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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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