Darjeeling is one of India’s most famous hill stations situated at West Bengal at the height of 2134 m or 7000 ft above sea level. Darjeeling is known as queen of Himalayas. The city covers a total area of about 3149 square km and is connected by road and rail network. Darjeeling also has its name listed among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites for its Himalayan Railways popularly known as Toy train. In Darjeeling beautiful red rhododendrons, charming white magnolias, majestic pines and lush green tea bushes cover the entire hillslope.
From Darjeeling one can have the best, uninterrupted view of the worlds third highest peak. Bhanu Bhakta Sarani provides one of the enthralling views of snow capped peaks of Kanchenjunga. The Chowrasta also gives you a good sight of the Kanchenjunga. You can spend hours at the Mall sitting on the benches and watching people. Near Mall there are Curio shops and on the footpath the Tibetan ladies selling woollen clothes and foreign goods.
How To Get There –
The nearest airport to Darjeeling is the Bagdogra airport which is 10 kms from Siliguri. From Bagdogra one can take a bus or taxi to Darjeeling. Darjeeling has a railway station but only the toy train from Jalpaiguri and New Jalpaiguri comes here. The major trains connecting the place with all the major places in India come to Jalpaiguri or New Jalpaiguri. From here again you have to take the toy train or a bus or taxi to Darjeeling. The place is well connected by roads. The state transports run buses from Calcutta and other nearby places. The private operators also have their buses and the fair does not vary much in the state or in the private buses.
The best season to visit Darjeeling is between April to June and September to November. During these months the mountains are clearly visible and one can enjoy the golden sunrise over the Himalayan peaks. Being a mountain city Darjeeling experiences rains throughout the year. To experience snowfall the tourist also visit during January and February.
Prime Attractions of Darjeeling
This railway loop is situated at 5 kms away from the Darjeeling and is an unique example of engineering and it is quite a treat to watch the Toy Train pass through this loop.The War memorial is constructed in the memory of the brave sons of Darjeeling who died for the country since Independence in 1947.
Tiger Hill – Tiger Hill is famous for watching sunrise over the Mt Kanchenjungha before dawn.The view of reflection of sunrise on the Mount Kanchenjungha is the life time experience for the tourists. Tiger Hill is 2590 m (8482 ft.) above sea level and 11 kms from town.
Bhutia Busty Gompa
With the back drop of the Kanchenjunga range stands a monastery called the Bhutia Busty Gompa. This monastery was shifted from the observatory. The Gompa is a branch of the Nyingmapa sect’s Phodang Monastery in Sikkim. The monastery is walkable distance from chowrasta.
This place is worth a visit for its exotic and exclusive collection of a variety of Himalayan plants, flowers and orchids. This place is near the taxi stand. The gardens also has a green house.
This one of the important shopping places in Darjeeling . Here the Nehru Road and the Mall Road Intersect each other. The snow capped peaks of Kanchenjunga are visible from this place. Near Chowrata are several Hindu and Buddhists temples.
Ava Art Gallery, approximately 10 minutes by taxi from the motor stand, it is just below the main road on the way to Ghoom and it houses fine art and embroidery work of Mrs. Ava Devi.
Ghoom monastry is situated at about 8 kms from Darjeeling. Ghoom railway station of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is the highest rail-station in India. It is situated at an altitude of 2,225.7 metres (7,407 ft). The monastery follows the Gelugpa school of Tibetan Buddhism. There is a 15-feet high statue of “Coming Buddha” (Maitreya Buddha) in the monastery. The Monastery has also preserved some of the rare handwritten Buddhist manuscripts.
Japanese Peace Pagoda is a recent landmark constructed by Japanese Monks and commands an excellent view of the town and the Himalayan Range.
Happy Valley Estate
Happy valley tea estate is 3 kms from the town and tourists can watch the actual process of the manufacturing of Darjeeling Tea. You can even have the privilege of buying tea straight form the tea factory.
Himalayan Mountaineering Institute & Museums
This Institute was formed with the aim of imparting mountaineering skills and techniques to all the enthusiasts. Tenzing himself was one of the founder members and also the Field Director of the Institute. This Institute also has a museum, which holds a rare collection of mementos from various Everest expeditions. Sherpa Tenzing Norgay was the Director of this institute for many years and he was cremated near the institute after his death in 1986.
Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park is located adjacent to the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute. It is a high altitude wild life park and a new home for the Siberian Tiger, Himalayan Black Deer, Red Panda, Llama and birds. It is open from 8 am to 4 PM.
Himalayan Zoological Park and Snow Leopard Breeding Centre is a high altitude wild life park which has Siberian Tiger, Himalayan Black Bear, Barking Deer.
Natural History Museum
This museum is established in 1903 and has a collection of over 4300 specimen of fauna found in the Himalayas and in Bengal. This unique museum also has a good collection of butterflies. The mineral forms of various stones are displayed in a very attractive manner in the museum.
This point provides one of the breathtaking views of Kanchenjunga peaks. This place is also very sacred for the Hindus and the Buddhists as there are temples and the monasteries at this place. The Kali temple is decorated with the colourful flags. Be aware of the monkey groups as some these are very aggressive.
Another tourist attraction in Darjeeling has been the ropeway situated at the North Point about 3 kms from the town. This was the first passenger ropeway in India. It connects the North point (7000 ft) to the Singla Bazaar (800 ft). The rope covers a distance of 8 kms in 45 minutes.
A scenic place near the tiger hills. This place has popularly come up as a picnic spot among the tourists. The lake supplies drinking water to the town of Darjeeling.
Tibetan Refugee Self-Help Center
In 1959 was established a center for the refuges who had fled Tibet with the Dalai Lama after the Chinese invasion. This self help center has been developed as workshop for the manufacture of handicrafts. The fine and superb carpets, woodcarvings, woollen and leather work form this center has been very popular among the tourists.
Mirik is 52-km from Siliguri and 49km from Darjeeling. Mirik is being developed as a new hill station in the mountains. Tea estates, orange orchards and cardamom plantations surround Mirik. It has all the facilities to fulfill the needs of a tourist.
Tourist Offices at Darjeeling
Govt. of West Bengal
1, Nehru Road, Darjeeling – 734101, Ph:0354-2254050, Fax – 0354-2254102
Tourist Information Center,
Govt. of West Bengal
Darjeeling Rly. Station
Darjeeling – 734101
Deputy Director of Tourism, DGHC,
Silver Fir Building,
Bhanu Sarani, Darjeeling – 734101
Phone – 2254879 / 2255351, Fax – 0354 – 2254214
Tourist Information Center
New Car Park, Ladenla Road, Darjeeling – 734101
At Bagdogra and Siliguri
Govt. of West Bengal, M-4 Building (First Floor),
Pradhan Nagar, Hill Cart Road, Siliguri, Ph – 2511974/2511979
Tourist Information Center
Govt. of West Bengal, Bagdogra Airport, Bagdogra, Ph – 2551794
Govt. of West Bengal, 3/2 B.B.D. Bagh (East),
Kolkata – 700001. Ph – 033-222488271/222488272/222488273
Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council Center
Govt. of West Bengal, Regional Tourist Office, 4, Shakespeare Sarani,
Kolkata – 700071. Ph – 033-22825813/22821402
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