A small town nestled among the rolling mountains with radiant Mt Kanchenjunga providing a perfect backdrop over the cerulean sky, Darjeeling is fondly called “the queen of the hills”. The literal meaning of the word is “the land of thunderbolt”. Bounded on the north by Sikkim, Darjeeling is flanked by Bhutan on the East and Nepal on the West. Darjeeling provides a perfect setting for an ideal vacation in the lap of Mother Nature.
“The one land that all men desire to see, and having seen once- by even a glimpse would not give that glimpse for the shows of the rest of the world combined”
Like most other hill stations in India, the British developed Darjeeling as a respite from the summer heat in the plains. The British loved the town for the complete rejuvenation package that it offered – serene atmosphere, view of the snowline, scented pines and a golden colored brew called the Darjeeling tea. The place has since become a pilgrimage of sorts for tea connoisseurs. Darjeeling is considered to be one of the best hill stations in India and has a magic of its own. Embark on Darjeeling tours and you will have wonderful opportunity to explore the beauty of the world famous tea gardens and enthralling attraction of the hill station like Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park, Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, The Mall Road, Dhir Dham, Mahakal Dara, Botanical Garden, Ropeway, Tenzing and Gombu Rock, Tibetan Refugee Self-Help Center, Lebong Race Course, Peace Pagoda, Rock Garden and Ganga Maya Park.You can also enjoy the charismatic view of the sunrise over Mt Kanchendzonga which is now a major tourist spot another major attraction is the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway claims global fame. Linking the town with the plains, it was declared by UNESCO as a “World Heritage Site” in 1999 and is one of the few steam engines still in service in India. Darjeeling today is a popular holiday destination in Northeast India and there are many tourists visiting through out the year to experience its unparalleled natural beauty.
- Darjeeling Himalayan Railway
- Observatory Hill & Mahakaal Temple
- Chowrasta and the Mall
- Himalayan Mountaineering Institute
- Rock Climbing
- Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Parks
- Bhutia Busty Monastery
- Yolmowa Buddhist Makdhog Monaster
- Yiga Choling Monastery
- Tea Gardens
- Tiger Hill
- Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre
- Japanese Peace Pagoda
- Dhirdham Temple
- Rangit Valley Passenger Cable Car
- Rock Garden
Place To Visit
Darjeeling Himalayan Railway
The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, nicknamed the “Toy Train”, is a 2 ft (610 mm) narrow gauge railway from New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling in West Bengal, run by the Indian Railways. With little changes this locomotive has been running for about hundred years. The Toy Train ride is a romantic approach to the Himalayas, a mysterious region. The train gains its gradient with the help of loops and zigzags, is a marvel of engineering feat. The highest point in this line is Ghoom Railway Station which is 7407ft. The journey takes more than 7 hours and line passes through green forests and tea gardens. It is a must for the steam locomotive enthusiast. Diesel Engine introduced on 21st May 2000 from Darjeeling to NJP and vice versa.
Bhutia Busty Monastery
Located about 1.5 kilometers downhill from chowrasta, this monastery was founded in 1879, and has links to both the Kagyu and Nyingma orders of Tibetan Buddhism. It was ravaged by the 1934 earthquake that struck the whole region, but was rebuilt under the patronage of the Late Chogyal (Dharmraja) of Sikkim. Built in a traditional Tibetan Style with a notable Sikkimese Influence.
Darjeeling-Rangit Valley Passenger Cable Car
Popularly known as ‘The Rope-Way’, the Darjeeling-Rangit Valley Passenger Cable Car is located about 3 kilometres north of town at North Point. It is India’s oldest passenger rope-way and connects Darjeeling with Sigla Bazaar at the valley.
Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Parks
One of India’s most highly regarded zoological parks; the Darjeeling zoo is home to wildlife rarely seen elsewhere. Spread across the hillside of Jawahar Parbat below the HMI, the park was established in1958 to study and conserve Himalayan fauna. Today, the zoo houses India’s only Siberian tigers, as well as other rare species, such as the red panda and Tibetan wolf. There is also a snow Leopard breeding Centre, which is definitely worth a visit. Monasteries: Darjeeling has three active Buddhist monasteries that welcome tourists: Bhutia Busty Monastery, the Yolmowa Buddhist Makdhog Monastery, also popularly known as Alubari (Aloobari) Monastery, and Yiga Choling Monastery. All these monasteries hold Tibetan religious and folk dances during Losar, the Tibetan New Year, which falls between mid-February and mid- March.
Yiga Choling Monastery
Just below Ghoom railway station, about 8 kilometres away from Darjeeling town, Yiga Choling is the largest of Darjeeling’s three monasteries. Built in 1875 by Lama Sherab Gyatso, it contains images of Buddhist deities and lamas, such as Chenrezing (Avalokitesvara), the Buddha of compassion, and Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Gelugpa sect. The monastery also contains a huge 15 – foot image of Jampeyang (Maitreya), the Buddha of the future. A large collection of liturgical texts includes the 108- volume Kangyur, the Tibetan Buddhist canon.
Water transport is a great way to explore the uniqueness of Darjeeling’s natural and cultural diversity, and the famous Teesta and Rangit rivers offer first-class rafting adventures. According to your experience and interest, you can either glide along clam blue waters with magnificent scenery rising out of the blanks, or rush through roaring white rapids. You will always be in the capable hands of accomplished river-men employed by government authorized rafting agencies.