Darjeeling – A Guide to Travel & Trekking in Darjeeling
Darjeeling part of Eastern Himalayan Range is a popular hill resort town in Indian Himalayas. Situated in northeast of India with it’s mild climate & laid back charm it provides a perfect ambiance of a hill resort. It’s verdant hills and valleys are steeped in colour and are interspersed with vast stretches of lush green tea gardens. Presiding over all these is the 8586m Mt.Kanchenjunga looming over the northern horizon, giving Darjeeling a magical aura.
What is Darjeeling Famous For ?
Darjeeling is famous for the world Heritage Toy Train, Miles of lush Tea Gardens producing world class Darjeeling Tea, known as the Champagne of the Teas.
Furthermore, Sandakphu the highest hill in the Singalila Ridge, situated at the border with Indian and Nepal, is the only place in the world from where you can view four of the highest mountains in the world. Trekkers embark on the Sandakphu Trek for unobstructed views of Everest & Kanchenjunga Range. The Sandakphu Phalut Trek is also what makes this land famous.
Mountain Biking in Darjeeling is what this place is also famous for of late. Eight Kilometres away the Sinchel Wildlife Reserve Park is solely dedicated to Mountain Biking. This is a haven for bikers through the tranquil wildlife where no four wheel vehicles are allowed to ply.
Heavily influenced by British India, it still carries the imprints of its colonial past. Colonial Structures, British Style Public Schools are some of the most striking examples of British Raj influence. The queen of the hills conjures visions of serenity of vibrant green hills steeped in splendour. Consequently, lush Tea Gardens shadowed by the Kanchenjunga Range makes Darjeeling truly famous as "Queen of the hills".
What are the places to visit ?
Visit Chowrasta, a wide promenade, atop a ridge lined with shops and restaurants built during the British Raj. A Historical Public area of the Victorian times. Surrounded by wooden benches and where all the town folks gather to pass of the evening drinking a cup of Darjeeling Tea. Located in the heart of Darjeeling Town, Chowrasta, a fashionable place for the locals to gather during the British Time. Even today a popular centre for locals and as well visitors to leisurely walk around amidst the tranquillity of this hill Town, making it the heart and soul of Darjeeling Town. Lined on the western side by heritage stores especially the Oxford Book and Stationery Store and the Rolling Hills, Deep valleys and the Kanchenjunga Range oon the East. Chowrasta is place where all social activities takes place. No wonder this is the heart and soul of Darjeeling.
Mall Road - Starting and finishing at Chowrasta, lined by shops and hotels is a place for shopaholic. The mall road goes around the observatory Hill and returns to Chowrasta again. This path is famous for morning walkers and joggers and is famous for the sight of the Kanchenjunga Range. Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park & Himalayan Mountaineering Institute is another place of interest. The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute dedicated to Everest and Everesteers is particularly of interest to mountaineers and adventure seekers. The Padmaji Naidu Zoological Park is also a place worth visiting as it houses the elusive Snow leopard and the endangered Clouded Leopard and the Red Panda. Tibetan Refugee Self-Help Center is also a must visit for travellers. It is a major center for production of Tibetan Carpets & hand carvings. Furthermore other places of interest are batasia Loop, Japanese Peace Pagoda & Yiga Choling Monastery in Ghoom.
Visit Darjeeling's famous Coffe and Pastry shop "Glennary's"in the heart of town on the mall road. This is the oldest coffe and confectionary shop in this hill town. The Ropeway is another attraction as the cable car sways and travels above the tea garden far below and the mighty Kanchenjunga standing tall in the Northern Horizon.
When is the Best Time to Tarvel ?
Though it is open throughout the year, but March to April and September to November are the best time to travel and embark for trekking in Darjeeling.
Is there snowfall in Darjeeling ?
Darjeeling Town and the sorrounding hills does gets it's share of snowfall during the month of January and February. The Singalila Ridge with Sandakphu the highest hill in the State of West Bengal gets the highest snowfall during these months.
Which is the nearest Airport / Rail Station ?
Bagdogra Airport 90Km away is the nearest Airport and New Jalpaiguri Rail station is the nearest to Darjeeling.
The Heritage Toy Train
Darjeeling is famous for it's Heritage toy train. There are regular toy train rides for tourists from the rail station in Darjeeling to Ghoom, eight kilometres away.
Local People and it's culture
Darjeeling has a mixture of Buddhist, Hindu and Christian population. The older generation of Tibetan population are to be found in Darjeeling as the younger generation have migrated away. Christianity was brought into this part of the world by the missionaries when the British ruled India. Therefore you get to experience a multicultural society.
Is it Safe to Visit Darjeeling ?
Antime of the year It is always safe to visit Darjeeling. Wandering around late night should be avoided. As can be surmised it is not safe anywhere in the world to wander alone in lonely places late at night. Otherwise it is completely safe.
At the present moment Darjeeling is closed to visitors due to the pandamic which has caught hold of the entire world. Though a few cases of Covid-19 has been detected in this hill station but the recovery has been total. Avoid travelling at the moment. Travelling shopuld be done only after the Government approval comes into effect.