June 20, 2015

Sojourn to Solitude - Tinchuley

I had never been a beach lover. Naturally mountains have always been my first choice.  My uncle planned almost two three months before and finalized this trip itinerary. We felt little uncertain as some major earthquakes hit neighboring Nepal in April and following aftershocks could have dislodged our preparations at the eleventh hour.

We boarded the famous ark named Darjeeling Mail on 14th May from Sealdah. The train reached New Jaipaiguri junction, cloudy and a nice windy weather welcomed us. Murmuring into my senses, the thrill of the ‘misty’ mountains was just to unfold. A driver sent from the home stay came to pick us from the station. We started towards Tinchuley, passing through mountainous landscape, over dense tropical moist deciduous forest, and the flowing Teesta. As we refueled ourselves with platter full of sumptuous Puri Bhaji and Momos and Omelettes, spirits went high, and onward we rolled…leaving the township…following the bends and curves of the high mountains. The picturesque road from NJP to Tinchuley, took us through tea gardens, to our destination, Gurung Guesthouse.


Living in a crowded city, we do not get the opportunity to experience the bliss of nature. Strolling silently amongst nature on a rain-swept morning is not very common either. I was fortunate enough to visit such a place where the clouds are at arm’s length distance and where the nature feels most at home. It is one of the most enigmatic and relaxing destinations, I have ever been to. The place was full with birds of different types. There was something for everyone in that small place…

As Gurung we reached Guest House Tinchuley, tea was served and we freshened up. It was early afternoon. We ate the beautiful, simple and tasty meal prepared by the resident family. The ghee was homemade as was the honey, coming from their aviary. The tea leaves were hand- pounded and dried in the sun, the vegetables grown in patches. The pishis (aunts) of Mr. Dipendra Gurung, went on urging us to eat well, heaping on our plates steaming hot food..

The personalized care, attention and warmth that characterizes the hospitality of the host has only to be experienced first-hand to know how much this scores over the lavish decors, room service and other luxuries that define regular hotels and resorts.

Next day we went for sightseeing to a monastery, tea garden, orange garden, lovers meet point and Triveni. Tinchuley is silent and peaceful that even the dogs don’t bark; they just follow you at your heels.  As you breathe in the pure air, the place will get a hold on you. Be it the mesmerizing natural beauty, the harmony of the tea pickers at their work, the endless stretches of tea gardens, the comfort food or just the silence curling around you – it is a perfect getaway. The riot of colors of the wild flowers, the constant bird songs, the misty weather, the chill in the air all are an antidote to city life. We came away soul-cleansed and energized, ready to take on the world again.


  1. 100% agree with you.... I was there first time when no motorable road was there between the tea garden..... dining was with the gurung family... from then to today i love you Tinchuley......