|About Darjeeling Town
|| 2134m (7053 ft)
|| Darjeeling town covers an area of 11.44 sq. kms.
|| About 100,000.
|| English, Nepali, Hindi, Tibetan and Bengali.
|| 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 20°C.
|| Rain falls mostly during months from June to
September. The annual recorded rainfall in Darjeeling is 320 cms.
|| Light woollen for summer and heavy woollens for
|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 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.
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).
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.
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.
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.