tradition in Buddhism that they build a stupa (grave) of their loved ones near the house.) This old Nepalese-Buddhist man had built a stupa for his wife who had passed away eleven months ago. He spent most of his time around the stupa maintaining it and keeping it tidy.


Dilaram folks knew how to recycle the plastic waste

As I walked farther, I had glimpses of several village homes and their morning routine. I was fascinated by their simple and laid-back living. And, something to really commend was the sanitation in the village. The village folks had made dustbins with old plastic bottles and had hung them at various places on the pathways, so that nobody threw trash inadvertently anywhere. No wonder I found every nook and cranny clean. 


Breakfast at a gracious home

On our way back, my host had a surprise for me in store. I didn’t know that as I glanced through the smiling faces, the cute little homes, the cattle and the fields, I would also get a chance to taste a bit of their lives. A gracious lady in the village invited us into her home and offered tea and breakfast.


Her son prepared delicious noodles and a poached egg for me. The egg was garnished with mustard oil (quite generously). Apparently, they use a lot of mustard oil for cooking anything non-vegetarian, which is believed to enhance the taste. And yes, the egg did taste great. As we finished our breakfast, the lady brewed the flavorful black Darjeeling tea for us.


I bade her goodbye with much gratitude, not just for the delightful breakfast, but also for sharing a beautiful morning with me – a stranger. Dilaram village turned out to be a lesson for me that I will never forget or even let it fade away.

Practical Information: Dilaram Village is only 8 km from the town of Kurseong in Darjeeling district. It is easily accessible from Siliguri railway station and Bagdogra airport by private or shared taxis.

So, would you choose a beautiful village over a vibrant city for your holiday?

If you enjoyed this post, you can –
Subscribe to receive ‘new post’ updates through Email.
Become a fan on Voyager For Life Facebook page.

34 comments:

  1. great post !

    Darjeeling is my birth place , wish to go there , let see when wish will come true.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should, Mahesh! Darjeeling has many hidden gems.

      Delete
  2. good job getting out and seeing things.. I have a feeling I might have been sipping tea inside a cafe all day everyday haha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But there are no cafes in Dilaram, Rachel! :P

      Delete
  3. Really loved the people portraits in this post.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Love the morning walks through the villages while travelling. Everything looks so fresh. Nice article, Renuka.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You bet! Village walks are simply amazing!

      Delete
  5. This place looks amazing. And everyone seems so friendly! It looks like you had a great day just wandering around :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's true, Justine! The people were extremely friendly and I could absorb so much by just wandering around. :)

      Delete
  6. i like to travel for ages so i can have both. several times over! I have to say, i'd love to visit this village. great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Andrew! Yeah, Dilaram village had something very unique about it. Yeah, even I like both cities and villages for my holidays.

      Delete
  7. Beautiful story about what appears to be the perfect morning walk! Lovely post!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Very refreshing Photo story! Loved reading and watching the pics :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. What a great experience, I'm sure! I would very much like to visit little villages like that, as long as it's not done in a too touristy fashion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right Annika! My Dilaram village walk was totally non-touristy. People barely know about this village!

      Delete
  10. What a beautifully, serene looking place. I think a morning walk here would be good for the soul! Thanks for sharing your experience with us :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely Greg! Dilaram village is an excellent place for morning walks and hiking.

      Delete
  11. I'm really a city person, but occasionally I love to get away from it all. I could do that right now actually... I haven't done "The village experience" on a holiday in ages... and these pics and posts really make me want to go!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad to hear that! It would be wonderful if you explore the villages of Darjeeling. They are so beautiful and untouched by commercialization.

      Delete
  12. That is a very touching moment with the story of the stupa and actually seeing the guy. Well I guess it is in keeping with the history of the Taj Mahal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought exactly the same! But, I think this man's gesture for his wife is even sweeter and more adorable.

      Delete
  13. Super pics. I especially liked the part where they recycle plastic containers into waste paper collectors, that too outside their house. I want to eat noodles now :)

    Destination Infinity

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True! Their consciousness towards cleanliness is something commendable. Yeah, the noodles were super tasty! :)

      Delete
  14. Incredible colors and textures in the landscape - WOW!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Maria! Dilaram village is very pretty!

      Delete
  15. Beautiful and mesmerizing...I always love to go places that still store natural beauty.
    I am following you on bloglovin,please follow me.
    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  16. Wow renuka..this is really nice..i am from the hills of assam now living in delhi and i really missed this kind of village atmospeher and those fresh mornings of my childhood.. thanx to you , a real pleasure reading ur post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Nabanita! :-) I'm so glad you could reminisce a bit of your childhood through my post.

      Delete
  17. Hi Renuka,
    The old man who was beside his wife's grave(stupa) passes away today. May his soul rest in peace. Many a time when I meet him he always wanted to see the photo.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ohh...I wish I could share this blog post with him...he will always be one of the endearing memories in my heart. May God give rest and peace to his soul.

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...