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Things to do in Darjeeling

Tourist Attractions in Darjeeling

Attractions

Overview

Nestled among the rolling mountains with the glistening Mt Kanchenjunga towering over the azure sky, Darjeeling fondly called “Queen of the Hills”, provides a perfect gateway for those seeking to be in harmony with nature. This is the land of the muscatel flavored Darjeeling tea revered by connoisseurs across the globe. This is the land of the world heritage Darjeeling Himalayan Railway where the century old miniature steam engine still chugs uphill vying for space with the fast disappearing Land Rovers. “Flowers are everywhere. The days are cold and the sun almost seems to play hide and seek with us”. – Kabiguru Rabindranath Tagore. It is certainly that Darjeeling in the postmodern era comprises of six T’s -Tea, Teak, Tourism, Toy Train, Tiger Hill and Trekkers’ paradise.

The previous summer capital of India under the British Raj, Darjeeling has come off age as one of the most sought after hill stations in India. Located in West Bengal, this scenic hill station is the perfect getaway for a romantic honeymoon. Nestled amidst acres of tea plantations, Darjeeling stands at the height of 2,050 meters above sea level, thus boasting a cool climate all year round.

Place to Visit

Places to Visit:

  • The toy train established back in 1881 is conferred the title of World Heritage Status by UNESCO. The train begins its journey from the plains and rises to over 2000 meters above sea level, offering breathtaking views of the mountains as it chugs along.Over 86 tea estates in Darjeeling are responsible for producing the worldwide famous ‘Darjeeling Tea’. Have a cup of locally brewed chai at the tea estate, or get down amidst the plantations to pluck a few tea leaves yourself; you are free to take your pick!The third highest peak in the world and the highest in India, the Kanchenjunga peak, is visible from here, and you can enjoy a panoramic view of the peak. Some of Darjeeling’s most popular attractions include monasteries, botanical gardens, a zoo, and the Darjeeling-Rangeet Valley Passenger Ropeway cable car, which is the longest Asian cable car. Tiger Hill is a fantastic spot to see the sunrise over the mountains in all its fiery glory.
  • Himalayan Mountaineering Institute(HMI), This Institute was founded and managed by the late Tenzing Norgay who conquered Mt Everest with Sir Edmund Hillary in 1953. Today, it has on display records of some major expeditions undertaken.
  • Next to this is the Everest Museum, which traces the history of different attempts on the world’s highest peak. You may also contact the institute for mountaineering courses for all levels. And a one-off rock-climbing session can be taken at the Tenzing Norgay Rock, located on the northern fringes of Darjeeling.
  • Himalayan Zoo(Padmaja Naidu Zoological Park – shares the premises of HMI). It has a good collection of animals found in the Himalayan region. Animals seem to be treated well.
  • Buddhist monasteries.
  • Japanese Peace Pagoda. This impressive building is part of a grid of around 30 pagodas spanning the whole globe. Constructed by the Japanese Buddhist Nipponzan-Myohoji Order, the one at Charlimont on the outskirts of Darjeeling was consecrated in 1992.

When to Reach

When to Reach

The best time to visit Leh Ladakh are in the months of June, July and August as the weather is pleasant. Hemis festival is celebrated during June/July to celebrate the birth of guru Padmasambhava. Losar festival is celebrated in 11th month of Tibetan calender. Ladakh Festival is a colourful festival held in the month of September.

March is one of the least humid months of the year, making it the best for sightseeing. The numerous tea plantations spread across the hills woo you with their magic. You can go tea-picking at some plantations too! Witness the entire tea-making process from leaf to brew, and sip on the famed Darjeeling tea with your family. One can watch the breathtaking sunrise at Tiger Hill point as the sun emerges out of the Kanchenjunga peak , the tallest peak in India. Stroll around the Barbotey Rock Garden, gaze at the stars in Darjeeling Observatory, shop for wools and trinkets at Bhutia market and offer prayers at the eclectic Mahakal temple too. The sky is mostly clear, affording breathtaking views of the Himalayas. These fun activities make this time of the year perfect for families to visit Darjeeling. There may be isolated hail showers though, so take an umbrella along. If you plan on visiting Darjeeling in spring/summer, it is best to book your travel and accommodation beforehand, as fares go up as the tourist season approaches and most hotels are overbooked by June.

Why Should Go?

Why should I go?

Lying amidst the slopes of the Lesser Himalayas and blanketed by emerald green plantations of tea, Darjeeling is a picturesque town in the Indian state of West Bengal. The majestic Kanchenjunga (also known as Kangchenjunga) towers over this beautiful town, which is the third highest mountain in the world. Popularly known as the ‘ Queen of the Hills’ ,Darjeeling is a favoured tourist destination, noted for its scenic beauty, ancient forests, quaint houses , friendly peopleand the mountain panorama that it provides.

Darjeeling is one of the oldest hill stations in India, and has plenty of options, both for those seeking a lazy getaway from the hot plains, as well as nature enthusiasts and adrenaline junkies.

Darjeeling is famous the world over for its teas, which are very aromatic and have a delicate taste. Surrounded by tea plantations, Darjeeling acquires a different hue during the celebration of the Teesta Tea and Tourism Fest. The hills are said to come alive during the months of November-December as people gather to celebrate the occasion and is a great time to witness the tea culture of Darjeeling

Getting Around

Getting Around:

Getting Around:

Darjeeling is a small town and the salubrious climate means walks around town are an extremely enjoyable means of getting around. For longer trips, taxis are available in stands near the entrance to the Mall.

Taxis and travel agents sell various tour packages based on “points” which are simply the number of attractions covered. A 7-point package includes seven places to visit such as the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute/Zoo, Cable Car, Peace Pagoda, etc and takes about 5 hours to complete with the driver waiting at each attraction.

Weather

Weather:

Darjeeling has a temperate climate with wet summers caused by monsoon rains. Darjeeling’s annual mean maximum temperature is 17.2 °C (63.0 °F) while the mean minimum temperature is 8.5 °C (47.3 °F), with monthly mean temperatures ranging from 6.1 to 16.7 °C (43.0 to 62.1 °F). The lowest temperature ever recorded was −7.2 °C (19.0 °F) on 30 January 1971 while the highest temperature rose to 28.5 °C (83.3 °F) on 21 August 1970. The average annual precipitation is 2,380 mm (94 in), with an average of 105 days of rain in a year.

April to June marks the offset of summers in the city. Darjeeling during these months is pleasant and not very hot. The temperature reaches 25 degrees at the max. The gushing bright sunlight makes it ideal for exploring the tourists’ spots.

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