Summers can be unbearably hot. Why not head to the cool environs of Darjeeling – the “Queen of hill stations”? Nestled in the Mahabharat Range or Lesser Himalaya, Darjeeling is a picturesque hill station in the Indian state of West Bengal. Darjeeling tourism is flourishing and is world-famous for tea production and the toy train.
Darjeeling Himalayan Railway
Remember Rajesh Khanna singing “Mere sapnon ki rani kab aayegi tu” in an effort to woo Sharmila Tagore? That beautiful location was none other than Darjeeling and legendary toy train is the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. Once in Darjeeling, it would be crime not to ride in this toy train which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It plies between New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling and offers scenic views en route.
Happy Valley Tea Garden
When you are in Darjeeling, how is it possible that you don’t see a tea garden? Located a few km away from the town of Darjeeling, the Happy Valley Tea Garden offers a beautiful, relaxing getaway from the hustle and bustle of touristy places. Go there to unwind and lose your in Mother Nature!
Get up early in the morning and head to the Tiger Hill to watch the mesmerizing sunrise over Kanchenjunga. Located 11 km away from Darjeeling, Tiger Hill is situated at an altitude of 2590 meters and offers spectacular views of the mighty Mount Everest and Kanchenjunga.
If you have come to Tiger Hill, it would not be wise not to visit the pristine Senchal Lake. Located near tiger hill, Senchal Lake offers picturesque views of the green surroundings and mountains.
Situated around 8 km away from the heart of Darjeeling, the beautiful Ghoom Monastery is also known as Yiga Choeling Monastery. Located at an elevation of 8000 feet, Ghoom Monastery is one of the oldest Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in Darjeeling.
How to Reach
There is no airport or a broad gauge railway station in Darjeeling itself. You have to first reach Siliguri, New Jalpaiguri, or Bagdogra, and then reach Darjeeling. New Jalpaiguri is the nearest major railway junction to Darjeeling whereas Siliguri is the main town that is closest to the city. You can get down at any of the place and take a taxi, bus or the famous toy train to reach Darjeeling.
Bagdogra is the nearest airport to Darjeeling. You can catch direct flights to darjeeling from the cities like Delhi, Guwahati and Kolkata.
Located about 50km away from Darjeeling is the Kalimpong hill station nestled in the lesser Himalayan Range in West Bengal. This hill station is less touristy than Darjeeling and offers a range of attractions right from wild life to adventures, heritage sites to scenic landscapes.
Kalimpong is home to many colonial bungalows that were built by British. Some of the beuatiful bungalows include Galingka, Crockety, Surya Sadan, Morgan House, and more.
Named after Teesta River, Teesta Bazaar is the main market of Kalimpong. You can buy lovely hand-made items and artifacts from there.
Located 20 kms from Kalimpong on the highway to Siliguri, Samco ropeway is about 1.5 km long and stretches over two rivers – Teesta and Relli. Go there to enjoy an exciting ride.
From the top of Durpin Dara Hill, one can see the breathtaking views of Kanchendzonga range and rolling plains of Siliguri. There is also a stunningly beautiful golf course on the top of the Durpin Dara Hill.
How to Reach
New Jalpaiguri (70kms) is the nearest rail station from Kalimpong. The nearest airport from Kalimpong is Bagdogra (70kms). There are regular flights from Kolkata, Delhi to Bagdogra domestic airport.
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