Cool hills and even cooler atmosphere, which has given this hill station the title of ' Queen of the Hills'.
Mention Darjeeling Tourism and it evokes many images- Queen of the Hills, lush green tea gardens, the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, sturdy Gorkhas and amazing views of Mt. Kanchenjunga. Going beyond these images, Darjeeling has much to offer in terms of its cultural diversity, education and exciting opportunities for lovers of adventure sports. Tourists from across the globe travel to Darjeeling to delve into the mesmerizing beauty of the Himalayas. The charm of exploring the natural beauty of this destination in the Darjeeling Toy Train is simply unparalleled. Buddhist Monasteries are other famous attractions of Darjeeling.
Like most other hill stations in India, the British developed Darjeeling as a respite from the oppressing summer heat in the Gangetic plains. Located in the lower Shivalik Hills region of the Himalayas at a height of 2,134m above sea level, Darjeeling during the initial years of the 19th century was a part of Nepal and Sikkim. After a lease agreement with the Chogyal of Sikkim in 1835, the British started developing Darjeeling as a hill station. After independence, Darjeeling became a part of the state of West Bengal.
Some of the most famous attractions of Darjeeling Tour are:
Darjeeling Toy Train
It is an interesting attraction which promises to offer you an enchanting travel experience. It is the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway nicknamed the Toy Train. It is a 2 feet narrow gauge railway from Siliguri to Darjeeling run by Indian Railways. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned the world over for its charm. Its serpentine railway track passes through the hilly slope, lovely waterfalls, verdant Himalayan forests, and refreshing tea gardens which is a wonderful treat to its passengers. This pleasurable ride is the best way to experience the arresting scenic beauty of the Lesser Himalayas. The Batasia Loop and Ghoom are the two stations where on boarders enjoy a lot.
It is a quaint town ideally located on the slope of lush green Himalayan Mountains at an altitude of 1200 meters above sea level. The peaceful atmosphere, romantic ambience and scenic beauty are the major draws of this place. The Durpin Dara Observatory located at an altitude of 1402 meters above sea level is a must-see attraction of this destination. It offers majestic views of the snow-covered Himalayan Ranges and breathtaking views of sunrise over the Mt. Kanchenjungha. The other tourist attractions of Kalimpong are Orchid nurseries, Mangal Dam and Pedong Monastery. It also boasts of traditional handicrafts, carved wooden objects, thanka paintings, metal crafts and Tibetian and Leptcha jewelry.
Happy Valley Tea Gardens
These tea gardens are the most refreshing attractions of Darjeeling. Established in 1854 by David Wilson, these tea gardens beckon you for a rejuvenating experience. It is said that the bushes of this tea garden are around 80 years old and some are even 150 years old. When you visit these gardens do see how the tea leaves are plucked and processed.
The Lloyd’s Botanical Garden
Sprawling over an area of 40 acres, this beautiful garden was established in 1878 by Mr. W. Lloyd with a purpose to preserve the native floral species. There are around 150 species of cacti and succulent in this garden. Many of the plant species native to the Darjeeling Himalayan hill Region can be seen here. The perfect time to visit this place is during the flowering season. You will be astonished to see the Orchid collection here.
This popular picnic spot of Darjeeling boasts of a wonderful waterfall which gushes down to the valley through deep ravines from 100 ft. There is Ferro-concrete Bridge over the stream which looks very picturesque.
Offering adventure this ropeway is a fabulous attraction of Darjeeling. It starts at North Point, about 3 km from town. This ropeway is 5 kilometers long and connects Darjeeling with Singla Bazaar. It passes over Ranjit River at the bottom of the valley offering picturesque views of the mesmerizing surroundings.
Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park
Established in 1958 by the state of West Bengal, Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park specializes in captive breeding of alpine animals like Snow Leopards and Red Panda.
Some of the other Darjeeling attractions which you can visit on your Darjeeling tour are Kanchenjunga, Sandakphu, Everest Museum, Bengal Natural History Museum, Aloobari Gompa and Ghoom Monastery.
Located 8 km from Darjeeling this monastery is built in the Tibetan style and houses a statue of Maitreya Buddha.
It is located at a distance of 26 km from Darjeeling. It boasts of various nurseries where Himalayan Orchids are grown.
It is a fascinating hill station 49 km off Darjeeling with a lovely lake in the center.
If you are interested in trekking then this is the perfect place for you. It has trekker’s huts along the trekking routes.
Best time to visit Darjeeling
April to mid June and September to November are the best time periods to visit Darjeeling.
Bagdogra is the nearest Airport to Darjeeling. Siliguri and New Jalpaiguri offer memorable Toy Trains rides to Darjeeling. Buses are available from Siliguri which is well-connected to Darjeeling, Gangtok, Mirik, Katmandu and other places.