Welcome To The Dream Land Of West-Bengal
Gifted with fine climate, Darjeeling is one of the most popular hill stations of West Bengal since British period. Perched at a height of 2,050 meters, this hill station is the seat of tourism industry of West-Bengal. The most remarkable thing about the place is that you can have magnificent views of tea-gardens here with the backdrop of Himalayan peaks. Stunning views of Mount Kanchenjunga, dense coverings of Sal and Oak forest and toy train are other keys of interest at this enchanting tourist destination.
Best Time to Visit Darjeeling
Darjeeling faces three major seasons in a year. Although, the place can be visited any time of the year but for the tourists the best time to visit Darjeeling is during summer – April to June. In summer season the temperature remains mild and pleasant with a temperature ranging from 17°C to 22°C. The hill station serves as a chief tourist hotspot in the northeast during this month when the mercury rises in the plains. Darjeeling receives a heavy rainfall during monsoon from July to August. If you are fond of rainy season and the freshness of nature after downpour, then you may visit the place at this time of year. The winter season at the place starts from September and ends till March. The temperature during this season sometimes drops to even 2°C. Still it remains ideal for honeymooners.
How to reach
Darjeeling is one of the most frequented hill station of the country. If you are also planning to spend an enjoyable vacation here, we tell you how to reach Darjeeling. The nearest airport to Darjeeling is 95 Km away at Bagdora. There are direct flights available from Kolkata, Delhi and Guwahati that connects Darjeeling by air with the major destinations in India. If you are travelling to Darjeeling by train then you can take a ride in Darjeeling Himalayan narrow gauge which is a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and links Darjeeling to New Jalpaiguri. With successful Darjeeling tourism, the hill station can be accessed by road from Gangtok, 110 Km away. Economical bus service is also available from Siliguri, 70 km away, if you wish to reach Darjeeling by road.
State’s Special (April Edition)
KEY ATTRACTIONS OF THE PLACE
As the enchanting hill station is showered with ample bounty of nature, there are several tourist places in Darjeeling.
Tiger Hill is the most famous peak as well as tourist spots of Darjeeling, located at a short drive away from the town. The place is also ideal for trekking as the peak offers stunning views of Mount Kanchenjunga and Mount Everest. One can also witness one of the most mesmerising views of sunrise from here.
Known as Makal-Babu-Ko-Thaan, Observatory Hill is a famous as well as oldest view point in Darjeeling. The location is mostly known for offering magnificent views of Kanchenjunga and the ancient Mahakaal Temple. As per the legend, Lord Indra’s sceptre has fallen at this very place giving it the name ‘Dorje’ and ‘ling’ i.e. Darjeeling. Presence of Hindu and Buddhist temples invites large number of footfalls to the place.
Happy Valley Tea Estate
Placed on a high altitude of 2,100 meters, the Happy Valley Tea Estate is one of the major tourist attractions in Darjeeling. The tea estate sprawled in 437 acres, presents one of the stunning treats to the eyes. It also houses one of the highest tea factories in the world which was established in 1854 by an Englishman.
Situated at an elevation of 8,515 feet, Senchal Lake is one of the major lakes in the entire region. In addition to it, the place is a major tourist spot due to its picturesque beauty. Senchal Lake is located at a high altitude of 8,815 feet near Tiger Hill.
Built in the year 1875, Ghoom Monastery is placed at an elevation of 8,000 feet, around 10 Km from Darjeeling. Also known as ‘Yogachoeling Gompa’, the monastery is store of some rare handwritten Buddhist manuscripts.
Neora Valley National Park
Sprawled across 88 square kilometres, Neora Valley National Park is one of the rich biological zones in the state. It is famous for sheltering the biggest populations of Red Panda in the country. Established in 1986, the park houses some rare species of plants and animals.
Singalila National Park
Situated amidst Himalayan peaks, Singalila National Park is home to huge variety of hilly flora and fauna. In addition to it the park also contains some rare animal species like Red Panda, Leopard, Tigers, Clouded Leopard, Barking Dear, Wild Boar, Black Bear etc.
GORGE ON SOME OF THE UNIQUE DISHES OF THE PLACE
Due to blooming Darjeeling tourism, the beautiful hill station has ample multi cuisine restaurants and eateries catering to the tourists. But it is advisable to have the authentic food of the place while you are here. The food of Darjeeling reflects the cultural diversity of the place as it is home to various communities including Lepchas, Gorkhas, Sherpas and Bengalis. The staple food of the place consists of rice, noodles and potatoes cooked in comparatively less oil and spices. Momos is one of the most popular local snack as well as street food in Darjeeling. One of the famous dishes in Darjeeling is Thupka which we suggest you must have while you here. You can also try traditional Nepali Thali which comprises several dishes like daal, rice, curry, pickles, curd etc. Though, the platter is similar to Bengali platter, the use of spices and herbs make a slight difference. You may savour Naga dishes also as there are many restaurants in Darjeeling that serves it. Bengali cuisine is another relishing stuff you can try here. One of the unique items you can have at Darjeeling is Churpee. This is a cheese like item prepared from cow’s or yak’s milk. Sael Roti and Gundruk are local Nepali dishes you can relish here. Now it’s time for some drinks. Your Darjeeling tour is incomplete without having a hot simmering cup of local tea. Tibetan Tea is another beverage you should try in Darjeeling. Served after mixing butter, it will be unique for your taste buds. Last but not the least, the local beer Tongba must be tasted. Prepared from millets, it is served in bamboo glasses.
TOURIST ATTRACTIONS AROUND DARJEELING
Nestled amidst snow clad Himalayan peaks; Kalimpong is a beautiful town located around 50 km from Darjeeling. Resided by hospitable folks, the town is a must visit for its post card beauty which lays in the thick forest cover and river valleys of mighty River Teesta, Rishi, Rilli and Git. A vacation to Kalimpong includes a lot of wonders including trekking, exploration of flora in dense woods, bird watch, river rafting, mountain biking, cultural tours and after all these relaxation in the arms of nature.
Located 30 Km away from Darjeeling, Kurseong is a charming hill station set an altitude of 1,458 meters. The serenity and rejuvenating climate of the place can be inferred from the fact that it was an inspiration for many great persons including Guru Rabindranath Tagore, painter Abanindranath Tagore, Swami Vivekananda and many more. Kurseong enjoys a pleasing climate throughout the year making it an all-year-round destination.
Located around 52 Km from Darjeeling, Mirik is a lesser known spot snuggled in the forested hills of Himalaya. The place is a hidden beauty of north east India remarkable for stunning views of Kanchenjunga, fruit orchards, cardamom plantation and tea estates. Evergreen pine forests, wild forest flowers and serene lakes are perfect for a relaxing vacation to the sojourners.
Activities in Darjeeling
Darjeeling-Rangeet Valley Ropeway
A ride on the ropeway is perhaps the best way to soak in the beauty of bird’s eye view of the place. 4,260 meter Darjeeling-Rangeet Valley ropeway is believed to be longest ropeway in Asia. Crossing the lush valleys, the ropeway descends from a height of 7,000 feet to 800 feet.
White water rafting on Teesta River is one of the adrenaline pumping activities you can enjoy in Darjeeling. It is advisable for the faint hearted to avoid this activity.
There are two routes in Darjeeling to indulge in the thrilling activity of paragliding. One is from Saint Pauls to Lebong and another one is from Tukvar Tea Garden. The flying time ranges from 10 to 30 minutes.
If you have been to the hill station, share your experience with us.