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About Darjeeling Town
Altitude -  2134m (7053 ft)
Area -  Darjeeling town covers an area of 11.44 sq. kms.
Population -  About 100,000.
Languages spoken -  English, Nepali, Hindi, Tibetan and Bengali.
Climate -  Almost every year Darjeeling's temperature drops below freezing during the Winter season, from November to February. In Summer, Darjeeling is delightfully cool with the maximum temperature reaching about 20C.
Rainfall -  Rain falls mostly during months from June to September. The annual recorded rainfall in Darjeeling is 320 cms.
Clothing -  Light woollen for summer and heavy woollens for winter.
Best season to visit -  March to mid-June and September to mid-December.

The town and hill station of Darjeeling lies in northern West Bengal, India. Darjeeling district lies between 26 31' and 27 13' north latitude and between 87 59' and 88 53' east longitude.

Places of Interest
Tiger Hill
Tiger hills is the highest point at an altitude of 2590 metres (8482 ft.), in the area which provides the most exotic view of the Kangchenzonga peaks. It is 15 km from Darjeeling town. From this place the other peaks of the Eastern Himalayas can be seen. On a clear day the sight of Mt. Everest is just enthralling.

The Observatory Hill
This point provides one of the breathtaking views of Kanchenjunga peaks. This place is also very sacred for the Hindus and the Buddhists as there are temples and the monasteries at this place. The Kali temple is decorated with the colourful flags. Be aware of the monkey groups as some these are very aggressive.


Darjeeling Himalayan Railway or the Toy Train
This fascinating narrow gauge steam engine train still operates with the original steam engine and the loops and the zigzags along the route are remarkable feats of engineering. The journey from New Jalpaiguri may be a pleasant experience but it is the short ride from Darjeeling town to Ghoom, the nearest station, that becomes a joy ride in itself. The Toy Train is considered an engineering marvel and some prefer to call it one of the wonders of the world, to be preserved forever.


Batasia Loop and the War Memorial
About 5 kms. from Darjeeling, this railway loop is a marvellous feat of engineering and with its magnificent view of Darjeeling town with the Kangchenzonga peaks is worth an experience, it is established in 1903, this natural history museum packs in its folds a rich collection of fauna found in the Himalayas and in Bengal. Among the attractions are included the estuarine crocodiles. This unique museum also has a good collection of butterflies. The mineral forms of various stones are displayed in a very attractive manner in the museum.

Tea Gardens
While in Darjeeling a visit to any nearby Tea Garden to watch the actual process of the manufacturing of Darjeeling Tea is worth it. Some of the Tea Gardens also sell their packet teas. There are about 70 tea gardens in this hill region and the most accessible one is the Happy Valley Tea Estate, which is about 3 kms. from the town or within a walking distance of about 40 minutes (Closed on Monday).


Buddhist Monasteries
In and around Darjeeling there are important and interesting Tibetan Buddhist Monasteries. The oldest one is called the Yiga Cholling Monastery which is situated about 8 kms. from the town at Ghoom and enshrines an image of 'the Coming Buddha' or the Maitriya Buddha. It was constructed in 1875 and belongs to the Gelugpa Sect. The Samten Cholling Monastery is another interesting monastery nearby. The Drukpa Kargyud Monastery, also known as Dali Monastery, is a big monastery located 5 kms. from the town. It belongs to the Drukpa Sect and the Drukchen Rimpoche resides here. The Bhutia Busty Monastery is situated at C.R. Das Road and is within 15 minutes walk from the Mall.


Japanese Peace Pagoda
The Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist inaugurated the Japanese Peace Pagoda in 1992. It is a recent landmark constructed by Japanese Monks and commands an excellent view of the town and the Himalayan Range.


Dhirdham Temple
Situated just below the Railway station the temple is a structural replica of the famous 'Pashupatinath' temple of Kathmandu, Nepal.


The Mall and Chowrasta
The Mall road originates and culminates at the Chowrasta which is the hub of Darjeeling town, a square on the ridge of Darjeeling town and a good place to sit and relax. It is ideal for a leisurely walk around a setting that is perfect. A walk around The Mall is a must just at any time of the day with the pleasant view of the mountains, valleys with rhododendron trees and old houses.


Natural History Museum
While taking a walk in The Mall a visit to the Museum of Natural History which lies closeby is worthwhile. This fine small museum exhibits an unique collection of the fauna of the Himalayan region, especially of the Eastern Himalayas.

Himalayan Mountaineering Institute
It was founded in 1954 after the historic conquest of Everest on the 29th of May in 1953, when two people set foot atop Mount Everest. They were, Tenzing Norgay (Sherpa) from Darjeeling and Sir Edmund Hillary from New Zealand. As an honour to the great Sherpa this Institute was formed with the aim of imparting mountaineering skills to all the enthusiasts. Tenzing Sherpa himself was one of the founding members and also the Field Director of the Institute. It is situated on Jawahar Parbat and adjoins the Zoo. This Institute also houses a museum which holds a rare collection of mementos from various Everest expeditions. Nawang Gombu, the first man to have climbed the Everest twice is presently the Chief Advisor for the Mountaineering Training.

Himalayan Zoological Park and Snow Leopard Breeding Centre
A high altitude wild life park and new home of the Siberian Tiger, Himalayan Black Bear, Barking Deer etc. , Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park or the town Zoo exhibits some rare Himalayan Fauna including the Snow Leopard, Red panda, Tibetan Wolf, Himalayan Pheasants, etc. It is a treat for all wild life enthusiasts. Just nearby is a very successful Snow Leopard Breeding Centre.

Lloyds Botanical Garden
This is a colourful garden situated just below the market. In 1878 Mr. W. Lloyd gifted 40 acres of hillside to make a garden with local plants and flowers. It still has the most varied collection of rhododendron, magnolia, orchids, etc. of the Eastern Himalayas. It also has a glass-house full of alpine flowers and also features an Orchidarium and a collection of medicinal plants.


Darjeeling Rangeet Valley Passenger Ropeway
This Ropeway is in one of the most beautiful part of the town and is situated at North Point about 3 kms. from town. The cable car ride takes 6 passengers at a time and it passes over the lush green tea gardens with breathtaking view of the mountains (Kanchenjunga) and provides an experience that cannot be easily forgotten. The valley has glorious views of Sikkim and the river Rangeet.


Handicrafts
Darjeeling has some interesting places to watch the local handicrafts being made as well as a various range of choiced handicraft souvenirs. The Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre is a self-supporting Centre for Tibetan refugees which manufactures some intriguing Tibetan handicrafts. Established for the rehabilitation of Tibetan refugees who had followed the Dalai Lama to India in early 1959. It offers a wide choice of Tibetan handicrafts, Tibetan woollen carpet is very popular. Hayden Hall, a Roman Catholic social service centre also has a handicraft section with the purpose of helping the local poor people.

Handmade items are available for sale at reasonable prices. The Manjusha Bengal Emporium offers prominent hill handicrafts, handloom and silk products of West Bengal for display and for sale. It is situated at Nehru Road. Gram Shilpa is another such showroom displaying Khadi handloom silk products and set up by the Khadi and Village Industries Commission, Govt. of India. It is situated in Chowrasta.


Ava Art Gallery
Approximately 10 minutes by taxi from the motor stand, it is just below the main road on the way to Ghoom. This gallery houses fine art and embroidery work of Mrs. Ava Devi.


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