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Photographer's Note

At Samthar High School, our day is just to start. A long day ahead. Before that it was great to joi their prayer. The students came in a single file. Stood on a queue by themselves. Captains of each class maintained the line. Then they prayed to the God, sung "Jana gana mana" - the National Anthem of India, and two prayer songs in Nepali.

Our members, who were loitering around, came close to these students to enjoy the moment and I am quite sure, they were nostalgic!

Evening and Night at Samthar High School was great. Sitting on the verandah you can see the lights of Kalimpong city as if you can touch the Diamond Necklace on the hills.
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[Describing the route :]
We were on a short trek from Lolegaon to Bagh Pool [Sevak/Coronation Bridge] via Charkhola-Devi ki sthan-Deorali-Samthar-Deorali-Yang Makum-Yangri-Upper Ponbu-Lower Ponbu-Jereiter-Babouti-Purbikhola.
Total distance is about 40KMs.
One can reach upto Samthar by jeep. We had a walk from Lolegaon though. It was a 15KM joy walk [24 KM by road].
There from go upward to Yang Makum village and walk about 15 km to reach Jereiter Babouti Primary School. One can stay at Lower Ponbu or Upper Ponbu also. A tent would help. At Lower Ponbu a tin shed of a Mandir is a shelter also. You can enjoy a beautiful wide Teesta valley view from Upper Ponbu. From Upper Ponbu/Jereiter Babouti Primary School to Purbi Khola is a downward walk - enjoy the woods, butterflies, chirping birds. Then go upward, enjoy the beauty of Teesta valley again and come to Baghpul.

A beautiful three day trek.
Take sufficient food with you since after Samthar, nearest shop you will find is at Siliguri, about 40 kms away from there.

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Additional Photos by Kausik Das (kaud) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 360 W: 58 N: 439] (1840)
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