Darjeeling Experience: The queen of hills still offers one of the best views of Mt. Kanchenjungha on a clear day. The weather is crisp, with that nip in the air especially during the month of October,11 when I visited that place.
Food, sight-seeing and shopping: The food shops in and around the mall offer some delectable cuisine in the form of momos and thupkas not to mention the ubiquitous chowmein found in almost all the eateries out there. Though personally the Keventers still retains its old magical charm offering some real good gastronomical delights like pork and chicken preparations. The entire road leading to the mall from keventers is dotted with shops selling all sorts of stuff ranging from pins to pullovers and many more.
Try to avail the magical toy train ride from Darjeeling to batasia loop and back They offer in train lunch and refreshments. You will get a breathtaking view of the ranges alongwith the waterfalls on way to Batasia Loop
Activities & things to do: A early morning ride to tiger hill to see the sunrise is a must for nature lovers and who would like to see the myriad colours of the sun casting its heavely light on the snow-bathed peaks of the mighty Himalayas.
One can also take a leisurely stroll around the mall or enjoy a seemingly hot cup of tea there or take a walk and visit the mahakal temple nearby.
Places like the darjeeling zoo, Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Botanical garden are worth visiting as well.
Travel tips, How to reach, travel warnings etc: The easiest way to reach is to take a train from sealdah or howrah to NJP junction and hire a jeep or car; Darjeeling is about a three and half hours drive from NJP. Share cars are also available from the station. Alternatively you can go to Air View Hotel bus stand inside siliguri town and take to bus from there to Darjeeling which will take around four to four and half hours to reach there.
If you opt to travel by air then you have to reach Bagdogra and from there it is a four-five hours drive to Darjeeling.
Be careful to book the toy train tickets in advance as there is heavy rush during October-November
It is advisable to avoid the road connecting darjeeling via Rohini. This is comperatively a shorter route but the road was in absolute shambles when we went last October.
The road going to Darjeeling via Meerick is by far the best route and offers splendid views of a typical mountainous road lined with trees and the clouds playing hide and seek with you.
There is a place called shimana(Border) which is basically a halt from where you can have a breathtaking view of Sandakphu(West Bengal's highest place from mean sea level) on a clear day. Not to mention the delightful hot cup of tea being sold by the nepalese women there.
Carry woollens in sufficient quantities if you are visiting during October-November. December-February is extremely cold out there but the chances of seeing the ranges in all of their majestic glory increase as the sky remains free of clouds normally.
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