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If we have led you into believing that Darjeeling is purely a touristy place, that is far from the truth. Thanks to the position of Darjeeling in Himalayan foothills, there are a number of excellent trekking trails you can find around the city; Sandakphu being one of the popular ones. It is a moderate level trek that takes you through some extremely scenic landscapes until you finally reach Sandakphu at 11,929 feet.
This is probably the best trek you can undertake in the region if you are an experienced trekker. Sandakphu is the highest peak in West Bengal, so you can imagine the grand views of the grandest Himalayan mountains you can witness from here. Sandakphu Trek is an ultimate dose of thrill and amusement.
Location: Begins at Manebhanjan, West Bengal
Treat yourself with the impressive fauna species of the Himalayan biodiversity by visiting Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park with your friends and family on your trip to Darjeeling. Opened in 1958, this zoo is the largest high-altitude zoo in the country, sitting at an elevation of 7,000 feet. Spanning across 67 acres, this wildlife abode houses exotic animals like snow leopard and tiger.
The other highlights here are endangered species like red panda and Himalayan wolf. All in all, with a unique range of Himalayan animals and birds on display, this place is an absolute delight for any nature or wildlife lover coming to Darjeeling.
Location: Darjeeling - Jorethang Road, Jawahar Parbat, Darjeeling, West Bengal 734101
Timing: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Entry Fee: INR 30 per person
Yiga Choeling is the real name of this monastery belonging to Gelukpa sect of Buddhists. The vivid colours in the exteriors of the monastery complex and the fine architecture come together to create an enchanting atmosphere for visitors, especially architecture buffs. Built in 1850, this is monastery is one of the oldest ones in Darjeeling.
The highlight here is an idol of Maitreya Buddha that is 15 feet in height. Apart from being a very significant religious place for local Buddhists, Ghum Monastery is one of the most peaceful places to visit in Darjeeling for the tourists.
Location: Ghum, Darjeeling
Timing: 10 am to 6 pm
Entry Fee: No charges
A symbol of eternal peace among people belonging to all nations and religions, Darjeeling Peace Pagoda is one of the most iconic tourist places in Darjeeling. In other words, Peace Pagoda is a temple symbolising ‘Unity for World Peace’. Due to its incredible design exhibiting the fine Japanese architecture, a visit to this place would be a treat for anybody who is interested in photography or architecture.
The temple complex houses a total of four golden Buddha statues, and the inner walls are adorned with carvings depicting different stories from the life of Lord Buddha. You can spend a day here soaking in the tranquil vibes of this peaceful place.
Location: West Point, Darjeeling
Timing: 4:30 am to 7 pm
Entry Fee: No charges
If you love being outdoors and surround yourself with the freshness and calm of nature, Dooars is the most ideal place for you to visit when you are in Darjeeling. Dooars is a place that defines ‘pristine nature’ with its untainted, lush green landscapes. It is a vast region of floodplains that encompasses tea gardens, hill slopes, undulating meadows, tropical forests, and ethnic villages.
The place is ideal for nature photography, wildlife exploration, and nature stay. The natural beauty of the region and the variety of experiences it has on offer make Dooars one of the most fascinating places to visit in Darjeeling.
Your Darjeeling tour is clearly incomplete if you do not indulge in the once-in-a-lifetime experience of taking a ride in the Toy Train that runs on Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. Just grab a window seat, and get lost in a world full of amazing views and refreshing moments. If you are interested in photography, you will find the experience heavenly after all the breathtaking frames your camera captures during the journey.
One of the most exciting parts of being on this train is that you will be gaining a lot of elevation along the route from New Jalpaiguri at 100 m to Darjeeling at 2,200 m.
Location: New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling
Imagine watching the most spectacular mountain peaks in the world – Mt Everest and Mt Kanchenjunga – during sunrise. Imagine how the sky changes its shades every minute and paints the towering mountains in its own shades. Feels magical, right? Tiger Hill is the place where you can bring this fantasy to life. Boasting an elevation of 2,590 feet above the sea level, Tiger Hill is located above Ghum at a distance of 11 km from Darjeeling City Centre.
The site has an observatory where you can sit and enjoy the awe-inspiring Himalayas. Popular for the panoramic vistas you can enjoy from up here, Tiger Hill is one of the must visit tourist places in Darjeeling.
Location: 11 km from Darjeeling
Timing: 4 am to 6 pm
Observatory Fee: INR 10 to 40
Located near Darjeeling, this is a spiral railway track engineered during the era of British India. When you are taking a journey on Toy Train in West Bengal, this is inarguably the most fascinating stretch you will cover. Due to its unique path where the train spirals over itself through a tunnel, Batasia Loop becomes one of the most interesting tourist places in Darjeeling.
The site also features a memorial dedicated to Gorkha Soldier of the Indian Army who laid down their lives in the post-independence India. You can enjoy a 360 degree panoramic views of Darjeeling from here.
Location: West Point, Darjeeling, West Bengal 734102
Timing: 5 am to 8 pm
Observatory Fee: INR 15 per person
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Traveller Tales from Darjeeling
29 March 2016
Dzongri Goechala Trek in Sikkim is one of the best treks in the town. It had been a great trek. I had a lovely time there. It was awesome. I loved it totally. One should definitely try this to know how...
15 December 2014
After this trek, I realized why everyone recommended me for Darjeeling and Sikkim. Truly a paradise and this trek reveals more about these places.
10 May 2016
The crowing glory of this place is Mt Khangchendzong, the third highest mountain in the world. Viewing the mountain was really fascinating us and the experience was mind boggling.
11 September 2015
This was my first trip in any northeast India, and now I proudly suggest everyone that this is the place everyone should visit, atleast for once.I gaurantee you will experience the heaven.
23 August 2015
I love to visit the Yambong singalila. Every turn had a different snow peak with a unique view and each one was more majestic than the previous one and the peaks were simply spectacular.
21 April 2015
The experience was wonderful and it was the most beautiful hill station. There was spectacular sight of Mt. Everest ranges and Khangchendzong that all we captured in our mind, eyes and camera as well.
24 February 2015
After this trek, I am truly, madly and deeplyy in love with Darjeeling and Sikkim. Truly a paradise and this trek reveals more about these places.
11 February 2015
For me, this was a treasure trove journey. Though Sandakpu is the main attraction, I also enjoyed the panorama of the other peaks and the evergreen valleys. Terrains might get difficult at times and to...
23 November 2014
A big big thankyou to my friends to accompany me, our tour guide to led us the beautiful heaven and my parents to finance this holiday trip, really I loved being there!!!! Otherwise I would have missed...
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What You Should Know More About Darjeeling
Avoid traveling during rains as the roads here get really muddy and slippery.
Stay Hydrated and drink bottled water that is sealed.
Avoid street food.
Wear footwear that is comfortable and water resistant.
Keep your phones, laptops and iPods in a secure waterproof case as it can rain anytime.
Power cuts are frequent here especially during the summer months. So, keep the mosquito coils, matchboxes and candles handy.
Double check all the bills for errors or over estimation.
Don’t use any valuable, jewelry or extra cash in hotels. Make use of the room safes wherever available.
Keep daily cash and change handy.
Don’t flash your valuables or large sum of money in public.
Never pay for anything upfront especially to the drivers.
Keep touts at bay.
Avoid exchanging the money in the black market.
Whenever and wherever you get currency exchanged, ask for a receipt.
Carry small currency notes – INR 5, INR 10, INR 20, INR 50 and INR 100 when you are traveling in public transportation or eating in a street stall.
Monkeys are troublesome here. Don’t flash food when you see a monkey around.
When walking in the secluded area, keep a walking stick handy.
Hold tightly onto your camera, purse, etc.
In West Bengal, the legal drinking age is 21. However, selling or serving of the liquor in any form at hotels or restaurants to individuals who are aged below 25 is illegal. Here are some days that are regarded as dry days in Darjeeling as well as in whole of West Bengal: Jan 26: Republic Day Holi Mahavir Jayanti Independence Day Gandhi Jayanti Dussehra The 9th and 10th day of Muharram Eid ul-Fitr Eid al-Adha Durga Puja’s Second Day (Maha Ashtami Day) Dol Jatra Kali Puja Besides this, alcohol is also not served during election days.
In West Bengal, the legal drinking age is 21. However, selling or serving of the liquor in any form at hotels or restaurants to individuals who are aged below 25 is illegal.
Here are some days that are regarded as dry days in Darjeeling as well as in whole of West Bengal:
Jan 26: Republic Day
The 9th and 10th day of Muharram
Durga Puja’s Second Day (Maha Ashtami Day)
Besides this, alcohol is also not served during election days.
Darjeeling manages to be as beautiful as the royal princess of the old times ornamented with its green pearls throughout the day, from dawn to dusk and dusk to dawn and till the earth completes one more revolution of the sun.
Summers are the best times to be in Darjeeling when the days are not too bright and the evenings are calm down with a hint of winters in them. With maximum temperature not going above 25 degrees Celsius, Darjeeling is a surreal destination for backpackers in summers as the windy air and the picturesque surroundings make it all worth a lifetime experience.
When the monsoon decides to leave, leaving the soil a little moist and the wind a little humid, Darjeeling decides to get prettier with a perfect blend of beautiful weather, clouds and awaiting fog. In the months of November and January, there is dew on the grass, fog on the glass and flakes of cloud wrapping you up in the arms of nature. Winters could be too cold here with a temperature going to as below as -2 degrees Celsius. So, if winter is your love, do not forget to carry your woolens.
Darjeeling experience heavy downpour in monsoons and this could make the traveling a little tough but for the lovers of monsoon, no place on the map could fit in as Darjeeling. It glistens into a new life with droplets of rain making music while falling from the leaf of a tea plant amidst the dark forests of a lush-green valley.
Darjeeling has already opened up its heart to various cultures and traditions ages back, people from all the places have turned into this land of epic essence. You can travel to this beauty in ways more than one:
The nearest Airport to Darjeeling is Bagdogra Airport, a drive of 96 kilometers which can be covered in 3 hours in a taxi or a share cab. Bagdogra connects to all big cities of the country which makes it an easy reach even for a traveler from across the globe.
The city is well-connected with the nearby towns with roads taking you through a scenic beauty across the stunning mountains landscape. You can drive down to Darjeeling from all nearby cities like Siliguri, Kalimpong and kurseong. There is a regular bus service from Siliguri to Darjeeling, a distance of 70 kilometers with a breathtaking view of amazing hills covered in a green blanket. There are buses from Gangtok too but the shared cab is more preferable.
The nearest railway station is New Jalpaiguri, 62 km from the main town. It connects all the major Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Cochin, Chennai, etc. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railways' famous toy train service starts at New Jalpaiguri and will get you to Darjeeling in about 7 hours.
You wake up on an early morning and you see that it’s still dark out there and you stand near the window with a cup of tea in your hand as you watch that sky taking up the light slowly and gradually with a little misty wind and hazy view finding glitter through the dew drops over the leaves of a plant that is now smiling to the sun. You wish to walk across such a land every morning when you wake up. Darjeeling is such a beauty and it will gift you something as amazing as the sunrays of hope. Explore "The Queen of Hills" while you hold your breath to some of the best views of this planet in these amazing Places to Visit in Darjeeling
Darjeeling, the quintessential bucket list destination for all backpackers in India, remains a melancholic abode for those seeking wander lust in a tight budget in the lap of Himalaya where local life flows with color in her alleys. Find below a list of things to do in Darjeeling:
Darjeeling provides you ample options to stay where comfort collides with luxury embracing within the arms of nature unwinding you in the hills:
Darjeeling has scrumptious answers to your food cravings with a rich taste of different cultures speaking in various cuisines. Your Darjeeling Tour is incomplete without trying the tasty options from British style breakfast to the traditional North Indian and South Indian foods. Enjoy the delicacy of Darjeeling street food like Thukpa, momos and the unique Churpi:, a local treat to kill The Winter Blues.
The best option to explore any hill is to stroll down the place on your feet capturing all that it has stored for ages in its girth.
There are other transport options that keeps the Darjeeling moving like private or reserved taxis, shared taxis (operating on per person fare), public buses etc. Even the toy trains of Darjeeling Himalayan Railway serve as local transportation on specific routes.
Enjoy a beautiful evening with a cool breeze brushing your hair while you stroll down the colors of Darjeeling local market.
Besides the amazing and alluring vistas, there is a huge range of charming and aromatic tea estates that stands apart in this valley to make this valley stand apart. A reminiscent of the British culture that brought tea to Darjeeling soil, Darjeeling now holds tea in its root as its very own signature, a character of significance that has risen of history and became the favorite morning brew across the world. Explore the following tea gardens, taking an endless walk through the Himalayan city on a misty morning when the sunrays fall over the blooming tea leaves smiling with dewdrops on their faces.
The land of history of diverse cultures, traditions and ethnic values, Darjeeling is a home for various monarchs who found their faith in the times of beginning and flourishing, in the calmness of this beautiful valley.
Trek through the verdant meadows and dense forests with flowers like rhododendrons, magnolia, orchids and varieties of wild flowers swinging in life full of colors. Trekking in Darjeeling provides you with sweeping view of four out of the five highest peaks of the world that includes Mt. Everest, Kanchenjunga, Makalu and Lhotse, all in a single stretch.