On a recent invitation from Goodricke Group Ltd., we flew down to Kurseong for a review of the incredibly beautiful Goodricke Teapot, their flagship tea lounge.
If you plan to go—and you should—some trip notes to help you:
- The nearest airport, Bagdogra, has easy and frequent connections from most major metro cities. From here, you take a cab to Kurseong. It’s about 60 kilometres away, but because you’re in the hills, the trip takes about two hours.
- Bagdogra is a no-photography airport, so keep your phone camera tucked inside your pocket.
- Bagdogra city itself is quite dusty and grimy, so don’t expect to be blown away by the scenery the moment you land. But some 15 minutes down the road, tea gardens start to appear.
- Then on, it gets progressively lovelier. By the time you reach Kurseong, you are in full mountain-mode, mesmerised by Nature’s pristine beauty.
- Keep your ears tuned for the cheerful whistle of the legendary Toy Train.
- And keep an eye out for chuckle-worthy signboards such as this one:
- The canteen at Bagdogra airport serves yummy snacks. On your way back, arrive a little early and enjoy hot dosas, pakoras and cool fresh lime soda or chai. This is something of a local secret—take our word for it, you’ll love it!
- In the winter months, airport shops sell Nalen gur, a specialty in these parts. It comes in a tube, and is meant to last just 90 days. Makes a great gift for your friends back home!
- We stayed at the Kurseong Tourist Lodge. It’s a clean mid-range accommodation with a lovely window-lined cafe. And it’s walking distance from the local market and the Toy Train station. But the “second floor” here means the second basement, which can get quite dark and cold.
- You’re in Toy Train country, and you simply cannot leave without a ride! We stayed in Kurseong only two days, with a packed schedule, but the call of the ride was so irresistible we woke up at the crack of dawn to catch the 6.30 am train. The seven-kilometre ride, cutting through gorgeous scenery and homes and shops so close you could touch their walls…it will remain one of our favourite memories always!