Looped Wonders – Batasia Loop, Darjeeling, West Bengal

“Theek Achey hoye Jabey”, said my cousin Naru with a lot of excitement. I was beside myself with joy that once more I would be going back to my own land – Kolkata, the place where I was born and brought up. And then we had plans of visiting the other heaven here – Darjeeling. This pristine land with the best of surroundings is aptly known as the “Queen of the Hills”. Situated in the state of West Bengal in India, this place is world famous as a great tourist destination. With its huge expanse of tea plantations and the best kind of tea industry, Darjeeling is the tea hub of India. The UNESCO has given it the world heritage status and this place in the Mahabharat range is today the most visited tourist spot in the eastern part of India.

At a height of around 6,710ft, this town has the beautiful and majestic Mount Kanchenjunga which is the third highest peak in the entire world. The Mt. Everest is also visible from here and wait for a clear day to get the best view of this lovely peak. With the sandstone soil, the region does not hold too much water and thus is also victim to a lot of earthquakes. With a great cultural and religious background, the queen of hills, Darjeeling is an ideal place to visit on a holiday tour.

Batasia Loop

While visiting the various places in Darjeeling, do make sure that you visit all the places in and around this place. So when my cousin confirmed that we are going to this lovely land, I was quite happy. We went round quite a few places and then reached the Batasia Loop.

This is a loop which is situated in Darjeeling. This was incidentally an attempt to create a lower gradient to the mighty Railway track that lies here. The gradient sometimes used to create a lot of problems for the train, so the Batasia Loop is a way of reducing the gradient of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. The tracks have a lovely tunnel in between and the entire track is in front of a hilly area. The railway line rises around 1000 ft in height and is circular. This wonderful feat was commissioned in the year 1919.

Railway track at Batasia Loop
Railway track at Batasia Loop Railway at Batasia Loop

As we saw all this in the Batasia Loop we were quite intrigued. We had come around 5 kms from Darjeeling, and we were in a region called Ghum. We had this tourist guide with us, who told us that there is a memorial here which is a kind of respect paid to all the Gorkha soldiers. These soldiers had laid down their lives during the time India got independence in the year 1947. We went and saw the memorial too and liked the trip down historical lane. We stood there on the Batasia Loop in Darjeeling in West Bengal and found the whole experience too overwhelming. For the sight of the beautiful city below, and the snow clad peaks in the distance, along with the mighty Himalayan background was too good to believe. We actually couldn’t believe that we were in such a beautiful paradise. The entire area gave us so much to think about that I thought we should make it a point to visit this place at once in five years. The Batasia Loop enthralled us with its elegance and architectural beauty. My cousin loves photography so it was a visual treat for him and he hardly had to focus his lens as wherever he directed the camera, a beautiful scene awaited him.

Ghum at Batasia Loop

This marvelous feat of engineering excellence is but one example of the innumerable structures across the country, but there is something about the Batasia Loop which would humble our pride in doing something even remotely similar to this.

We just stood there totally dumbstruck by the way the Batasia Loop was constructed. Some things in life come easy. Some things are difficult. The Batasia Loop is something that comes your way without notice. When we went to Darjeeling, we didn’t think that we would come back with something so precious to cherish about. It is not the way it has been built; it is not the way it looks that enthralled us. It is the simple beauty it exudes as millions of tourists come, see it, appreciate it and then move on that zapped us. Tourists come and tourists go, but the Batasia Loop remains as much an intrigue for all, as it was for us.

Batasia Loop, Darjeeling

In the pristine locales of Darjeeling travelling would have been difficult without the railway facilities. The Batasia Loop just ensures that tourism in India does not take a backseat. It is efforts such as these that is making a trip to Darjeeling so interesting and exciting.

So while you are in the lovely paradise called Darjeeling, don’t miss to see the Batasia Loop which is a living example of beautiful architecture combined with pleasure.

Source: http://blog.traveladda.com/looped-wonders-batasia-loop-darjeeling-west-bengal.html