Darjeeling is nestled in grandeur and beauty of towering snow capped mountains with India abode, mighty Mt. Kanchendzonga, King of the mountains, dominating the sombre, snowy peak lies a jewel of town, elegant, sophisticated and incredibly beautiful is Darjeeling. It is located in altitude 7000 ft, moving up the hills, one is greeted by the smiling tea gardens, changing to firs, pines and fast moving torrents while around 4,000 types of flowering plants and 300 varieties of ferns along with the rare tree fern. Bounded on the north by Sikkim and flanked by Bhutan on the east and Nepal in the west Darjeeling is standing on a narrow ridge jutting out in a vast basin in the heart of the Himalayas enclosed by mountains, the view is more open to the north and the north-east as where the eyes traverses range after ascending hills behind the cultivated slopes of a closer hills till the rising waves mingles with the distant snowy grid of rugged peaks. The original hill station of India even today lives up to its well earned sobriquet of the Queen of the hills. Visitor can savour cups of the world’s most famous beverage as they feast their eyes on the verdant green slopes where the famous tea is grown. The bazaars, malls bustle with people and produce gorgeous magnificent Mt. Kanchenjunga has you under its gaze everywhere you go. A famous writer Mark Twain describes Darjeeling – ‘"One land that all men desires to see, and having seen once by even a glimpse- would not give that glimpse for the shows of the rest of the world combined ’’. The native people are Napalese, Lepchas, Bhutias. Hinduism, Buddhism & Christianity are the predominant religions of Darjeeling District.
Area: 11.44 sq km.
Altitude : 7000 ft.
Climate : Summer Max. 15 C min. 8 C. , Winter max. 6 C. Min. 2 C.
Best season : April to mid June & September to mid December.
Clothing : Light woollens & tropicals in summer [umbrella and raincoats are useful] and heavy woollens in winter.
Language spoken: Napalese, Hindi, Bengali, Tibetan, English.
CHOWRASTA: This wide open asphalted area located at the hill top end of the town is the heart of Darjeeling. One can sit on the benches and chating with friends soaking up the mellow sun or take a stroll around the Mall road that gives spectacular view of mountainand the fabled tea garden of Darjeeling. There are many good restaurants, curio shops, cafeterias, bookshops are the stoppage for the visitors at Chowrasta. Pony rides are too popular among adults as well as children. The place is the cos-mospolitan gathering of people like–ruddy cheeked local children, fashionable youngster, foreigners, domestic tourists.
STEP ASIDE: Located a short distance from Chowrasta on the way to the Bhutia busty monastery. This building was used to have home of Desbandu Chittaranjan Das [C.R. Das] who was eminent Lawyer and prominent figure of Indian Independence Movement is preserve as important vignette of Indian history. He used to live at Step Aside building and died on June 16, 1925.
SENCHEL LAKE: It is located 11 km from Darjeeling town at an altitude of 8515 ft is fed by pristine mountain springs water serve is water reservoir for Darjeeling town.
TIGER HILL: Tiger hill is a famous vantage point which presents wonderful panoramic view of the mountain range and spectacular sight of sunrise unmatched anywhere .in the world. There are scenic picnic spot and nine hole golf course with clubhouse surrounding amidst green carpet with majestic mountain looking down upon the .golfer is one of its own kind of experience.
TENZING GOMBU ROCK: These are interesting rock formation located about 2 km from Darjeeling town which is on the way to Lebong. Himalayan Mountaineering Institute [HMI] conducts some preliminary climbing course on these outcrops. A rope dangled from the easier face of the rocky intrepid local provide tourists from different place with climbing as well as photo opportunity on a nominal fee.
PADMA NAIDU HIMALAYAN ZOOLOGICAL PARK: This zoo is situated 2 km away from the town which is one of the best of its kind in the countery. It is a refuge of number of varieties of endangered animal such as Red Panda, Tibetan Wolf, The Siberian Tiger, and the Snow Leopard. The breeding centre which forms a part of the zoo complex boast of a highly successful breeding programme for these beautiful and exotic animals.
GANGA MAYA PARK: Located 2 km from Rock Garden is the most favourite place for picnic place for locals. In between the serene and calm surrounding there is boating opportunity for the visitors.
ROCK GARDEN: Situated 10 kms from town, is a very attractive picnic spot with natural water falls. It has beauty of terraced garden, sitting spaces and facilitate with other tourism amenities.
AVA ART GALLERY: About 2 km from the town enroute to Ghoom, the houses the unique art and embroidery works of Mrs. Ava Devi. It opens 8 am to 6 pm on nominal fee.
BATASIA LOOP: Perhaps the most popularand abiding image of Darjeeling for its fabled toy train making a 360 degree turn here against the magnificent backdrop of the Kanchendzonga. Batasia has a war memorial who has given their life for country. There are many stalls to pick up souvenirs. There are powerful telescope installed for view different mountain peak. This visual tour is accompanied by a frentic recitation of the name of various peaks.
HIMALAYAN MOUNTAINEERING INSTITUTE [HMI]: Set up after the first successful ascent of Mount Everest by local hero Tenzing Norgay and Sir, Edmond Hillery , HMI is located 2 km from town and just near P. N. Zoological Park. This is the oldest mountaineering institute in the country. The institute conducts various mountaineering courses every year. Many legendry mountaineers such as Everester Nwang Gombu and Lhatoo Dorjee Sherpa have been associated with the institute. HMI has two storied museum where artfacts associated with many Everest and mountaineering expedition are displayed along with the three dimensional models of the entire Himalayan range.
DARJEELING RANGEET VALLEY PASSENGER ROPEWAY: The total span of 4,620 ft. cable car ride provide the tourist a unique opportunity to sample the beauty of the tea garden against the stunning back drop of the Himalaya. From elevation of 7000 ft. in North Point St. Joseph's School, Darjeeling a bi-cable passenger ropeway carrying six at a time in a box car down to Singla Bazaar . This thrilling ride is one of the first bi-cable passenger carrying ropeway and largest in Asia. The closed cabin swings above the yawning gap, filled with spurs, dense forests, mountain ridges, silvery rivers, green valley of tea garden for 45 min to reach Singla Bazaar. Initially it was built for serve many local tea garden.
JAPANESE PEACE PAGODA [TEMPLE]: Built under the guidance of Nicidatsu Fujii in 1885-195, a Bhudhist monk from Japan and founder of the Nippozan- Myohoji, Bhudhist order. This Japanese Peace Pagoda with its focus on peace and serenity is perhaps the only example of Japanese architecture and landscaping in Darjeeling.
LLYOD BOTANICAL GARDEN: Named fter William Llyod who donated the site in 1878 and is situated just below the Darjeeling town. The garden features an impressive collection of alpine flora that includes rare and exotic varieties of many endangered vernacular species. Over the years, plants native to Sikkim Himalayan and exotica from other parts, have been introduced here.
DHIRDHAM TEMPLE: Built as a replica of the famous Pashupatinath Temple of Katmandu in 1939. Dhirdham temple is located just below the Darjeeling Railway Station is well known destination for devout Hindus. Temple has statue of Lord Shiva depicting his five facial expression and third eye the Pancham Baram Tri-netram. The roof of the temple is an interesting amalgam of Nepali–Tibetan architectural style.
Beside that that, there are so many other temples are in Darjeeling. For religious and heritage Buddhist circuit there are other many monasteries in Darjeeling like, Bhutia Busty and Aloobari monatery, Viga-Choling monastery, Ghoom, Samten-Choling monastery,Ghoom, Dali monastery etc. For nature lover, one can go a day long excursion from Darjeeling to Mirik, Teesta Rangeet and Bijanbari valley, Jamuney Picnic Spot, Happy Valley Tea Estate and Jorepokhri by enjoying the view of world famous tea estate, watching beauty of river valley, mountain peaks, waterfalls, village tourism of the hills.
DARJEELING HIMALAYAN RAILWAY [DHR]...a world heritage: This locomotive engine with the little changes still running over hundred years as Toy Train. The trai grains its gradient with the help of loops and zigzags, is a marvel of engineering feat. The highest point in this line is Ghoom Rly Stn which is in altitude of 7407 ft. The steam engine that snakes its way up the bends and loops is a remarkable engineering feat. Visitors can enjoy short ride from Darjeeling to Ghoom or longer one upto NJP Rly Stn. Many of the people have written about magical journey in the mist. The journey more than seven 7 hrs and line passes through green forests and tea gardens. Diesel engine introduce on 21st May 2000 from Darjeeling to NJP Rly Stn and vice versa.
The popular trekking trail in Darjeeling is Sandakphu – Phalut trek. However, plenty of trekking routes have been opened in Darjeeling area savour the breathtaking beauty of the Eastern Himalayas. In the Darjeeling area, the summit of the trekking adventure culminates at Sandakphu at an altitude of 12,000 ft on the famous Singa-Lila range. Trekking into Sandhakphu starts off from an altitude of 5000 ft and gradually climbs up through the forest of rhododendron, giant magnolia, spruce and other trees of sub-alpine region and undiscovered geographical area of the world. For flora interested trekkers, April and May are best time of the year for the trek while, for those who have an instiable thirst for view of the mountain, the best months are autumn. The view from Sandhakphu is unsurpassed by any other view anywhere. Where one can view 180 degrees of snow-capped mountains which stands together are Mt. Everest, Makalu, Lhotse, Kumbakarna, Kanchenjunga, Chomolhari in one single stretch of snow – an eternal beauty. The trek starts with a small bus trip to Maneybhanjang, from where the trek passes through the mountain to Sandhakphu. Stop at Sandhakphu and return to Phalut via Rimbik is the highest point of trek is also called viewpoint of Himalaya. It is easy to understand why people league hearth and home for travelling of thousand miles far behind. Except Sandhakphu & Phalut there are other limited time treks routes from Darjeeling.
Mountaineering in Darjeeling will enable you to explore and view the place from totally different angle. The higher the altitude, the more spectacular the view gets. Yaks and snow leopards and the cuddy pandas on the high altitude enliven the high snowy mountains. The Himalayan mountaineering institute is hub of all mountaineering activities located in the heart of town provides the fantastic view of Mt. Kanchanjunga, the third highest peak of the world. The ideal period to climbing the mountain in Darjeeling is on June to September, since the climate remain unaffected during these time in Darjeeling.