Darjeeling , the queen of all hill stations,famous for its natural beauty, clean fresh air,year round plesent weather and above all, the ever smiling and welcoming local people.The 3rd highest pick in the world,mount Kanchenjunga is very close to this lpece and also gives the clearest view.Darjeeling is widely known as visitors paradise because every day it offers something new to everyone ,may be the first time visitoe and may be the regular one.The morning bell comes to the vewers when the firts ray of sun touchesthe mountaina pick.This is tiger hill,a steep ride of five kilometers from Ghoom, is the place where one can witness this hevenly feelings.Here the air is chilly ,but unique to get an experience.Here the new day starts with the world famous blend of tea,foggy and smokky weather,mountain view and smiling face of local Gorkhi people. Darjeeling is also a place to know Tibetan culture,Himalayan Tribal Life, and to see the Tibetian Monasteries, Pine Trees,Tea garden etc.very closely.
Altitude: 2134 and above.
Climate: Summer--15-23 degC.Winter--2-10 degC.
Best time to visit: April to mid june,September toNovember.
Visitors are adviced to carry raim wear in all season and light woolen clothes in summer also.
Culture and Food
The people of Darjeeling and near about places like Kalimpong and Mirik are consist of the Gurungs from West Nepal.Other races like Bhutias,Gukhas from east Nepal,Lepchas from Sikkim are also living togather.People from plains also came and have settled there as the place is very charming.
The local fare is rice and meat curry and momos which are steamed dumplings, and of course, chow, the locally made noodles. This generally accompanied by chhang, a locally brewed wine made from millet or the jaad which is made from fermented rice. The Gurkhas are staunch Hindus and celebrate all Hindu festivals with equal dedication. But Dussehra is the most popular Gurkha festival .
Places To Visit
No visit to Darjeeling is complete without 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. The Himalayan Mountaineering Institutean which established in 1954 by the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, is the place where one can get all the information and details of conquest Mount Everest. Tenzing Norgay,one of the first climbers of Everest was the Founder Director and Advisor till his demise. Darjeeling-Ranjit Valley ropeway is the another attraction which is very nearer to this place.The Tibetan Refugee Self Help Center is the place where the excellent Tibetan crafts like carpets, wood and leather work are displayed for the visitors.
Teesta ,the crown of this queenee valley is spreaded the tinny town Kalimpong. The view of Mac Farlane Church welcomes the tourists with open hands to this nature's paradise Once, it was the headquarters of a Bhutanese Governor. The word kalim means king's minister and pongmeans the stronghold. The place is situated at an altitude of 1250 meters and covers arround 3.5 square miles.
Dr. Graham' s Homes school which was founded by Dr. John Anderson Grahman in 1900 is one of the main attrctions of Kalimpong.. This has been built on the slopes of Delo Hill,approximately three kilometers away from the town.Visitors who wants to witness a bird' s eye view of the picturesque place has to go to Durpin Dara, an observatory point at hill top, from where he or she can get an overall view of the mighty Himalayan ranges.There are numbers of monasteries in this area, among them the Pedong monastery and Thongsha Gompa are the oldest and mostly known.. Another monastery is the Tharpa Choling Monastery which has been constructed in 1937 by the Yellow Hat sect , is situated at Tirpai Hill at a distance of arround two kilometers from Kalimpong.
Mirik is the place which is famous tor tea gardens and orrange orchards. The climate of this place is cool and charming nad gives a completely different experence to the visitors.Lush green valley covered with tea plantation,small cottages, long oke trees, big lake and jucey orranges are the things which is unique to its comparison.This is the ideal place to spend some time away from the monotonous city life with friends,family or alone.Fishing and boating in the lake gives something more to the tourists.
Mall is the place where the visitors can give the finishing touch "shopping" to there visit. This is basically a comercial center of this valley.Here one can find hand knitted sweaters,hand painted wall hangings,fancy bags, himalayan and tibetian antique , and specially tibetian theme based oil paintings of black&white in colour.Here the local people also appear with some traditional food like momos etc.
Mall leads to Chowrasta which is also popular and crowdy like mall for shopping purpose. Here hotels, restaurants and shops are plentily availabale in wide and different range.Woollen garments, tribal ornaments, Thankas, rosaries, brass statuettes and Gorkha daggers arewidely available here.Some shols offers foriegn goods.But the two places, Mall and Chowrasta deserves shopping after huge bargaining.
Trekking in the Darjeeling hills started almost a century back.It was one of the first hill region in India where trekking were organised .The Everest and Kanchenjunga stillalluring thousands of nature lovers from different parts of the world since it was discovered.
The best time to undertake trekking programeis April-May and Octoberan dNovember. Through Travel Agents and personal program both are acceptable here.Both low and high altitude treks are arranged over here.Some of the most popular treks are Maneybhanjang (2134 m), Meghma (2900 m), Toughu (3070 m), Gairibas (2621 m), Sandakphu (3636 m), and Phalut (3600m)etc.
Anotherattractive high altitude trek is to Kalimpong valley from Relli, Pankhasari, and to the highest point in the areas, Rochella (3,400 m).All the varietiy of Himalayan flora and faunaare widely available her to experience The mostly used and adviseable routes are from Darjeeling to Kurseong through the Old Military Road, Darjeeling to Singla, Darjeeling to Bijabbari and Darjeeling to Tiger Hill.
The nearest Airport to Darjeeling is Bagdogra.It gives arround 100 km journey to Darjeeling.
Shiliguri is conected to all the major cities of india by train.From Shiliguri and New Jalpaiguri, the Toy Trains are available which gives a memorable journey to Darjeeling.
Shiliguri is also well accessed by road ways and buses , minibuses jeeps run every thirty minutes or so from Siliguri to Darjeeling,Mirik,Gangtok Katmandu and other places.