I crossed the border from Karkhabitta Nepal to Panatanki India at about 4:15 in the afternoon, and while there wasn’t any major physical boundary (just a medium sized river, smaller than several I’d crossed in Nepal) it was quickly clear that I was in a different country. Things were much busier, the population was obviously denser (and this in a part of India that isn’t that heavily populated!) but somehow it seemed to be prettier. Tea plantations had actually started about 10km from the border, but on the Indian side they were everywhere… as far as the eye could see (past the haze and light forest) in in some places.
It took us about an hour to reach the city of Siliguri. It was a busy, busy place, but I didn’t have much time to look at it. I bought a jeep ticket from one of the tourists I’d come from Karkhabitta with, and climbed aboard with the other two (Jana and Maren, a pair of girls from Germany), as well as nine more Indian folk, all on our way up to Darjeeling.