About Darjeeling

Jaw-dropping locales, mesmerising sunrises, the untouched beauty of the hills, the old-world charm of the past, and the welcoming smiles of the local people all add up to make Darjeeling one of the most beautiful hill stations in Eastern part of India. Spread over a steep mountain ridge, nestled amidst acres of lush green tea plantations, Darjeeling stands at the height of 2,050 meters above sea level, thus boasting of cool climes all year round. This scenic hill station is the perfect getaway for a romantic honeymoon and is just around 700 kilometres away from Kolkata. A respite from the hot and humid summers of India, Darjeeling is a popular tourist destination in North-East India. Providing a heady mixture of splendid tea gardens on rolling mountain slopes, meandering toy train rides through the picturesque city, and delectable traditional Tibetan cuisine, Darjeeling works wonders to cater to the gorgeous panorama of the Himalayas. There is a reason the city is known as the 'Queen of the Himalayas'. The lush green slopes dotted with women plucking tea leaves is a sight as mesmerising as no other. There are over 86 tea estates in Darjeeling that 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! A 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. Famous for its beautiful tea plantations and the quality of Darjeeling tea, Darjeeling is a delight for all kind of tourists. The toy train established back in 1881, still runs in this part and is also one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites. Beautiful colonial architecture including mansions and churches dot this little beautiful town. Filled with people from Tibet, Nepal, nearby Indian states and the Gorkhas, Darjeeling is brimming with cultural diversity. The third highest peak in the world and the highest in India, the Kanchenjunga peak is clearly 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 happens to be the longest Asian cable car. Darjeeling is a wonderful place to walk around and explore the tea estates, villages, and markets.

Place to must visit in Darjeeling


Places to Visit in Darjeeling

Travellers are preffering these places in Darjeeling

Experience Time: 2-4 hours

Distance: 20 kms

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, also referred to as the DHR, and lovingly called the 'Toy Train', is a 2 feet narrow gauge train that runs between New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling, in West Bengal, India. The construction of this 88-kilometre long railway line took place between 1879 and 1881, and a ride on this train route has been a coveted experience ever since. A journey in this Toy Train has amazing sights on display. Passengers on the train witness pleasing mountain views and pass by villages and local shops on the way, with children merrily waving at them. The pace of the train is so slow that local children often hop and off the moving train. Modern diesel engines that are now used are however faster and more powerful. A ride in the much-loved train is an opportunity only few would like to miss. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway provides significant transport links between various parts of the Darjeeling hills and lower plains and is a piece of sheer engineering inventiveness and vision. How else can a small steam engine pull mini coaches up the steep mountains by overcoming almost unfeasible curves and gradients? This is perhaps why the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway was declared as a World Heritage Site on 2 December 1999 by UNESCO. Later on, two more railway lines were added, and the site came to be known as the Mountain Railways of India. A ride on such a heritage transport is no doubt a relaxing and charming one but is also prestigious because this train is what once provided the first and most important mountain transportation link in the country.

Experience Time: 1-2 hours

Distance: 5 kms

Tiger Hill

Lying at an altitude of 2590 meters and a distance of 13 kilometres away from the Darjeeling, Tiger Hill is most famous for its splendid sights of the morning sunrise from where you can see the peaks of Kanchenjunga illuminate before the sun is seen at lower elevations. The magnificent view of snow - capped mountains sitting amidst cotton clouds attracts tourists to Tiger Hill from all over the country. Interestingly, this is also the summit of Ghoom, which is the highest railway station in the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This vista point of Tiger Hill is a pristine natural beauty where you can enjoy the virgin charm of Darjeeling in its most endearing form. At sunrise, the peaks of Kangchenjunga are illuminated before the sun is seen anywhere else in the city, which is an amazing thing to experience. Another notable thing of beauty here is the pristine natural beauty of Tiger Hill, which is enveloped in gentle verdant foliage coupled with sublime clouds in the background. The fresh morning air as you make your way to the summit is a refreshing experience away from the banter of city life.

Experience Time: 1-2 hrs

Distance: 3 kms

Batasia Loop

Perhaps one of the most picturesque train routes in all of Darjeeling, the Batasia Loop is a lush green toy train pathway that is meant to minimise the elevation of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. The unique design of this magnificent attraction allows the track to wrap around itself through a hilltop tunnel. One of the most enchanting aspects of the Batasia Loop is its unmatched natural beauty which is a wonderful sight to behold. Located on Hill Cart Road (NH 55), you can enjoy a panoramic view of the Darjeeling in all its verdant glory. Situated in Ghum which is about 5 kilometres from Darjeeling, the Batasia Loop was commissioned for construction in the year 1919. A memorial dedicated to the Gorkha soldiers of the Indian Army who laid down their lives during the war of Indian independence is situated close by as well. Batasia Loop rises from the midst of emerald carpets of mountain vegetation and overlooks the snowy peaks of Kanchenjungha on one side as well. Endearing flowers line the way, which makes a trip through this attraction a must after you have witnessed the fascinating sunrise of Tiger Hill. The view of the train tearing past the white of the clouds and deeper into the green beauty of the terrain is a refreshing and enchanting expedition which should not be missed.

Experience Time: 3 hours

Distance: 1 kms

Japanese Peace Pagoda

As you climb up from Clubside along Gandhi and AJC Bose roads, you see this glistening white structure standing out - that's the Peace Pagoda. The Peace Pagoda, one of the 70 odd such structures built under the guidance of Japanese monk Nichidatsu Fujii, is worth a visit during the daily pujas.

Experience Time: 2 hours

Distance: 2 kms

Nightingale Park

This park was earlier called 'The Shrubbery' when it was a private courtyard. The park was closed for renovation for about four years and has reopened for public since 2011. There is a giant statue of Lord Shiva, a musical fountain along with the great scenery.

Experience Time: 3 hours

Distance: 3 kms

Rock Garden

The Rock Garden or the Barbotey Garden as its commonly known, is located a little far from the city around ~10 km away. The benches in the garden are made by cutting rocks at different levels. The flower beds are gorgeous and the garden also has a waterfall flowing through it, which is quite a pretty sight during monsoons. Despite the tourists attraction, the road to get to the garden is in a bad condition.

Experience Time: 3-4 hrs

Distance: 0 kms

City Shopping

Darjeeling is surely present on the list of 'Must-Visits' of every traveler and why not? It is a fantastic place for spending the vacation. What adds on to the fun? SHOPPING! It has some excellent stuff to showcase to its visitors. Darjeeling is famous for its handmade items including pendants with gems engraved on them, paintings known as 'Thankas' which depicts stories of the Buddhist religion. Nehru road is likely to be the perfect spot for the tourists. Another place to stuff in your shopping bags is Chowk Bazaar which has all kinds of stuff ranging from clothes to mouth-watering dishes. Once people are given the answer to 'Where to buy,' the next question which comes up is 'what to buy.' There is a lot of stuff for one to pick on while their stay in Darjeeling. It is well known for its handicrafts and a lot of other things which will be mentioned in detail. The first one being tea. The place is known for the authentic and one-of-a-kind tea leaves. There are as many as fifty varieties of tea with the price varying from INR 80 to INR 2000. Another famous item to add to the cart is the local paintings designed. It is a beautiful place for one to go shopping for home décor. There is a variety of books for one to enjoy reading ranging from travel tales to the Himalayas.

Experience Time: 3-5 days

Distance: 27 kms

Sandakphu Trek

Sandakphu Peak (11,941 Feet) is the highest peak in West Bengal. The highest peak of Singalila Ridge in Darjeeling district, almost near the border of Nepal, it is located very close to Singalila National Park. Sandakphu, the highest peak in West Bengal, gives you a spectacular view of four out of five highest peaks in the world. The best view possible is of mountain Kanchendzonga. You can reach the peak either by car or trekking. The trek is a beautiful 51 km long way up the hill, starting from Manebhanjan. Sandakphu is also known as the "mountain of poisonous plants" because of the abundance of Himalayan Cobra Lilies here. Since this is an arduous trek, it is advisable to undertake it only after ensuring your complete fitness.The trek to the summit is quite exhilarating passing through several distinct terrains, from challenging valleys to the lush green of the lands dotted with rhododendrons, magnolias, primulas and vibrant wild flowers. The place is a paradise for nature lover with about 600 varieties of orchids alone.

Experience Time: 3-4 hrs

Distance: 3 kms

Himalayan Mountaineering Institute

Located in the hill station of Darjeeling, Himalayan Mountaineering Institute is recognized as one of the best mountaineering institutes in the world. It was established on 4th November 1954. The primary purpose of this initiative was to encourage, enhance and support the interest of the people in the sport of mountaineering; to channel the abundant energy of the youth into a productive and self-awarding sport. Aspiring mountaineers from all over the world come to this institute to develop their skills. Besides being one of the best mountaineering institutes in the world, the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute has become a significant tourist attraction on account of its picturesque setting in the hill station of Darjeeling. The magnificent view of the 8586-meter high peak of Kanchenjunga, the third highest peak in the world, from this institute is genuinely mesmerizing. After Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary did what was perceived impossible by the world, climbing to the peak of the mighty Mount Everest, our first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru found the impetus to establish the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute in the hill station of Darjeeling. Jawaharlal Nehru believed, 'There will be no lack of adventure of the mind and body for those who are prepared to venture into uncharted seas and climb unknown peaks'. The thrill of mountaineering; of climbing snow clad mountains through the raw landscape in the midst of untouched nature is one that can't be expressed by mere words. This is an adventure of a lifetime and for a lifetime. In the field of adventure, the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute aims at developing mountaineering as a sport of scientific and entrepreneurial pursuit. A mountaineer doesn't just climb mountains, he understands them. He feels the earth beneath his feet and pampers it. Mountaineering is a scientifically artful sport that needs intensive training and deliberate technique, and this is where this grand institute comes in. In the 63 years existence, the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute has trained over 45000 students including 2500 aspirants from different countries of the globe.

Experience Time: 4 Hours

Distance: 3 kms

Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park

The Padmaja Naidu Zoological Park is a splendid enclosure in Darjeeling housing a wide variety of animals. Also known as Darjeeling Zoo, this attraction was set up in the year 1958 and was named after the former governor of West Bengal, Padmaja Naidu, who was also the daughter of Sarojini Naidu. Witha n average elevation of a whopping 7000 feet, it is the largest high altitude zoo in India. It specializes in breeding animals adapted to alpine conditions and has successful captive breeding programs for the snow leopard, the critically endangered Himalayan wolf and the red panda. The zoo serves as the central hub for Central Zoo Authority of India's red panda program and is a member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums. A haven for animals of all kinds, Darjeeling Zoo is a huge centre of attraction for animal lovers and nature enthusiasts. The zoo is known internationally for its breeding and conservation programs and also includes an off-display breeding centre for snow leopards and red pandas. In addition to these rarer species, the zoo is also enriched with Asiatic black bear, barking deer, leopards, blue and yellow Macaw, Eastern Pangolin, Pheasant, Himalayan Monal, Himalayan Wolf, Lady Amherst, Leopard Cat, Macaw, Red Jungle Fowl, Red Panda, Royal Bengal Tiger, Sambar Deer, Temminck's Tragopan, Yak, and many more. Owing to its unyielding efforts to repopulate these endangered species, the Darjeeling Zoo has been awarded the prestigious honour of "The Earth Heroes" in the year 2014 out of over 300 zoos worldwide.

Experience Time: 3-4 hrs

Distance: 20 kms

Singalila National Park

Located at an altitude of more than 7000 feet above the sea in the Singalila range, the Singalila National Park is the highest national park in the state of West Bengal. Initially a wildlife sanctuary, the place was converted into a national park in the year 1992. The national park encompasses a beautiful, 78.60 sq km land of virgin rhododendron forests, alpine valley and rare species of animals and orchids. It is most famous for the breathtakingly mind-stirring view of the Himalayan peak that it offers, providing a panoramic view of the gigantic Himalayas from Nepal to Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh (India), up to Bhutan. The national park is also part of a trekking route and no less than a paradise for trekkers and adventure lovers. In fact, the region was earlier used as the trekking route from Manebhanjang to Sandakphu and Phalut. Singalila National Park derives its name from the Singalila spur, which runs through the park, descending from Mount Kanchenjunga in the north and running south to the northern fringe of the Gangetic Plains. Situated in the beautiful forested area of Darjeeling, it has an eclectic melange of flora an fauna, and houses around 120 different species of birds. The ecosystem here extremely unique and boasts a collection of flora, fauna and avifauna that is hard to find elsewhere in the country. It is home to the very rare and exotic Red panda and to the Himalayan black bear. This amazing Singalila National Park is also a safe haven for all the wildlife residing here as the area is strictly reserved for protection of biodiversity and activities like developmental forestry, poaching, hunting and grazing on cultivation are not permitted.

Experience Time: 3 hours

Distance: 1 kms

Observatory Hill

Like most other hill stations in India, Darjeeling also has a Mall Road and atop the Mall is the Observatory hill. The hill hosts the famous Mahakal temple and the original shrine of Bhutia Busty monastery, making the place of religious significance for Hindus and Buddhists alike.

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Trekking

Offering you a sweeping view of four out of the five highest peaks of the world Mt. Everest, Kanchenjunga, Makalu and Lhotse, all in a single stretch, Darjeeling offers some of the best trekking routes in the world. Singalila range is one of the most popular trekking routes while Sandakphu & Singalila Trek, Phalut Trek and Sikkim Trek - Dzongri & Goechala are some of the other trekking routes in Darjeeling.

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Distance: 6 kms

Monastries in Darjeeling

You must visit monasteries in Darjeeling to experience the essence of the place. There are lots of monasteries spread across the city, all having their own relevance. A few that stand out in the crowd are the Ghoom monastery, Bhutia Busty monastery and Aloobari monastery. Ghoom monastery is famous for its 15 ft. high special statue of Maitreya Buddha. It is also known as the Sakya monastery. Aloobari Gompa would be a place of choice if you're interested in both shopping as well as sightseeing. You can find lots of local stalls outside the monastery. The fact that it is one of the oldest monastries in Darjeeling adds to its magnificence. Bhutia Busty Gompa is another monastery situated about a kilometer out of Darjeeling. This one is the most scenic out of all monasteries. The shrine was originally located on Observatory Hill but was rebuilt later at its present location.

Experience Time: 1-2 hrs

Distance: 2 kms

Happy Valley Tea Estate

At a magical altitude of 6,800 feet, the Happy Valley Tea Estate is a fine land expanse of about 437 acres, growing some of the finest shrubs of this delightful drink in the world. It is the second oldest tea estate in the tea-rich town of Darjeeling, with its origins being closely connected to the history of cultivating and producing the world-famous Darjeeling Tea. The endless expanse of lush plantations situated on a hilly slope combines well with the captivating aroma ensuing from within, mesmerising travellers as they are treated to the charming nuances of producing tea. At this verdant wonderland, the respect for nature is evident through the use of organic and biodynamic methods of farming. One can take a guided tour through the fragrant factory, observing how fresh tea leaves are withered, rolled, fermented, dried, sorted and finally graded to produce the different varieties of tea we see in the market, from traditional black tea and green tea to more exquisite speciality teas like Super Fine Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe. Also known as Black Orthodox Tea, this is one of the finest tea blends of India which is enjoyed across the world. A tea-tasting session is also held, where first-timers are privy to experiencing the subtleties involved in distinguishing the various groups of tea. One can also buy Happy Valley Tea products from the shop in the estate.

Experience Time: 1-2 hrs

Distance: 4 kms

Ghoom Monastery

At a grand elevation of 8,000 feet, the Yiga Choeling or old Ghoom Monastery is the oldest Tibetan Buddhist Monastery of Darjeeling. Established in 1850 by Lama Sherab Gyatso, this shrine is part of the Yellow Hat sect known as Gelupka who worship the 'Coming Buddha' or 'Maitreyi Buddha'. A 15-foot high statue of Maitreyi Buddha is seen in the central hall, made entirely of clay brought from Tibet. This statue was installed during the tenure of the second head of the monastery Lama Domo Geshe Rinpoche. One can also find many rare Buddhist manuscripts within the premises. Visitors are treated to a beautiful view of the majestic Kanchenjunga outside the monastery. Prayer flags are flown by the resident monks in typical Tibetan tradition. Within Yiga Choeling, one can view images of many Buddha deities and lamas such as the Chenrezig, Buddha of compassion, and Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Gelupka sect. In front of the Maitreya Buddha statue hang two huge oil lamps which keep burning throughout the year. The walls of the monastery are elaborately painted with depictions and art of Tibetan Buddhism, with different images of bodhisattvas. These beautiful paintings are placed in a symmetrical manner, facilitating the ease of understanding the basics of Buddhist philosophy to visitors of the monastery. The hilltop above the monastery holds the Ma Kali temple, where devotees come to offer prayer every full moon day and on the fifteenth of every month of the Tibetan calendar.

Experience Time: 1-2 hrs

Distance: 3 kms

Darjeeling Ropeway

Darjeeling is renowned across the world as one of the most picturesque hill stations, where one can witness a myriad of exquisite landscapes, from the glorious snow-capped mountains to the charming valley replete with verdant tea estates. For this reason, the Darjeeling Ropeway finds itself as a prime attraction of Darjeeling, giving its passengers an array of divine panoramic views as they travel across the magical valley. Established in 1968, the Darjeeling Ropeway is India's first cable car system, set up to cater to the tea gardens in the valleys which did not have easy access. Today, it serves as a coveted tourist hotspot, attracting scores of tourists all year round to experience the beauty of Darjeeling's scenery in the best way possible. With 16 cable cars, each car accommodates 6 people as it travels from the North Point in Singamari to the Singla Bazaar, situated by the banks of the enchanting Ramman river, transporting passengers at an altitude of 7000 feet. The view of the numerous tea estates of Darjeeling, the cascading waterfalls, and the majestic Kanchenjunga makes this experience an essential to every tourist in Darjeeling. The gondola moves at a moderate speed, allowing travellers some good opportunities for some brilliant photo opportunities. At the bottom end of the trip, the cable car halts for a while, where travellers may explore the lovely tea gardens, or relax at the small mountain cafe, before proceeding back to the Singamari base station.

Experience Time: 1-2 hrs

Distance: 3 kms

Bengal Natural History Museum

A testament to the indigenous flora and fauna of the region, the Bengal Natural History Museum is a fascinating plethora of more than 4000 specimens being exhibited. Located in the heart of Darjeeling at the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park, this museum was originally started as a small building in the Botanical Garden meant to showcase the varieties of butterflies and birds of the hills. Today, one can find preserved remains of the bird species, reptiles, insects, fishes, and mammals displayed in a replication of their natural habitats. An attractive display of the various minerals of the region is present here as well. There are two sections at the museum, one at the ground level and the other in the basement. This comprehensive collection of animals includes rare specimens such as the Himalayan Brown Wood Owl, Northern spotted owlet, Northern Brown Fish Owl, pelicans, pheasants, Tibetan fox, Tibetan Lynx, Toddy cat, panthers, leopards, tigers, and the Estuarine crocodile, representative of the native wildlife of the Eastern Himalayas. There is also a large collection of birds' nests and eggs. A specialised taxidermy unit is present at the museum to oversee the curing, stuffing and preparation of the birds and animals to be displayed as exhibits. The insects' exhibit has a wide assortment of butterflies, moths, dragonflies and beetles. The museum also has a small library where one might find many interesting books, including the 125 volume series titled 'The fauna of British India'.

Experience Time: 2-3 hrs

Distance: 2 kms

Tea Plantations

Be it black, green, or oolong, tea is as synonymous with Darjeeling as a view of the majestic Kanchenjunga. With over 80 tea plantations spread across the slopes of the valleys of this tourist trap, a visit to at least one tea garden is crucial to the tourist's agenda when in Darjeeling. If the fragrance of the well-manicured shrubs weren't enough to draw the attention of passers-by, these lush green wonderlands also offer services like homestays and guided tours, with some even providing travellers with the chance to engage in some tea plucking. With the cultivation of tea being around Darjeeling for almost 200 years, the Darjeeling tea brand is coveted around the world, making this an exclusive experience for those visiting the region. The famous Happy Valley Tea Estate is the only garden amongst these that allows tourists to view the subtler nuances of producing and processing tea with their tea factory guided tour. Covering over 17,500 hectares of land, tea cultivation is one of the major activities of this picturesque hill station. Some of the famous tea estates are Happy Valley Tea Estate, Glenburn Tea Estate, Makaibari Tea Estate, Gomtee Tea Estate, and Chamong Tea Estate. Soak in the beautiful vistas offered with the magnificent Himalayas forming a gorgeous backdrop, and don't forget to taste the varieties of tea offered here as you engage in the rare experience of tea tourism.

Experience Time: 1 - 2 days

Distance: 12 Kms

Tinchuley

At a distance of about 32 km from Darjeeling, Tinchuley is an offbeat hamlet situated close to the West Bengal-Sikkim border. With an altitude of 5550 ft, the name of the place derives from the words ‘tin’ and ‘chula’, which translates as ‘three ovens’ because the trio of hills constituting the hill station resemble mud ovens. But the geographical diversity of the village is not exhausted by this: the rivers Teesta and Ranjeet also intersect quite close to it. All of this contributes to Tinchuley’s abundant natural beauty. While famous for its tea plantations and fresh fruit orchards like Darjeeling, Tinchuley is in addition a quieter and more obscure place -- there?s a sense of peace pervading the atmosphere that?s otherwise lacking in its buiser counterparts. Here one can engage in rock climbing, trekking, sightseeing, all against a scenic green mountainscape that seems like something out of a film set. With an economy that started thriving through the involvement of World Wildlife Federation (WWF) in modernising the place?s agriculture and branching its production off into floriculture, vermiculture, and organic products took place, Tinchuley began growing in popularity as an ideal tourist destination.

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