Travel Darjeeling: Take the steam train

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A few Indian states have much to offer in terms of variety of landscapes and experiences as West Bengal, which stretches from the jagged mountain ranges north to the rice paddies of the plains of the Ganges.

In this region, there is a place of endless green expanses of rolling hills that intersect at the foot of the Himalayas. Here, deep blue skies are reflected in the streams fed by eternal snows and glaciers further north. Soft music resonates in the name of this land, and a sense of peace is poured only to pronounce it: Darjeeling.

A name that smells of delicious smoking teas. As early as 500 BC, the fertile land and sloping and its mild climate they have made the Darjeeling region perfect for tea cultivation. But it was in mid-800, when these uninhabited lands were given in management to the East India Company, that the green woods gave way to white colonial houses and large plantations, resulting in a black tea among the most popular in the world.

This journey moves between Indian tea plantations of the fog, between delicate leaves taste of almond and ripe fruit, including aromas of different gardens, each with its own personality and its intense fragrance. From Dam Dim Summer Lankapara to Glenburn Tea Estate to discover the processes of collection and processing and marvel aromatic scents emitted during the tastings.

The Toy Train, operated by Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, climbs the mountain reliefs. The curtain rises of Bhutan, Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary and Buxa Tiger Reserve. An unusual and fascinating mix of landscapes ranging from the sub-Himalayan forest to tropical forest, the deciduous forests to the prairie.

And then get lost in the narrow and steep streets that teem with quaint artisan shops. Villages of houses with mud walls and thatched roofs. Among the colonial buildings and enticing shopping streets, the encounter with a population of the most sociable in the whole India. Availability, attention and openness of the local people are sincere and enthusiastic.

Culturally, historically and spiritually, this land is linked to Tibet. The more than 250 Buddhist monasteries in Tibetan style, the gompa, add a touch of white, gold and vermilion to the green tops can be reached on foot, through avenues of colorful prayer flags.

A fascinating destination full of synesthesia, in which it will be sweet to miss the look, taste and be intoxicated by the charm of India.