Lava: The Home of Deity
“Wanna go to Lava? “Lava! In these days, the only thing that comes to mind when I hear the word lava is volcanoes erupting! Very silly! I have a maternal cousin who studies natural disasters. A professor somewhere abroad. Every time I call my all-knowing, knowledge-hungry maternal cousin, he talks for hours about volcanology and lava. Well, I have to listen to all these rare, brain-stimulating, amazingly boring lectures on LAVA. How romantic!
So when Joy called – ” Wannago to Lava? Just us three! For a few days, unbridled in my North Bengal?”
My first thought was, “How is it that you can see volcanoes in North Bengal?” Then I thought, that’s even more funny he’s inviting me to see an active volcano. Huh ! “Is Joydeb’s voice muffled by the local train? Are his words not coming through clearly?” – Standing next to the train’s open door, I wondered.
I am an ordinary, mediocre architect who works for a big real-estate-based architecture firm designing stupid, ugly buildings and houses for rich people. I was on my way home by local train.
I asked Joy if he wanted me to see volcanoes and lava in North Bengal.
Jay replied – ” No stupid unromantic, I’m talking about “the home of God” .
– “Home of God? What ?” ” I asked this with much surprise and annoyance.
– Yes Lava means “Home of God” in Tibeticlanguage.
– Why ?
– Think about what you picture when you think of the home of god” Joy asked .
– It must be a beautiful place,” I replied hesitatingly
That’s right” ! Joy replied in a firm, confident voice. Joy is a very confident individual. “It is very beautiful”. Assuredly, he stated.
In an authoritative, confident, and deep tone of voice, Joy continued to describe Lava town. “Well, Lava is a small hamlet in the Kalimpong district. In fact, there is nothing there. But, you know, sometimes, you are having nothing actually means you have a lot of potential. Lava is one of the fastest-growing and most promising tourist destinations in West Bengal. During the peak season, the taxi drivers report that lava generates more traffic than Kalimpong. A survey conducted by local college students in May revealed that more than 70 percent of tourists would like to revisit this place again in three years, compared to only 30 percent who wish to return to Kalimpong. Also, the survey revealed that tourists in Bengal Himalayan Region select Lava as their favorite place for a night’s stay after Darjeeling. Amazing !
Tourism in Lava
This tourism craze is only taking place in Lava due to the lack of any outstanding characteristics of the town. It is the people’s crazy desire to visit the land of God in order to enjoy this emptiness that is the main attraction of its tourism. In fact, it is a small village, with a population of fewer than two thousand. The small population of lava villages, the natural solitude of the ancient mountains, the clouds passing through the pine forests, and the elusive rain and sunshine, all combine to create a strange emptiness.”
My train has reached Piyali station, and I must disembark. I didnot bother Joy and listened to what he was telling me about this Village.I just made “hmmm” sounds to show I am listening deeply. I saw an empty bench in a tea shop near Piyali station and sat down and relaxed. Now the story of Lava will be golden while enjoying tea.
The tea shop had a cigarette case peeking out. It was really tempting to smoke a cigarette. Smoking and drinking tea while listening to the story of the lava village’s beauty must be a sexy pleasure. However, I have stopped smoking. I suppressed the urge. It is over for me.
“ In fact, Lava is located at a higher altitude than Darjeeling. It is located 200 meters higher than Darjeeling, which is located 3500 meters above sea level. This place has strangely captivating scenic seclusion for being situated in the high hills with lots of dense forest surrounding it. As far as the eye can see, there are only forests of pine, juniper, and birch trees.”
“Since the town is situated at an altitude, it is an ideal location for many outdoor activities, including trekking, hiking, and climbing. There are several trekking routes in the nearby forests that are worth exploring. It is also here that people desire to enjoy the emptiness of the location or to have nothing to do with it. Just 32 kilometers from Lava is Kalimpong, where you can enjoy modern luxury and fashion as well as city nightlife. Whereas, the people of the Lava still follow a traditional lifestyle and they are friendly and welcoming. Despite wanting, seeking, or trying to acquire wealth, man sometimes wants to disappear into wealthless infinity. Therefore, Lava is becoming a more popular tourist destination than Kalimpong.”
Places to visit
“Lava village sits against the backdrop of Neora Valley National Park. It is the vast green thick forests surrounding you, the ice that has stuck to the steep mountain peaks, the sight and sound of gushing waterfalls that will transport you to an infinite void. You will attain Mahaparinirvana ! Aside from this otherworldly natural beauty, the ever-smiling faces of the people here will make you fall madly in love with this Village.”
Joy had been talking about Lava Village continuously for a long time. Suddenly, he halted his conversation and asked, “Are you coming to Lava Village? As you explore Lava Village, you will find that there is much more to see and enjoy. However, if I tell you everything now, it will be like watching a live telecast on your mobile device”.
He then – “Listen, I am hanging up, there is an incoming call. Then call again after a while.” He cut the phone off.
However, Joy did not specify where Lava is located in Kalimpong? Does it lie near the border between Bhutan and China? Letssee.
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