A travel Guide to Darjeeling

Darjeeling Tourism

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

Kanchenjunga, with a height of 8586 meters, is the highest peak in India and the third highest peak in the world. This beautiful mountain remains covered with snow throughout the year and when the sunlight falls on it, it reflects such an eye-soothing view that no one can ever forget. The viewpoints, from where the spectators can gaze at the mountain, are responsible for making it one of the best Darjeeling tourist places in the region. The hills near the Kanchenjunga constitute an entire range of mountains that are collectively known as ‘Sleeping Buddha’, because of its appearance.

2. Tiger Hill

Tiger Hill is one of the most beautiful Darjeeling attractions that you can enjoy here if you love to see the rising sun. The hill has an altitude of 2590 meters. There is a tower on this hill from which people enjoy scenic views. On a day with a clear bright sky, the top of Mount Everest can be seen from this tower. The ideal time to visit Tiger Hill is early morning when the sun rises behind the mountain and turns the colour of the white snow into golden. The perfect time to see the dazzling snow over the mountain is from October to December when the region receives the first snow of the season.

3. Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park

The Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park was established in 1958. It is situated in the Birch Hill area and in Darjeeling, it is commonly called Darjeeling Zoo. Among the places to visit in Darjeeling, the zoo is really a special place to go. It has become a good Darjeeling attraction in the last decade and comes in the best Darjeeling tourist places. The park is one of the best zoos in the world. It received the prestigious ‘The Earth Heroes’ international award in 2014. It was honoured for conserving the plants and animals of the Himalayan region.

4. Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and Museum

To commemorate the achievement of Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, the companion of Edmund Hillary, the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute was established. It was a tribute to the heroics of Tenzing and today, the institute is walking on his legacy. The government has also added a museum to the institute that reflects the skills that Sherpa possesses and the difficulties they face when they ascend. The museum exhibits various Himalayan relief models and a number of tools and equipment that mountaineers used for climbing.

5. Japanese Peace Pagoda

Darjeeling tourism also reflects the presence of Buddhism religion in the region. Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist Temple is a two-storied temple built in the traditional Japanese style. The environment all around this temple is so peaceful that visitors feel the calmness in their mind and soul. The temple also has a peace pagoda, where four avatars of Lord Buddha can be seen. This peace pagoda is one of the most popular Darjeeling attractions and showcases the panoramic view of beautiful landscape and high mountains, including the Kanchenjunga hill.

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.

By Air

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.

By Rail

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.

By Road

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.

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