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India Diaries: What persuades me to visit India time and time again? - Khalid Ibne Hasan
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India Diaries: What persuades me to visit India time and time again?

What do I most like about India? Diversity. India, the seventh-largest country of the world has everything you can imagine, a whole world in a country. You want mountains, you have it. You want deserts, you have it. You want exotic beaches, you have it. You’re more into cultural heritages? There you have it too. India is full of historical places spread out in the entire region.

I’m a mountain lover. I love to lose myself in the calmness of the mountains. The thing I most do when I badly need a getaway is to go out and visit any mountain surrounded places. In the last couple of years, I’ve been to Darjeeling and Sikkim, situated at the foothills of great Himalayas.

Darjeeling

Though Darjeeling nowadays has turned into an over-crowded and a messy place, mostly because it’s cheap to travel, it’ll always have a unique place in my heart as it was the first-ever hill-station I visited. The same goes for Sikkim too. During the wintertime in Sikkim, you’ll know how it feels to be in minus temperature, how it feels to be surrounded in snows.

Sikkim

I went to Sikkim with three of my friends in early January when it was biting cold all around. Gangtok is much cleaner than Darjeeling I must say and there’s plenty to do there. If you want to see the real Sikkim, you’ve to travel to the northern part of this region. North Sikkim offers plenty of greeneries on the way to Lachung as you move towards. Upon arrival in Lachung or Lachen get yourself mesmerized by the breath-taking views of snowcapped mountains. One must visit the Yumthang Valley and Zero Point if the weather permits as it becomes challenging in the wintertime to move vehicles in slippery snow-covered roads. Visiting these places in winter also need some luck, the roads remain closed if there are extreme snowfalls. The roads leading to the Yumthang Valley through snow-covered forests makes you feel like you’re in a place you’re dreaming. On our way to Zero Point, our jeep could climb up to 13,700 feet as the roads beyond were all snow-covered. We stopped the car and got off just to be shaken up in a -15 degree Celsius temperature. There was no one on the road at that time except only four of us. In front of us we could see the mountains and on the other side, the long stretches leading to the valleys.

Kolkata

I’ve been to Kolkata famously called “The City of Joy” for around 4-5 times. Being a Bengali I always feel a connection there as we speak the same language. It’s roughly 80 kilometers away from my hometown Jessore and that’s why traveling to Kolkata has never been a big deal for me. What I most like about Kolkata is their colonial architectures depicting the massive impact of British ruling in this region. Victoria Memorial, nothing much to say about this place. If you’re in Kolkata for sightseeing, it’s a must-visit spot. To spend your evening in a chill and calm place, head towards Prinsep Ghat, situated along the bank of Hooghly River. Now it’s time for taking a sip of coffee along with some samosa, and obviously for some adda, we went straight to the famous College Street Coffee House. They’ve preserved the environment like the old days and you’ll get that vibe too when you’re there. Lastly, don’t forget to try out the street foods, they’re simply amazing and delicious.

That’s pretty much sums up my overall experience in India. I’m looking forward to visiting Ladakh, Kashmir, Shimla and Manali in the future. They all are in my bucket list. Again, I would like to clarify that this is not some kind of guide or anything. I’ve just shared my experiences and moments that I enjoyed while I was there. If you need any sort of help regarding itineraries, feel free to give me a text, email or phone call.

Soon, I'll be writing about my trip to China.

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