Darjeeling, “the land of heavenly lightning”, is one of the most beautiful hill stations in India. One of the main attractions of Darjeeling in North Bengal is the glory of nature at its best in its changing faces in different seasons.
The most attractive way to travel to Darjeeling from Siliguri is on the “Toy Train”, officially known as the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR). The narrow gauge train climbs with difficulty from the head of New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling, at 2,134 m above sea level. This train is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a favorite with family adventure travelers. The Darjeeling region has the distinction of offering a breathtaking view of four mountain peaks: Everest, Kanchendzonga, Makalu and Lhotse.
The major roads in Darjeeling are Hill Cart Road, The Mall and Laden Road, of which The Mall is the center of Darjeeling. You can enjoy pony rides around the chowrasta visiting the city’s colorful market. The Yoga Choeling monastery in the city has murals of Buddhist deities and beautiful frescoes in the prayer hall.
At North Point, in the northwest corner of Darjeeling, you can experience the cable car (it is also India’s first passenger cable car) that connects the city with Singla Bazaar.
With your family inside the cable car, you can enjoy that few hours trip that offers a magnificent view of the mountains and the Darjeeling tea gardens. The Himalayan Mountaineering Museum on Birch Hill has a fascinating outline model of the Himalayan peaks. This model is sure to tempt you to hike the adventurous Himalayas. The Himalayan Zoo located next to it is also famous for its high-altitude animals such as Siberian tigers, snow leopards, and red pandas.
Tiger Hill offers spectacular views of towering Everest and other peaks in the eastern Himalayas as they catch the first rays of the sun. Nature-loving photographers can drive before sunrise to Tiger Hill, which takes 45 minutes in a jeep from Darjeeling.
To the west of Tiger Hill is a beautiful mountain lake called “Senchal Lake” that attracts many tourists for its picturesque beauty of water and blue sky. If you are lucky enough to visit Darjeeling during the plucking seasons (April to November), the Happy Valley Tea Estate, just beyond the city, is a pleasant tea garden to spend your holidays sipping on those world-class teas. .
Darjeeling tea was so highly valued in the European and American markets that it was soon considered one of the best teas in the world in terms of aroma and delicacy of taste. Hence, Darjeeling tea has been named as “Champagne of the Orient”. Darjeeling Tourism Gurkha Hill Council (DGCH) introduced the “Special Tea Garden Tour” from Darjeeling – Hima Falls-Marybong Tea Estate-Chongtong-Bijanbari within the 6 hour tour package.
Try Tiger Hill-Bara Durpin day hikes and back (6 km, 2.5 hour drive) or Tiger Hill – Sonada via Chatakpur, back to Darjeeling by bus (15 km, 5.5 hour drive). For longer hikes, you can try the Himalayan experience (8 indicative days) or the Singalila trek (8 days). Other adventures are mountain biking in Darjeeling-Kurseong-Darjeeling and rafting on the Teesta / Rangeet river.