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Darjeeling

Darjeeling, located at (7,200ft) well known as the “QUEEN OF HILL STATIONS” lies in the north part of West Bengal (India). It has enclosed with hills, stunning forests of teak wood, pine trees and all green tea estates. Traveling through the crisscross roads of the region would be daring and memorable. The town was mostly developed by the British. Due to its proximity to Kolkata, British Officials used to rush here to avoid the hot and humid climate of Kolkata, the capital of India in the early days of British rule.

There is a lot to see in and around Darjeeling. Tea gardens, toy train (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), Darjeeling Zoo, Tenzing Mountaineering institute, Tiger Hill. Poor planning has led to congestion and Darjeeling isn't as charming as it used to be, but still remains a place worth visiting.

  • Population : 1,842,034
  • Area 3,149 sq. km
Distance Chart:
  • From Gangtok 115km
  • Kalimpong 51km
  • NJP Railway Station 90km
  • Bagdogra Airport 100km
  • Pelling 115 km

Tiger Hill:

Tiger Hill is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Darjeeling, but you’ll have to get up early to enjoy it at its best! The hill, about 11 km from Darjeeling is at an altitude of 8,515 feet and is famous for its spectacular views at sunrise. The top of Mount Everest is visible, between the peaks of Kanchenjunga and Makalu. The trip to the summit of the hill is through Ghoom, the second highest railway station in the world.

Himalayan Zoological Park:

The zoo is internationally famous for its conservation breeding of red pandas and snow leopards, and is the only one of its kind in India. You can also see many other types of animals including Siberian Tigers, bears and wolves and Himalayan birds. It's well worth a visit for its scenic location and peaceful atmosphere, as well as the rare species of animal.

Himalayan Mountaineering Institute:

A spot not to be missed is the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute created by the late Tenzing Norgay, the Sherpa who conquered Mt Everest with Sir Edmund Hillary on 29 May 1953. A display of equipment used on the climb is one of the highlights.

Batasia loop:

Batasia loop just outside Ghoom is 5km from Darjeeling. It was built to enable the train to descend the 1000ft drop in altitude between Darjeeling and Ghoom, and is a real feat of engineering . In the middle of the loop is a war memorial to Gorkha soldiers. The spectacular views of the Kanchenjunga range offer plenty of photo opportunities and you can soak up the atmosphere over a cup of tea at one of the many tea stalls.

 

The Mall and Chowrasta:

The Mall and Chowrasta are important attractions in Darjeeling. The Mall road originates and concludes at the Chowrasta, which is the hub of Darjeeling town. A walk around the Mall gives you a feel of Darjeeling life with the pleasing view of the mountains, valleys with rhododendron trees and old houses.

 

Ghoom Monastery:

Ghoom Monastery is also known as SamtenCholingGompa. It is located below Hill Cart road and Ghoomrailway station. It enshrines an image of the Maitreya Buddha. This monastery built in 1875 belongs to the Yellow sect of the Buddhists who worship a 15 feet statue of the ‘Coming Buddha’. Its' located about 8 km from the city and has an image of Maitreya Buddha (meaning coming Buddha).

Japanese Peace Pagoda:

The building of the Peace Pagoda was initiated by Fuji Guru, the founder of the NipponzanMyhoji Buddhist Order and a close friend of Mahatma Gandhi, as a symbol for world peace. The sparkling white pagoda rises 28.5 metres from the ground level and has a diameter of 23mts. Embedded in the wall of the pagoda are four statues of Buddha in gold polish and eight carvings on sandstone depicting different stages of Gautam Buddha’s life. The best part of the Japanese Temple in Darjeeling is when the prayers are chanted. The humming and the solemn chanting of prayers give to the place a spiritual air. The visitors can take photographs inside the temple but it is strictly prohibited during the prayers. If you really want to know the meaning of peace and experience it then the Japanese Temple of Darjeeling is the best place to visit.

Tea Gardens in Darjeeling:

In Darjeeling, it will be a unique experience to visit a nearby Tea Garden to observe the real method of the manufacturing of Darjeeling Tea. You can even have the chance of buying tea directly form the tea factory. There are about 70 tea estates in this hill area and the most nearby one is the Happy Valley Tea Estate, which is about 3 kms from the city or within a walking distance of about 40 minutes.

Tibetan Refuge Camp:

Tibetan refugee self-help centre was established on 1st October 1959 to rehabilitate displaced Tibetans who had followed His Holiness The Dalai Lama to India in early 1959. The centre produces excellent carpets, woollens, wood carvings, leather work etc.

Tenzing Rock

Tenzing rock is named after Tenzing Norgay who along with Edmund Hillary was the first person to climb Mount Everest. The rock is quite challenging for amateurs. Long-time back Tenzing had climbed this rock without any safety equipment in the presence of Late Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.