It is also known as The City of TEA. It is located in northern West Bengal. It lies between 26° 31′ and 27° 13′ north latitude and between 87° 59′ and 88° 53′ east longitude. Darjeeling is hemmed in by Sikkim in the north, Nepal in the west and Bhutan in the east. Darjeeling town, Kalimpong and Kurseong are the major urban centres. Heavily influenced by British India,Darjeeling still carries imprints reminiscent of its colonial past. The toy train is one of the most striking examples of Darjeeling’s British Raj influence.
Darjeeling town’s elevation is around 2,134 m.The Languages spoken are English, Nepali, Hindi, Tibetan and Bengali are common languages in Darjeeling. Darjeeling’s temperature drops below freezing point during the Winter season, from November to February. In Summer,Darjeeling is delightfully cool with the maximum temperature reaching about 20°C. So very clear light wollen cloths are required in summer & heavy woollen clothes are required in winter. March to mid-June are good for travelling ,however if you like cold weather travel between September to mid-December but it is highly recommended if you cannot handle extreme cold temperature do not travel between Jan to March.
Darjeeling is well connected by Railways : Darjeeling Railway station is in Darjeeling town. Toy Train journey from New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling takes 8 hours.New Jalpaiguri is the major railway station (88 kms about 3 hours drive) which is connected to all the major cities in India.
Nearest Airport is Bagdogra (90 km) which has flights connecting to Calcutta, Delhi and Guwahati. Drive from Bagdogra airport to Darjeeling takes about 3½ hours. Airlines bookings can be made from Darjeeling.
Roadways: Darjeeling – Siliguri/Bagdogra airport (90 km )/New Jalpaiguri Railway Station (80 kms)
Darjeeling – Kalimpong 51 kms. Darjeeling -Gangtok,Sikkim 115 kms. Darjeeling – Pashupati (27 km) (Nepal border -entry point for only Indian and Nepali citizens.
Darjeeling – Kakarvita (117 km) (Nepal ), Darjeeling – Phuntsoling (233 km) (Bhutan)
Things to do
There are lots of places for visit, apart from sightseeing, tourists come and visit Darjeeling for taking rest and refreshing themselves, there is a good Oxford book shop which has lots of books on Himalaya and trekking. However if you don’t want to do anything… just relax and chill. Being a big town and district place, i did not find any offbeat.
KALIMPONG is a sleepy little town situated at an altitude of 1,200 m, some 50 km to the east of Darjeeling. In Kalimpong you can visit Kalimpong Arts and Craft Center for handicraft goods. Tharpa Choling Monastery, a repository of old scriptures and documents. Thongsa (Bhutan) Monastery, the oldest in the area.Tiger Hill (where you can view Himalayan Range in clear days.
A visit to the Tiger Hills before dawn is a must for all Darjeeling visitors who want to see sunrise over the Mt. Kanchenjungha.Tiger Hill is 2590 m above sea level and 11 kms from town (45 mins ).
The Japanese peace pagoda depicts the various stages of the Buddha’s life.
2 kms from Darjeeling is the town of Ghoom which is the highest railway station in the world.
Lloyd’s Botanical Garden
Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park
Its the copy cat of the famous Pashupati Nath Temple.
Lava – Lolaygaon
Lava is situated at a height of 7200 ft. and is 101 kms from Siliguri via Kalimpong. One has to absorb the beauty of this quiet and romantic place. Dense forests of Berch, Pine and Juniper and the variety of Orchids adds to its glory.
MIRIK is tiny hill resort easily accessible from Siliguri, Kurseong, elevation of MIRIK is 1767 m. The center-piece of the town is the Sumendu
Lake where boating under the serene gaze of Khangchendzonga makes for a most relaxing pastime. Rameetay Dara and Deosi Dara are two elevated points near the lake from where the view is terrific. Apple orchards and gardens are other attractions.
The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute is on the West Jawahar road. The institute runs courses for training mountaineers as well as has the very good collection of mountaineering equipments which have been used in various mountaineering expeditions and other wise. Specimens of Himalayan flora and fauna are kept here. The record of attempts made to conquer Mt.Everest has been kept in the Mt.Everest Museum.
Tibetan Refugees Self-Help Centre:
His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The Tibetan Refugee Self-Help Centre was started on October 1, 1959, which was started with 4 persons and 2 rooms. At that time, following the dramatic escape of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, thousands of Tibetans leaving hearth and home, fled into the neighboring countries to live as free human beings. “It is no exaggeration.
This is probably the most famous monastery in Darjeeling and is about 8 kms south of town, just below Hill Cart road and the train station near Ghoom. It enshrines an image of the Maitreya Buddha. Foreigners are allowed to enter the shrine and take photographs. As Ghoom is frequently swathed in mists.
The Last but not the least how can one forget The Famous Darjeeling Toy Train, now it is a part of World Heritage.
There are lots of palces available for stay. One can find all kinds of hotels and guesthoue and lodeges available starting from Rupees 100 to luxury. There are few heritage Hotels available for luxury stay.
Food … Not to worry .. All kinds of foods are available. From Punjabi, South Indian, North Indian, Chinese, good Bakeries everything is available. However if you don’t binge on some momo’s your trip is incomplete.It’s so juicy and yummy I can’t resist its aroma.
At last what can I say its so mesmerizing that you have to go there and feel it.Till next time friends adios…!!! :)