Places to Visit in Darjeeling

Darjeeling is a quaint town in the state of West Bengal. Set in the foothills of the Himalayas, the town was once a summer resort for the British Raj elite. In the present days the town is known around the world for its tea; Darjeeling Tea. It is also one of the most popular tourist destinations in India and is at an elevation of 2,000 meters (6,700 ft.) with Kanchenjunga as the backdrop.

Climate in Darjeeling

The weather in Darjeeling is chilly for most of the year. The town has a temperate climate with it’s annual maximum temperature being 17.2 ℃ and the annual minimum temperature being -7.2 ℃. It rains almost half the year in Darjeeling, with the highest rainfall being in July. Darjeeling also witnesses snowfall albeit not yearly but at least once a month in the winter months i.e. December, January and February.

How to Reach Darjeeling

The nearest airport to Darjeeling is Bagdogra airport which is 67.4 Km away. Once you get to the bagdogra airport, you have to travel for almost 3 hours via road. The nearest Railway station to Darjeeling is New Jalpaiguri (NJP) which is 71.3 Km away. Once you reach NJP the distance to Darjeeling is quite similar as from the airport, a 3 hour drive via National Highway 110 and Matigara – Kurseong Road.

Darjeeling is one of the most popular hill stations because this place has so much to offer. From the tea state greenery to some awesome British architecture various other adventures the place offers it all. Below are the places one must visit when travelling to Darjeeling

50 PlACES TO VISIT IN DARJEELING

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway featured image, Darjeeling

Built around the year 1879 and 1881 Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) is also popularly known as a Toy Train. It is a narrow gauge railway which is only 2 ft long. This railway line is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Darjeeling. Running from Darjeeling to New Jalpaiguri via various stations like Batasia Loop, Ghum, Rongtong, this train ride offers picturesque views along the way. DHR has been extremely popular since early on for its exhilarating experience. Just within a decade of its establishment the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site on 2nd December 1999. It is a train ride like nowhere else in India and that is what makes it a never to miss spot in Darjeeling.

Location: Darjeeling

Timing: 8 AM to 12 AM

Entry Fee: 600 Rs per head (for Diesel Engine locomotive), 1000 Rs per head (for Steam Engine locomotive)


Tiger Hill Darjeeling

Beautiful sunrise at Tiger Hill

Anyone who has heard about Darjeeling has definitely heard of Tiger hill. This famous hill top with an elevation of 8482 ft. is known for its scenic view of the mt. Everest, mt. Kanchenjunga and other various himalayas. It is 11 Kms from Darjeeling town and can be reached by taking a four wheeler, particularly a jeep which costs about Rs 12,00 to Rs 18,00. For the more adventurous souls, they can even hike to the hilltop crossing over various tea gardens. More than anything Tiger Hill is known for its Sunrise and the views of Everest and Kanchenjunga which bask in the golden light in the early hours of the morning. The hill is also the summit to Ghoom Railway and is nearby the Senchal Wildlife Sanctuary.

Location: Tiger Hill, Senchal Road, Darjeeling

Timing: Sunrise to Sunset

Entry fee: Free Entry


Batasia Loop Darjeeling

Batasia Loop, Darjeeling

Batasia Loop Darjeeling

Another huge tourist attraction, Batasia loop is immensely popular for its 360 degree view of Darjeeling town and the surrounding himalayas. The view of mt. Kanchenjunga is not to be missed from the loop. One of the best ways to enjoy the view here is by taking the toy train ride. Another way is to drive up to the hilltop and take in the view. Not only the view but the whole scenery at the Batasia Loop is something straight out of a fantasy world. A spiral railway track, Flower beds, little shops around, the greenery and of course, the backdrop of the Himalayas.

Location: Ghum, West Point, Darjeeling

Timing: 5 AM to 8 PM

Entry fee: Rs 15 per head


Sandakphu Trek Darjeeling

Sandakphu Darjeeling

Darjeeling apart from being a popular hill station, known for its quaint views and historical significance is also a home for adventure lovers. Darjeeling is covered with numerous trekking and hiking trails. Among the many, the most renowned is the Sandakphu Trek. Set at an elevation of 11,929 ft. Sandakphu trek is a dream for adventure seekers. Running along the Singalila Range, the trek offers spectacular views which fills one with extreme satisfaction.

A trek to Sandakphu also means that you pass through Singalila National Park, where you get to witness nature in its full bloom. Sandakphu Trek starts from Manebhanjang, Chitire, Meghma, Tonglu, Tumling, Gairibas, Kalapokhri, Bekhe to Sandakphu. At the summit is a small village and the best views of the majestic mountains mt. Everest and Kanchenjunga among the many others.

Location: Starts at Manebhanjang


 Chowrasta and Mall Road

Chowrasta and Mall, Darjeeling , featured image

It would not be wrong to call Chowrasta the heart of Darjeeling. This is the main market square of Darjeeling town, hence a place always filled with crowds. Chowrasta which literally translates to ‘four roads’ is located at the ridge of Darjeeling hill. Whether night or day this place bustles with locals and tourists from all over the world. Everything can be found at this town square, from food to cloth shops, souvenir shops and various other establishments. This is the hangout space where Darjeeling comes alive.

Location: The Mall, Darjeeling

Timing: 10 AM to 9 PM


Druk Sangag Choling Monastery, Darjeeling

Choling

Dali is a place located 5 km away from Darjeeling town. This monastery is an architectural marvel of this small place. Also known as Druk Sangag Choling Monastery, it was built in 1971 during the tenure of Kyabje Thuksey Rinpoche. The monastery belongs to the Kagyupa sect of Buddhism and is also a residence of Drukchen Rinpoche the XII, who is considered the leader of the Drukpa Kagyu sect. This monastery is also a school for practising and new learning local monks. The monastery is certainly an architectural marvel that represents Dali.

Location: Hill Cart Road, West Point, Darjeeling

Timing: 5 AM to 7 PM

Entry Fee: Free Entry


Bhutia Busty Gompa, Darjeeling

Bhutia Busty Gompa, Darjeeling , Featured Image

Bhutia Busty Gompa was originally situated at the Observatory hill. The original monastery was a part of Phodong Monastery in Sikkim. The Monastery dedicated to the Nyingmapa Sect of Buddhism was brought over to Darjeeling in 1879. Bhutia Busty Monastery gets its name from its current location where it is situated, Bhutia Busty. The monastery was shifted to its current location in 1879. In 1934 the monastery was heavily damaged because of the earthquake and later renovated. The monastery is built in a tibetan architectural style and has various old Buddhist scriptures but the temple’s prized possession is the book called ‘Book of the Dead’. The monastery is just a kilometer away from the main town which makes it an awesome place to visit.

Location: Bhutia Busty Road, upper Bhutia Busty, darjeeling

Timing: 10 AM to 4 PM

Entry Fee: Free Entry


Tenzing Rock

Tenzing and Gombu Rocks, Darjeeling

Tenzing Rock also attracts a lot of people to Darjeeling. The rock is named after Tenzing Norgay Sherpa, first man to climb Mount Everest in 1953 along with Sir Edmund Hillary. Tenzing spent most of his younger years and his years after the Everest summit in Darjeeling, which was his home. The Tenzing Rock is currently used by the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (of which Tenzing Norgay Sherpa was the Director of Field Trainer) to train aspiring climbers in rock climbing. This rock is specifically named after Tenzing Norgay because he used to practice climbing on the same rock. During Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru’s visit to HMI, Tenzing Norgay demonstrated a climb on the rock without any safety equipment.

Location: Jawahar Parbat, Darjeeling

Timing: 8 AM to 5 PM


Mahakal Mandir Darjeeling

Mahakal Mandir, Darjeeling

Situated at the top of observatory hill, Mahakal Mandir is one of the most significant temples for devotees of Lord Shiva. But this temple is not necessarily a hindu only temple rather it is a fine coexistence of two religions Hindu and Buddhist. According to legends, there once used to be a Buddhist Monastery where the Mahakal Temple stands today. The beautiful amalgamation can be seen from the outset, the whole place is filled with buddhist prayer flags hanging across yet the architecture is a Hindu one. Not only this, but there also sits a pundit and a monk together which reflects the religious amalgamation in the place. Apart from the main Mahakal mandir there are several other small temples dedicated to Hindu Gods like Kali, Durga, Ganesh and Hanuman. It takes a 20 minute trek to reach the Mahakal Mandir from the road.

Location: Chauk Bazaar, Darjeeling Timing: 7 AM to 7 PMEntry Fee: Free Entry


Happy Valley Tea Estate

Happy Valley Tea Estate

Established in 1854 by a British elite Mr. David Wilson, the tea state is located at an altitude of 6,900 ft, making it one of the highest tea estates in the world. It went by the name Wilson Tea Estate until the year 1903 when it was changed to Happy Valley Tea Estate. The tea estate is spread across an area of 437 acres. Happy Valley Tea Estate is a major attraction in Darjeeling, of course because of tea but also because you can take a whole tour of the estate. It includes witness tea plantation to tea plucking and even processing of the tea inside the factory, from where it comes out as the unique Darjeeling Tea. An array of flavors of tea are there for tasting with shops selling the flavors. The place adds to the uniqueness of Darjeeling hills and really makes it shine as Darjeeling is known for its tea around the world. It is just 3 Km away from the main town and visiting this tea estate can also lead you down the path of history of tea plantations in the hills.

Location: Lebong Cart Road, Chauk Bazar, Darjeeling

Timing: 8 AM to 4 PM (Tuesday to Monday)

Entry Fee: Rs 100 per person

 

Shrubbery Nightingale Park

Shrubbery Nightingale Park, Darjeeling , Featured Image

It is another major public attraction in Darjeeling. Treasured by both locals and tourists, this public park is a spectacle in itself. It is a cautiously planned colonial style garden filled with greenery and flowers. During the colonial period, the park was a courtyard of a Bungalow owned by a British elite Sir Thomas Tartan. The park is like an amphitheatre with mt. Kanchenjunga and the himalayas as its backdrop. The view of the mt. Kanchenjunga from here is some of the best, especially during the golden hours (Sunset and Sunrise). The park was completely destroyed in the year 1934 by an earthquake which even led to the closing of the park. It was later renovated with changes made in the layout of the pathways and was made open to the public. It is located just 10 minutes away from Mall Road which adds to its popularity.

Location: Richmond Hill, Darjeeling

Timing: 7 AM to 8 PM

Entry Fee: Rs 10 per head


Darjeeling Rangeet Valley Ropeway

People travelling in Darjeeling Ropeway

Darjeeling Rangeet Valley Ropeway presents views of Darjeeling hills which cannot be seen otherwise. This 16 car ropeway runs for 8 kms from Singamari to Singla Bazaar while making various stops at Tukver, Burnesbeg and Singla tea estates. Established in the year 1968, the ropeway descends from an elevation of 7,001 ft to 801 ft, the descent takes 45 mins. The 45 minute ride opens up to views of lush green tea states, beautiful landscapes of the Darjeeling hills, the snow capped mountains, nearby forests.

Location: Singamari, Darjeeling

Timing: 10 AM to 4 PM (Winter and Monsoon), 10 AM to 2 PM (Summer and Autumn)

Entry Fee: 200 per head (For Adults), 100 per head (For children aged between 3 to 8 years)


The Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park

Main entrance at The Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park

It is the largest high altitude zoo in India, set at the elevation of 7000 ft. The Zoo was established in the year 1958 and named after Padmaja Naidu, daughter of Sarojini Naidu. The zoo being a popular tourist attraction attracts almost 300,000 visitors annually. Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park has captive breeding programs for Snow Leopard, Red Panda and endangered Himalayan Wolf. The zoo is also home to Gorals, Siberian Tigers, Himalayan Salamanders and various endangered birds. There are also 200 species of plants including Oak, Birch and Alder. The zoo is also a hub for Central Zoo Authority of India’s Red Panda program and is a member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums. It is spread across 67.56-acre.

Location: Darjeeling-Jorethang Road, Near Birch Hill Resort, Jawahar Parbat, Darjeeling

Timing: 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM (Summer), 8:30 AM to 4 PM (Winter), Closed on Thursdays.

Entry Fee: Rs 20 for Indians and residents of SAARC, Rs 50 for Foreigners, Rs 10 for carrying Cameras


St. Andrews Church

St. Andrews Church

St. Andrews Church is an architectural marvel among the various British era architecture in Darjeeling. The Church is named after Saint Andrew the Apostle and the foundation stone for the structure was laid down on St. Andrews day on Nov 30th 1843. The church attracts lakhs of tourists every year, one of the main reasons for attraction besides the architecture is its location as it is situated in Darjeeling’s most famous Mall Road. Over the years this 80s building has been struck by lightning and also went through some major earthquakes. After it was hit by lightning in 1867, parts of the church were reconstructed and renovated only to open after a decade in 1877. Later in the year 1833 the church’s famed clock tower was built. Still to this day St. Andrews Church is one of the most visited places in Darjeeling by the tourists.

Location: Chauk Bazaar, Darjeeling

Timing: 9 AM (Sundays Only) March to November, 9:30 AM (Sundays Only) December to February

Entry Fee: Free Entry


Japanese Temple and Peace Pagoda, Darjeeling

Peace pagoda front view Darjeeling

Another popular place to visit in Darjeeling, the Peace Pagoda is a Japanese Style Buddhist Stupa. It was built between the year 1885 to 1985 by a Japanese Buddhist Monk Nichidatsu Fuji. The structure took a total of 36 months to complete. This peace pagoda is among the many peace pagodas around the world, which are built as shrines to world peace. There are 6 such pagodas in India alone and more than 50 around the world. In Darjeeling however there is also a Japanese temple along with the Peace Pagoda. As the purpose behind building a peace pagoda, it was also built to promote peace and unity among the people of the world, despite their race, color, creed.

Location: West Point, Darjeeling

Timing: 4 AM to 7 PM

Entry Fee: Free Entry


Mount Hermon School, Darjeeling

Mount Hermon School, Darjeeling

Mount Hermon School, Darjeeling

Mount Hermon School is a co-ed school in Darjeeling founded in 1895 by Emma L. Knowles of the British Methodist Episcopal Church. When the school first opened, it went by the name Arcadia which was later changed to Queen’s Hill School. The present name ‘Mount Hermon School’ came into existence during a prayer meeting around Mrs. Kniwles’ fireplace. The school has gone through the test of time for the past 126 years and maintains an embodiment of excellent school education and curriculum in Darjeeling and around North Bengal. The motto at Mount Hermon is “Non-Scholæ Sed Vitæ Discimus” which is obtained from a Latin phrase, meaning “We do not learn for school, but for life”. The school follows an American style of education albeit the region is known for its British influenced education system. Apart from education the school also boasts its architecture. The grand 18th century styled buildings are designed in Collegiate Gothic with Tudor arches with streaked windows dominating it. The school is upto senior secondary level with three branches of studies Science, Arts and Commerce. It is fully equipped with all the indoor and outdoor facilities including laboratories, craft room, lounge, Dining rooms, Library, a music room with practice rooms for piano and separate dormitories for boys and girls.

Location: North Point, Singamari, Darjeeling


Keventer’s Darjeeling

Keventer's Darjeeling

Keventer’s Darjeeling is a maiden name when it comes to restaurants passed down from history. It is a quaint restaurant that fits perfectly with the historical setting of Darjeeling. It was established in 1911 by Edward Keventers thus its name Keventer’s. The restaurant is cherished by both locals and tourists and is mostly jam packed. The base of the food at this restaurant is a classic colonial platter with English breakfast being one of the most popular dishes. It has been serving the famous Darjeeling tea and relishes from the English menus since a century now. Apart from the food, one of other reasons people go to this outlandish eatery is because of the view one gets from here. The building and the setting incites a visitor from the get go. The architecture of the restaurant is quite basic but what meets the eye is its open terrace setting and the not so common round walls on one side. The menu has a variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian items with drinks on the side.

Location: Nehru Rd, Darjeeling, West Bengal

Timing: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Pricing: Meals starts from 500 for two


The Elgin Hotel

Elgin Hotel5

The Elgin Hotel is another historical architecture in Darjeeling. This grand palace-like structure was indeed a palace once. It used to be the summer residence of Maharaja of Cooch Behar. Chasing its roots back to the British Raj, it was built in 1887 by the Maharaja. The Elign has passed the test of time and is standing regally after almost a century and half. It is right at the heart of Darjeeling and is situated at an elevation of 6000 ft. Today this magnificent architecture serves as a 4 star hotel, one of the best in town. Apart from the architectural beauty, the hotel has also brought together the blend of historical and modern interior settings. Talk about amenities, the hotel has everything you can think of from a luxurious spa to wifi, mini bar in all suites a multi cuisine restaurant. There is also a generous amount of outdoor space where one can enjoy strolls. The hotel has been a favourite of various celebrities and the who’s and who’s. Definitely one of the prides of Darjeeling, The Elgin Hotel is an experience in itself.

Location: Chauk Bazaar, Darjeeling

Pricing: Rooms start from 10,000 Rs


Windamere Hotel, Darjeeling

Windamere Hotel, Darjeeling

Windamere Hotel, Darjeeling

Windamere Hotel is another heritage hotel located in the hills of Darjeeling. It was established in the 19th century and the charm still remains there. It was mainly built to serve the purpose of housing for the British and Scottish tea planters. The property was turned into a hotel just before World War II. It is a luxury hotel where the interior of each room speaks the 19th century English decor style. Windamere Hotel has also been awarded several awards among which is the Honor for outstanding Hotels in India awarded by the Prime Minister at the first National Awards Ceremony. In 2014, it was awarded the Best Heritage Hotel of 2014 by the Safari India Award. The hotel is best known for the unrefined views of tea plantations. It also provides the pristine views of the mount Kanchenjunga. The hotel’s history also goes down to royalty as it is where Sikkim’s crown prince Palden Thondup Namgyal and his wife Hope Cook met for the first time in the year 1959. Boasting its historical significance, the hotel still hosts guests from all around the world.

Location: Observatory Hill, Darjeeling

Price: Rooms start at Rs 17,700 (for two)


Glenary’s Bakery & Cafe – Darjeeling

Glenary’s Bakery, Resturant & Pub – Darjeeling

Glenary’s Bakery, Resturant & Pub – Darjeeling

To put Glenary’s Bakery & Cafe’s popularity in context, if you ever visit Darjeeling and don’t grab a bite at Glenary’s your visit to Darjeeling is incomplete. The place is an extremely popular eatery in the town and is also considered the top restaurant in Darjeeling. This colonial era charm also portrays wonderful architecture. The two storeyed restaurant has three blocks. On the ground floor is a bakery which is always filled with fresh bakes. The first floor has a multi-cuisine restaurant with an open terrace seating space. Glenary’s also has a pub. It is on the basement level. Truly this restaurant is a combination of the bests. From a cosy ambience to good food and good vibes, this place offers it all.

Location: Chauk Bazaar, Darjeeling

Timing: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Price: Rs. 1000 for two


Ramakrishna Mission, Darjeeling

Ramkrishna Mission Darjeeling5

Ramakrishna Mission Nivedita Educational and Cultural centre is one of the centres of Ramakrishna Mission & Ramakrishna Math, Belur Math, West Bengal. The centre is run with the ideals of Ramakrishna Deva, Sarada Devi and Swami Vivekanada which mainly focuses on the spiritual development of each human being along with decrease in suffering born of human existence. The mission has been known for carrying out social works, awareness and empowerment for the betterment of the society. The Darjeeling centre is famous for their building and its history apart from their good deeds. The more than a century old colonial era building sits majestically and goes by the name Roy Villa.

Location: Lebong Cart Road, Darjeeling

Time: 10 AM to 5 PM

Entry Fee: Free Entry


Sabargram and Molley, Darjeeling

sabargram molley darjeeling

Sabargram is a popular spot among trekkers en route to Sandakphu- Phalut trek. This wide grassland serves as a perfect resting spot for the trekkers. Sabargram is 14 Kms away from Sandakphu and 7 Kms from Phalut. Standing at an altitude of 11,624 ft Sabargram gives away exceptionally magical views of the mountain ranges. On one side you will see the mighty Mount Everest and on the other side you will see Mount kanchenjunga. The place also has a wide variety of Rhododendron species, Fir trees and many high elevation plants. Though Sabargram is a resting spot for trekkers, there is only a single hut where the accommodation depends on the availability. But the place is great for camping and most trekkers prefer to camp rather than spending the night in the hut. The sunrise and the sunset views from here are a once in a lifetime experience.

Molley is another preferred location where trekkers decide to rest up for a night. This is a slightly advanced village if you will. This place has a number of huts with availability of a kitchen where trekkers can prepare food for themselves. Molley is just 2 Kms further down hill from Sabargram. Since the area is near international borders the place also has a SSB camp. The flora and fauna is equally rich here, which makes it an ideal place to rest up and soak in nature’s energy.

Location: Sandakphu-Phalut Trek


Gorkhey, Darjeeling

1 1

Gorkhey is a small valley/village in Darjeeling. The village is located near the Sikkim-Darjeeling border. It is an eccentric place representing the true soul of the hills. Surrounded by Pine filled hills, a stream flowing down the right in the middle of the village and some very unique houses, the village is no less than a place right out of a story book. The village is thinly populated. The village gets its name ‘Gorkhey’ from the river that flows through known as the Gorkhey Khola which acts as the border line for Sikkim and West Bengal. The place is renowned for its hospitality in the hills apart from the natural beauty it protrudes. Tho an agro based village, tourism has seen an increase in the recent years. Many people have also turned to owning homestay businesses due this. The main visitors coming to this place are trekkers on their descent from Phalut or Sandakphu.

Location: Gorkhey, Darjeeling

Price: Rooms start from Rs 1000 at Homestays


Lal Kothi, GTA Secretariat, Darjeeling

Lal-Kothi-1

Lal Kothi is another historical building in Darjeeling. It was built by the Maharaja of Cooch Behar, Prasad Nath Roy in loving memory of his wife queen Bhawani Devi Roy. It would not be wrong to call this villa Darjeeling’s own Taj Mahal. Formerly known as ‘Gori Wilas’ this is also one of the oldest Buildings in Darjeeling. It got its current name from the 1978 Bollywood movie Lal kothi which was partly filmed here. Due to its scenic nature, Lal kothi and the places around it are a popular filming location choice of many moviemakers. It stands at a hill among the Magnolias, Rhododendron and Pine trees. This building has played so many roles over the years. A palace which once hosted lavish parties, occupied by the British, A tibetan School, DHGC secretariat and it is currency the office of the chief executive of GTA and the secretariat of GTA. A marvellous place with historical significance, certainly royalty.

Location: Limbugaon, Darjeeling


Phalut, Darjeeling

Phalut1

If you’re into adventure, you must definitely have heard about the Sandakphu – Phalut Trek. Phalut is the second highest peak in Darjeeling with the first being Sandakphu. The peak stands at an elevation of 11,811 ft. (3,595 m) and is near the international border between India and Nepal. It also serves as the state border between Sikkim and West Bengal. Phalut gets its name from a Lepcha word Fak-Luk which means Barren Peak. Phalut is 53 kms away from Maneybhanjyang, the base from where the Sandakphu-Phalut trek begins. Phalut is a serene place to be at, with high elevation vegetation and grassland spread across. For an average trekker it takes about four days to reach Phalut.

Location: Phalut, Darjeeling


St. Joseph’s School – North Point, Darjeeling

st joseph school

St. Joseph’s School is also commonly known as North Point School sits as the epitome of quality education in Darjeeling. The main aim for opening the school in the 1800s was to build a fine school for boys in the hill town. In 1888, St. Joseph School was established. The school started with 25 students out of which 18 were boarders and 7 were day scholars. It was run on a building called Sunnybank. While it was a temporary site for the school the new school was being built on top of Birch hill called North point. It was Brother Eugene Rostrat who was given the responsibility to construct the new school building. After employing 2000 people and carrying out the construction work for day and night, the new school building was finally completed in the year 1891. After the school was officially shifted to its new site the number of students started increasing rapidly. Over the next few years after that the school started welcoming students from countries from France, Germany, Bhutan, Tibet, Thailand, Burma, Indonesia, China and Nepal. Today there are more than 1200 students enrolled in the school. According to the survey conducted by Educationtoday.co, the school has been ranked No. 3 in India, No. 1 in West Bengal which makes it an obvious No. 1 in Darjeeling.

Location: North Point, Singamari, Darjeeling


St. Paul’s School, Darjeeling

5

During the British Raj as the Anglo-Indian community in Calcutta saw a rise, John William Ricketts established St. Paul’s School in Calcutta in 1823. This establishment was later shifted to Darjeeling in the year 1864. The main reason for shifting the school over to the hills was health as the saying goes “A healthy body leads to a healthy mind”. Since nature is always in bloom in Darjeeling, it makes for a perfect place for students. St. Paul’s is located at a hilltop called Jalapahar which is at an elevation of 7,500 ft, this makes the school a Public School at the highest altitude in the world. This all boys boarding school is spread across an area of 65 acres, there is greenery all around the campus along with gorgeous views of Kanchenjunga Mountain Range in the distance.

Location: Jalapahar, Darjeeling


Srikhola, Darjeeling

Srikhola-means-of-transport

Srikhola is a distant village in Darjeeling about 87 kms from the main town. The village is painted in green and is extremely picturesque. It’s fame comes from being en route to the Sandakphu-Phalut trek. Many trekkers enjoy spending time in this village during their descent from Sandakphu and Phalut. Srikhola is 16 Kms from Sandakphu. The trail is steep downhill inside a dense forest filled with flora and fauna. From Phalut Srikhola is 30 Kms downhill. Trekkers need to travel through a dense Rhododendron and Magnolia forest. They also pass by other villages Gorkhey and Rammam on their descent. This village extrudes immense beauty which is why trekkers prefer this village as a rest spot after completing their Sandakphu-Phalut Trek. Srikhola is also ideal for calming walks in the forest, a swim in the river, fishing (especially trout fishing) and exploring the rich flora and fauna.

Location: Srikhola


Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre

Feature image Tibetan refugee self help centre

Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre is a place where culture meets new homes. As the name suggests the place was set up to uplift and encourage the tibetan refugees. The initial aim of this establishment was to feed thousands of refugees who fled from Tibet after the Lhasa uprisings in 1959. This centre is completely run by the refugees. A rehabilitation was established at first which started with a ten member committee. At first there were only four workers and now this centre has more than 650 refugees. The centre mainly focuses in producing handicrafts, training of artisans and craftsmen. The Handicrafts production world both ways as an in house activity as well as a source of an income for the centre. Some of the items produced in the centre are Tibetan chuba, other Tibetan apparels such as coats, jackets, caps, pullovers, mufflers, socks, gloves, shawls, blankets etc. among many others. The centre is also an ace at producing Tibetan carpets, Thankas, Wood Carved items like folding tables, frames, wall hangings, prayer wheels, bronze and copper pots and leather boots and shoes. Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre Darjeeling has been exporting the handicrafts to more than 36 countries worldwide.

Location: Gandhi Road, Darjeeling


Gangamaya Park, Darjeeling

Gangamaya park Darjeeling first sight

Gangamaya Park is a renowned public park in Darjeeling. It is just a kilometer or two from the Darjeeling Rock Garden. The park was built by GTA (formerly DGHC) to promote tourism in the area. It was also established with an aim that the building of a park will lead to the development of the fairly underdeveloped to least developed part of Darjeeling so to say. To bring a new flavour and set it apart from the rest of the parks, many bridges have been constructed. These bridges and paths connecting them make this park adventurous and fun to take strolls at. Another main attraction of the park is the lake at the centre of the park and waterfalls falling at various corners. The whole park screams flora and fauna in every corner. It is especially filled with flowers of different colours and kinds. To enjoy and take in this beauty there are benches set up across the park. In 2009 the park was severely damaged by the storm ‘Aila’ which even led to the destruction of the lake. It was later rebuilt and reopened but the boating services in the lake is yet to be restored.

Location: Bloomfield Tea Garden, Darjeeling


Jamuni, Darjeeling

Jamuni, Darjeeling

Jamuni is a place secluded from the town uproars. It is a popular picnic spot for the locals. Set at a distance of 12 Kms from Darjeeling main town, the place sees heavy crowds during winter. Jamuni is spread across the area of 13 acres. Surrounded by the hills, forests and tea gardens Jamuni makes for an ideal place to spend a weekend to throw off that stress. Of all the things that makes Jamuni beautiful, the best is the river flowing right in the middle. The GTA has further developed the park and added new attractions like terrace gardens, boating spot, an arena for different events among the many others. Jamuni bridge has also been featured in the Bollywood movie Barfi in one of the scenes.

Location: Jamuni, Darjeeling


Dhotrey, Darjeeling

Dhotrey, Darjeeling

Dhotrey is a village in the vicinity of Singalila National Park in Darjeeling. Since it is near the National Park, it is a buffer zone. Because of this the village has no electricity. Despite being off limits of this modernity the village is a natural paradise. A village filled with huts and farmlands, it is certainly a sight to behold. Dhotrey came to be in the early 80s when the logs were collected from this place by the Forest Department. They used a 5 Km long ropeway to transfer the logs but that ropeway was demolished during the mid 80s. After this, the village economy hit a downfall. Ever since then Dhotrey has been through a lot. In the mid 90s tourism was promoted to boost the village economy but it was not an easy task. Another tragedy hit the village in 2008 when a fire destroyed 33 huts out of the total 68. The Forest Department took the initiative to rebuild the village and today there is a trekker’s hut in the village as well as other huts offering a stay to the trekkers.

Location: Dhotrey, Darjeeling


Jorepokhri, Darjeeling

Jorepokhri, Darjeeling

Jorepokhri is a word made up of two words, ‘Jore’ and ‘Pokhri’ where the former means two and the latter means lake and the place is exactly what the name suggests. The place’s main attraction is a wooden cottage standing as the link between the two lakes. The landscaping in the place has been done keeping in mind the cottage and where it is positioned. People visit this place to get a glimpse of the mount Kanchenjunga. Himalyan Salamanders can also be found here at Jorepokhri, which makes for another reason why the place is visited by the crowds. The best time to visit this place would be from October to March.

Location: Jorepokhri, Darjeeling


Lloyd Botanical Garden, Darjeeling

Lloyd Botanical Garden, Darjeeling

Lloyd Botanical Garden is one of Asia’s best Gardens and an eminent tourist spot in Darjeeling. The Garden is spread across a 40 acre land which was donated by William Llyod after whom it has been named. The Garden has been divided into three sections which are filled with himalayan flora. The top section has plants from Sikkim and it is especially designated for Himalayan plants. The middle section is filled with ferns, conifers and pines. The last section has a collection of exotic plants from all over the world along with some colorful ones. The garden also has a few collections of Orchids, it also has a pair of living fossil trees which were brought over from China. It is an extremely special place and a must visit when in Darjeeling. The Botanical Garden preserves several species of Bamboo, Oak, Magnolia, Arisaema, Cotoneaster, Rhododendron and many other plants.

Location: Chauk Bazaar, Darjeeling

Timing: 6:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Entry Fee: 20 Per Person (5 Rs for students with id card)


Lamahatta, Darjeeling

Lamhatta featured image, Darjeeling

Lamahatta is an eco-tourism destination located almost 23 Kms from Darjeeling town. It is another place boasting the innate beauty. This place is a heaven for adventure seekers and just nature admirers in general. Walk, hike or just take a stroll you can do anything at Lamahatta. This place is admired by couples due to its romantic atmosphere. A lake down the hill, surrounded by pine forest, wonderful views of Mount Kanchenjunga and Teesta rivers from the hilltop, undoubtedly a magical place to be at.

Location: Lamahatta, Darjeeling


Dhirdham Temple

Dhirdham Temple Featured image, Darjeeling

Dhirdham Temple sees a flock of tourists every year since it is the oldest temple in the region. It was built in 1939 and has been the most popular Hindu temple in Darjeeling over the years. The temple has Lord Shiva as the main deity attracting thousands of lord Shiva devotees from all over India. The temple was built by Rai Saheb Purna Bahadur Pradhan and is situated near Darjeeling Railway Station. It is believed that three Shiva Lingas are present in the area which may have led to the establishment of the temple. The design of the temple was inspired by Nepal’s renowned Pashupati Nath Temple which is a UNESCO world heritage site.

Location: Limbugaon, Darjeeling


Frequently asked questions

How to reach Darjeeling from Kolkata?

From Kolkata there are three ways to reach Darjeeling; by air, by train or by road. You can take either of these three means of transportation upto Siliguri, where the nearest airport, railway station and inter-state bus terminal to Darjeeling is located. From Siliguri, you need to travel for 3 hours by road to reach Darjeeling

What is the best time to visit Darjeeling?

The best time to visit Darjeeling is during the Summer Season (remember the Britishers choose the place to be their summer resort?). The temperature during summer doesn’t cross the maximum average of 25 °C which means it will neither be too cold nor too hot. The days are clear during this time making a perfect opportunity to explore the Darjeeling Hills and indulge in various outdoor activities

Why is Darjeeling famous?

Well, Darjeeling is famous for many things. For starters, the ‘Darjeeling Tea’ which is known all around the world for its aroma and flavor. It is also known as the 'Queen of Hills' for it is home to hills like Tiger Hill, Observatory Hill, Batasia etc from where you get some of the best views of Mount Everest, Mount Kanchenjunga and the other mountain ranges. It is also known for other natural landscapes, colonial era architecture, tea estates, food, parks, zoos, wildlife and major religious sites. Darjeeling is also famed for various outdoor activities out of which the most known being treks and hikes, especially the Sandakphu Trek. Darjeeling is also the hometown of Tenzing Norgay, the first man to step foot on Everest along with Edmund Hillary.

What are the places to visit in Darjeeling?

The places not to be missed when in Darjeeling are; Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) a UNESCO world heritage site, Tiger Hill, Batasia Loop, Darjeeling Rangeet Valley Ropeway, Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park, Rock Garden, Sandakphu Trek, Shrubbery Nightingale Park, Singalila National Park, Happy Valley Tea Estate, Bengal Natural History Museum, Observatory Hill, Chowrasta, Glenary’s Bakery & Cafe – Darjeeling, Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Keventer’s Darjeeling and the list goes on.

What is the temperature in Darjeeling?

The weather in Darjeeling is chilly for most of the year. The town has a temperate climate with it’s annual maximum temperature being 17.2 ℃ and the annual minimum temperature being -7.2 ℃. It rains almost half the year in Darjeeling, with the highest rainfall being in July. Darjeeling also witnesses snowfall albeit not yearly but at least once a month in the winter months i.e. December, January and February.

DARJEELING WEATHER