Darjeeling conjures visions of serenity, of vibrant green hills steeped in splendour, a land of breathtaking beauty crowned by the majestic Himalayas.
Darjeeling is one of the most magnificent hill resorts in the world. This heavenly retreat is bathed in hues of every shade. The flaming red rhododendrons, the sparkling white magnolias, the miles of undulating hillsides covered with emerald green tea bushes, the exotic forests of silver fir – all under the blanket of a brilliant azure sky dappled with specks of clouds, compellingly confounds Darjeeling as the QUEEN OF HILL STATIONS.
Darjeeling – the name is derived from the Tibetian word ‘Dorje’ which means the precious stone or ecclesiastical sceptre, which is emblematic of the thunderbolt of Indra, and ‘ling’ – a place, hence the land of the thunderbolt. The sceptre of Indra is believed to have fallen at a place where now stands the Observatory Hill.
Darjeeling is a fascinating place, where the tourist can see Buddhist monasteries, visit a tea plantation, see how the tea is processed, go for a ride on the chairlift, go shopping in the colourful markets or go trekking to high altitude spots, near the border with Sikkim. Darjeeling has the unique feature of a toy train, which takes you from Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling through the steep mountainsides
Tourist Places in Darjeeling
Situated at an altitude of 2590 metres (8482 ft.) and 13 kms from the town, this spot has earned international fame for the magnificent view of the sunrise over “Kanchenjunga” and the great Eastern Himalayan Mountains. Even Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak, is visible from here.
About 5 kms from Darjeeling, this Railway Loop is a marvellous feat of engineering. It is fascinating to watch the toy train wind its way round the loop. The War Memorial constructed in the memory of brave sons of Darjeeling who died in different action since 1947, is worth a visit. A glorious view of snowy peak and town can be seen from this place. Entrance fee: Rs. 2/- Timings: sunrise till two hours after sunset.
Lloyds Botanical Garden
A colourful garden situated just below the Market Motor Stand. It contains a representative collection of Himalayan plants, flowers, orchids etc. The green houses are well worth a visit.
This beautiful garden is situated on the Jawahar Parbat behind Raj Bhawan. A magnificent view of Kanchenjunga Range and Singla Valley can be enjoyed from here.
Happy Valley Tea Estate
Of about seventy tea gardens in this hilly region, this is one of the nearest, about 3 km from the town. Here one can see the processing of the world famous Darjeeling tea.
Darjeeling Rangeet Valley Passenger Ropeway
At North Point about 3 km from the town. The first passenger ropeway in India. For reservation of ropeway seats please contact Officer in-charge, Darjeeling Rangeet Valley Ropeway Station, North Point, Darjeeling. Phone: 52731. Regular share taxi service available from Market Motor. Stand to the Ropeway Station. Fare 5.00.
Built in the style of Katmandu’s Pashupatinath temple adds to the varied religious architectural styles of Darjeeling. It is near the railway station.
Lebong Race Course
About 8 km from the town, it is the smallest race course in the world. The complete lap is only 480 yds. Long. It was laid out in 1885 as a parade ground.
Garg World Amusement Park
Situated at a distance of about 4 km. On Gandhi Road it is a new amusement park with a variety of attractions.
How to Reach Darjeeling
The nearest airport to Darjeeling is Bagdogra about 94-96 kms away from Darjeeling. There are direct flight connections with Delhi, Calcutta and Guwahati. Tourists heading for Darjeeling can get direct taxis/cabs to Darjeeling from Bagdogra or one can head towards Siliguri first and get a transport there. There are a number of transport facilities available from Siliguri – one can reserve a taxi or choose to go by paying perhead (Rs. 80 – this varies from time to time) from the Bus Junction area.
The closest Railway Station is New Jalpaiguri (NJP) about 88 kms away from Darjeeling. It has direct railway connections with Calcutta, Delhi, Guwahati, Varanasi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and other major cities of India. Once in NJP one can avail of taxis directly to Darjeeling or take an auto-rickshaw or rickshaw upto Siliguri and thus proceed to Darjeeling by getting a taxi as mentioned above in “By Air”.
Darjeeling is connected to Sikkim, Nepal, Bhutan and all of its surrounding hills. The major access to Darjeeling is via Siliguri which is connected to all the major cities.
Some important links are :
Gangtok : 119 kms
Guwahati : 590 kms
Kolkata (Calcutta) : 759 kms
Delhi : 1389 kms
Kathmandu, Nepal : 677 kms