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About Darjeeling

Ideal Trip Duration: 2-3 Days

Base Station: Darjeeling

Nearest City to Darjeeling: Kolkata (507 Kms), Siliguri (65 Kms)

Best Time to Visit Darjeeling: October to May

Peak Season: March to May

State: West Bengal | District: Darjeeling

Darjeeling Weather: Summer: Maximum - 26°C and Minimum - 9°C
Winter: Maximum - 15°C and Minimum - -2°C

At a distance of 65 km from Siliguri, 98 km from Gangtok, 109 km from Jalpaiguri, 371 km from Manipur, 502 km from Guwahati, 503 km from Patna and 507 km from Kolkata, Darjeeling is a charming hill station located in the Shivalik hills of the lower Himalayas in West Bengal, India. Situated at an altitude of 6,700 feet, Darjeeling is one of the most popular hill stations in India and among the best places to visit in West Bengal.

The name Darjeeling comes from two Tibetan words 'Dorje', meaning thunderbolt and 'ling', means a place or land. Before being invaded by the Gorkhas of Nepal in the 1790s, Darjeeling was largely under the Kingdom of Sikkim and native tribes named Lepchas were the original inhabitants of the place. Under the Sugauli Treaty of 1815 CE, Nepal yielded one-third of their lands to the British, who established Darjeeling as the summer capital of Bengal Presidency. During 19th century AD, they set up a sanatorium and a military depot in Darjeeling. Later, extensive tea plantations were established in the region by the British. After independence, in 1947, Darjeeling was merged with West Bengal.

Amidst the backdrop of the mighty snow-clad Himalayan peaks, Darjeeling is famous for its tea plantations, spectacular views of snow-capped peaks and Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. The majestic Kanchenjunga, third highest mountain in the world, towers over this beautiful hill town. The toy train, among the major attractions of Darjeeling, was built in the late 19th century and runs from Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling. It was declared as a World Heritage Site in 1999 and is one of the few steam engines still in service in India. One can get a breathtaking view of the valleys and the hills while taking the ride.

Darjeeling is internationally recognized for its high quality Darjeeling tea which ranks among the most popular black teas in the world. Being the highest tea exporter, Tea Tourism in Darjeeling attracts many visitors during the plucking season. With over 86 gardens producing the famous Darjeeling tea, this is the place to enjoy guided tours amid verdant tea estates and enjoy tea tasting sessions like a true connoisseur. Apart from these, Singalila National Park, Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park, Tiger Hill, Japanese Peace Pagoda, Ghoom Monastery, Sandakphu Trek, Mahakal Temple, Bengal Natural History Museum etc. are some of the top and important places to visit in Darjeeling.

Bagdogra Airport, Siliguri is the nearest airport, which is about 70 km from Darjeeling and has well connected flights from Kolkata and New Delhi. From the airport, one can reach Darjeeling by Bus or Cab. New Jalpaiguri Junction at Siliguri is the nearest railhead which is about 73 km from Darjeeling. It is well connected by train with Patna, New Delhi, Mumbai, Guwahati, Bangalore, Agartala, Kamakhya, Dibrugarh, Puri, Gaya, Indore, Jaipur, Kolkata, Amritsar, Chennai, Chandigarh, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, Cochin and Agartala. Siliguri is the nearest major bus station which has direct buses from Kolkata, Darbhanga, Guwahati and Patna. Darjeeling is well connected with Siliguri by private taxis and limited number of buses.

Darjeeling is blessed with a diverse and distinct culture. There are several ethnic groups and communities, each having their own set of festivals. Losar, Maghe Sankranti, Tendong Lho Rumfaat, Chotrul Duchen, Teesta Tea and Darjeeling Tourism Festival and Darjeeling Carnival are the popular festivals celebrated in Darjeeling.

The best time to visit Darjeeling is from October to March, when the temperature is pleasantly cool and the sky is usually clear offering lovely views of Kanchenjunga snow peaks.

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Other Info
Internet Availability: Average
STD Code: 0354
Languages Spoken: Bengali, Nepali, Hindi & English
Major Festivals: Losar, Teesta Tea and Darjeeling Tourism Festival
Notes/Tips:
None

How to Reach Darjeeling

By Air

Nearest Airport: Siliguri - Bagdogra Airport (70 Kms)

By Train

Nearest Train Station: Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (0 Kms)
New Jalpaiguri Junction, Siliguri (73 Kms)

By Bus

Nearest Bus Station: Darjeeling Bus Station (1 Kms)

Top 12 Places to Visit in Darjeeling

Heritage

#2 of 27 Places to Visit in Darjeeling

The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, also known as the Toy Train, is a 2 feet narrow-gauge railway based on zig zag and loop line technology that runs between Siliguri and Darjeeling in the Indian state of West Bengal. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is the first and still the most outstanding example of a hill passenger railway and among the top Darjeeling Tourist Places.

Built between 1879 & 1881, the narrow gauge Darjeeling Himalayan Railway was designed as an extension of the North Bengal State Railway. Running up to a height of over 7,000 feet, the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is one of the oldest and highest railway lines in the world. The Toy Train begins its journey from Siliguri and reaches Darjeeling after covering a distance of 78 km and crossing 13 stations on its way, including Ghoom, the highest station in India.

The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, a UNESCO World Heritage, still operates with the original steam engines and it attracts tourists not only from India .....

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Wildlife

#4 of 27 Places to Visit in Darjeeling

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 .....

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Nature

#5 of 27 Places to Visit in Darjeeling

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 .....

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Miscellaneous

#6 of 27 Places to Visit in Darjeeling

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 .....

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Pilgrimage

#7 of 27 Places to Visit in Darjeeling

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 .....

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Nature | Pilgrimage

#10 of 27 Places to Visit in Darjeeling

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 .....

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Miscellaneous

#12 of 27 Places to Visit in Darjeeling

At a distance of 4 km from Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, Darjeeling Rangeet Valley Passenger Ropeway is a passenger ropeway located in Darjeeling town of West Bengal. Also known as Darjeeling Ropeway, it is one of Asia's longest Passenger Ropeways and also the first Passenger Ropeway in India.

Darjeeling Ropeway was started in 1968 by the Forest Development Corporation of West Bengal. It was initially set up to cater to the tea gardens at the valleys below which did not otherwise have an easy access. Starting with just one cable car, now it was upgraded to 16 cable cars each having a capacity of six persons. It was closed in 2003 after four tourists died when the cable broken causing two cars to fell down the hill. Later it was re-opened with many safety measures in 2012.

Darjeeling Ropeway operates between the North Point in the town of Darjeeling and Singla on the banks of the Ramman River. From an elevation of 7000 feet in Darjeeling's North Point, this ropeway descends .....

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Museum

#15 of 27 Places to Visit in Darjeeling

At a distance of 3 km from Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, Bengal Natural History Museum is a museum situated in Darjeeling town of West Bengal. Located inside Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park complex, it is one of the best places to visit in Darjeeling.

The Bengal Natural History Museum was established in 1903 at the behest of the then Governor General of India Mr. George Nathaniel Curzon. Established as a small museum within the premises of the Lloyd Botanical Garden, it provides visitors with a wonderful view of rich flora and fauna of Darjeeling and its surrounding areas. However, due to the growing visitors and increasing collection, the museum was shifted to its current location in the year 1915, and the Bengal Natural History Museum was officially formed in the year 1923. Initially the museum was run by Bengal Natural Museum Society from 1923 to 1976 and later it was handed over to the Forest Department of West Bengal.

The Bengal Natural History Museum is a visual .....

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Pilgrimage

#17 of 27 Places to Visit in Darjeeling

At a distance of 2 km from Darjeeling Railway Station, Bhutia Busty Monastery or Karmaa Dorjee Cheoling Monastery is a Buddhist monastery located in Bhutia Busty area of Darjeeling, West Bengal. It is one of the popular and oldest Buddhist monasteries in Darjeeling and among the top places to visit in Darjeeling.

This monastery was earlier located in Observatory Hill where the Mahakal Temple stands today. It was originally built there by the Lama Dorje Rinzing in 1761 CE. According to history, the monastery was completely ravaged during Gorkha invasion in 1851 CE and was rebuilt in 1861 CE. But due to many disturbances, it had to be shifted to its present location in the year 1879. However, the monastery in the new location was also destroyed by an earthquake in 1934 CE, after which it was restored and reconstructed by the King of Sikkim.

The present structure is stunning and has been built in a traditional Tibetan style with Sikkimese influence. The monastery belongs to .....

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Pilgrimage

#19 of 27 Places to Visit in Darjeeling

At a distance of 2.5 km from Darjeeling Railway Station, Dali Monastery is a Buddhist monastery located in Dali area of Darjeeling. Also known as Druk Sangag Choling Monastery, it is one of the biggest monasteries in West Bengal and also among the famous places to visit in Darjeeling.

Dali Monastery is one of the most prominent monasteries of the Kargyupa sect, built by Kyabje Thuksey Rinpoche in 1971. The gompa was inaugurated by His Holiness Dalai Lama in 1993, where he gave 3 days of religious teachings. The monastery is known for preserving the age old culture and tradition of the Tibetan monks. It serves as the headquarters and the residence for Drukchen Rinpoche the XII, who is the supreme leader of the Kargyupa sect.

Perched on a steep hill, the monastery was built in the traditional Tibetan style. The colors used in the walls are bright and bold which depicts the life and teachings of Lord Buddha. It is home to around 210 monks who came to live here from the Himalayan .....

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Park

#24 of 27 Places to Visit in Darjeeling

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, .....

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Shopping

#27 of 27 Places to Visit in Darjeeling

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 .....

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