Mention Darjeeling and it evokes many hill-station-honeymoon-tour-images- Queen of the Hills, lush green tea gardens, the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, sturdy Gorkhas and amazing views of Mt. Kanchenjunga. Going beyond these hill-station-honeymoon-tour-images, Darjeeling has much to offer in terms of its cultural diversity, education and exciting opportunities for lovers of adventure sports. Like most other hill stations in India, the British developed Darjeeling as a respite from the oppressing summer heat in the Gangetic plains. Located in the lower Shivalik Hills region of the Himalayas at a height of 2,134m above sea level, Darjeeling toll the initial years of the 19th century was a part of Nepal and Sikkim. After a lease agreement with the Chogyal of Sikkim in 1835, the British started developing Darjeeling as a hill station. After independence, Darjeeling became a part of the state of West Bengal.
Places of Interest in Darjeeling
Chowrasta and the Mall like most other hill stations developed during the British era, the Mall in Darjeeling is the centre of all the action. It is the place around which you will find most of the tourist amenities including hotels, restaurants, souvenir shops, banks, post offices and street vendors selling sweaters, paintings and imitation jewellery.
Observatory Hill or a splendid view of the snow-clad Kanchenjunga, walk up to Observatory Hill, which is located near Chowrasta or the Mall.
Many of the plant species native to the Darjeeling Himalayan hill Region can be seen at Lloyd's Botanical Garden.
First built in 1765 on Observatory Hill by Lama Dorje-rinzing, the Bhutia Busty is the oldest monastery in Darjeeling.
The Government of India established the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI) in 1954 to give a fillip to this adventure sport in the country.
Established in 1958 by the state of West Bengal, Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park specializes in captive breeding of alpine animals like Snow Leopards and Red Panda.
Ghoom Ghoom hosts on of the world's highest railway stations at an altitude of 2,225.7m and is known for the Yiga Choeling Monastery that dominates this small hilly place.
The first ropeway in India and the longest in Asia, Darjeeling-Rangeet Valley Passenger Ropeway offer spectacular views. It is located at North Point about 3km from the town. A shaerd taxi service is available to reach here. It is not too far from the zoo.
Best time to visit in Darjeeling
April to mid June, and September to November are the best time periods to visit Darjeeling.
Bagdogra is the nearest Airport to Darjeeling. Siliguri and New Jalpaiguri offer memorable Toy Trains rides to Darjeeling. Buses are available from Siliguri which is well-connected to Darjeeling, Gangtok, Mirik, Katmandu and other places.