Thursday, October 27, 2011

Hang Out There!

Tindharia in the Darjeeling hills is the first important railway station on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR).
It is on National Highway 55 which connects - when it is in working order - Siliguri to Darjeeling.

We drove up to it one Sunday afternoon with some friends last July. One of them, a Darjeeling tea expert, pointed out the Tindharia Locomotive and Carriage Workshop to us. The three rooftops perched on the top of the hill made a pretty sight.

We drove past and went up to the railway station. It was also a lovely old building. I wished we could have taken a train ride there, but the train service had been suspended because landslides had snapped the road link and damaged the tracks beyond Tindharia.

We wondered whether repairs would be completed. The scene changed completely in September, when the earthquake struck. A large part of the hillside below the locomotive workshop fell away.

We drove up in the direction of Tindharia today with our younger daughter. She loves the railways, particularly the DHR. This time we couldnt even reach the station.

I did not have my camera with me. These pictures were taken on my old fashioned (four years old is old fashioned these days) phone camera.
No complaints. They pretty much convey what we saw.









The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) is a World Heritage site.

The UNESCO World Heritage Committee describes it thus:
"The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is the first, and still the most outstanding example of a hill passenger railway. Opened in 1881, it applied bold and ingenious engineering solutions to the problems of establishing an effective rail link cross a mountainous terrain of great beauty. It is still fully operational* and retains most of its original features intact."

*see above


shalini mehra said...

i remember our trip to Darjeeling in the year in 1980 ... breathtaking beauty... but for me it always associated with parting with our son Rohit who went to boarding in St.Pauls at the age of 8 ..... you know what i mean ... a tea mother's woes ... even till now i can feel my tears rolling down after leaving him in the school.
I hope the Govt will revive the train route... it is something we all feel so proud of.

shalini mehra said...

Hi Gowri, I had already penned down my comment this column has reappeared let me see if the previous one shows up.
enjoyed your blog new entry

Leovi said...

I think a great shot, striking the route of this railroad.

Sunita said...

That route must be so beautiful! I wish I could ride on that rail-route one day.
I think those pictures made me realise just how much effort must have gone into engineering that line. Well done, Gowri!