Review and Ratings (547)
Its sooo cuet place .. In frame this tree is behind our hotel .. Its beautifulll .. My hom
Kangchenjunga! I parted the window curtains of my hotel room in the morning and there it was! The entire range in full viewâ€¦ Beautiful and majestic. Snowcapped, dazzling in the sun! The glimpse of this famed peak has never failed to intrigue me with its mysticism. But this was the first time when it greeted me like this, bright and clear through my hotel window in Darjeeling. No arduous trips required to Tiger Hill or Sandakphu in the wee hours of the morning, Kanchengjunga was right there in front of my eyes.
The Queen of theÂ HillsÂ as Darjeeling is popularly called, is located in the Lesser Himalayas at an altitude of 6710 ft. It is a favoured tourist destination, noted for its scenic beauty and the mountain panorama that it provides.
Kangchenjunga is the third highest peak with a height of 28, 169Â ft, located on the boundary between Nepal and the Indian state of Sikkim. Though it is not clearly visible often from the main town, a trip to Tiger hill at the summit of Ghoom, ensures great views. If you are lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the mightiest of them all - Mt Everest.
Ghoom is 11 km from the town of Darjeeling and can be reached either by car or by foot through Chowrasta, Alubari or Jorebangla and then climbing up the incline to the summit which takes about two hours at an easy pace. Sandakphu at 11929Â ft is another spot which provides one of the best views of Mts. Kangchenjunga and Everest. It is the highest peak of West Bengal, at the edge of the Singalila National Park in Darjeeling district on the West Bengal-Sikkim border.
Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, also known as the Train", is listed as a World Heritage Site.
An overnight train journey fromÂ KolkataÂ to New Jalpaiguri and then an uphill drive of about four hours brings you to this quaint mountain town. Darjeeling is noted for its tea industry. Extensive tea plantations were done in this region during the British colonial period and tea growers developed hybrids of black tea and created new fermenting techniques. As a result, Darjeeling tea is internationally recognized for its distinctive flavor and aroma and ranks high among the best known black teas worldwide.
Since childhood, this was my umpteenth trip to the Queen of the Hills. It started with family trips, owing to the usual love of Bengalis for their favourite hill station. But Darjeeling always meant much more to me; it welcomed me in different ways through the various phases of my life.
As a child, Darjeeling was all about ice-creams at the Mall and trips to my most preferred zoo, the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park. Later, the green hillsides, the surrounding peaks in the clouds, a walk in the foggy woods, hazy sunny mornings spent on the Keventers' rooftop stuff that romance novels are made of for the teenage heart.
Tourism and the tea industry are the two most significant contributors to economy
More recently, when tired of the pressures of work and life, all I need is a few days of rest and wanderings in this peaceful town to recharge myself. More so; as Darjeeling means nostalgia. Though much has changed over the years, yet the nooks filled with memories still remain.
In all these years, this was my first trip to Darjeeling in the winters. Hence, a bright, sunny, yet bone chillingly cold town greeted me. I had seen Darjeeling in the summers, in the monsoons, in autumn; each season has its own special characteristic in this place. But this trip I will remember forever as winter was extra special. In no other time of the year, are the mountain peaks so clearly visible and the hillside so colourful.
What completed my trip this year was a ride on the toy train after years from Darjeeling to Ghoom! The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, which is a narrow gauge line, was laid to connect Siliguri to Darjeeling. But owing to frequent landslides, most of this route is unusable today.
Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is the second railway to have been accorded World Heritage Site status
However, there is a daily Geosyncline return service and regular tourist trains from Darjeeling to Ghoom. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1999. This railway is of historical importance for playing a vital role during World War II, by transporting military personnel and supplies to the numerous military camps around Ghoom and Darjeeling.
Ghoom is India's highest railway station. Â
An amazing experience!
The place is so scenic that you then and there decide that you are going to come here again and this is not the last time you are visiting this place. Must visit places include: Sunrise point, Tiger Hill, Peace Pagoda, Batasia Loop(The toy train takes a loop here, hence the name), Tea gardens, Barbotey Rock Garden and a lot more. I would advise you to travel by train as the landscape to New Jalpaiguri in itself is quite scenic. You can also get down at Siliguri and get a cab from there.
For shopping there is a whole roadside market present and your lady is going to love it. Food available is amazing, don't forget to try Momos. Activities that kept me busy were trekking, sightseeing and relaxing, just letting the place sink in me. Advice to travellers will be to take warm clothes with them, Umbrellas and torch. It is a pretty amazing place to visit. Enjoy to the core and happy journey.
I am heading to Darjeeling
History of Darjeeling
Darjeeling is one of India’s most famous holiday destinations and is affectionately known as the “Queen of the Hills”. It is a hill-station located in the northern part of West Bengal. Until the fag end of the 18th Century, the city was largely under the Kingdom of Sikkim. With the steady conquest of the British East India Company, it came under the British rule in the mid-1800s. It saw development under the British rule with the constructions of many roads, railroads, schools hospitals and churches.
People and Culture of Darjeeling
A Darjeeling tour is essential to truly experience the city. Tourism and the tea industry are the major contributors to the economy. The population comprises of a mix of many ethnic groups such as Magars, Gurung and Tamangs. There is also a significant population of the Ghorka tribe. Hinduism and Vajrayana Buddhism are the major religions practiced here. The spoken languages include Nepali, Hindi and Bengali.
Culturally, Darjeeling is very diverse. As the city has many indigenous groups, the festivals are also varied. Dasain, Saga Dawa and Lhabab Dhuechen are a few of the major festivals along with Diwali and Durga puja.
Things to Do in Darjeeling
There are innumerable things to do in Darjeeling from sightseeing to trekking on the Kanchenjunga Mountain. Sightseeing in Darjeeling is an absolute delight with lush green hills riddled with cotton-like clouds. The important places to visit in Darjeeling include the Tiger Hills and Happy Valley Tea Garden. Darjeeling sightseeing is incomplete without a visit to the famous Rangit Valley and a ride on the cable car. Some of the famous places in Darjeeling are the monasteries particularly the Ghoom Monastery and the Peace Pagoda. Tourists may visit the architectural masterpiece of Kali temple.
One of the main Darjeeling attractions is the Toy Train, which is now a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Other Darjeeling tourist places are the Lloyd Botanical Garden and the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park to experience the unique flora and fauna of the lesser Himalayas. With so many Darjeeling places to visit, tourists must keep in mind to plan their trips in advance so as to have ample amount of time.
Food and Shopping in Darjeeling
A trip to Darjeeling is unfinished without a taste of its unique cuisine. The food is heavily influenced by Nepali, Chinese and Bengali cuisine. Some of the must-have dishes here are Momo, Thukpa, Sarl Roti and Gundruk. Chhaang and Thomba are the popular alcoholic beverages found here.
Some of the best places to visit in Darjeeling and to shop are the main city itself. Fresh and organic tea are a given. Other items to look out for are Tibetan masks, jewellery, scarves, shawls, a traditional Khukri (Ghorka Knife) and more. One can find these at Chowk Bazaar.
Accommodation in Darjeeling
Tourists wanting to know how to reach Darjeeling can find choose between road transportation and trains. With so many places to see in Darjeeling, it is imperative to find good accommodation. Choose from a large number of budget hotels in Darjeeling such as Mayfair Hill Resort Hotel, Viceroy Hotel and Sinclairs Darjeeling Hotel where one can find a comfortable stay.
Darjeeling seems to be very popular this season!