Nature & Scenic | Pilgrimage
At a distance of 2 km from Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Station, Observatory Hill is a hill top located near Chowrasta Square in the dreamy hill town of Darjeeling. It is one of the great places to visit in Darjeeling and among the popular viewpoints in Darjeeling. The hill is encircled at the bottom of the Mall Road.
The Observatory Hill is one of the oldest sites of attraction in Darjeeling and also has historical and religious significance. Built in 1765 CE by Lama Dorje-Rinzing, the Bhutia Busty Monastery, the oldest monastery in Darjeeling, was first located on Observatory Hill. The monastery was sacked by a Gorkha invasion in 1815 and it was rebuilt and shifted to its present location at Bhutia Busty in 1879.
The hill is famous for its magnificent views of Kanchendzonga and the ancient temple dedicated to Mahakal or Lord Shiva. There is a white chorten or a Tibetan memorial shrine next to the Mahakal Temple, which has the relics of Dorje Lama who was the caretaker of .....
At a distance of 1 km from Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Station, Lloyd's Botanical Garden or Darjeeling Botanical Garden is a beautiful garden located in the beautiful hill town of Darjeeling. The garden is among the oldest botanical gardens in Darjeeling and also one of the popular tourist places in Darjeeling.
Established in 1878 CE, the garden was named after William Lloyd, who provided the required land for it. The garden was built in reference to the Calcutta Botanical Garden. The basic motive of Lloyd's Botanical Garden is to preserve the native floral species of Darjeeling Himalayan hill region, Sikkim and its neighboring regions. Located at an altitude of almost 1800 meters, the garden has terraced lands, rolling slopes, tall trees and lush green bushes mixed with grass.
Sprawling over an area of 40 acres, the Lloyd Botanical Garden preserves some of the most exotic and endangered species of plants. It has several species of bamboo, oak, magnolia, arisaema, cotoneaster, .....
At a distance of 1 km from Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Station, Darjeeling Mall or Chowrasta is located at the heart of Darjeeling town. It is considered as the hub for all type of activities in Darjeeling and also among the best places to visit in Darjeeling.
The word 'Chow' means four and 'Rasta' stands for roads, essentially means that the Mall is where four roads meet. Located on top of Nehru Road, This flat piece of circular land is the major shopping area and center for commercial activities. In olden days, this was the place where the Europeans came for their evening walks. Today, the locals as well as the tourists come here to lounge and relax. In a clear day, one can also have a magnificent view of the Kanchenjunga from here.
There are benches all along the Mall Road for people to sit and enjoy the views over a cup of Darjeeling tea. Also, there are some of the old and heritage stores lined up and countless vendors selling artifacts, woollens and various figurines .....
Nature & Scenic
At a distance of 11 km from Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Station, Tiger Hill is a sunrise viewpoint in Darjeeling. It is the highest point in Darjeeling and among the most picturesque places to visit in Darjeeling.
Tiger Hill stands at an altitude of 2,590 m overlooking the spur of the snow-capped mountain ranges of the Eastern Himalayas. It is one of the two points in India from where you can capture the entire panorama between Mount Everest and Kanchenjunga on a sunny morning. The first rays of the sun shoot ahead and shed light upon the twin peaks of Kanchenjunga painting it pink, and then bathing it in a beautiful orange colour, which is an amazing thing to experience.
An observation deck is built on top of the Tiger Hill to cater to hundreds of tourists who visit every day. On a clear day the summit of Tiger Hill commands the view of Kurseong Town to its south-west along with plains of North Bengal and number of major rivers like Teesta, Mahanadi, Balasun and Mechi meanders .....
At a distance of 1 km from Ghoom Railway Station and 6 km from Darjeeling, Old Ghoom Monastery, also known as Yiga Choeling Monastery, is a Buddhist monastery situated at Ghoom near the beautiful hill town of Darjeeling. It is one of the oldest and most popular Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in the region of Darjeeling and also one of the must visit places in Darjeeling.
Yiga Choeling Monastery was established in 1850 CE by the Mongolian astrologer and monk Sokpo Sherab Gyatso, who was the head of the monastery until 1905 CE. The Monastery belongs to Gelugpa or the Yellow Hat sect. This is the first ever Tibetan Buddhist monastery to be built in the Darjeeling region. During the Chinese occupation of 1959 in Tibet many high ranking monks fled to India and took refuge in this monastery.
The monastery is known for its 15 feet high statue of Maitreya Buddha or Gyalwa Shampa, which means the Buddha of the future or the Coming Buddha. This statue was created during the tenure of .....
At a distance of 4 km from Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, Batasia Loop is a railway loop in Darjeeling of West Bengal. Situated below the Ghoom station, it is one of the mesmerizing places to visit in Darjeeling.
Batasia Loop was built in 1919 as an engineering requirement to lower the gradient of ascent of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. At this point, the track spirals around over itself through a tunnel and over a hilltop. After Ghoom (the highest railway station), there is a sharp fall as the toy train moves towards Darjeeling. There was no way a narrow gauge toy train could navigate the drastic fall of about 100 feet to the gradient of the slope. So, a large circular area was built for the loop to make the slope gentle.
Batasia means airy space. The Loop serves a vital purpose for the toy train but is also an attraction in itself. The loop goes around a garden. The mountain garden is beautified with fresh green grass, seasonal and perennial flowers and shrubs. There .....
At a distance of 3 km from Darjeeling Railway Station, Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park is a zoo situated in the beautiful hill town of Darjeeling, West Bengal. Popularly called as Darjeeling Zoo, it is one of the best zoo parks in India and among the must visit Darjeeling Tourist Places.
The zoo was formerly known as Himalayan Zoological Park and was established in 1958 as a joint venture of Government of India and Government of West Bengal. The park was renamed in 1975 when Indira Gandhi, the Prime Minister of India, visited the park and dedicated it to the memory of Padmaja Naidu, who was also a poet and daughter of the famous freedom fighter Sarojini Naidu. Situated at an altitude of 7,000 feet, this is the largest high altitude zoo in India.
Spread over an area of 67.56 acre, Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park is the only specialized Zoo in the country and is the first recipient of the International award of 'The Earth Heroes 2014'. This zoo park is internationally .....
At a distance of 5 km from Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Station, Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre is a rehabilitation center for the Tibetan refugees in the beautiful hill town of Darjeeling, West Bengal. It is one of the prominent landmarks of Darjeeling and also one of the best places to visit in Darjeeling.
The center was setup by Tibetan refugees on 2nd October 1959 AD. It serves as a residence of several Tibetan refugees who fled from their homeland following the footsteps of their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. Located on the picturesque hilltop, it is spread over an area of 4 acres of land. A committee was formed with 10 members that were responsible for the development and management of the center. Ms Gaylo Thondup was the first President of the center. Initially, they started raising funds through donations, subscriptions, charity shows and even through exhibition soccer match. Later, they received funds from domestic and international voluntary organizations as well. .....
At a distance of 2.5 km from Darjeeling Railway Station, Happy Valley Tea Estate is a vast tea garden located in Darjeeling town of West Bengal. This is the second oldest tea estate in Darjeeling after Steinthal Tea Estate and also one of the popular places to experience Darjeeling Tourism.
Spread over an area of 177 hectares, Happy Valley Tea Garden was established by Mr. David Wilson in the year 1854, which was then known as Wilson Tea Estate. In 1903, the estate was taken over by an Indian, Tarapada Banerjee, an aristocrat from Hooghly. Later Banerjee bought the Windsor Tea Estate nearby in 1929 and merged the two estates under the name of Happy Valley Tea Estate. Since 2008, the tea estate has been under the ownership of Sanjay Bansal. Today, over 1500 people worked in the tea estate.
Located in the vicinity of Darjeeling town, it is one of the major tourist attractions in Darjeeling. It also has a museum and has a factory. Situated at an altitude of 2,100 m, Happy Valley .....
At a distance of 2.5 km from Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, Darjeeling Peace Pagoda is a Buddhist stupa situated on the slopes of the Jalapahar hill in Darjeeling. It is one of more than 70 pagodas built around the world by the Japanese Buddhist Nipponzan Myohoji organization and among the most popular attractions in Darjeeling.
The foundation stone of the pagoda was laid in 1972 by Nichidatsu Fuji, a Buddhist monk from Japan and founder of the Nipponzan-Myohoji Buddhist Order. Inaugurated in 1992, the pagoda was designed by M. Ohka. Being the tallest structure in Darjeeling with a height of 28.5 meters, it is open to people of all faith and is purposely made to propagate peace and prosperity in the world.
Peace Pagoda houses four shining and gold-polished statues of Buddha. Also, the walls of the temple have eight sandstone carvings which depict different stories from the different stages of Gautama Buddha's life. Known for its tranquility, Peace Pagoda offers breathtaking .....
At a distance of 22 km from Gangtok SNT Bus Station, Rumtek Monastery is a beautiful Buddhist gompa situated near Gangtok, the capital city of Sikkim. Also called as Dharma Chakra Centre, it is one of the largest monasteries in Sikkim and among the best places to visit in Gangtok.
The Monastery was originally built in mid-17th century under the supervision of Changchub Dorje, the 12th Karmapa Lama. Perched on a hill overlooking Gangtok, Rumtek Monastery is the seat of the Karmapa Lama, the third highest monk in Tibetan Buddhism. The monastery belongs to the Kargyu sect of Buddhism originated during the 12th century CE in Tibet. With the generosity and help of the Sikkim royal family and the local folks of Sikkim, the monastery was rebuilt by the 16th Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje and named as Rumtek Dharma Chakra Center in 1966.
The shrine was established with a reason to spread the teachings of the Buddha throughout the world. The architecture of the monastery is one of the .....
At a distance of 500 m from Rumtek Monastery and 21 km from Gangtok SNT Bus Station, Jawaharlal Nehru Botanical Garden is a public garden located in Gangtok. Situated close to Rumtek Monastery, it is one of the most famous tourist places to visit in Gangtok.
Established in the year 1987, Jawaharlal Nehru Botanical Garden is a well maintained lush green expanse of land with astounding beauty. The garden is maintained and managed by the Parks and Garden Units of the Forest Department of the Government of Sikkim. The garden houses rare flowers, plants and trees including Orchids of Himalayan region. It also has dense temperate forests of Oak and a beautiful lake.
There are more than 50 different varieties of tree species located inside this garden. Owing to the variance in altitude ranging between 1,800 m and 2,200 m, the park has a wide assortment of plants and animals. The garden also has a greenhouse, where different types of orchids are grown. With the intention of merriment .....
Nature & Scenic
At a distance of 8 km from Gangtok SNT Bus Station, Tashi View Point is located at Tashi in Gangtok. Situated near Ganesh Tok, it is one of the stunning viewpoints in Gangtok and among the top places to visit in Gangtok.
Tashi View Point was built by the King of Sikkim, Tashi Namgyal, who ruled Sikkim between 1914 and 1963. The circular shaped platform with railings has been built so that the visitor could view 360-degree perspective of the entire region. It is now developed and maintained by the tourism department. This point is mostly known for offering some of the best sunrise and sunset views.
This is an ideal place for nature lovers as it offers great views of the imposing Himalayan Mountains, specifically Mt. Kanchenjunga and Mt. Siniolchu. The Phodong Monastery and the Labrang Monastery are also easily visible from here. Most of tourist visits the place during early morning to witness the beautiful sunrise and the dramatic play of lights over the mountains and hills. .....
Nature & Scenic
At a distance of 4 km from Tashi Viewpoint and 6 km from the Gangtok SNT Bus Station, Ganesh Tok is Hindu temple located in Gangtok. Situated close to Tashi View Point, it is one of the famous places of pilgrimage in Gangtok and among the charming places to visit in Gangtok.
Located at an altitude of 6500 feet, Ganesh Tok temple is dedicated to Lord Ganesh. The temple is so small that it can accommodate only one person at a time. One needs to climb a steep staircase to reach the temple. Adorned with colorful flags hoisted and tied across the roads, the path to Ganesh Tok almost resembles a rainbow. People visit the temple to offer prayers and also to enjoy the beautiful view. There is a circular balcony around the temple and a viewing lounge to soak in the view.
Ganesh Tok Viewpoint offers a bird-eye's view of the entire Gangtok town, rolling hills and the snowcapped mountains including Kanchenjunga. There is small place located close to this temple, which is known as Smriti .....
Nature & Scenic | Pilgrimage
At a distance of 9 km from Gangtok SNT Bus Station, Hanuman Tok is a Hindu temple located atop a hill in Gangtok, the capital of the Indian state of Sikkim. Situated off from the Gangtok-Nathula Highway, it is one of the religious places to visit in Gangtok and among the top places of Pilgrimage in Sikkim.
Situated at an altitude of 7200 feet, the temple is dedicated to lord Hanuman, god of good health and strength. According to the legend, Lord Hanuman rested at this place while carrying Sanjeevani Parvat from the Himalayas to save Rama's brother Lakshmana. The idol of Lord Hanuman was erected here in 1950 when an officer named Appaji Pant had a divine dream at this location. Now, the temple was maintained and preserved by the Units of 17 Mountain Division of the Army.
The temple is divided into three sections- the main temple, old temple and the circular temple. A hint of Tibetan style of architecture is witnessed here. The main temple has a long hall which is painted in .....
At a distance of 3 km from Gangtok SNT Bus Station, Enchey Monastery is an ancient Buddhist Monastery situated in Gangtok, Sikkim. Located on Gangtok - Nathula road, it is one of the most popular places of pilgrimage in Sikkim and among the best places to visit in Gangtok.
The literal meaning of Enchey Monastery is the 'Solitary Monastery'. The monastery is also an important seat of the Nyingma sect of Tibetan Buddhism. More than 200 years ago, this was the site of Lama Dhrupthob Karpo, a tantric master who was known for his flying powers. Initially, a small Gompa was established by him after he flew from Maenam Hill in South Sikkim to this site in 1840 CE. Later, it was rebuilt in 1908 CE by the 10th King of Sikkim, Sikyong Tulku.
The monastery is considered sacred as it is believed that the protecting deities, Khangchendzonga and Yabdean reside in this monastery. According to a legend, the spirits of the Khangchendzonga, Yabdean and Mahakala are subdued by Guru Padmasambhava .....
At a distance of 8 km from Banjhakri Falls and 16 km from Gangtok, Ranka Monastery is a Buddhist monastery situated at Ranka near Gangtok, the capital city of Sikkim. Also known as Lingdum Monastery, it is one of the most popular monasteries in Sikkim and among the must visit places in Gangtok.
Built in 1998 CE, the Ranka Monastery is the seat of Zurmang Charwang Rinpoche. The present Rinpoche is the 12th successive incarnation of this lineage. It is interesting to note that the monastery is mainly run by young monks. Since it is relatively quite a new monastery and does not provide a lot of historical or strategic significance such as Rumtek Monastery. However, the beauty of the monastery has attracted a lot of film makers.
Built in the typical form of Tibetan architecture, the monastery is spread out in a vast area with great scenic views. A huge gold plated Buddha statue sits in the lotus position inside the sanctum. There are low tables lying in rows inside the sanctum .....
Museum & Gallery
At a distance of 3 km from Gangtok SNT Bus Station, Namgyal Institute of Tibetology is a Tibetan institute & museum located in Deorali area of Gangtok. Situated near Do Drul Chorten Stupa, it is one of the must visit places in Gangtok.
Namgyal Institute of Tibetology is an important Tibetan institute that promotes and carries on researches in the field of Tibetan language, art, religion and its culture. The foundation stone was laid by 14th Dalai Lama in 1957 and inaugurated by Late Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in 1958. The land of the institute was donated by the late King of Sikkim Tashi Namgyal and hence the name Namgyal Institute of Tibetology.
The institute building boasts of traditional Tibetan architecture and remains as one of the finest traditional Tibetan designs in the world. It rises majestically with its tall golden towers, attractive murals and colourful frescos amidst the breathtaking natural scenery. It also has a museum, a library with rich collections .....
At a distance of 3 km from Gangtok SNT Bus Station, Do Drul Chorten is a Buddhist stupa situated in Gangtok, Sikkim. Situated adjacent to Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, it is one of the most magnificent and the biggest stupas in Gangtok and among the top places to experience Gangtok Tourism.
Do Drul Chorten Stupa was built by Trulshik Rinpoche, head of the Nyingma order of Tibetan Buddhism in 1945 CE. According to legend, it is believed that this entire place was once haunted by evil spirits and many people who wandered around this place became victims and died. Later, Trulshik Rinpoche came to this place for hermitage and built this popular stupa to drive away the spirits.
Popularly known as Phurba, the white Chorten Stupa is marked by a golden top dome and can be seen from various places in Gangtok. The deity enshrined on top of the stupa is known as Dorjee Phurpa or Vajra Kilaya. The Chorten is surrounded by Chorten Lakhang, where there are two huge statues of Guru Rinpoche .....
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