Darjeeling, in India owes’ its grandeur to its natural beauty, its clean fresh mountain air and above all, the smiling resilient people for whom it is a ‘home’. A walk up a steep incline, leads sun worshippers to Tiger Hill. The air is chilly with darkness and damp.
Best Time To Visit Darjeeling
The best time to visit Darjeeling is during March-May or September-November. The rains which start by May end are heavy which make living conditions cold and lackluster. During winters there is a drastic fall in temperature from the summer’s 15 to 25 degrees centigrade to 2 to 10 degrees in winter.
Tourists Attractions Of Darjeeling
One of the prime places to visit is a visit to Ghoom which is 6 km away from the main town. The hillock is dominated by the famous Yiga Choeling Monastery which has 15 images of the Maitreya Buddha. Belonging to the “Yellow hat” sect, the monastery contains many ancient palm leaf and paper manuscripts in Tibetan script. The Museum of Natural History is where one can see a fine collection of Himalayan animals, reptiles, birds and insects.
If flora is what one enjoys, then Llyod Botanic Garden is the place of interest. It has a marvelous collection of alpine flora and orchids.
Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park is the only center in India for the breeding of the rare “Snow leopard”. The Ussurian tigers and the Himalayan black bear are also among its attractions. Neighboring the zoo is the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute established in 1954 by the then Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, in the wake of the conquest of Everest. Tenzing Norgay was its first Director and Advisor till his demise. A kilometer from the zoo is the Darjeeling-Rangit Valley ropeway. Considered the longest in Asia, it is a thrilling ride with splendid views. If one is looking for souvenirs, then the Tibetan Refugee Self Help Center. It produces excellent Tibetan crafts like carpets, wood and leather work. Established in 1959 after the Dalai Lama and his followers fled Tibet, it is a haven for ethnic Tibetan art.
Trekking Tracks Of Darjeeling In India
Darjeeling in India was the first hill region where organized trekking was first conducted by Dr. Hooker in the 1840s. The breathtaking panoramic views of Everest and Kanchenjunga have been alluring thousands of nature lovers from different parts of the world since then. Treks in this region are organized through both high and low altitude areas.
The most popular of treks is the one through high altitude areas across the Singalila range in Darjeeling. The trek starts at Maneybhanjang (2134 m), goes to Meghma (2900 m), Toughu (3070 m), Gairibas (2621 m), Sandakphu (3636 m), and Phalut (3600m).The fourth and last day is the return trek to Darjeeling which may be taken along the along the same route or via Ramman, Rimbick and Bijanbari.
The best time of the year to undertake trek in Darjeeling in India is April-May and October-November. It is advisable to carry one’s own provisions. Trekking equipment can be hired at nominal charges from the Youth Hostel, as well as some travel agencies.
How to reach Darjeeling
There are flights from Calcutta to Bagdogra which is 90 kilometers from south.
The nearest railhead is Siliguri. The Toy train runs from New Jalpaiguri/Siliguri.
There are India tourist permit vehicles for the local transportations and which can be used for the intercity drives too.
Special feature: journey by toy train in Darjeeling
About 22 kilometers through lends an enchanting peep into the valley below with the Bhutan range in the east, the Teesta river and its Tiger island in the south-east. The sensational point of the fourth spiral, the Agony Point, is reached outside the Tindharia station.
The scenic beauty along the rail line is a thing of joy forever. From those stalwart sal trees, the railway track twists in and out of ravines, the tall cotton trees, the buttressed semul palms, the giant bamboo all entwined with creepers and loaded with ferns and moss. There are fig trees, oak and chestnut trees, the birch, the maple brambles and
Orchids, some of them interspersed with walnut trees and laurels until, in the vicinity of Cheem, the center of the Buddhist monastery of the Yellow Sect, there is that glorious glimpse of primroses, magnolias and rhododendrons. This luxurious vegetation is topped with sublime landscapes of snowy heights, more than a dozen peaks standing aloft above 6,000 meters – the renowned Kanchenjunga and the mountains of east Nepal, Sikkim and Tibet.
Stay In Darjeeling
Hotels abound in Darjeeling in India. Besides the International Youth Hostel, there are more recently opened resorts as well. There is a hotel which boasts as the place where Jinnah met his wife whom he courted and married soon after. Many of the old villas and estates that passed into Indian hands once the British left have been converted into hotels. Hotel Shangrila which is built along the main promenade, Chowrasta, is typical of the traditional pagoda style architecture. It also houses a travel and trekking agency.