Darjeeling, known as the queen of rock cities, is located in West Bengal, India. Darjeeling is famous for its geological beauty, tea and Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. Darjeeling’s popularity has grown since the time of the British Raj, especially when it became their summer capital. Earlier Darjeeling was the ancient Gorkha capital. In the Later time Maharaja of Sikkim gifted Darjeeling to the British. Darjeeling is becoming a popular holiday destination in India due to its timeless beauty and pleasant climate.
Apart from tourism, Darjeeling is popular for its various British-style private schools, which attract students from across India and even from neighboring countries. Local people of Darjeeling like to eat rice with beef and lentils. Other popular local dishes are mum (a pita-like dish with meat or vegetables), thupka (a thick soup made with meat and noodles), gundrak (fermented mustard leaves) and chang (local beer).
Best time to visit Darjeeling
The best time to visit Darjeeling is spring & autumn. Spring in Darjeeling lasts from March to April, while autumn lasts from September to November.
Sights of Darjeeling
Darjeeling has around 17 interesting places to visit for both young and old.
- Ghum is top and highest railway station in the hole world. There is a beautiful sunrise to watch from the top of the mountain about 10,000 feet above sea level. it is Monastery is the famous place of prayer in the world.
- Picture-like beautiful memorial Batasiya Loop Almost extinct mountain tiger Snow Lupard Famous Darjeeling Zoo.
- Mountain Expedition Education Center Himalayan Mountaineering Institute.
- Monument to Tenzing-Rock, the first conqueror of Everest.
- About 16 km journey from one hill to another hill by cable car.
- The wonderful experience of drinking world famous black tea instantly while sitting at Happy Valley Tea Garden.
- War-Torn Refugee Center Tibetan Self Help Centre.
- Darjeeling Gorkha Stadium is a picturesque sports venue situated at an altitude of about 8,000 feet above sea level.
- Darjeeling Museum bearing the signature of the Nepalese nation.
- World famous Buddhist monastery Japanese Temple.
- Council House ‘Lal Kuthir’, the center of government control during the British period
- ‘Ava Art Gallery’ is famous for its extraordinary artistic works.
- Centuries old temple ‘Dirdaham Temple’.
- Rock Garden & Gangamaya Park made of stone
- Himalayan daughter Kanchenjunga is a great gift of the great creator.
- Victoria Falls is an endless flow of fresh water.
- The Mall
Darjeeling tour details
Usually you can tour Darjeeling completely from three nights. However, one should stay at least for a week to get a full taste of the enchanting beauty and enchanting charm of this hill queen. If you want, you can see seven point sightseeing in one day, you can shop in the mall overnight and come back to NJP or Siliguri the next day. But the fun of enjoying the intoxicants of this magical city is different.
You can reach Tiger Hill on a cloudless morning to see Kanchanjunga covered in the golden light of the sun or you can sit at Keventers and order English breakfast and chocolate coffee and chat with your friends. You can ride the toy train and travel along the mountain roads or you can spend the whole day visiting a tea garden or monastery. On a lazy afternoon, you can sit on the balcony sipping the finest Darjeeling tea and enjoy the sun setting over the hills or walk along the mall to Glenary’s, for the spicy pastries.
One of the attractions of Darjeeling is the ‘toy train’ or ‘Darjeeling Himalayan Railway’ which has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999. Booking can be done directly from Irctc website. You can cross from Siliguri at 9 am and reach Darjeeling by 3 pm. Today, most are diesel engines, but some older steam engines also run trains, so that you can squeeze through the cloud cover and pass through the gorge in a traditional journey.
You can also enjoy the aerial view of the entire city by riding the ropeway. Another one major attraction here is a park name “Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park”. The specialty of this zoo is that many Himalayan species can be found here. It is the only zoo in the world where ‘Red Panda’ is kept and bred. In this international standard zoo, the cages of the animals are built on the slopes of the hill in a very well-planned manner.
Sometimes you look up and see a furry black bear coming down the mountain slope to hug you, and look down and see a giraffe trying to caress you. Also rare animals like snow leopard, tibetan wolf, black panther, himalayan tahr can be seen here.
Hotels in Darjeeling
Darjeeling has many desirable hotels. Booking a hotel in advance is recommended everywhere as hotel prices go up during peak seasons.
- Andy’s Guest House, Dr. Zakir Hussain Road, Darjeeling.
- Deckling Hotel, 51, Gandhi Road, Darjeeling
- Hotel Tower View, TV Tower, Dr. Zakir Hussain Road, Darjeeling
- Nishikura Lodge, Laden La Road,
- Hotel Seven Seventeen, HD Lama Road, Darjeeling
- Old Bellevue Heritage Hotel, Nehru Road, The Mall, Darjeeling.
- Mayfair Darjeeling, Opposite Governor House, Darjeeling
- Windameyer Hotel, Observatory Hill, Chaurasta, Darjeeling
One of the most popular and well known of the site seeing is Bagan Rock Garden, 10 km below Darjeeling, a hillside garden adorned with mountain springs and colorful flowers. The hilly road to reach here is very scary as the turns in the road are very dangerous. But the magnificent beauty of both sides will make all your fears disappear. Houses like small houses on the lap of dark green mountains, clouds like cotton wool accumulated on the mountain slopes will remind you of the words of the American poet Belva Plain — “danger hides in beauty and beauty hides in danger”.
How to get to Darjeeling
Darjeeling being a popular tourist destination, it is well connected to other parts of the country. Ways to reach Darjeeling:
- By Train or Rail – The nearest railway station to reach Darjeeling is at New-Jalpaiguri and it is 88 km from Darjeeling. It takes about 1 hour 40 minutes to reach Darjeeling by car from the station. All trains from across India reach this station. Here is a list of trains arriving at this station from Kolkata and Delhi, India: Delhi- Sikkim Mahananda Express / North East Express / New Delhi-Dibrugarh Town Rajdhani Express / New Delhi-New Jalpaiguri S.F Express / Brahmaputra Mail / Purvottara Rash-Kranti Express /
- From Kolkata- Kanchenjunga Express/ Teesta Torsa Express/ Howrah – New Jalpaiguri Shatabdi Express/ Saraighat Express/ Kamrup Express/ Uttara Banga Express/ Kanchan-Kanya Express/ Darjeeling Mail/ Padatik Express/ By Road or Road
- Darjeeling is well connected by regular buses to neighboring cities like – Siliguri, Karshiang, Gangtok, Kalimpong. It takes about 1 hour 40 minutes to reach Darjeeling by reserve or shared jeep from Siliguri.
- By Air – Bagdogra near Siliguri is the nearest airport to Darjeeling, which is at a distance of 68 km from Darjeeling. This airport is connected by regular flights from Delhi, Kolkata and Guwahati.
Where to shop in Darjeeling
Many small & big shopping markets near Laden-La Road in Darjeeling. You will find almost all the necessities of daily life within your purchasing power. Winter clothes are the best. You will get any kind of leather jacket including gloves, hats, mufflers, sweaters at the price you like. Moreover, between Rs 100 and Rs 500, you can get exquisitely crafted Nepali shawls and sarees that you are bound to love.
You can find various antiques and various gift items from a minimum of 20 rupees to 250 rupees to gift your loved ones, which can steal the love of your loved ones. Besides, there are attractive leather shoes and stylish sunglasses. There is absolutely no fear of being cheated while shopping. However, some Nepali youths sell shawls and sarees in the hotels. Better not to buy from them.
Darjeeling food hotels or restaurants
While in Darjeeling, don’t forget to try various delicious local dishes, there are a few restaurants where you can enjoy some local dishes and other interesting dishes as well.
- Glenary’s – This restaurant is famous for its continental food, Chinese food, and tandoori dishes.
- Keventers – Breakfast and kanchenjunga at this traditional restaurant on the open terrace.
- Sonam’s Kitchen – Famous for their breakfast menu, Sonam’s serves some delicious French toast, pancakes and sandwiches. Also, try the soups and pastas here.
- Park Restaurant – You can get some authentic Thai food at this restaurant. The most famous ingredient in their menu
- Hal Tom Khan Gai – This is a delicious soup made with coconut and chicken.
- Kunga – Kunga is a treasure of Darjeeling. With a seating capacity of only 20 people, the service they provide is simply impeccable. It is a small family restaurant. Kunga is famous for momos, noodles, chicken wanton soup, honey tea and fresh fruit juices.
- Hasty Tasty – This casual vegetarian restaurant in Darjeeling offers one of a kind masala dhosa.
- Margaret’s Deck – It will be seen on the way to Darjeeling via Karshiang which can be seen a little bit after crossing Karshiang. A tea lounge built on the slope of the tea garden on the side of the road, the view from here is excellent, don’t forget to drop by if you have time on your way to or from Darjeeling. However, the price of food and special Darjeeling tea is a bit high here, but the view on a clear day will make you happy.
Some Things to Know while visiting:
Book from local taxi stand for 7 points as per rate chart. No one wants to accept the rate but will talk and finalize what spot to cover by talking to the driver. At Tenzing Norg there is a tea garden at the rock crossing, drivers will suggest buying tea from there. Then when you come to Tenzing Rock you will see that one packet is being sold very cheaply. Don’t buy from private places.
If going to Mirik or returning then there is a shop just opposite Gopaldhara Tea Estate buy from there. The taste, smell and quality will satisfy the mind. There you will find 500 taka per kg to 4000 taka per kg, gift box, oolong. Check the packaging date (in case of gift box).
If you want to shop in Darjeeling, come to the taxi stand and ask someone for Wallis Bakeri. A lane runs opposite to Wallis Bakery. There are some wholesale shops almost at the mouth of that street. You will get the price and quality as you like.
If you want to buy hats or shawls or gift items, go to Batasiya Loop early in the morning. Check the price and you will get good stuff for cheap.
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Joseph is the intrepid author behind flyingpvt.com, a beloved travel blog that transports readers to far-flung destinations around the world. With a passion for exploration and storytelling, Joseph’s captivating narratives and practical travel insights have made him a trusted source of inspiration for both seasoned adventurers and novices alike.
From the bustling streets of Melbourne to the serene beaches of Bali, Joseph’s wanderlust knows no bounds. He blends his insatiable curiosity with a commitment to responsible travel, advocating for the preservation of natural beauty and cultural heritage.