Darjeeling known as the queen of the hills. Located at an altitude of about 2123 meter (7004 feet) above sea level. The name Darjeeling comes from the Tibetan words “Dorje”, which is the thunderbolt scepter of the Hindu deity Indra, and “ling, which means “a place” or “land”. Darjeeling is one of the most famous and well known hill stations in the state of West Bengal, India. The heart of Darjeeling town is the Mall. Decorated with colourful umbrellas everywhere. Form the Mall itself one can have a spectacular view of Mt. Kanchenjunga. At Darjeeling one of the main attractions is the joy ride of the heritage toy train that acquired its title of World Heritage Site by the UNESCO. Many tourists also arrange their travel around Darjeeling Hills, making Darjeeling as the center. At Darjeeling, the Tiger Hill tour is one of the main attractions (timing 4:00 am to 8:00 am). From Tiger Hill the sunrise is worth watching. The Santeng Choling Monastery at Ghoom is also worth watching, it is of the Golupa tribes and the War Memorial at Batasia Loop. Then comes the seven points of Darjeeling that has to be included in your local sight scene. These seven points includes Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Tibetan Self Help Refugee Center (this institute was constructed for those Tibetans who travels along with Dalai Lama), Darjeeling – Rangit Valley Passenger Ropeway, Tenjin Rock and Gombu Rock, Lebong Race Course, Happy Valley Tea Estate (It is the place where the famous Darjeeling Tea is being processed). Apart from these spots described, there are few more spots which attract the view of the tourists. These places include Japanese Temple (established in the year 1193), Abha Art Gallery (depicting the embroidery and Charu art forms), Birdham Temple (a temple of Lord Shiva, built in the style of Old Pashupati Temple of Kathmandu), Natural History Museum, Rock Garden and Gangamaiya Park. The temperature of Darjeeling town stays around 19 – 25 degree in the summer and in the winter it drops down to around 1 to 2 degree, sometimes during the snowfall the temperature falls below 0 degree. The languages commonly used are Nepali, Hindi, English and Bengali. Darjeeling is itself a place of natural wonders. All over the town there are numerous tea gardens, those produce the world famous Darjeeling Tea. From Darjeeling on a clear day the view of Mt. Kanchenjunga is awesome. From Darjeeling few trekking routes have emerged, one can avail these routes by foot. While headed towards Darjeeling one needs to come across the famous Ghoom station, which is a much higher altitude than Darjeeling. From Ghoom station there are four routes those got diverted. One is from Siliguri via Kurseong. To the north the road has gone towards Jorethang (which is an entry point of Sikkim) via Darjeeling. And to the west, at a few distance, here the road the road has diverted in two parts, to the left side the road has gone towards Sukhiapokhri via Lepchagajat, from there to the west, is Simana Basti and to the far horizon is Nepal, one route has crisscrossed by Manebhanjan through Singalila range, Snadhakphu and Phalut. And to the south is the Reshi road that intersects at Pashupati Nagar. From Ghoom one route has gone via Darjeeling to the north. Crossing the Chowrasta north point, leaving behind the town area the route has intersects at Patliabas Sanctuary. While leaving behind the sanctuary area to the front after crossing the Tematha more one will reach at Jayasree Tea Estate. From there again to the north is the Singla Tea Estate and at last to Jorethang. One can also take the western side from Jayasree Tea Estate after crossing Sreedhaare Tea Estate one will reach at a beautiful village named Goke. From there one can headed towards the south western route towards a jungle named Bhupi and after that is Pul Bazar. Pul Bazar is comparatively a bit crowded than Bhupi. After Pul Bazar one will reach at Bijan Bari and its bridge, beneath which is Chota Rangit River. While one takes the Bijanbari – Darjeeling road, through the dense greenery one will reach at Singtam Tea Estate. From there to the Darjeeling North Point, is the famous Ropeway service available. In your Darjeeling tour plan, a visit to the Tiger hill is must. One can take the route from Tenjing Norgay road, crossing by Aluabari and through Rajahat Basti is the main road. From there the main road has gone through Tiger Hill. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The train moves so slow that you can hop off, savour some mouth watering momos and again hop on. 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. 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. If you managed to wake up at 3 in the morning and travel 13 kilometers uphill, then you are on a course of a lifetime. As the first rays of the Sun kiss the Kanchenjunga, she turns pink. Gradually the orange hues set in. When the sun is fully up, The Kanchenjunga looks resplendent in golden. Going through this colour carnival is one of those rare of sheer bliss. Situated at an altitude of 2590 meters (8452 ft) and 13 kilometers from the town. The tiger hill offers a magnificent view of the sunrise over the Kanchenjunga and the great eastern Himalayan Mountains even Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak, is visible from here. There is also a War memorial constructed in the memory of the brave soldiers who sacrificed their lives in various wars since independence. For locally made purses, bags and other decorative items, one can visit the nearby market. Just 5 km away from Darjeeling town is the gigantic railway loop where the Toy Train takes a 360 degree turn. It was built to enable the Toy Train to cut the steep ascent. The Batasia Loop offers a panoramic view of the Kanchenjunga Range. Ghoom is the highest railway station in India at an altitude of 2225.7 meters (7407 feet). Just 8 kilometers from Darjeeling, Ghoom Monastery is located at an elevation of 8000 feet. The monastery follows the Gelung school of Tibetan Buddhisim. There is a 15 feet high statue of “Maitreya Buddha” (future Buddha) in the monastery. The Mall is Darjeeling most happening hangout with book shops. Tibetan selling hand-knitted sweaters, souvenir shops, eateries and loads of other activities. The Mall leads to the Chowrasta. It is a pedestrian-only road in the heart of the town. One can shed the serious image and do take a pony ride around the iconic Mall. Or just laze around, sitting on one of those special benches. Take a stroll. Feel the pulse of Darjeeling. Revered by connoisseurs across the world, Darjeeling Tea is considered to be the finest. In has a unique flavour which cannot be replicated. Even the tea pluckers are well aware of the status their produce enjoys throughout the world; pick only the finest two leaves and the bud to enhance the unique flavour which has been described as “Muscatel”. There are all total of about 87 estates in the Darjeeling district covering a whopping 17500 hectares producing over 9 million kg of tea every year. The European Commission has registered Darjeeling Tea as a Protected Geographic Indication (PGI) product- the first commodity from India to get such a tag. The status implies that the brew produced only in Darjeeling can be sold as Darjeeling Tea in the European Union countries. Connoisseurs of the Darjeeling Tea now have another reason to smile as a Tea Museum has been inaugurated right at the Mall. If you are a fitness freak then heard to the Gymkhana Club and takes your pick from games like tennis, squash, badminton, roller-skating, table tennis and billiards. Or if you think sweating out is not your cup of tea, then go there for a couple of drinks or visit their period library. The Gymkhana Club was established in 1909. It is prominently located above the Mall road next to Raj Bhawan. At present it has a membership of around 400 permanent and around 49 special members. One can also become a temporary member to enjoy the club facilities. The Tea Planters club was founded in 1868 and was primarily meant for the Darjeeling elite. The place looks as if it hasn’t been touched since independence. The velvet drapes, billiard room and a snarling stuffed leopard above the fireplace are reminiscent of the pre-independence times. The terrace is a great place to enjoy the weather while watching the hustle and bustle of the town. If you are in Darjeeling, you should never miss the Keventer’s. Get up early and make yourself comfortable at the terrace with a ham or a bacon sandwich followed by flavoured Darjeeling Tea. From Darjeeling at a distance of 35 kilometers is Mungpoo, tucked away in a quaint corner. Originally named “Mong-Pong”, meaning “A Heap of Millet” in Lepcha, The regional dialect later changed the name Mungpoo. While travelling from Darjeeling, lush green tea gardens and winding rivers cross your way en route Mungpoo. Darjeeling has several British-style public schools, which attract pupils from all over India and a few neighbouring countries. The varied culture of the town reflects its diverse demographic milieu comprising indigenous Bengali, Nepali, Lepcha, Bhutia, Tibetan, and other mainland Indian ethno-linguistic groups. Darjeeling is a part of the Eastern Himalayan zoo-geographic zone. Dense evergreen forests of Sal and oak lie around the town, where a wide variety of rare orchids are found. The Lloyd’s Botanical Garden preserves common and rare species of plants.
How to Reach: There are several trains available from Kolkata, Sealdah and Howrah station, those reaches to New Jalpaiguri station. From there share cars and hired cars are available that takes you to Darjeeling.