A catch up & completion of the Sojourn.
Wednesday 6th-11-13,The manager of Deki lodge, Kamal, arranged a taxi for me to Bagdogra some 3hrs drive from here in Kalimpong. a nice and easy drive as we left with lots of spare time so to enjoy the Mountains. rather then the usual frantic death type race to Bagdogra airport that i have experienced in past adventures to this part of the world. I actually enjoyed it for a change and we stopped at the very huge lovely Tibetan monastery called ” T he Great International Tashi Gomang Stupa ” . funny I have never noticed this huge Gompa in past trips up this road to the Mountains..? Bagdogra airport, clean and friendly. good food in the main restaurant. I shared a table with a Kalimpong man returning to Melbourn, where he worked as a cook in a trendy inner city cafe, after his 3ed -Lg bottle of beer he said well thats lunch and i am ready for the flight to Delhi, then Australia. I got the impression he had embraced the True Australian way of life. but was hanging dearly to his Nth East Indian roots. as one does.
The flight to Kolkata took about 1hr. this was on Spice-Jet airways. all good, then the taxi to my local hotel. the Shirbad Hotel. I discovered this hotel some 7 years ago. It’s clean. has running hot water. is close to the airports, both domestic & international, is cheap about $22- per night,has a great Indian restaurant next door-good food etc. and is in a non tourist area of Kolkata. so you can experience the local delights of this Huge sprawling City just by walking the small streets and alley-ways. here you see the real people of Kolkata in their daily life. in all its colours.I ended up staying here at this location for 3 days. travelling into the central area of the City only once ( it does take over 1hr by taxi to get there. ) I did want to visit some Sufi Holy places but the taxis i took just could not find them…?? was not meant to be…? no they were just not interested in making the effort to find these sacred Sufi states. and I did not push it—-at this point in time i had been in India for 39 days and was feeling a little warn. or was it a state of ” Bliss ”that had descended upon me…?..MMMmmm….but I did go to the Sacred of Sacred temples called The Dakshinewar temple. Wow it was huge, clean, very clean, lots of activities of a Holy nature were unfolding in many parts of its huge enclosed structure. I just loved it. felt right at home in it even after the one & a half-hour taxi drive to get to it. it was bad timing by me as it was peak hour traffic wise, sad to say No Photography at all allowed inside the temple complex. this was good as one could just embrace what it was sharing and attempting to tell you—to me .” God is One ”. it was a temple to the Deity Kali. so there were many sacred statues to this very important Hindu Deity. lots of Pilgrims visiting and leaving offerings to their form of this Deity. loved it. I did take a couple of Photos out side the walled complex. enjoy.
The flight back to Oz-land via Singapore was a cruise. and for once i did not have to pay heaps for excess baggage. I had sent my 2 huge suitcases earlier from Delhi as unaccompanied baggage and payed a bloody fortune for this pleasure…the joys of exhibiting overseas and having lots of art-works that you don’t want to dump. the last grind of the 9hr flight from Singapore just about wears me out—-getting Old and cranky perhaps ? Sydney airport was a breeze with my new chip encoded passport.at last home after a 41 day Sojourn across Nth India. Mjw.