Darjeeling is a wonderful and most visited hill station in the state of West Bengal, India. The picturesque town is surrounded by majestic Himalayan Mountains and enchanting valleys. Also the tea plantations of Darjeeling are world renowned. The scenic surroundings of Darjeeling comprising of rhododendrons, orchids, pine trees, spectacular waterfalls and cute toy train ride makes it a chosen destination by tourist in India and other parts of the world. It is rightly crowned as the ‘Queen of hill stations’. Darjeeling is an ideal retreat to get away from the humidity and heat of the plains and also a relaxing destination away from the stresses of city life.
Location : State/District
Darjeeling is a hill station of the West Bengal state in India and is the headquarters of the Darjeeling district. The latitude and longitude of the place corresponds to 27.0500⁰ North and 88.2667⁰ East respectively.
Darjeeling is one of the spectacular hill station resorts of the Eastern India.
Honeymoon Destination, Family Vacation, Vacation with Friends
Darjeeling is a superb destination for a refreshing holiday with family members. The pleasant atmosphere and scenic charm of the place will rejuvenate your mind and body completely. Darjeeling is an ideal weekend retreat for the crowd in Kolkata and surrounding states. This place is also crowded with honeymooners owing to its tranquillity.
Darjeeling has pleasant climatic conditions all year long. The spring season in Darjeeling from March to April is the best time to enjoy the natural bloom of flowers like Magnolia and Rhododendrons. The days remain pleasant with temperature not rising above 17⁰C. This time is very crowded in Darjeeling so if you desire to travel get your bookings done in advance. Summers start from May till July and the weather is very enjoyable. Monsoons begin with onset of June and continue till August and the place receives heavy rainfall during this time. The weather remains misty or foggy and this time is ideal for adventure freaks or couples looking for a hideout. Landslides do occur owing to incessant rains and may cause convenience.
The autumn season in Darjeeling from September to November is again pleasant for sightseeing and enjoying the beauty of the place. Winters start setting in from November and continue till February. The days are pleasant while the night turn cold with minimum temperature reaching to 2.5⁰C. Darjeeling can be visited any time of the year but the best months that will make you fall in love with the place are from March to April and September to November. You must carry light or heavy woollen clothes in Darjeeling depending on the season of visit.
Travelling to Darjeeling is free from any hassles for the Indian citizens. They can easily visit the place any time. Outside Tourists willing to visit this stunning hill station destination in India must acquire prior visa permission from the Indian government. Their visa application must be correctly filled with all the mandatory details along with a copy of their current passport. Only after the approval they can travel to Darjeeling.
Places to Visit
The British charm in the place can easily be felt in the schools and churches of Darjeeling. Besides they are numerous other sightseeing places that are worth watching.
Tiger Hills is the prime tourist destination in Darjeeling. It is the highest vantage point that offers a panoramic view of the Kanchenjunga and adjoining mountain ranges. On clearer days you can also spot the magnificent Himalayan peaks from the Tiger Hills. The view of sun rise from the Tiger Hills early in the morning is the biggest crowd puller.
Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park was established in the year 1958 in the memory of Padmaja Naidu who was the former governor of West Bengal. This zoo is among the best zoos in the country and is the only place that raises wild wolf even in captivity. Darjeeling zoo is home to rare wildlife animals like snow leopard, Siberian tiger and Red panda to name a few. This destination is enjoyed by kids and adults alike.
The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is also popularly called as the ‘Toy Train’ is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and chief destination in tourist. This spectacular toy train ride from New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling offers stunning view of the mountains and surrounding landscapes.
Dhirdham Temple is one of oldest temples of the region dedicated to Lord Shiva. Located close to the Toy Train Railway Station, this temple is simply beautiful to look at. The colourful complex of this ancient temple draws tourists to this place.
St. Andrews Church is one of the oldest Anglican Church constructed in the year 1843. This church is named after St. Andrew, a patron saint of Scotland. The church was damaged during an earthquake and was re-built in the year 1873. It is a must-visit destination for historians.
Senchal Lake is a popular picnic spot for tourists located at 11 kms from the town of Darjeeling. The lake is surrounded by natural beauty and offers a brilliant view of the surrounding mountain ranges. This place is a nature abode and the serenity of the place will surely bring a smile to your face.
Observatory Hill is also called as ‘Makal-Babu-Ko-Thaan and is the oldest site of Darjeeling. This place holds religious significance for both Buddhists and Hindus. The Mahakal Temple is dedicated to a form of Lord Shiva and considered very sacred. The Bhutia Busty Gompa was located here before being relocated. Hence both Buddhists and Hindu tourist flock to this place.
The Buddhist influence in Darjeeling can be seen in the monasteries spread across the place. Some of the famous monasteries of Darjeeling that are worth visiting include the Yogachoeling Gompa, Phin Sotholing, Sakyachoeling, Sonada Gompa and Thupten Sangachoeling.
The Mall Road or ‘Chowrasta’ is a fun destination in Darjeeling where tourists spend leisure time strolling, walking or just sitting and enjoying the view. Children enjoy the horse ride here. The Mall Road is also the main shopping place in Darjeeling where you can buy local stuffs and handicrafts.
Kurseong is a famous hill station located at 30 kms from Darjeeling. The place offers picturesque view of the Teesta River and surrounding valleys. Kurseong is also a sought after trekking destination by adventure lovers.
Kalimpong is a serene hill station destination from Darjeeling located at a distance of 50 kms. This place is packed with ancient Buddhist monasteries, old churches and temples. The scenic charm and beauty of Kalimpong makes it a not-to-be-missed destination for nature lovers.
Gangtok is the most popular hill station located at 94 kms from Darjeeling. The panoramic views and scenic charm of this place are world famous and tourists flock to this destination from all corners. Gangtok has splendid sightseeing places that will leave you spellbound.
Food and Accommodation
Darjeeling is dotted with restaurants that take you on a delightful gastronomic experience. Here you can feast on the delectable Tibetan, Nepali and Bengali cuisine. Some of the local delicacies like momos, phasshapa, thukpa, gundruk, Churpee and niguru available in the roadside eating joints are simply finger-licking good. Some of the popular eating joints in Darjeeling serving scrumptious food to their customers are Soaltee, Keventers Restaurant, Glenary’s Penang and Lunar Restaurant. Food tasting in Darjeeling is incomplete without sipping the aromatic Darjeeling Tea. Head to the House of Tea to taste some of the varieties of Darjeeling tea that will make you feel refreshed.
Tourism is a flourishing industry in Darjeeling so here you will easily find all range of accommodation options right from charming mansions and luxury hotels to budgeted hotels and guest houses. If you want to spend holiday in luxury with world-class service and facilities take a pick from Glenburn Estate, WelcomeHeritage Windamere Hotel, R.J Resorts Ltd, Mayfair Hill Resort, The Elgin, Hotel Viceroy and Fortune Resort Central. The room tariffs in these luxury options start from INR 7000 onwards for each night. Some of the mid-range hotels of Darjeeling are Himalayan Resort, Sinclairs Darjeeling and Sterling Holiday Silver Oaks. For budget conscious travellers looking for accommodation below INR 2000, there are options like Hotel Pineridge, Hotel Seven Seventeen, Hotel Sonar Bangla and Hotel Sailung.