Describe a peaceful place you have visited – IELTS Cue Card
Describe a peaceful place you have visited
You should say:
- where it was
- when you visited there
- who was with you
- and explain why you think it was a peaceful place
Since childhood, travelling has always fascinated me. The hills in the north and north-east of India, the plains in the central and east, the desert in the west and the south, comprising all the above physical features, offer different scopes to a traveller like me. Among these places, some are peaceful while the others will revitalise you with energy, if you lack it. I have recently visited a place named St. Mary’s Hill or St. Mary’s Grotto in Kurseong, Darjeeling, otherwise known as the ‘Queen of Hills,’ that brought a sense of tranquility in me.
St. Mary’s Grotto is situated on St. Mary’s Hills in Kurseong, which is around 32 kilometers away from Darjeeling. The grotto lies on the hilltop, and one can view most of the small town. It is made as a replica of the Lady of Lourdes, France and has been recently declared as a pilgrimage site by the Bishop of the diocese of Darjeeling-Sikkim, Stephen Lepcha. Devotees from various places visit this sacred place and offer their respect and prayers to Mother Mary and the cross of Jesus Christ, which are placed in a cave-like structure on the hilltop. It is situated among the thick forests, 6 kilometers away from the city centre.
After being locked at home for months due to lockdown, I planned a trip to Darjeeling with some of my friends. Kurseong was the last stop in our journey, and we were not aware of the tourist spots. The lady of the homestay suggested that we should visit this place before leaving Kurseong. So, we left for the destination early in the morning.
The roads to St. Mary’s Hill were very narrow and the driver left us at the end of a cemented road. We could see that the remaining path was a typical hilly terrain surrounded by tall pine trees with the sun peeping between the giant woods. There was a large, blue gate at the entrance of the main area. Our group was chirpy, but as we approached the grotto, something about the essence of the place calmed us. The main praying area was beautifully decorated as Christmas was celebrated recently. There is a natural fountain beside the grotto where the soft sound of the water felt like music to the ear. It is believed that water from the Lady of the Lourdes has been added to the spring water here. We washed our hands and eyes in the holy water, lit candles on the stand and sat down on the benches to pray. A sense of piousness and veneration coupled with the amicable natural beauty relaxed our mind and body. As we left, we clicked a group photo to mark this memorable place.
A visit to this offbeat place of scenic beauty and reverence helped us to revive our spirit and faith. I had planned to visit this place again in the future. I hope the local parish keeps the holy shrine well maintained with the help of the local residents and the miracles of Virgin Mother Mary keeps us safe during the hard times of our lives.
- revitalise – give fresh vitality, enthusiasm
Eg: During the summer heat, freshly made mango juice revitalises the body.
- replica – an exact copy or model of something, especially one on a smaller scale
Eg: Bibi Ka Maqbara in Aurangabad is a replica of the Taj Mahal.
- piety – the quality of being religious or reverent.
Eg: As we entered the temple, a sense of piety and serenity filled our mind.
- veneration – great respect; reverence
Eg: He grew up with a sense of veneration for the old man’s preachings.
- offbeat – unconventional
Eg: The recent trend is to explore offbeat routes and places.
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