Darjeeling

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Darjeeling

the pioneering tea estate

EXPLORE DARJEELING WITH LOCAL TOUR OPERATORS

Darjeeling, known as the queen of the Himalayas dwells in the Northern Part of the Indian state of West Bengal. The city is located in the Siwalik Range of the lesser Himalayas and is famous for its tea industry. The city is also famous for the Darjeeling Himalayan Railways which is one among the UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are a large number of tourist destinations in Darjeeling making this place a wonderful holidaying hotspot. Local travel agent in Darjeeling offers you a complete guide on all that you want to know about the serene Hill Queen.

To the east, a faint red sun emerges painting the sky with brilliant strokes of magenta, gold, orange, and fuchsia. The snow-capped Everest, Kabru, Kanchenjunga, Jannu and other peaks gradually arise from slumber to start a new day. The sun worshippers gasp at the magnificent sight. As the fog lifts in the slowly penetrating sun, the town gradually comes alive. Amidst brewing of tea, the Gorkhali accent rises and falls like music.

Among the major tourist attractions in the Darjeeling city, the most important one is the Tiger Hill. It is situated about 2590 m and gives a splendid view of the sunrise over Kanchenjunga. Mount Everest, the world's highest peak is clearly visible from the Tiger Hill. Local tour operators in Darjeeling notify you with another significant place to visit in the town, which is Rock Garden and Ganga Maya Park. These parks are located about 10 km from the town and have evolved into an incredible picnic spot.

Another one is Chowrasta; the place is one of a fascinating tourist hotspot in Darjeeling. Offering a great scenic beauty and numerous reasons to unwind, has a scenic beauty and one can walk down to the Darjeeling Mall from here. Other important places in the city include the Ava Art Gallery, Mall, Batasia loop, Lloyd Botanical Garden, Nightingale Park, Darjeeling-Rangit Valley Passenger Cable Car popularly called the ropeway, observatory hills, Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and the monasteries to name a few. One can also visit places around Darjeeling like Kalimpong, Kurseong, and Mirik.

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Temperature

Avarage Mean Annual Temperature : Max 14.9°C and Min 8.9°C
Rainfall : 3092 mm
Clothing : light woolen in summer and heavy woolen in winters.

General Information

Area : 11.44 Sq. Km (4.4 Sq miles)
Eelevation : 7,000 ft. or 2,134 meters
Telephone no : Country Code: 91 ::: City Code: 0354
Climate : SUMMER :
Min: 8.5°C
Max: 14.8°C
Annual Rainfall : 320 cm (126 inches)
Best Tourist Season : April to Mid-June, Mid September to November
Best Mountain Views : Mid Sept. - Mid Dec.
Recommended Clothing : Light woollens and tropicals in summer (umbrellas and raincoats are useful) and heavy woollen in winter.
Languages Spoken : English, Bengali, Gorkha, Nepali and Tibetan

Places of Interest

Tiger Hill

Situated at an altitude of 2590 meters (8482 ft.) and 13 kilometers from the town, this spot has earned international fame for the magnificent view of the sunrise over the "Kanchanjunga" and the great eastern Himalayan Mountains. Even Mount Everest, the world's highest peak, is visible from here. The hesitant rays of the early morning sun paint these peaks in pale gold.

Batasin Loop and the Memorial

The Batasia loop situated almost 5 km away from the town is a gigantic railway loop where the Toy Train makes a 360 Degree turn. It was basically built to make it possible for the Toy Train to cut the deep ascend. Strategically located the Batasia Loop offers a panoramic view of the Kanchanjunga Range.A War Memorial constructed in the memory of the brave sons of the soil who laid down their lives in the different wars since the independence of the nation adds to its attraction. There is also a well furbished market where visitors can buy locally made purses, bags and other decorative items.

EVA ART GALLERY

Situated about 4 km from the Market Square and on the National Highway, Ava.Art Gallery was established in 1965 by the Late. Bhopal Rao Sett and Ava Devi. It is the only Art Gallery of its kind in the Hills. A collection of 60 pieces of art work in water, oil and thread paintings are displayed in the Gallery. Visitors can travel on foot to get to the Gallery or simply hire a taxi. Entrance fees are not charged.

Chowrasta and Mall

Chowrasta, a wide promenade atop a ridge lined with shops and restaurants is taken to be the heart of the town. Here people gather to chat, spend time basking in the sun or just to snatch a moment of peace. The Brabourne Park is attached to the Chowrasta and now features a musical fountain. This place is an open place and free from vehicular movements from where one can watch the scenic beauty of the mountain range and take charm of walking at the Darjeeling Mall. Chowrasta is the central place of the Mall Road.

Rock Garden and Ganga Maya Park

Situated 10 km from town, Rock Garden and Ganga Maya Park has now developed into a very attractive picnic spot with natural water falls. The park offers boating facilities and is endowed with great scenic beauty. Ample eateries are available for visitors to indulge in local delicacies and one can even buy souvenirs. No fees are charged for taking photographs. Visitors are however, required to make arrangements for transportation. A two way travel arrangement is advisable.

Peace Pagoda

The Japanese Peace Pagoda was established by Nipponzan Myohoji, a Japanese Buddhist order. Situated on the slopes of the Jalapahar Hill the pagoda can be reached by foot or on taxi. The pagoda is the highest free structure in the town. It also showcases the four avatars of the Buddha.

Botanical Garden

It is the oldest Botanical Garden named as Lloyd Botanical Garden with varieties of flora and is famous for two living fossils. It is located just below the Eden Sanatorium(Saheed Durga Mall District Hospital) on an open slope covering an area of about 40 acres. Lloyd Botanical Garden is open seven days a week. There are no entrance fees. A camera, a small note book for a botany enthusiast and a couple of hours to spare, is a must.

Nightingale Park/Srubbery Park

It is about 2-5 kms from Darjeeling Railway Station and walkable from the Chowrasta. It is a beautiful park with a package of cultural programmes performed daily during the tourist season and its opening time is 4.00 p.m. and closing time is 8.00 p.m. The park has recently been extensively re-developed, and now comprises of a giant Statue of Lord Shiva, a temple, and provisions for live-interactive entertainment. The best time to visit the park is in the evenings. Entrance fee is charged and nominal charges for photography may also be required to be made by the visitor.

Darjeeling-Rangit Valley Passenger Cable Car

Darjeeling-Rangit Valley Passenger Cable Car is popularly known as the Ropeway. It is about 3 km north of the town and situated at what is known as the North Point. The Ropeway is India's oldest passenger ropeway and connects Darjeeling with Singla Bazaar at the bottom of the valley. The present ropeway has been extensively modernized and visitors can now safely travel over the clouds to witness the aerial view of the lush green tea gardens below.

Senchal Lake

A scenic place near Tiger Hill. This place has popularly come up as a picnic spot among the tourists. The lake supplies drinking water to Darjeeling Town.

Observatory Hill & Mahakal Temple

Also known to the locals as the "Holy Hill", it is just a few minutes walk from the Chowrasta and is situated on the highest ridge of the town. The Mahakal temple atop the hill is a revered place for the locals and visitors will be surprised to find a Hindu priest and a Buddhist monk sharing a common altar.

Dhirdham Temple

Dhirdham temple is modelled on the lines of the famous Pashupatinath temple of Kathmandu and was built in 1939. It is a minute's walk from the Darjeeling Railway Station.

Happy Valley Tea Garden

Happy Valley tea garden is located just a kilometer away from the main town and is situated along 18 Lebong Cart Road (very near to the District Magistrate's Office) and offers tourist a refreshing ambience far from the otherwise noisy town. One can soak in the ambience of the tea garden and take a walk through the carpeted garden. You can take a pony from the Chowrasta or merely walk down the hill to reach the factory. The garden is presently closed but the residents are running it through a cooperative.

Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park

Established on the 14th of August, 1958, the zoo was dedicated to the memory of Padmaja Naidu, former Governor of West Bengal on the 21st November, 1975. Considered as one of the best zoos in the country, it is the only centre that breeds the tibetan wolf in captivity. Breeding programmes for the endangered red panda, snow leopard and the siberian tiger are also carried out at PNHZP. The zoo is open on all days except on Thursdays and other national holidays.

Himalayan Mountaineering Institute

The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute was set up following the successful ascent of the Mount Everest-the highest peak in the world by the local hero Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Sir EdEdumund Hillary on 28 May 1953. The oldest mountaineering institute in the country carries out various mountaineering courses every year. Apart from Tenzing, legendary mountaineers like Nawang Gombu(the first man to climb Everest twice) and Lattoo Dorjee Sherpa have helped build the reputation of this pioneering institute. The institute is presently under the purview of the Minstry of Defence, Government of India and its museum is worth a visit.

Raj Bhawan

Raj Bhawan is the summer residence of the Governor of West Bengal. The fantastically developed mansion with perfect manicured lawns, lush gardens, surrounding forests and British Bungalows overlooks the Darjeeling Lebong spur and commands a magnificent close-up view of the snow capped Kanchanjunga Range. Being a high security zone, visitors are no longer allowed to venture inside its precinct, a walk around it through the dense forest is however, most charming. Visitors can experience the entire Sikkim-Jorethang crest unhindered.

Step Aside

On the way down to Bhutia Busty, via the C.R. Das Road, and a few minutes walk from the Chowrasta is Step Aside, the house in which the great Indian patriot Deshbandhu Chittranjan Das passed away on June the 16th, 1925. On the first floor are preserved a few articles of his personal use. The ground floor is a maternity clinic named after him, for the poor of the town. No entrance fees of any kind are charged. However, visitors are not allowed into the inner sanctum of the house.

Tibetan Refugee Self-Help Centre

"Our way may be hard and long one, but I believe that the truth and faith must ultimately prevail".- His Holiness the Dalai Lama. After His Holiness escaped from Tibet, thousands of Tibetan refugees came to reside in India. Darjeeling too became a home away from home for the Tibetans in exile. To rehabilitate the community a ten-member committee was formed in Darjeeling to organize a rehabilitation centre which was known as "Tibetan Refugee Self-Help Centre". The centre was established on October 1, 1959 and the residents of the centre are today known for their handicrafts. The centre makes excellent carpets, woolen goods, woodwork, etc, which are famous across the globe.

Druk Thupten Sangag Choling Monastery(Dali Monastery)

This monastery is situated at Dali, about 4 kms away from Darjeeling town. This is one of the most famous monasteries belonging to the Kargyupa sect. The pioneer of this monastery was Thuksay Rimpoche, who died in 1983 and his incarnate is reported to have been born in 1986 at Ladakh. This monastery is the headquarters of Drukchen Rimpoche XII, the supreme head of the Kargyupa lineage.

Ghoom Monastery

Built in 1875 by Lama Sherab Gyatso, this ancient monastery is said to have been blessed by the renowned Tomo Geshe Rimpoche of Tibet. The specialty of this monastery is that it contains the statue of the 'Future Coming Buddha' known as Maitreye Buddha. The Monastery has also preserved some of the rare handwritten Buddhist manuscripts. You could visit the monastery on your return journey to Darjeeling from Tiger Hill.

Tashi Dargyalingh Monastery or the Tamang Ghumba

The Tamangs are a sub community of the Gorkha/Nepali and mostly belongs to the Nyingmapa sect. Established in 1926 this is one of the oldest monasteries of the community.

The Mag-Dhog Yolmowa Buddhist Monastery(Aloobari Monastery)

Situated on the Old Military Road commonly known as the Aloobari road, the Mag-Dhog Yolmowa Buddhist Monastery was founded by its, Ven. Sangay Lama, the head priest who originally hailed from Nepal. The construction of the monastery, coincided with the beginning of the First World War in 1914. The monastery was therefore named Mag-Dhog or warding off the war and is dedicated to the cause of world peace. The statues of Lord Buddha depicting different forms and the statue of Padma Sambhave at this religious place are stunning. The painting on the wall are said to be done with the help of herbs and are an amazing work of art. Other interesting features of the monastery are the valuaable ancient scriptures lying inside the monastery.


Tourist Info

Altitude : 2134m (7053 ft)
Area : Darjeeling town covers an area of 11.44 sq. kms.
Population : About 100,000
Languages : English, Nepali, Hindi, Tibetan and Bengal
Climate : Almost every year Darjeeling's temperature drops below freezing during the Winter season, from November to February. In Summer, Darjeeling is delightfully cool with the maximum temperature reaching about 20°C.
Rainfall : Rain falls mostly during months from June to September. The annual recorded rainfall in Darjeeling is 320 cms.
Clothing : Light woolen for summer and heavy woolens for winter.
Best season : March to mid-June and September to mid-December.

The town and hill station of Darjeeling lies in northern West Bengal, India. Darjeeling district lies between 26° 31' and 27° 13' north latitude and between 87° 59' and 88°53' east longitude.

How to Reach Darjeeling

By Air :

Nearest Airport is Bagdogra (90 kms) which has flights connecting to Calcutta, Delhi and Guwahati. Drive from Bagdogra airport to Darjeeling takes about 3½ hours. Airlines bookings can be made from Darjeeling.

By Rail :

Darjeeling Railway station is in Darjeeling town. Toy Train journey from New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling takes about 8 hours. New Jalpaiguri is the major railway station (88 kms about 3 hours drive) which is connected to all the major cities in India.

By Road :

Darjeeling is connected via road with siliguri, bagdogra - 90 Kms, New Jalpaiguri Ralilway Station(NJP) - 88 Km

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