Sanjeev Naskar is a resident of Behala. An engineer in the Indian Army, Sanjeev enjoys exploring new places in the country and abroad, painting and riding his bike. Bengal’s TV9 Department of Travel Today, from Sunday to the last day of the week in May, Sanjeev Julie brings out a travelogue for the biker-adventurers… Today, the first episode of ‘Motorcycle Diaries’.
Today let’s leave the familiar daily life and go a little differently. No, no, not the wrong path – more colorful than the path. Come back from the place where Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose spent a major part of his life. Perhaps even today we can still smell the fragrance of his memory, the warmth of his rebellious spirit. No, no blood should be given today, only direct access to the spine of the living through Lepsaka or Baksa Phot. Located in the lap of the Himalayas, it is home to one of India’s largest tiger projects: the Paksa Tiger Project. Kadadar river flows through it. And if you cross that river you can reach Bhutan. There are small and big green hill forests and beautiful places like Chandalapari, Lepsaka, Sunavati, Rovers Hill Top, Rimbound Valley and Pokhri. Night means darkness, the sound of insects, the twinkling lights of fireflies and the starry sky. And sometimes the call of a fox or various animals makes nature difficult, but very beautiful.
Despite being a very small village, the lifestyle of the people here is very simple. They carry their daily bread on their backs from the foothills. The place is surrounded by five famous mountains, the most notable of which are Mahagal, Sunavati and Rovers Trekking Point. There are also small homestays for accommodation. The local people here also call this village Durukpa village. There is only one school in this village where re-education is taught through Nepali and Bhutanese scripts.
The hilltop is the main attraction here during the day and night. There is a small field in the middle of this village where you can see the entire Baksa forest. A brief history of this village is that it was a large area divided between the King of Bhutan and the then King of Koch of the plains. It later came under the control of Chorus in 1865 through the Treaty of Sing Shula between British India and Bhutan.
How to go:
To go to Lepsaka you have to come to Chandalapari first. It is about 715 km by road from Kolkata. Leave office on Friday, leave for Chandalabari for three days on Saturday morning by bike.
Available next week only. So wondering what to take? Take a small bag with you. Two sets of pants. A collection of hot pants that can be worn at night. Some dry food, some energy bars, some common medicines, some other essentials and two one liter water bottles. As the route is approximately 1500 km, another small bag contains clutch and accelerator cables, spur plugs (one set), puncture kit and a small digital air pump with adjustable range and spanner. Tie two bags to the bike at night with bungee cords.
Those who come by train arrive at Alipurduar in the afternoon, book a car and proceed directly to Chandalapari. In the afternoon or evening, book a hotel or homestay in Chandalapari. By 7am the next morning, he had packed all his belongings and left for the Pakse Fort checkpost, which was within walking distance of the hotel.
Say ‘goodbye’ to Calcutta early in the morning and come straight to Krishnanagar on NH twelve. Its distance is 100 km. Visit a roadside sweet shop and complete your breakfast with hot kachuri and sweets. Now your bike will almost be cool too. For bike, at least 30 minutes rest should be given after every 100 km. Again approximately 100 km means Beduthari Balashi via Baharampur. 200 km road from Kolkata to Baharampur may take some time due to many villages, bazargats and local bodies. It takes about six hours to start the journey in the morning. It is now twelve o’clock in the afternoon. Due to the heat of the sun, cold water and a liter of ORS should be given some time for the bike. One more thing to say, if there is any difficulty on the road, you can get help at any petrol pump without a helpline. In case of any difficulty related to water, bathroom, toilet and vehicle, they are obliged to help as per government rules.
Then come to Farakka via Sagartiki, Raghunathganj, Dhulian. Have lunch here and depart for Raiganj. The road from Baharampur to Raiganj is very good but can take up to 5 hours due to heat. Raiganj to Talkola at 5 pm. After reaching Kishananj take some rest. After evening tiban, find a hotel for overnight stay in Islampur. 700 to 1000 rupees to get a quality house. Because there is no better place to stay after Islampur. And for longer journeys, one thing should be kept in mind: if the bike is less than 150 cc, it should not exceed 70 km/hr and if it is more than 200 cc, 80-90 km/hr.
The next morning you have to wake up at 6 am, finish your daily work and leave by 7 am. Today we have to visit some places and travel again 225 km. So, don’t think about breakfast and head out to Bulbari. Phulbari is 70 km away. After breakfast, visit Banglabandha Zero Point. India-Bangladesh border. Spend some time there and take pictures and come to Alipurduar via Mainaguri-Thopaguri-Balagata. The tea plantations and dense forests lining both sides of this 140 km route will mesmerize you. And the descent from that hill through Terai region is impressive. The river is mostly covered with gravel. Small hills and tea plantations are in the distance. Seeing the moment when the trees turn from dark green to black reminds us again and again of Arjuna. Thinking about various things and crossing the 140 km road will not make sense.
It will be 12 noon when we reach Alipurduar. So, without delay, see Rajbari, have Boroli fish and rice in a nice Bengali hotel and head out to Santalabari. After a short distance, you have to leave the plain and climb the hill. At this moment, the surroundings suddenly changed. White clouds play in the blue sky. Below him were black hills and tea plantations, great pine and cedar trees. You will come to Chandalapari to enjoy the beauty of nature. Chandalapari is a small beautiful village on the lap of Baksa Tiger Sanctuary. It is located in Baksa Tiger Reserve. Its scenic views will mesmerize you. This village produces a lot of oranges in winter. Oranges are called ‘Santa’ in the local language hence another name of this village is Chantabari.
7 km from Chandalapari to Lepsaka view point. You have to walk. Many people book cars from Chandalapari. But it must be said that these cars do not go more than 2 km. Car or bike parking is available at Santalabari. Leave the car in it and head to Lepchaka with your big bag. There is only one road to Leipzig. He doesn’t need a guide. Good momos are available at Chandalapari. Thinking of having momos this afternoon? Trust me, noon doesn’t feel like noon under the big trees and nature. At the beginning of the journey the roads are very wide and there are cement sheds for rest on the roadsides. With a little effort, you will forget all the fatigue when you reach Boxer View Point in 40-50 minutes. Seeing Sanctum, Pokhri, Jayanti, Alipurduar in an almost 180 degree box, you will not believe your eyes. It is impossible to progress from that point of view. After some time, he again took the same route to Baksa Fort about 1.5 km.
In that fort, since 1930, the British imprisoned India’s freedom fighters. Among them were Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Bhupan Dutta, Hemachandra Ghosh, Bhupathi Majumdar and others. A memorial pillar was erected in 1997 to commemorate the freedom fighters. Today the fort is closed for repairs. A visit here will blow your mind. Once you see this fort, you will find some food stalls of local people on the previous road, the smell of which will tempt you to eat those gabars. Have Chinese food here and exit to Lepsaka View Point via Lepsaka Camp. The scenic beauty of the nearly 3.5 km road will leave you in awe. From Tasi Khan, turn right to Lepsaka View Point and left to Rovers Point. A beautiful view of Leipzig from Rovers Point. Many spend the night in Leipzig and explore Rovers Point and the surrounding forest the next morning, and you can do the same.
Lepsaka is a small village in the mountains. Lepchaka Baksa Fort is seven kilometers away from the check post. This may take a total of four hours. So when you reach Leipzig, a huge holly flag will greet you. You will be greeted by people’s eyes and tongues and the noise of small children, the chirping of birds and a variety of beautiful flowers. A monastery in that village will fascinate you. The sun is setting as we look around and come to a small field at the far end of the village. One of the most beautiful canvases in the world will glow red before your eyes, making you stare blankly into infinity for a while.