A travel Guide to Darjeeling
Darjeeling is a small town located in the Himalayan region of West Bengal. With the snow-bound hills and evergreen landscape, it is counted among the best tourist places in India.
The beautiful tea garden spreading over the gradual hills and the astounding view of Kanchenjunga account for beautiful Darjeeling tourist attractions for visitors from all over the world. Darjeeling tours not only let you enjoy the beauty of this destination but also showcase the richness of the city’s culture and heritage. The toy train, which has been declared as the World Heritage Site by UNESCO, highly contributes to attracting tourists to Darjeeling, India.
Often referred to as ‘Queen of Hills’, the Darjeeling town is mostly covered by the spectacular views of the Himalayas. These hills are considered the Abode of Lord Shiva. You can also find many hotels in Darjeeling that will give you the best views of these mountains from your room itself.
Darjeeling tourist places do not just end here. The south and east part of this Himalayan region touch the plains of the rest of Bengal and Assam, where one can enjoy the scenic views of ravines and small waterfalls peeking out from the veil of green grass.
Places to visit in Darjeeling
1. Kanchenjunga Mountain
2. Tiger Hill
3. Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park
4. Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and Museum
5. Japanese Peace Pagoda
Things to do in Darjeeling
Darjeeling has something for every age group of people to enjoy their time in its mountains.
See the mesmerising view from Observatory Hill
Everyone loves to see scenic views of snowbound mountains. Observatory hill provides you with a panoramic view of Kanchenjunga and nearby hills. During the month of October and November, you can get a great view because the sky remains clear during that time of the year.
The Mall Road, on which Observatory Hill is located, is another tourist spot that people love to visit. Every year, thousands of tourists come here and relish the street of the small town. The road also has many souvenir shops along the way. Many luxury hotels are also present on the way to observatory hill.
Enjoy the toy train ride through tea gardens
Among the best things to do in Darjeeling, a tour of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is not a thing to miss out on. Also known as Toy Train, the DHR is included in UNESCO’s world heritage site. The train starts its journey from an altitude of 100 meters and covers many zig-zag paths and loops to reach an altitude of 2000 meters above sea level after travelling for 88 km.
The toy train is a steam-hauled locomotive that takes you more than 100 years back into the past when it was used as a passenger train by the Britishers. The train travels through the most breathtaking views of tea gardens, where you can feel the aroma of fresh tea.
Feel the adrenaline rush with adventure activities
The sky-touching mountains and fast-flowing rivers of Darjeeling are enough to pull adventure lovers towards it. You can enjoy paragliding here to see the bird view of these mountain landscapes. These mountains also offer you the amazing experience of trekking on its rough terrain.
In the water sports, you can enjoy rafting in the Teesta River and kayaking in the Ramman River. These water activities also let you explore the different species of fishes, birds, and other animals in and around the rivers. You can ask your Darjeeling travel guide to pre-book your adventure tours.
Mahakal Mandir: For devotees of Lord Shiva
The entire Himalayas are considered as the Abode of Lord Shiva. So wherever you go in the Himalayas, you find a Shiva temple. Darjeeling is no exception to it. Mahakal Mandir, or Mahakal Temple, is another amazing place for enjoying Darjeeling tourism.
Interestingly, this one is not just like any other temple that we find in the Himalayas. Due to the presence of Buddhism in the region, this temple’s architecture shows the blend in both religions. The temple is considered highly sacred for Hindus and legend says that in 1782, three Shiva Lingas appeared here from nowhere.
Best time to visit Darjeeling
The best season to visit Darjeeling is during summertime, in the month of April to June. At this time, the mountain tops are covered with snow and the mainland of the region shows greenery all around. Melting snow in the summer heat forms beautiful brooks that make picturesque scenes. This makes it the best time to visit Darjeeling.
Many people, especially couples, also come here in the month of October to December, to see the Darjeeling attractions of winter. The snow fallen on the coniferous trees helps to freshen up the mood quickly. The temperature ranges between 7 degrees to 5 degrees, but sometimes it even drops to -2 degrees also.
Monsoon is not an ideal time to visit Darjeeling hills. You may face roadblocks due to fallen trees or landslides. But if you’re a photographer, you can choose to come here in the monsoon to click raindrops on the lush green landscape.
How to Reach Darjeeling
Taking a flight, bus or taxi are good options for you to reach Darjeeling. Here’s a simple guide on how to reach Darjeeling.
Bagdogra airport is the nearest airport to Darjeeling. The town is well connected by road from this airport. All the major airlines in India provide flights to Bagdogra from many major cities in India.
Darjeeling has hilly terrain, so the rail network is nearly absent in the region. The nearest railway station to Darjeeling is in Jalpaiguri, which is 80 km from the town. From Jalpaiguri, you can take a bus or taxi, or you can enjoy the ride of the Toy Train to reach Darjeeling.
The Darjeeling town and the nearby places are very well connected by the road network. These roads give you the best chance to see the beauty of Darjeeling hills that you will never forget.