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Tea Processing at Margaret’s Hope, Kurseong

July 6, 2017 2 comments

Margaret’s Hope, Kurseong

Tea Processing

See also: Maragaret’s Deck FAM

The most common legend related to the discovery of tea dates back to 2737 BC in Yunnan province in China. It happened during the reign of the Emperor Shen Nong. The story narrates that while the emperor was drinking from a bowl, a few leaves from the nearby tea plant fell in it. He liked the resulting beverage, which lead to the world wide phenomenon of tea drinking.

Margaret's Hope tea Factory, Kurseong

Margaret’s Hope tea Factory, Kurseong

Although historians doubt about the authenticity but it was this Yunnan Province that gave the world the habit of drinking tea.

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Tea and much more, Margaret’s Deck, Kurseong

Margaret’s Deck, Kurseong

Tea and much more

See also: Maragaret’s Deck FAM

Kurseong, has always lived in the shadows of his more illustrious sister Darjeeling, considered as the queen of the hills. Kurseong, literally meaning the land of the white orchid, has always been a quick stop for a bite of momo and a gulp of tea, for tourists heading for Darjeeling. (Also read: Kurseong, the land of white orchid)

Margaret's Deck Tea Lounge, Kurseong

Margaret’s Deck Tea Lounge, Kurseong

The small eateries and road side sacks have served plates of steaming plates of momos and bowls of thupkas to hungry tourist heading for Darjeeling. But now there is a difference, enter Margaret’s Deck, an exclusive tea lounge. Margaret’s Deck is an initiative of Goodricke Tea Pot at the Margaret Hope tea garden in Kurseong.

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A date with Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) Toy Train, Kurseong

February 23, 2017 11 comments

A date with Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) Toy Train

Kurseong

See also: Maragaret’s Deck FAM

A hundred miles, a hundred miles,
A hundred miles, a hundred miles
You can hear the whistle blow a hundred miles

500 miles

We heard the whistle blow, but it was not hundred miles away, in fact it was less than hundred yards away. It was a foggy winter afternoon and we were at the Margaret’s Deck digging into a exotic lunch spread.

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) Toy Train in front of Margaret's Deck

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) Toy Train in front of Margaret’s Deck

Off went your lunch and we rushed out of the Margaret’s Deck, with our cameras, to photography the famous Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) Toy Train (Also read: Chasing the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) Kurseong – Mahanadi), an UNESCO Heritage site.

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Tea Tasting at Margaret’s Deck, Kurseong

February 15, 2017 12 comments

Tea Tasting at Margaret’s Deck

Goodricke’s Margaret Hope Tea Estate, Kurseong

See also: Maragaret’s Deck FAM

If you are cold, tea will warm you; if you are too heated, it will cool you; if you are depressed, it will cheer you; if you are exxcited, it will calm you.

William Gladstone, former Prime Minister of United Kingdom

My first stint with Tea Tasting happened at the Goodricke office in Kolkata. I remember tasting several version and trying to distinguish between the different tastes and flavoures.

 Margaret's Deck, Goodricke Tea Pot, Kurseong

Margaret’s Deck, Goodricke Tea Pot, Kurseong

But I always wanted to have a tea tasting experience at the heart of chai country. The opportunity again came from Goodricke, with MSL Group as the public relation partner.

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Sagar Talao Group, Mandu, Madhya Pradesh (MP)

January 27, 2017 2 comments

Sagar Talao Group, Mandu, MP

Malik Mughith’s Mosque, Caravan Sarai, Dai ka Mahal, Dai ki Chhoti  Bahen ka Mahal and Unknown Tomb

Also see: Familiarization (FAM) Tour of Madhya Pradesh (MP)

Sagar Talao, the largest lake in the Citadel of Mandu is located on the southern part of Mandu. Along the eastern banks of the lake are several monuments, which are clubbed together as the Sagar Talao Group.

sagar-4

A panoramic view of the Malik Mughith’s Mosque, Sagar Talao Group, Mandu, Madhya Pradesh (MP)

North of the Sagar Talao Group is the Darya Khan Group and further south is the Rewa Kund Group (see: map).

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Rajwada, Maheshwar Fort, Abode of Ahilya Bai

December 21, 2016 Leave a comment

Rajwada, Maheshwar Fort, Madhya Pradesh (MP)

Abode of Ahilya Bai

Also see: Familiarization (FAM) Tour of Madhya Pradesh (MP)

Ahilya Bai is second to none in valour, sagacity and eminence. Nobody can equate her in these matters.

Nana Phadnavis

Statue of Ahilyaa Bai, Rajwadaa, Maheshwar Fort

Statue of Ahilyaa Bai, Rajwadaa, Maheshwar Fort

The massive Maheshwar Fort stands on hill overlooking the Narmada River on the south. The stupendous walls of the Maheshwar Fort rises straight out of the Narmada River to a height of more than 30 meters.

The Maheshwar Fort dates back to antiquity and there are no clear evidence of its first construction. The fort as we see today was conceived during the reign of Ahilya Bai Holkar (1767 – 95).

Ahilya Bai, was the daughter in law of Malhar Rao Holkar, the founder of Hindu Maratha dynasty of Holkar, who ruled central India from Indore.

Ahilya Bai was born in 1725 in the village of Chondi in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra. Her father was Mankoji Shinde, a village chief. Unusual for the time he tought her daughter to read and write.

According to legend one day Malhar Rao Holkar, while passing through the village of Chondi spotted the 8 year old Ahilya Bai.

Pleased with her beauty and personality he brought her home as a bride for her son Malhar Rao Holkar. They were married in 1733. Ahilya Bai become a widow in 1754, when her husband Malhar Rao Holkar, died during the siege of Kumbher.

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Birding Tour along Sikkim’s Silk Route

December 7, 2016 2 comments

Birding Tour along Sikkim’s Silk Route

Birding Trip for a non Birder

Also see: Familirazation (FAM) tour of the Birding Trail of East Sikkim

It was a hot summer afternoon in a cafe in Salt Lake, Kolkata, I was having a discussion with Siddhartha of Wandervogel Adventures on my future blogging projects. As the discussion progressed Siddhartha briefed me about Wandervogel Adventure’s next trip to Sikkim a Birding Trip along the Silk Route of Sikkim. 

Group Photo, Birding Trail of East Sikkim, in front of Mangaldeep Resort & Hotel (Photo Courtesy: Dilip Raj Pradhan)

Group Photo, Birding Trail of East Sikkim, in front of Mangaldeep Resort & Hotel (Photo Courtesy: Dilip Raj Pradhan)

The briefing was soon complete and to my utter surprise Siddhartha invited me to join the Birding Trail of East Sikkim. Wild life tours and photography has never been cup of tea and joining a group on experienced birders on a birding trail is the last thing I imagined.

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