Darjeeling located in the state of West Bengal is situated at an attitude of 6,710 ft in Lesser Himalaya. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is noted for its Darjeeling Himalayan Railways and its famous tea industry. A large number of inhabitants being Buddhist there are lots of old monasteries are present along its length and breadth. The vivid landscapes, tea plantation, eternal weather and the slopes make it one of the most popular tourist destinations of India. Darjeeling is the highest tea exporter and thus, tea tourism in Darjeeling attracts many visitors during the plucking season. In this season one might observe the women in the fields plucking the leaves. The aroma in the hills surrounds international visitors.
Darjeeling spread across the area of 3149 sq Km is one of the important shopping centers where visitors can shop for showpieces, clothes handicrafts and showpieces. The tourists in Darjeeling shop for woolen garments, fashion clothes and shawls.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
The best time to visit Darjeeling is between the months of April to June along with September to December. Darjeeling experiences a moderate climate during most of the year. In the summer the temperatures range between 14°C and 8°C and during winter temperature falls to freezing point of 6°C to as low as 1°C. During the monsoon Darjeeling experiences heavy rain showers which at time lead to frequent landslides. A lot of tourist visit Darjeeling during summers as it is a favorable time for all tourist activities. For sightseeing the best months would be from September to November. Visitors who like chilly climate should visit Darjeeling around December to January, as it is the best period for honeymooners. The adventure avid can visit Darjeeling in the month of February to June which is idyllic for all adventure activities in Darjeeling.
Darjeeling lies in the north of the state of West Bengal and is situated in the foothills of the eastern Himalayas. The district of Darjeeling shares its boundaries with countries like Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal. It is one of the scarcely populated districts of the state with the total population being 1,842,034 and the density of population is 413 persons per sq Km. Located at an altitude of 2134 meters above the sea level and is surrounded by various Buddhist monasteries and the mighty peaks of Himalayas.
The popular Mall road is commercial street lined by the Tibetans selling hand-Knitted cardigans and is clustered with lot of shops selling souvenirs along with both imitation and real antiques. While exploring the Mall road leads the guest will lead to Chaurasta which is pony riding arena for children.
Observatory Hill is locally known as “Makal-Babu-Ko-Thaan” is the oldest site in Darjeeling. The ancient legends reveal that a Red Hat Buddhist Monastery presently called Dorje Ling stood at this spot. The Dorje Ling was destroyed in the 19th Century. In the present time this observatory Hill is perched by both the Shivas and Buddhist believers.
Chowrasta is the place from where the Mall road originates and finishes. Situated in the heart of Victorian Darjeeling it is a major paradise for the shopping lovers and souvenir collectors. The major shopping items to shop for are tribal ornaments, rosaries, woolen garments, Gorkha daggers and brass statuettes. Local handicrafts are also available for shopping.
Himalayan Mountaineering Institute:
The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute was created by the Tenzing Norgay after he conquered Mt Everest with Sir Edmund Hillary on 29th May 1953. The museum display and preserves all the equipments that were used to climb one of the highlights. Near this mountaineering institute is a Zoological garden which is home to exotic wildlife like Siberian tigers, Yaks and Red Pandas etc.
Darjeeling Rangeet Valley Traveler Ropeway:
The Darjeeling Rangeet Valley Passenger Ropeway is the first traveler ropeway in India. The reservation of ropeway seats must be done prior. Contact the officer in-charge of the ropeway station for prior bookings of the seat. Frequent share taxi service is available from Market Motor and Taxi Stand is to the Ropeway Station.
PLACES AROUND DARJEELING
While exploring Darjeeling one may take a drive to explore the nearby interesting tourist destinations. The prime tourist destinations include:
Take a drive to Pashupati located on the Nepal border where tourist can enjoy shopping for foreign goods at reasonable prices. Also visit the exotic wildlife which includes the rare one-horned Rhino, Gaur, Deer, wild boar etc. Also explore the market area to shop for the Tibetan medicines, musk, wool, silk and spices.
Tiger hill situated at an altitude of 2,590m is located at a distance of 13 km from Darjeeling and is very popular amongst the tourist for a magnificent sunrise view over the Kanchenjunga range. Standing atop this high mountain peak one can also enjoy the view of Even Mount Everest, the world's highest peak.
Located at a distance of 52 km from Siliguri is Mirik. This picturesque land is being developed as a new hill station. It is fondly popular amongst the tourist for its orange orchards, Tea estates and cardamom plantations. The mountains surrounding it are mesmerizing and amazing to view and make you close to Mother Nature.
The other nearby attractions to be explored includes Kurseong, Phalut & Sandakphu, the Tibetan Refugee Camp and the Lloyd's Botanical Garden.
HOW TO REACH
Darjeeling is well connected by air from all the major parts of the country by Bagdogra airport. It is the nearest airport and is mere 3 hours drive away from Darjeeling.
Those thinking to travel to Darjeeling by train can board the famous Darjeeling train from Sealdah and various other express trains from all around the country on a daily basis to reach the nearest railhead New Jalpaiguri. On reaching New Jalpaiguri one can board the famous Toy Train which chugs its way up to reaching Darjeeling.
Darjeeling is well connected to Siliguri, the terminal city as a fleet of state and private buses run overnight from Calcutta to Siliguri. After deporting at Siliguri, enjoy a 2 hours scenic drive while traversing through the forest and tea gardens either by boarding a luxury bus or private taxi to reach Darjeeling.
WHERE TO STAY
Darjeeling offers a huge range of Resorts, hotels and guest houses for both budget and luxury travelers. The luxury hotels in Darjeeling display the rich culture and tradition. One can also stay average luxury hotels which offer comfortable stay with all the facilities at a comparatively lesser price. Guests can also find hotels charging a minimum tariff in Darjeeling. These hotels are surely good options for a short sojourn in this beautiful hill town. Another accommodation option which can be explored while being in Darjeeling is its guest houses. These guest houses are located in picturesque spots and are affordable for even the budget travelers. So come and explore Darjeeling while staying at some of its pristine accommodation options.