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Darjeeling

TraveLibro India Darjeeling Featured City
The ‘Queen of the Hills of the East’ at an altitude of 2,050 m lies in the beautiful Himalayan ranges in West Bengal and boasts of a breathtaking landscape. Known for the world’s highest peak, Kanchenjunga, which is located here, Darjeeling was a favourite destination of the British during the summer, for its cool climes. The splendid landscape, the many Buddhist monasteries, the colonial-era architecture, and the interesting species of fauna, leaves one spellbound. Spectacular sunsets at Tiger Hill, mesmerising views via the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway that winds through steep mountains, sharp curves, and gradients, and of course, the amazing tea gardens, all offer more than one can expect from a pretty hill station. With temples and adventure activities galore in the lap of nature, Darjeeling makes for a perfect getaway to unwind and feel revived.
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TraveLibro India Darjeeling Featured City Himalayan Mountaineering Institute

Himalayan Mountaineering Institute

Located on the Birch Hill, the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute was founded to promote the organised sport of mountaineering. It was established in 1953 to honour the successful first climb up Mount Everest by Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary. The institute is known for its several training programmes thus attracting climbing enthusiasts from all over the world. Apart from being the foremost training organisation it is also home to the Tenzing Memorial and a mountaineering museum that houses several memorabilia, literary works, paintings, and artefacts. Explore the Everest section of the museum that displays a collection of maps, tools and other expedition related items.

Image Courtesy: saiko3p / Shutterstock.com
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TraveLibro India Darjeeling Featured City Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park

Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park

Popularly known as the Darjeeling Zoo, Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park is located in the same complex as the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute. It was established on August 14, 1958 and is the largest high-altitude zoo in the country. Formerly known as the Himalayan Zoological Park, it is the only specialised zoo in India and is known internationally for its conservation breeding programmes of Snow Leopard, Red Panda, Tibetan Wolf, and other animals. The park strives to educate and create awareness amongst the local people and visitors through various campaigns to help conserve the Himalayan Ecosystem.

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TraveLibro India Darjeeling Featured City Tiger Hill

Tiger Hill

Known for its picture-perfect sunrise views of Kachenjunga and eastern Himalayan peaks, Tiger Hill is situated at a distance of 11 km from Darjeeling town. Perched at the highest point in Darjeeling Hills, above Ghoom, this hill is situated at an altitude of 2,590 m. A major tourist attraction, the hill has visitors flocking here every morning to witness the mesmerising spectacle of the first sunrays illuminating the glorious peaks. Tiger Hill can be visited during the day as well and offers equally great panorama of the surrounding peaks. Mid-October to December is the best time to enjoy the sunrise views.

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TraveLibro India Darjeeling Featured City Japanese Temple and Peace Pagoda

Japanese Temple and Peace Pagoda

Darjeeling is also known for its two religious and monumental attractions—the Japanese Temple and Peace Pagoda. Founded by Fujii Guruji, the temple is also known as the Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist Temple. The two-storey holy place boasts of a white edifice, which was built in typical Japanese style in the year 1972. Sharing the temple’s premises is the tallest free-standing structure in Darjeeling, the Peace Pagoda.Its lower level has lions on each side and descending towards the pinnacle you can witness the fine artwork depicting the Buddha and his relics. Take a walk around the top to see his four avatars, seen in sitting, sleeping, standing, and meditating postures.

Image Courtesy: T photography / Shutterstock.com
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TraveLibro India Darjeeling Featured City Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

A narrow gauge railway operating between many important parts of the Darjeeling hills and connecting with the lower plains, the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway has been accredited with the title of the UNESCO World Heritage. Enjoy a toy train ride as the humble steam engine pulls the coaches up the steep mountains, sharp curves and gradients, while also enjoying the magnificent views of the sweeping mountains along the way. Embark on a joyride from Darjeeling to Ghum, which is a two-hour return journey covering a scenic distance of 14 km. There are brief stops at the Batasia Loop, War Memorial and a 30-minute stop at the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway museum.

Image Courtesy: Hung Chung Chih / Shutterstock.com
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TraveLibro India Darjeeling Featured City Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre

Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre

Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre was set up by the Tibetan refugees on October 2, 1959, who were followers of His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, due to the sudden Lhasa uprising in Tibet. They found refuge in India and other neighbouring countries. They received funds and donations from national and international voluntary organisations. With the objective of self-rehabilitation, the centre has grown from just four workers to 650 refugees. Browse through Tibetan handicrafts such as shawls, carpets, wooden crafts, and more. Explore the different sections of the centre and a Photographic Exhibition Hall for a nostalgic experience of the past of Tibetan refugees.

Image Courtesy: Baciu / Shutterstock.com
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TraveLibro India Darjeeling Featured City Batasia Loop

Batasia Loop

Located on Hill Cart road, Batasia Loop can be visited by taking a joyride on the toy train, or by cab. This spot offers a panorama of the hilly town of Darjeeling along with views of the gigantic Kanchenjunga and other eastern Himalayan peaks. . Batasia Loop was an engineering requirement and was built to tackle the sharp descent of about 1,000 ft. Batasia means ‘airy space’, and true to its name, this wonderful space is built around a charming garden with tiny walkways. Another prominent feature here is the War Memorial, which is built to honour the brave Gorkha soldiers.

Image Courtesy: saiko3p / Shutterstock.com
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TraveLibro India Darjeeling Featured City Darjeeling Ropeway

Darjeeling Ropeway

Hop on India’s first and earliest traveller ropeway, which is popularly known as Darjeeling Ropeway and is also called as ‘Darjeeling Rangeet Valley cable car’. Established by the Forest Development Department of West Bengal in 1968, this ropeway is situated at an elevation of 7,000 ft above sea level. Enjoy this 8 km ride between Darjeeling Singamari and Singla Bazar offering exceptional landscape views of the valley that surrounds the little Rangeet River. All along the way you can witness umpteen vistas of thick green sheets of tea gardens, rivers, forests, and more. Culminate this trip by a guided tour of Singla Tea Estate, owned by Jayshree Tea Company.

Image Courtesy: saiko3p / Shutterstock.com
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TraveLibro India Darjeeling Featured City Trip to Kalimpong

Trip to Kalimpong

At a distance of 2.5 hours from both Darjeeling and Siliguri, Kalimpong sits at a lower altitude of 1,250 m and hence enjoys a temperate climate all year round. ‘Kalim’, in local dialect means King’s Minister, and ‘Pong’ means ‘stronghold’; it is a beautiful hamlet cradled in natural beauty with Kanchenjunga dominating its skyline. As Kalimpong gradually became a trading centre during the British rule, it witnessed an amalgamation of many cultures and traditions, from British, Nepalese, Indians, Tibetans to Sikkimese. Visit the monasteries such as Thongsha Gumpa, Tharpa Choling Monastery, and tourist spots such as Lava Rissium, which serves as a base point for excursion to Mirik, Kurseong and Gangtok.

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TraveLibro India Darjeeling Featured City Mall Road

Mall Road

The Mall Road, locally known as Chowrasta, is a place where four roads meet. Located right in the centre of the town, the Chowrasta comprises of three important roads—Nehru Road,Dr Zakir Hussain Road, and the Mall Road, which begins from one end and goes around Observation Hill returning to Mall Road from the other end.. This vehicle-free public square is surrounded by an amazing natural landscape and is flanked by several shops, boutiques, cafés, and restaurants. Visit Habeed Mullick & Sons for souvenir and curio items, enjoy cakes and tea at Nathmulls Tea & Sunset Lounge, and browse through books at theOxford book store.

Image Courtesy: SIHASAKPRACHUM / Shutterstock.com
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TraveLibro India Darjeeling Featured City Ghoom Monastery

Ghoom Monastery

About 8 km drive from Darjeeling Town lies the Yiga Choeling Monastery, at an elevation of 8,000 ft and is popularly known as the Ghum or Ghoom Monastery. . It is the first Tibetan Buddhist Monastery to be built in Darjeeling in India. The monastery belongs to the Yellow Hat sect, also known as the Gelupka. Inside the monastery you will come across a 15 ft high Maitreya Buddha statue, which interprets as ‘Future Buddha’. The statue is made up of clay that was brought from Tibet and the exteriors of the monastery were built by the famous Mongolian astrologer and monk Lama Sherab Gyatso.

Image Courtesy: SIHASAKPRACHUM / Shutterstock.com
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TraveLibro India Darjeeling Featured City Darjeeling Tea Gardens

Darjeeling Tea Gardens

Travel the tea estates by taking a jeep ride or simply walk through the tea gardens that sprawl across the Darjeeling region. Darjeeling is home to more than 80 tea gardens and offers various delectable flavours of tea. Traverse through the tea gardens, watch the workers pluck tea leaves, learn about different types of tea, and watch the process of tea making on a guided tour. Some of the best tea estates of this region are the Happy Valley Tea Estate (oldest tea estate), Glenburn Tea Estate & Resort (upscale) and Makaibari Tea Estate & Home Stay (budget).Enjoy a steaming hot cup of tea and shop for your favourite ones.

Image Courtesy: T photography / Shutterstock.com
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TraveLibro India Darjeeling Featured City White Water Rafting

White Water Rafting

Embark on an unforgettable journey of white water rafting on the Teesta River. This river caters well to both novice and seasoned rafters and offers varying rapids throughout the expedition. To make most of this rafting adventure the rafters combine their trip with camping close to nature. The popular spot for starting a rafting adventure on Teesta River is Melli. Paddle hard to compete with the roaring rapids and enjoy the dramatic scenery accompanying you along the way. Skilled rafters can try tackling the intense rapids of Rangit River, the tributary of Teesta River. The best time for rafting here is from December to June.

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TraveLibro India Darjeeling Featured City Local Delicacies

Local Delicacies

When it comes to gastronomical delights the hill station of Darjeeling has some amazing local cuisine that has been enhanced and influenced over the years by immigrants settled here. Try the most popular snack here, the Momos (dumplings) stuffed with vegetables or meat, which are usually steamed and served with soups and pickles. Other dishes worth savouring are the ‘Alu Dum’, ‘Thupka’, ‘Nepali Thali’, ‘Dalle’ (pickles), ‘Kakra ko Achar’ and ‘Kinema’ (pickle of cucumber and fermented soya beans), ‘Naga’ and Bengali cuisine and more. Some of the best places to enjoy these delectable cuisines are, Dekeves, Kunga, Hasty Tasty, Revolver restaurant, Keventer’s, and Hot Stimulating Cafe.

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TraveLibro India Darjeeling Featured City Observation Hill and Mahakal Temple

Observation Hill and Mahakal Temple

Along the famous Mall Road on one side stands the towering Observation Hill, which is a steep hike of 15 minutes. As you climb upwards you sight some charming cottages with open patios; do beware of monkeys here. At the summit of the main temple you will find the gate to the main Mahakal Temple, which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. This humble shrine has three Shiva Lingas (images of the deity), which are believed to be self-manifested in the year 1782. The narrow pathways around the hill are adorned with colourful Buddhist Flags hanging from the trees. Enjoy the far stretching views of snow-capped peaks from here.

Image Courtesy: neelsky / Shutterstock.com
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TraveLibro India Darjeeling Featured City Paragliding

Paragliding

Known as the ‘Queen of the Hills of the East’”, Darjeeling makes a perfect venue for paragliding owing to its lovely hills, snow-clad mountain ranges and vast expanse of tea estates. The flight lasts between one to two hours and starts from St Paul’s School at Jalaphar area. Enjoy a bird’s eye view of Darjeeling’s town centre before landing at the Lebong Ground located about seven km from the town. Soar high up in the air to enjoy the clear views of this beautiful natural abode. This sport is best enjoyed during summer between April to June.

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TraveLibro India Darjeeling Featured City Bhutia Busty Monastery

Bhutia Busty Monastery

Located about 1.5 km downhill from the Chowrasta Mall, the Bhutia Busty Monastery originally stood on Observation Hill and was built by the Lama Dorje Rinzing in 1761. In 1815 it was completely ravaged during the Gorkha invasion and was later rebuilt in 1879 at its present location. It got destroyed again due to a massive earthquake in 1934 and was later restored by the Chogyals of Sikkim. It is the oldest monastery here to have undergone changes in its appearance and location. Built in the traditional Tibetan style, it belongs to the Red Sect of Buddhists. Admire the interiors, ornate with murals that depict scenes from the Buddha’s life.

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HOTELS

“Nothing speaks like experience.”

A list of hotels we recommend, coming up soon.

RESTAURANTS

“One has not truly experienced a place,

until he has dug into a plate of their food!”

We will soon have a taste of the land and it’s food. And of course we will serve up a list of the Restaurants you must hit while in Darjeeling.


If you have visited the city or in fact live there, do fill us in with your recommendations.


POPULAR ITINERARIES

We are yet to experience this city and give you our take on the best way to explore it.


If you have visited Darjeeling or in fact live there, do fill us in with your recommendations.


TRAVEL AGENTS

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We will update this space with trusted agents very soon.


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