Darjeeling Dreamscapes: Unveiling the Magic of Homestays

Rajib Ghosh and Jannatul Mawa Shirin, seasoned journalists of DBC News, had Darjeeling on their minds. Team Chhuti, champions of unique experiences, proposed a revolutionary twist: ditch the hotels and embrace homestays. This was not just a trip; it was a test case, promoting alternative accommodations to Bangladeshi tourists.

On June 29, 2018, the adventure began. Two colleagues, Tazmim Mimu and Masuma Akhter, joined them, jetting into Saidpur, while Rajib and Shirin drove to Panchagarh. Tea gardens became their companions, as did the thrill of crossing the Tetulia-Phulbari border into India. A Bengali-speaking guide and a Tata Sumo awaited, weaving through Siliguri towards Darjeeling district.

Their first home lay in Sangser, a village nestled near Darjeeling. Here, hospitality blossomed. The homestay owner, family in tow, adorned traditional attire, showering them with flowers and welcome drinks. This warmth, this genuine care, surpassed any five-star excess. Each meal was a symphony of home-cooked flavors, bursting with love.

This heart-melting sincerity echoed throughout their journey. Sillery Gaon, Kafer, Pabong, Lava, and Lolegaon—each homestay was a jewel nestled in the breathtaking scenery. Tranquility reigned, a symphony of calm whispered by mountains and embraced by serene villages. The city’s clamor and the tourist traps held no allure. These six days were spent exploring heavenly pockets within a 10-kilometer radius of Darjeeling town, weaving connections with pure-hearted locals.

Rajib and Mawa‘s fascination with Darjeeling blossomed under Chhuti’s care. They explored more, yet the spirits of Sangser, Silarigaon, Kafer, Pabong, Lava, and Lolegaon, forever etched in their hearts, remained a beacon of unmatched home-grown magic.