Darjeeling is the queen of all Himalayan hill stations. The hill town get its beauty from the colonial charm, the nature’s ambiance, and the exquisite culture. This post-card perfect honeymoon destination stands 2,050m above the mean sea level. This summer escapade is a popular destination of state of state of West Bengal. However Sikkim which is located adjacent and north of Darjeeling.
Do you know that the term ‘Darjeeling’ means, the land of thunderbolt? Dorje means thunder and ling means land. Before British took over India, Darjeeling was a part of Nepal. This ancient Nepalese hill town was a famous war outpost, which soon turned into a trading area. Since the colonial era, Darjeeling has been an important holiday site. British officers took Darjeeling tours to escape the tropical summers of India. In 19th century, they even introduced the toy train, which is now a heritage site and an important tourism activity.
Darjeeling has green slopes covered with plantations, making it one of the best places for tea tourism in the country. It is not just about plantations. You can find a spectrum of flora, thanks to the signature Himalayan climate. This place is lush with alpine forests, rare colorful orchids, oak, birch, sal, cherry, and others. The best of all is the vibrant species of Rhododendrons that carpet the valleys, especially if you are visiting in summer. Such a natural paradise would obviously attract birds from surrounding regions. You can find finches, herons, Bengal florican, sunbird, orioles, flycatchers, and others.
History of Darjeeling
The historical importance of Darjeeling is spectacular. The destination offers a plethora of options that are seeking an adrenaline rush. It has a historical heritage. The home of Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) is a World Heritage Site explored long back. The Britishers loved to spend time at Darjeeling in the summers to enjoy the golden ray of sun that used to leave a mark of wonderful feeling among the commoner. The father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, Once visited Darjeeling in 1925. He almost completed the journey from Siliguri to Darjeeling by foot, covering around 80 kilometers. Once he reached the destination, he declared Darjeeling to be the best destination and best way to travel by foot of all the places.
Darjeeling was made the summer capital under the British Raj. It is located at the top of West Bengal, where the scenic beauty is extravagant and sorted to be the best destination of all times. Nestled amidst acres of tea plantation, this place stands at the height of around 20,50 meters above sea level.
The charm of the toy train is outstanding. It was established back then in 1881 and was titled by the World Heritage Status by UNESCO. The train begins its journey from the plains and rises over to 2000 meters above sea level. It offers a charismatic breakthrough view between the mountains as it chugs along to it.
An extravaganza of the tea gardens in Darjeeling is very much responsible for producing the worldwide celebrated Darjeeling tea. A cup of Darjeeling tea and witnessing the chilled weather through the real estate will create a never-ending love among the commoners towards nature. You can witness the yards of tea plantations and even try to pluck the tea leaves all by yourself to enjoy the beauty of local works.
Amidst everything, you can witness the third highest peak in the world and India, that is, Kanchenjunga Peak. It is well visible from every corner of Darjeeling. Especially the sunrise of Kanchenjunga is a must if you are visiting Darjeeling, and the panoramic view of the sunrise is once in a million-view worth. Some of the top attractive hills of Darjeeling are Tiger Hill and Ranjeet Valley.
Best time to explore Darjeeling
If you plan to visit Darjeeling, then the best time is around April to June. The weather remains pleasant around this time. Although, people prefer visiting around the winter months, near October to December. July to August, time experiences huge showers and landslides as well. The heavy rainfall and roadblocks are highly observed around this time. So, it is not advisable to go around this time.
Due to the sudden change of weather from October to March, the serene cold breeze followed by bright sunlight makes the springtime most pleasant. The temperature remains around 7 degrees to 5 degrees Celsius.
Around April to June marks the offset of summer, and rain comes in! You may feel a little hot in the morning time. The temperature reaches 25 degrees at the max, where gushing sunlight makes it ideal for all to explore this wonderland tourist spot, Darjeeling.
Things to Do & Places that you Must Explore in Darjeeling
There are so many things to do and places to explore in Darjeeling. Here’s a list of top things that should be covered without any second thought.
1: Darjeeling Himalayan Railway
It is 20 kilometres from the city of Darjeeling. Your trip will be incomplete if you do not take a joyful ride at the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. It moves at a snail speed to soak you in the charm of the magnificent mountain views and greenery all over.
2: Tiger Hill
It is 5 kilometres from the city of Darjeeling. If you wish to witness the first sun rays that hit the twin peaks of Kanchenjunga, then this panoramic view of Everest peeping out of the mountains makes it a perfect sunrise that one can ever witness. You can even see Kurseong to the south covered by multiple places, flowing down the river. The most popular Wildlife sanctuary is another attraction where wild animals are found.
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3: Batasia Loop
Located around 3 kilometres from the city, this loop is a spiral railway track at the top of the mountain where you can take a 360-degree turn. The toy train runs through this place, and the visitors fall in love with this circular area of the Batasia Loop.
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4: Darjeeling Ropeway
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Located in the city around 3 kilometres, this destination is a cable car circuit area, where the myriads of the exquisite landscapes are explored. The gorgeous snow-capped mountains, the charming valley and the verdant beauty of never-ending tea estates make the a must witness destination.
5: Darjeeling Peace Pagoda
As you climb up in the city of Darjeeling, you will come across this destination which has a glistering white structure that stands out from the crowd. The peace pagoda is one of the most beautiful temples, and it has 70 odd such structures built under the guidance do the most famous Japanese monk Nichidatsu Fuji. It is worth visiting during the puja hours to see the vibration of faith and religion.
6: Nightingale Park
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Located around 2 kilometers from the city of Darjeeling, this park was earlier known to be The Shrubbery, a private courtyard. It has a closed renovation of about four years, reopening in 2011 for commoners’ visits. There is a large statue of Lord Shiva and a musical fountain and greenery all around.
7: Darjeeling Rock Garden
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It is located around 10 kilometres from Darjeeling city. The most popular Rock Garden, also called the Barbotey Garden, is full of the edgy beauty of nature. The park is full of sitting areas carved out of the diverse rock ranges.
Darjeeling is an ideal place for nature lovers.
Monsoon is a time for the photographer. Whether an amateur or a professional, every frame will capture a story. To visit Darjeeling, all you need to do is have a natures’ call to explore the hidden beauty. The dusky or clear skies, cloudy days, and humongous eastern Himalayan peak makes it a perfect bright day for all to enjoy the bountiful nature.
There is a beautiful local Darjeeling shopping street where you will get winter clothes to spicey street food like the most famous Darjeeling momos. Having Maggie or chicken Momo in that cold weather of Darjeeling is something you’ll remember although your life. Bird touring and the Senchal Golf course are popularly explored at Darjeeling.
Hotels and resorts are lucrative in rate, and you will get in any time of the season. Whether you book a lavish hotel or a homestay, the look and feel of Darjeeling will never change. Having a cup of Darjeeling tea in your hand, witnessing the charismatic nature in splendid weather is a dream for all.
So, if you are all decked up for a trip to Darjeeling, then you should go for it! either you plan your Northeast India tour to cover the all popular places in Northeast.
When it comes to culture, Darjeeling is more colorful. The common population is derived from several communities like Gorkhas, Tibetans, Nepalese, and others. This cultural diversity brings a spectrum of festivals, delicacies, and interesting souvenirs to buy. Top cultural souvenirs to buy here are prayer wheels, paintings, flags, scarves, woolen articles, and others. If you are saturated with nature trails, village explorations, and market visits, Darjeeling has an adventure face for you. The hill town is famous for interesting activities like cable car ride, monastery exploration, river rafting, trekking, hiking, and others.
Do you wish to cover the cultural beauty of the land and enjoy the tribal traditions and cuisines? Do you want a fairy-tale-like honeymoon vacation with cliché Himalayan hill town activities? Or, are you planning to spice things up with exotic and adventure activities? After all, why settle with one type, when you can enjoy a comprehensive tour covering every type of Darjeeling activities? Darjeeling has the tranquility of a paradise and diversity that would surprise you. Below is the list of Darjeeling Tour Packages that you could choose to cover Darjeeling in different styles and experience Himalayan beauty in the way, you desire. you can also choose your best North East India Tour Itinerary to cover the best part of northeast places to visit.