Darjiling Tour Information
Darjiling, the ‘Queen of Himalayas’ perched at an altitude of 2,134 metres is said to be named after a Tibetan word, ‘dorje ling’ or ‘Place of the Thunderbolt’. It is endowed with exceptional scenic beauty and offers a magnificent view of the grandeur and beauty of the mighty Himalayas. The beautiful town is indeed a paradise for holiday and adventure seekers as well as botanists ornithologists, photographers and artists.
The lovely lush woods around Darjiling are full of conifers like fir, pine and birch and are known for exotic orchids and are home to rich animal and bird-life. The name Darjiling is also synonymous with the most exquisite tea of the world.
No visit to Darjeeling is complete without a visit to Ghoom which 6km 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 lives 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 Botanical Garden is the place of interest. It has a marvelous collection of alpine flora and orchids.
Batasia Loop (5km)
It lies just below Ghoom and is an engineering marvel where the railway line negotiates a graceful circle and descends 1000ft. The site affords a spectacular view of Darjling, with the majestic kanchenjungha in the background. There is also a War Memorial.
Bhutia Basti Monastery
This small monastery with beautifully painted façade belongs to the Bhutias, a people of Tibetan origin.
Chowrasta or Crossroad
It is the ‘heart of Victorian Darjiling’ and a hub of commercial activity. The famous Mall Road originates and culminates here and is studded with hotels, restaurants, shops and stalls. The attractive promenade affords fine view of the Himalayas. One can also enjoy a leisurely ride on a horse-back.
Natural History Museum
A rich collection of local fauna are exhibited here.
It resembles the famous Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu.
The hill held sacred by Hindus and Buddhists affords a panoramic view of Kanchenjunga. There is a 19th century Mahakaal Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and a Buddhist Monastery. It had an observatory, which no longer exists.
Lloyd Botanical Garden
This well laid out terraced garden has a fine collection of plant specimens from the sub-temperate and temperate Himalayas. There is also a representative collection of plants from all over the world. The Orchidarium here has over 2,500 plants. An annual flower show is held here during the summer months.
Tenzing Norgay Mountaineering Institute
It lies on Jawahar Parbat and is the first mountaineering training centre of the country. The HMI Museum depicts history of mountaineering, whole the Everest Museum displays memorabilia of the 1953, Everest expedition of Tenzing and Hillary. Another attraction is the huge ‘Hitler’s Telescope’, which provides a fine view of Kanchenjunga.
Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Garden
It is located near the Tenzing Norgay Mountaineering Institute and is home to some rare Himalayan fauna like, snow leopard, yak, Siberian tiger, Himalayan black bear, red panda, Tibetan wolf, Himalayan pheasant etc.
This charming garden at Jawahar Parbat, behind Raj Bhawan, provides a breath-taking view of Kanchenjunga range and Single Valley.
There are two ropeway systems at Darjiling. The first one is 1,408m long, connecting Darjiling with Bijanbari at the little Rangeet Valley. While the second one is a bi-cable passenger ropeway that connects Darjiling’s North Point and Single, covering an aerial distance of 8 km. It is the first bi-cable passenger-carrying ropeway in India and the longest of its kind in Asia.
Japanese Peace Pagoda
It was inaugurated in 1993 and affords an excellent view of the town and Majestic Mountains. On the way is Lalkothi, the DGHC Council House, which can be viewed from outside.
Darjiling produces the world’s best premium teas and is popularly referred as the “Champagne of the East”. There are about 86 tea gardens, which produce around 25% of India’s total output of tea. The Happy Valley Tea Estate, just 3km from the town is said to produce world’s most expensive and exotically flavoured tea. One can witness the famous ‘Orthodox Tea Manufacture’ method of tea processing here.
Teesta, the crown of this queen valley is spread over the tiny town of Kalimpong. Once, it was the headquarter of a Bhutanese Governor. The word, kalim means the king's minister and pong means the stronghold. The place is situated at an altitude of about 1250m and cover around 3.5 square miles.
Mirik is the place, which is famous for tea gardens and orange orchards. The climate of this place is cool and charming, and gives a completely different experience to the visitors. Lush green valley covered with tea plantations, small cottages, long oak trees, big lake and juicy oranges are the things, which are unique in this place. Fishing and boating in the lake gives something more to the tourists.