Darjeeling is one of the oldest and the most popular hill stations of India standing tall at 2134 meters (7004 feet). Graced by the presence of the majestic Kanchenjunga, steeped in the greenery of tea plantations, draped over a lofty mountain ridge with a panoramic view of the Himalayas, Darjeeling – meaning ‘The land of Thunderbolts’ is West Bengal’s favourite premium destination. Rightly referred to as ‘The Queen of the Hills’, this quintessential hill station is the source of some of the finest naturally flavoured teas of the world. UNECSO world heritage toy train, cool walking trails, mesmerizing sunrise from Tiger hill viewpoint, the local people, their culture, treks and adventure, all these make Darjeeling a brew that is much more than the famous tea it produces. A land of splendid sceneries and is nature’s gift to mankind, and the queen of this region, Darjeeling, has always been at the crossroads of history. Darjeeling has metamorphosed into a hill station with all the modern facilities amalgamating in an ancient body. Darjeeling lies in wait for the weary soul, the restless spirit and the tired mind. During the British Raj, Darjeeling’s temperate climate led to its development as a hill station for the British residents seeking to escape the summer heat of the plains. Arthur Campbell, a surgeon with the company and Lieutenant Robert Napier established a hill station there. The first road connecting the town with the plains was constructed between 1839 and 1842 Darjeeling became the formal summer capital of the Bengal Presidency after 1864. The opening of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway in 1881 further hastened the development of the region. A visual treat for tourists from all over the world, this place is home to breath-taking sights that include the sunrise at the Tiger Hills and the many magnificent monasteries and shrines.
Area: 3149 sq. km.
Altitude: 7004 feet.
Best Seasons: October to May
Clothing: Summer – Light Woolens and Tropical, winter: Heavy woolens.
Languages Used: Nepali, Hindi, English and Bengali.
Places of Interest:
Chowrasta (The Mall): Chowrasta is a signature spot of Darjeeling town and also a happening square, located on the top of the ridge of Nehru Road below the observatory hill. Chowrasta is a bustling promenade to laze around, to take long walks in the late afternoon. This is a nice flat land where tourists and locals come to bask in the sun, watch the wonderful views of the mountain peaks and valleys all around and take a pony ride around the Mall.
The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute: Established in the year 1954, provides teachings and instructs in rock climbing and mountaineering after the conquest of Mt. Everest by Tenzin Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary in 1953. Presently Himalayan Mountaineering Institute is known by the name of Tenzin Norgay Mountaineering Institute. There is a museum in this institute that showcases different criteria and arrangements required for rock and mountain climbing along with accolades of climbing and winning over Mt. Everest and other Himalayan peaks since 1857.
Tiger Hill: Tiger Hill is perched at a height of 2590 meter (8498 ft.) is an ideal place for Sunrise at Darjeeling, as the first rays of the Sun touches the top of Mt. Kanchenjunga and its other peaks leave a beautiful colour of pink and orange. Tiger Hill is located around 11 km away from Darjeeling and can be reached either by jeep or by trekking. The panoramic view of both Mt. Everest and Mt. Kanchenjunga from Tiger Hill is worth admiring.
Senchal Lake: Senchal Lake is located 10 km to the south-east of Darjeeling town on the way to Tiger Hill. Senchal Lake is a main reservoir that provides water resources to the entire Darjeeling town. One can trek to reach Senchal which is hidden in between the mountains with natural vegetation and colourful Rhododendrons all over. This is also an ideal picnic spot nearby Darjeeling.
Shrubbery Nightingale Park: It is a beautiful Park located at a walking distance of about 10 minutes from the Mall, Darjeeling and about 02 km from Darjeeling Railway Station. The Park has recently been extensively re- developed, and now comprises a giant statue of Lord Shiva, a temple, and provisions for live entertainment along with cultural programs performed daily during the tourist season. The best time to visit the park is in the evenings to witness the magic of sunlight on the Himalayan ranges.
Ropeway/ Cable Car: One of the best ways to experience the panoramic or aerial view of Darjeeling town is the Darjeeling Ropeway started in 1968 and went through major upgrades in 1988. Darjeeling Ropeway is also known as Darjeeling Rangeet Valley Passenger Cable Car because of the spectacular view of the valley and Little Rangeet River. Tourists need to board this cable car at Darjeeling Singamari station and get off at Tukvar downhill , enjoy the lush tea gardens and again get back to Darjeeling Singamari station covering a distance of 05 km and is a journey of 40 minutes.
Japanese Peace Pagoda (Shanti Stupa): This impressive building at Darjeeling is part of a grid of around 30 pagodas spanning around the globe constructed by the Japanese Buddhist Nipponzan-Myohoji in the year 1992 on 1st November. The Japanese Peace Pagoda is located on the slopes of the Jalapahar Hill and it showcases the four avatars of Lord Buddha. The height of the pagoda is 28.5 meters (94 ft.) and diameter is 23 meters 75 ft.).
Darjeeling Himalayan Railway – The Toy Train Ride: Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that attracts thousands of local and foreign tourists who travel thousands of miles to watch the tiny four wheel ‘B’ class steam locomotives, some of which are more than 100 years old. The first road connecting Darjeeling town with the plains was constructed between 1839 and 1842 and Darjeeling became the formal summer capital of the Bengal Presidency after 1864. The opening of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway in 1881 further hastened the development of the region. The ‘Z’ reverses where the train goes back and then forward again are unique in the world. The loops at Batasia and Agony Point are special sites where the train gains altitude within a short distance. UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee inscribed DHR as a World Heritage Site on 05th December, 1999. The Joy Ride Train runs from Darjeeling to Ghoom and back to Darjeeling with 10 minutes stoppage at Batasia loop and 30 minutes stoppage at Ghoom Museum, and the fare includes an entry fee to the Ghoom Museum.
Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park: Spread over an area of about 68 acres, this is the highest altitude zoo in India locally known as Darjeeling Zoo. This Zoo houses some of the highest altitude animals in their natural surroundings. One can spot wild animals like Snow Leopard, Common Leopard, Black Panther, Himalayan Bear, Royal Bengal Tiger and others along with a good collection of birds from different parts of the world as well. But the most noteworthy attraction of Darjeeling Zoo is the rare species of Red Panda.
St. Andrew’s Church: St. Andrew’s Church is an old Anglican church at Darjeeling and its early worshippers include many Scottish soldiers and tea planters living in the Darjeeling Hill area. St. Andrew’s Church was initially erected in 1843, but after a massive earthquake the church was severely damaged and later rebuilt in 1873.
Bengal Natural History Museum: The Bengal Natural History Museum at Darjeeling provides an intriguing insight into the natural world of flora and fauna which was started way back in 1903. This museum lies within the periphery of Darjeeling Zoo and Himalayan Mountaineering Institute. Presently the museum houses a huge collection and specimens that include wide varieties of birds along with nests and eggs, reptiles, fishes, mammals, insects and more.
Lloyds Botanical Garden: Lloyds Botanical Garden at Darjeeling was built in the year 1878 and spread over an area of 40 acres. This botanical garden houses variety of plants, from towering conifer trees to succulent, herbal, orchids, cactuses along with Alpine and higher altitude mountainous flora like Rhododendrons, Magnolias, Primulas, Ferns those displaying the diversity of Himalayan flora.
Observatory Hill: The hill rising above Chowrasta goes towards Observatory hill which is situated adjacent to the Mall at Darjeeling. Observatory hill is held sacredly both by Hindus and Buddhists as it is home to several much-visited temples. The main summit temple is Mahakal temple a wrathful avatar of Lord Shiva and the original shrine of Bhutia Busty monastery. Observatory Hill was the original location of Bhutia Busty Gompa, whose monks may have given Darjeeling its name calling their site Dorje – Ling (place of thunder).
Ghoom Buddhist Monastery: Ghoom Buddhist Monastery also known as Yiga Choeling Monastery was built in 1850 and is the largest monastery of this region where 108 volumes of the Tibetan Buddhist Gospel are preserved. This monastery is located at a distance of about 7 km from Darjeeling town and is built in the style of Tibetan Buddhists architecture. Ghoom Monastery is perched at an elevation of 8000 ft. and the monastery follows the Gelugpa Sect of Tibetan Buddhism. There is a 15 feet high statue of “Maitreya Buddha” (future Buddha) in the monastery.
Batasia Loop: Batasia Loop is a lush green toy train pathway that is meant to minimize the elevation of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. Batasia Loop is a marvelous feat of engineering that is located 05 km away from Darjeeling. The British government excellently constructed this railway track in a 360 degree turning. The lush green gardens and the martyr’s memorial at Batasia Loop are extraordinarily beautiful. The unique design of this magnificent attraction allows the track to wrap around itself through a hilltop tunnel. One of the most enchanting aspects of the Batasia Loop is its unmatched natural beauty which is a wonderful sight to behold. The view of Darjeeling town and the snow-capped mountain ranges from Batasia Loop is worth admiring.
Dhirdham Temple: Dhirdham Temple at Darjeeling is a Hindu temple of Lord Shiva located south of the Darjeeling Market. Dhirdham Temple which was built in the year 1939 and it resembles the architectural style of Pashupati Nath Temple of Nepal.
Happy Valley Tea Estate: Happy Valley Tea Estate is the second oldest tea estate of Darjeeling located about 03 km away to the north of Darjeeling town. Happy Valley Tea Estate was established in 1854 nestled at an elevation of 2100 meters (6900 ft.) and is spread over an area of 177 hectares (440 acres). Happy Valley Tea Estate is the place where the famous Darjeeling Tea is being processed.
Lebong Race Course: The smallest and highest horse race course in the world, Lebong Race Course is about 08 km from the center of Darjeeling ‘The Mall’ and is a famous stroll-through destination in Darjeeling.
The Toy Train: The spectacular landscape of Darjeeling unfolds as the 02 foot gauge of Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, opened in 1881, labours at about 10 mph criss – crossing the road. Toy Train has tiny four wheel locomotives (some over 100 years old) through which one can experience the sound, smell and romance of a bygone era. It has social and cultural importance with outstanding universal appeal. Based on its unique features, it is considered to be of lasting significance to mankind.
Darjeeling Rock Garden: Darjeeling Rock Garden also known as Barbotey Rock Garden is located 10 km away from Darjeeling town towards Hill Cart Road. This Rock Garden is located at Chunnu Summer Falls. This rock garden was opened by the tourism department of Gorkha Hill Council.
Ganga Maya Park: From the Rock Garden around 03 km away is Ganga Maya Park which is surrounded by Lakes and waterfalls. At Ganga Maya park tourists savour into the surrounding view of the mountains, streams, flowering gardens and one can also opt for paddle boat ride.
Ava Art Gallery: Located at a distance of 04 km from the main town of Darjeeling, Ava Art Gallery showcases the collection of paintings (including water paintings, oil paintings and thread paintings) of Ava Devi who was a genius of Embroidery works. This art gallery was established at Darjeeling in the year 1965.
Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre: Established in the year 1959 this self-help center at Darjeeling was developed in order to provide accommodation to the refugees who came to India with the Dalai Lama long away from Tibet. This Self Help Centre is located at Lebong and locally known as Hermitage. In this center tourists will get to see numerous handicrafts items made by the Tibetan refugees.
Darjeeling Tea: The Champagne of Teas: Darjeeling tea is universally acknowledged to be the finest tea that grows in the romantic and mysticaMil mountainous region of Darjeeling, at an elevation of 750 – 2000 meters, the teas are imbued with an incomparable charisma and quality. Grown in century old tea gardens of Darjeeling region, these tea bushes are nurtured by intermittent rainfall, sunshine and moisture laden mellow mists. The soil is rich and the hilly terrain provides natural drainage for the generous rainfall it receives. Tea pickers pick only the finest two leaves and a bud to enhance the unique flavour, which has been described as Muscatel (denoting a ‘grapey’ taste). Darjeeling tea is world renowned, also called the ‘Champagne’ of teas. Over 50 kinds of finely packaged teas from Darjeeling and other areas in India, namely, Oolong, Black, Green, White, CTC, Spiced, Herbal and many more are available.
Keventers – Darjeeling: The most iconic English food destination at Darjeeling, Keventers offers a good rooftop sitting arrangement that overlooks the mountains and valleys. The most iconic meals offered are Pork and chicken platter which are the signature dishes along with sausage, salami, loaf, bacon and sunny side egg platter.
By Air: The nearest airport is Bagdogra which is 90 km away from Darjeeling. Bagdogra is well connected by domestic flights with Kolkata, Guwahati, Delhi and most of the major cities of India. From Bagdogra Airport shared or reserved vehicles are available to reach Darjeeling.
By Train: New Jalpaiguri is the main railway junction near to Darjeeling which is located at a distance of 73 km away. NJP railway station is well connected with Kolkata, Guwahati and other major cities of India by strong railway networks. From NJP railway station both shared and reserved cars are available for Darjeeling.
By Road: Frequent buses as well as private and shared taxi services are available between Siliguri and Darjeeling. Darjeeling is connected to Kolkata (686 km), Siliguri (80 km), Kurseong (32 km), Kalimpong (51 km), Gangtok (98 km), New Jalpaiguri (73 km).
By Toy Train Ride: Tourists can avail the toy train service from NJP to Darjeeling via Kurseong – Heritage Institution Himalayan Railway after all this is the first public transport built by the British that allows the train to move along the steep gradient of the Himalayas. In this journey one can experience one of the engineering marvels along with amazing loops and zig zags through the hilly terrains of Darjeeling region.
Best time to visit: Darjeeling weather offers a relatively moderate climate. Summer (April to June) rarely gets hotter than 26 degree Celsius, making it a popular time with tourists, Monsoon season (July to August) is the one to really avoid, Autumn (September to November) is a popular time for visitors, Winters (December to January) are generally cool, with temperatures averaging from 05 degree Celsius to 08 degree Celsius, but they can drop below 0 degree Celsius and Spring (February to March) is a top time to visit, but it can still get chilly.
Magnolia Residency is a beautiful little property located at the Mall, Chowrasta. The walls of Magnolia Residency are covered in traditional Tibetan Murals reflecting the cultural heritage of the region. Magnolia Residency has warm and inviting rooms, with wall to wall carpeting, Wi-Fi Internet Access, LCD TV’s, Doctor On Call, Anytime Cab, Laundry Service, uninterrupted power supply, travel desk services (e-air tickets | train tickets |airport transfers) daily English news paper, beauty salon (nearby) and international courier others. Magnolia Residency has a multi cuisine restaurant serving Indian, Chinese, Nepali, Tibetan and continental cuisine open for Lunch and Dinner.
Standard Double Bed: 2000/-
Premium Double Bed: 2500/-
Deluxe Double Bed: 3000/-
Executive Double Bed: Rs.3500/-
10% Service charge on the above room tariff.
HOW TO BOOK: Call us at 9831311606 , 9830381306 to get the current availability status or use the query form furnished below with all you travel queries and submit, we will call/ contact you directly.
Or, you may also directly book from our Kolkata office at: 8C Shanti Ghosh Street, Kolkata – 700003. Nearest Landmark: Manindra Chandra College and Shyambazar Metro Railway Station (Gate No: 3)