– The Search for salvation may prove elusive but a place to visit in Darjeeling and Sikkim would take you pretty close to that.
– You can initiate your tour with a ride on one of the most well-known colonial symbols – the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway.
– Once out of Darjeeling, you are amidst the mountain crest, beautiful valleys, fast-flowing rivers and hills of Sikkim.
– Like most other hill stations in India, Darjeeling was developed by the British as a respite from the afflicting summer warmth in the Indo-Gangetic plains.
– Spotted in the lower Shivalik Hill region of Himalayas at a height of 2,134m above sea level.
Places to visit in Darjeeling – The Place of Thunderbolts.
1. Chowrasta and the Mall.
– The Mall in Darjeeling is the heart of all action. It is the place around which you will discover most of the tourist facilities including hotels, restaurants, souvenir shops, banks, ATMs, post offices and street merchants selling sweaters, paintings, and imitation jewelry.
– Many places of visitors attraction are either spotted in the mall or situated at a short distance from hear.
-vehicular traffic is not allowed in the mall and benches are strategically set for visitors to witness the steady rush of people and the lovely view in Darjeeling.
– A walk down the mall takes you to Chowrasta, from where the mall starts and ends. A heart of heavy financial activity, chowrasta also acts as a bandstand and an area for kids to undertake pony rides.
– For a beautiful view of the snow-clad Kanchenjunga, walk up to Observatory Hill, which is spotted near chowrasta or the Mall.
– Observatory Hill is the most beautiful tourist attraction among Darjeeling visiting places.
– From chowrasta, take a trip to the top of the steep hill where you will discover the ancient cave temple of Mahakala, where Lord Shiva is worshipped in its durjaya ling from.
-The observatory hill is also important for the Bhutias, as a Buddhist monastery stayed hear before the Mahakala temple.
3. Lloyd’s Botanical Garden
-Many of the flower species native to the Darjeeling Himalayan Hill Region can be noticed at Loyd’s Botanical Garden.
-Established in 1878 over an area of 40 acres donated by William Lloyd, this botanical garden has several colorful plants today.
– You can also discover an excellent collection of orchids with a separate nursery displaying 150 species.
4. Bhutia Busty Monastery
– First built in 1765 on observatory hill by Lama Dorje – rinsing, the Bhutia Busty is the oldest monastery to Darjeeling.
– it is situated around 1.5 km from chowrasta and belongs to the Red sect of Tibetan Buddhism.
– The monastery was dismantled by the Nepalese Army in the early 19th century and in 1934 was again smashed by a major earthquake, after which it was moved to its current location near chowrasta.
5. Himalayan Mountaineering Institute
– The Government of India established the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute in 1954 to give a fillip to this adventure sport in India.
– Tenzing Norgay, along with Edmund Hillary, scaled mount Everest in 1953 and became its first head of field training.
– A must on any tourist’s visit to Darjeeling, Himalayan Mountaineering Institute runs adventure programs of 15 days for school kids along with a primary mountaineering program of 28 days and advance mountaineering program of 28 days for those with ‘A’ grade in the primary mountaineering course.
– They also have programs for visually disabled persons and short-term adventure programs like rock climbing and sports climbing.
6. Padmaja Naidu Himalayan zoological park
–Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Darjeeling.
– Established in 1958 by the state of West Bengal, Padmaja Naidu Himalayan zoological park specializes in cage training of alpine animals like snow leopard and red panda.
– You will also find gorals (mountain goats), Siberian Tigers and many endangered birds in this zoo, which is covered over 44 hectares.
– The zoo is the important hub of the central zoo authority of India’s project red panda.
– Ghoom hosts one of the world’s highest railway station at an altitude of 2224.8 meters and is known for the Yiga Choeling Monastery that leads this small hilly point.
– Ghoom Monastery or sampten choling gompa, which was built in 1875, exists to a yellow sect of Buddhists and has maitreyi Buddha preserved here.
– Ghoom is also well familiar among rail enthusiasts and fans of Darjeeling Himalayan Railway due to the batasia dual loop.
– The Battle memorial at batasia was built in 1995 as a memorial to all Indian soldiers killed in different wars challenge over the years.
– You have to pay a nominal fee to visit the memorial.
8. Darjeeling Rangeet valley passenger ropeway
– The first ropeway in India and the longest in Asia, Darjeeling rangeet valley tourist ropeway offers splendid views.
– It is spotted at North Point, about 3km from the town.
– A shared taxi service is available to come here. It is not too far from the zoo.
You must Do in Darjeeling
1. A tour of tea estates in Darjeeling
– All the hills around Darjeeling produce the world’s best tea. Darjeeling’s tea gardens are a beautiful sight, protecting terraced hill slopes, up to an altitude of 1951 meters.
– While in Darjeeling, you should catch the opportunity to travel to some well-known tea estates.
You can walk through the estates, explore a tea firm and see how moisture is extracted from tea leaves and how they are wrapped and dried, sifted, fermented and sorted.
– A 15-minutes walk from the botanical garden will take you to the happy valley tea estate.
– You can reach the Tukvar tea estate and factory by using the ropeway to Tukvar village.
– Do not skip to hire the services of a guide who will describe the various processes of tea making and provide knowledge on a tea plantation.
– You can sip various kinds of tea and purchase some as well.
2. Take a Day walk in Darjeeling
– Get a mood of these exciting hill destinations by walking through its tea estates, villages and Market.
– You can go on a long walk to singla bazaar, which is 24km from Darjeeling.
– The walk takes you down from 2100m to 230m.
– You can also go on a walk to Chowrasta to get a glimpse of the entire Darjeeling town and a few points nearby.
– Other important walks are those to pandam tea estate and Rungdurng River, Pul Bazaar and happy valley tea estate and a short walk to Tiger hill.
– The real existence in Darjeeling, however, is that of Kanchenjunga.
– You can visit the world’s third-highest mountain on a clear morning.
– The good time is at sunrise, as its snowy mountain emerges from darkness into the night.
3.Trekking around Darjeeling.
– Darjeeling offers some good treks for beginners as well as experienced trekkers.
– There are many trekking agencies providing short and long trekking choices.
– You can also visit the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute to get information and instructions on trekking routes.
-Trekking gear is available on rent all through Darjeeling.
Beautiful Sightseeing for visit to Darjeeling.
– Mirik is a beautiful tourist spot nestled in the peaceful hills of Darjeeling.
– Slow-paced yet alive and a popular tourist destination with its stunning natural beauty, Mirik is perfect for a few days of stay.
– you can also spend the day there and come back to Darjeeling in the evening.
-This small hill station is just 51km from Darjeeling and has good connectivity.
– Sumendu Lake is the heart of all attractions in Mirik.
– It is surrounded by a beautiful garden and pine trees on two sides and touched by a footbridge.
– Go on a pleasant walk around the lake while soaking in the outstanding view of Kanchenjunga or boating on the shikaras.
– The lake is 1.5km long and swimming is not advisable as it gets wastewater from mirik.
-Mirik is home to some of the country’s best tea estates and has good nurseries from where you can purchase orchids.
– you can also find out some excellent orange orchards and cardamom orchards here.
– Mirik is also a superb place to start your trek around the region.
– To reach Mirik, you can take buses and hired a taxi from Darjeeling and Siliguri.
– Kurseong is another beautiful place to visit in Darjeeling.
– A spectacular hill station around 28km from Darjeeling, Kurseong is situated at an altitude of 1460m.
– The Town is surrounded by tea gardens.
– Kurseong is a beautiful place to visit in Darjeeling and peaceful hill station, is known for its exotic greenery, especially white orchids which adorns its hill ramps.
– If you are a trekking fan, you will enjoy trekking from kurseong to Mirik via the Namsu and Balasun River
– The weather remains pleasant all through the year in kurseong.
– Kurseong is one of the stations of Darjeeling Himalayan Railway and is joined to Darjeeling both by rail and road.
What is the famous food of Darjeeling?
– Fairly good figures of Tibetans and Nepalese in Darjeeling ensure that you will get delicious momos and hot boiling thukpas everywhere, More so at the mall road and Chowrasta.
-But momos and thukpas are not the only recipes you can go for.
– Try local traditional food like Wai Wai and churpee while here.
– Wai Wai is thick noodles eaten in soup or dry.
– Churpee is a local chewing gum made of cow or yak milk.
– Darjeeling is the place that produces good quality tea in the world, you can enjoy some of the finest quality of tea at the tea estates.
Where to eat in Darjeeling
1. Kunga Restaurant
51, Gandhi Road, Darjeeling
2. Hasty Tasty
Nehru Road, Darjeeling
Cuisine: South Indian, Italian, North Indian, Snacks
3. Glenary’s Bakery and Café
Nehru Road, Darjeeling
Cuisine: Bakery, Snacks, Confectionery
4. Revolver Restaurant
110 Gandhi Road, Darjeeling
Cuisine: Naga cuisine
5. The House of Tea.
11, Nehru Road, chowk Bazaar, Darjeeling
Cuisine: Famous Darjeeling Tea
What to shop in Darjeeling.
– The mall and chowrasta are choc-a-bloc with shops selling all types of antique, winter wear, cardigans, pullovers.
– You can buy local handicrafts as gifts.
– we have a list of some important stores and markets.
-But, the first point on your list of shopping items should be Darjeeling Tea.
– Visit some tea stores mentioned below to pack some of the finest quality tea to take back home.
Best Time to visit in Darjeeling
– The perfect time to visit Darjeeling is from September to December and March to June
– July to September are monsoon months hence avoid to visit Darjeeling
Where to stay in Darjeeling.
1.Hotel seven Seventeen
26/HD, Lama Road, Darjeeling
Facilities: Room heater, Medical facility, Travel desk, library, safe deposit, all major credit cards accepted.
51/ Gandhi Road, Darjeeling
Facilities: Best view of Mt. Kanchenjungha from the room, Tv, Telephone, laundry service, multi-cuisine restaurant, Medical facility.
3. Cedar inn
Jalapahar Road, Darjeeling
Facilities: telephone service with STD/ISD, Medical service, In house Restaurant, all major credit and debit cards accepted.
4. Hotel Sinclairs
18/1, Gandhi Road, Darjeeling
Facilities: Attached Bath with 24 hours H/c running water, library, sundeck, indoor games, in-house generator.
5. Fortune Resort Central
Robertson Road, Darjeeling
Facilities: Room service, telephone, Fax, Tv, medical service, In House restaurant, indoor games, 24 hours H/C running water.