Darjeeling Travel Guide

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Darjeeling conjures visions of snow peaks, the serenity of vibrant green hills steeped in splendor, a land of breathtaking beauty crowned by the majestic Himalayas. Darjeeling is one of the most magnificent hill resorts in the world. This heavenly retreat is bathed in hues of every shade. Flaming red rhododendrons, sparkling white magnolias, miles of undulating hillsides covered with emerald green tea bushes, the exotic forests of silver fir - all under the blanket of a brilliant azure sky dappled with specks of clouds, compellingly confounds Darjeeling as the QUEEN OF HILL STATIONS. The crest of Kanchenjunga shining in the first dawn light truly supports the title.

Darjeeling beckons thousands today for a leisurely respite from the bustle of the madding crowd. The traveler - whether a tourist or a trekker, an ornithologist or a photographer, a botanist or an artist - will find in Darjeeling an experience that will remain etched in one's memory - forever. 

Information on Darjeeling

Darjeeling is known as the “Queen of Hills”, Darjeeling is a place of enigmatic natural beauty. still retains the imperialistic touch of the British colonial past. Set against the majestic backdrop of the great Himalayas, there is no finer place than Darjeeling to steep yourself in the grandeur and beauty of the towering snow-capped mountains. From numerous points in the town, you get a view of the mountains that are scarcely rivaled in any part of the world. Darjeeling is a fascinating place with Buddhist Monasteries. Tea Plantation, Colourful Markets, Handicraft shops, has also the unique attraction of its famous Toy-Train a true British legacy. The engines are more than a century old and disgorging black smoke and steam move slowly whistling and puffing away - an anachronism in this age of jet travel. The name ‘Darjeeling’ likely derives from the Tibetan words Dorje, meaning ‘thunderbolt’, and ling meaning ‘place’ or ‘land of the thunderbolt’.

A Brief History

The name ‘Darjeeling’ likely derives from the Tibetan words Dorje, meaning ‘thunderbolt’, and ling, meaning ‘place’ or ‘land’: ‘the land of the thunderbolt’. This was once the name of a Buddhist monastery situated on top of what is now Observatory Hill, a name which over time came to refer to the whole surrounding area. Looking at Darjeeling’s bustling streets today, it’s hard to imagine that in 1839 there were not more than 20 families in the district. Darjeeling has Dr. Campbell, a British official who became the Station Superintendent, to thank for his 22 years of devotion to developing the region at that time. From these humble beginnings, Darjeeling has today grown into one of India’s premier hill stations, visited by tourists from across Indian and from all over the world.

The District of Darjeeling

The Darjeeling District of West Bengal has an approximate area of 12,000 square miles. According to the 2001 Census of India, the district’s population is 1.6 million. with 67% of that number living in rural areas. The literacy rate is 81 % for men and 64 % for women. The district extends from the tropical Tarai plains, at about 300 feet (91 meters) above sea level, to the cool height of the Sandakphu- phalut ridge at 12,000 feet (3658 meters). Darjeeling borders on Sikkim to the north, Bhutan to the east, and Nepal to the west. In addition to its namesake town of Darjeeling, the district also includes the hill resorts of Kurseong and Kalimpong at 4864 (1482 meters) and 4100 feet (1249 meters respectively).

The People of Darjeeling

The original inhabitants of the Darjeeling hills are the Lepcha. They speak a Tibeto-Burman language, which they call Rongaring, and were originally the indigenous people both Darjeeling and Sikkim. The majority of Darjeeling’s contemporary population are the culturally Nepali Gorkhas, who speak Nepali (also called Gorkhli), along with their own mother tongues, such as Gurung, Limbu, Mangar, Newar, Rai, Sherpa, Tamang and Thami. The Sherpa community are famous for their courage and stamina in mountaineering, most notably tensing Norgay spent much of his life in Darjeeling and eventually died there. throughout the hills you will also meet Bengalis, Bhutias, Biharis, Marwaries, Punjabis, Sindhis and Tibetans. People from all of these diverse communities come together in Darjeeling to create a lively cultural landscape full of festivals, rituals, songs and dances waiting to entertain you.

Languages

Bengali, Hindi, English, Nepali (Gorkhali) and Tibetan are spoken in different areas throughout the hills. Most people, including guides and hotel attendants, are multilingual, speaking English Nepali and some Bengali and Hindi

Religion

Hindus and Buddhists from the religious majority, with notable Muslim and Christian minorities. Darjeeling is full of temples and monasteries where you can enjoy a peaceful moment in the company of deities, as well as churches, gurudwaras and mosques.
Darjeeling conjures visions of snow peaks, the serenity of vibrant green hills steeped in splendor, a land of breathtaking beauty crowned by the majestic Himalayas. Darjeeling is one of the most magnificent hill resorts in the world. This heavenly retreat is bathed in hues of every shade. Flaming red rhododendrons, sparkling white magnolias, miles of undulating hillsides covered with emerald green tea bushes, the exotic forests of silver fir - all under the blanket of a brilliant azure sky dappled with specks of clouds, compellingly confounds Darjeeling as the QUEEN OF HILL STATIONS. The crest of Kanchenjunga shining in the first dawn light truly supports the title.

Darjeeling beckons thousands today for a leisurely respite from the bustle of the madding crowd. The traveler - whether a tourist or a trekker, an ornithologist or a photographer, a botanist or an artist - will find in Darjeeling an experience that will remain etched in one's memory - forever.

We arrange packages for tour Darjeeling

Are you planning to visit the ‘Queen of Hills’ Darjeeling? Think no further and come to us. At Shah Tours, we look after all your needs and plan your Darjeeling tour package. Our team of experts is industry veterans and knows what all it takes to make a complete guided tour plan for customers.
Darjeeling has a lot to offer, starting from heritage to greenery to hills; this tiny place has it all. If you want an exotic toy train journey to Darjeeling, we can arrange that for you. If you want a road trip, we have that also. Moreover, for the local sight seeing, we give you a local escort to help you explore the place in its real form. Our holiday experts start their service by booking your journey tickets and end the service by dropping to your ultimate destination.

Darjeeling Tourism Packages | Shah Tour

Our Darjeeling honeymoon packages include a sunrise trip to Tiger Hill, a tea estate tour, local sightseeing in Darjeeling, and a cultural tour. Our aim is to provide quality service to each of our customers. Thus, we work to our best of ability to achieve that and it is our testimonials that prove so. Hotels that we arrange for book are one of the best in the business and offer quality service. However, we do keep in mind the budget part of our customers. That is the reason why our Darjeeling tour package costs is competitive and the best in the market.

Known for its natural beauty and heritage, People all around the world love visiting this place of heritage. The aroma of tea, the mystic Himalayan range, and peeping at the backdrop, Mt. Kanchenjunga makes Darjeeling a long-lasting memory for everyone who visits. With a Darjeeling tour package, everyone is emotionally connected with the place and people.  The warm welcome and cultural heritage of Darjeeling is a major attraction and enhances Darjeeling tourism packages for all.

TOURISTIC DESTINATIONS IN DARJEELING

3 POINTS.

TIGER HILL - Situated at an altitude of 2590 meters and 13 km from the town, this spot has earned international fame for the magnificent view of the sunrise over "Kanchenjunga" and the great Eastern Himalayan Mountains. Even Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak, is also visible from here.

GHOOM - Ghoom is a small hilly locality in the Darjeeling Himalayan hill region of West Bengal. Ghoom railway station of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is the highest railway station in India. It is situated at an altitude of 2,258 mtrs (7,407 ft). The place is the home of the Ghoom Monastery and the Batasia Loop, a bend of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway.

BATASIA LOOP - Railway Loop is feat of engineering 5 kms from Darjeeling, is a marvelous feat of engineering. It is fascinating to watch the toy train round the loop. Tahe town and glorious view of snowy peak can be seen from here. The War Memorial constructed in the memory of brave sons of Darjeeling who died in different wars since 1947.

7- POINTS (9:30AM TO 1:00PM OR 1:30 PM TO 5:00 PM)

JAPANESE TEMPLE - Japanese Peace Pagoda is located on the slopes of the Jalapahar Hill the pagoda can be reached by foot or on taxi. The Shanti Stupa was established by Nipponzan Myohoji, a Japanese Buddhist order. It also showcases the four avatars of the Buddha.
This stupa was constructed during 1972-1992. There is a buddha temple and a pillar. After the temple there is the beautiful stupa (Pagoda). The stupa is located at significant height and beautiful views of the surroundings and mount Kanchanjunga is visible from here. This is one of the best places to visit in Darjeeling.

HIMALAYAN MOUNTAIN INSTITUTE - The objective of the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute is to encourage and promote mountaineering amongst the youths of the country. HMI aims to train enterprising members of the community, who in turn develop mountaineering activities in the Himalayas as a sport and as a scientific and entrepreneurial pursuit in the field of adventure.

Padmaja Naidu Zoological Park in Darjeeling

Padmaja Naidu Zoological Park  (Zoo) - This is the only specialized Zoo in the country and is internationally recognized for its conservation breeding programs of Red Panda, Snow Leopards, Tibetan Wolf and other highly endangered animal species of Eastern Himalaya.

ROPE WAY (CABLE CAR) - One of the best ways to experience the panoramic views that Darjeeling is so famous for, is by taking a ride on the ropeway. It's also called the Rangeet Valley Passenger Cable Car because of the spectacular view of the valley around the river Little Rangeet. You will need to board the cable car from Singamari which is 3kms (i.e. 1.8 miles) away from Darjeeling Chowk Bazaar. As you ride the cable car, in about 45 minutes you will travel from an altitude of about 7,000 ft. (or 2134m) down to 800 ft. (or 244m) where the last station Singla Bazar is located. However, presently the ride has been shortened to a station called Tukvar from where the Gondolas return.
TENZING ROCK / GOMBU ROCK - Tenzing Rock, a gigantic natural rock in Darjeeling is named after Tenzing Norgay, the man who created history by climbing Everest first time along with Edmund Hillary in 1953. ... Both these rocks are used for rock climbing training by HMI.
TEA GARDEN - Happy Valley Tea Estate is a tea garden in the Darjeeling district in the Indian state of West Bengal. Established in 1854, it is Darjeeling's second oldest tea estate. Spread over 177 hectares, it is situated at a height of 2,100 metres above sea level, 3 kilometers north of Darjeeling, and employs more than 1500 people. DEN
TIBETIAN REFUGEE HELP CENTER - Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre in Darjeeling, India is a rehabilitation Centre for the Tibetan refugees in the Darjeeling Himalayan hill region. It was established on 2 October 1959, after they followed Dalai Lama and escaped from Tibet. The production of Tibetan handicrafts is the center's main activity.
DARJEELING HIMALAYAN RAILWAY- It is popularly known as a toy train. The track on which the train runs is only 600 millimeters wide which was made in 1881. Narrow Gauge trains are used in India to travel to hill stations. UNESCO has declared the DHR as a World Heritage Site. As per Guinness Railway Book referred to this train journey is one of the most spectacular in the world. The engineering excellence of the train route and during the journey the valleys, lush green forests and tea gardens, and other things are visible while traveling to Darjeeling from Siliguri.

The Mall (Chowrasta) in Darjeeling

THE MALL (TAKE A WALK) - The Chowrasta or the Mall in the heart of Darjeeling town. Located on top of Nehru Road, this is a nice flat land where tourists and locals come to lounge in the sun, take a seat on one of the many benches along the periphery, and watch the wonderful views of the mountain peaks and valleys all around and take the pony ride around the Mall. The Brabourne Park is attached to the Chowrasta and now features a musical fountain. This place is an open space and free from vehicular movements.
BENGAL NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM - The Bengal Natural History Museum is near Chowrasta, the heart of Darjeeling. The museum contains a representative and comprehensive, but dusty, collection of Himalayan and Bengali fauna. The museum houses more than 4300 specimens. Bird species, reptiles, and other animals of the Eastern Himalayas are displayed at true-to-life altitudes. The butterfly and beetle section merits special mention. Specimens of estuarine crocodile, which is responsible for the greatest loss of human life in Asia, are also seen here. Mineral forms of various stones are attractively displayed.
AVA ART GALLERY - At an Outskirt of town and 4Km away, AVA art gallery was jointly established in 1965 by Late Ava Devi who was as genius as embroidery art, and Bhopal Rao Sett. This is the only art gallery of its kind in Darjeeling. Inside, there is a permanent collection of sixty pieces of exquisite Ava Devi including water, oil, and thread painting. There are two special paintings in this gallery that you should not miss. One is called” Still Strong” and the other “Torture” that reflects Ava Devo’s outstanding skills in the field of Artwork. There are also many traditional paintings in the gallery. You can check out some handmade embroidery and Skill applique as well. The silk work has been done by splitting the silk thread some 20 times.
DHIR DHAM TEMPLE - Dhirdham Temple is a Hindu temple deeply inspired by Tibetan and Buddhist architectural styles. It was built by RaiSaheb Purna Bahadur Pradhan in 1939 and is believed to be a reflection of the Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu, Nepal. The pagoda-style architecture of this temple is inspired by the Pashupatinath Temple in Nepal. This temple was built in the year 1939, under the patronage of PurnaBahadur Pradhan, Nepal’s reigning king at that time. Pradhan was also known as RaiSaheb, a title given by the Viceroy of India in 1936. The man behind the beautiful structure of the shrine was Beg Raj Sakya, an eminent Gorkha architect. The intricately carved and colorful roof of this temple is attractive, and the idol of Lord Shiva exudes palpable spiritual energy. It depicts “Pancha Bikram Tri Netram” which means five different facial expressions of Lord Shiva in different moods and the third eye. The idol of Lord Shiva is placed close to the entrance facing the temple and surrounded by a short-height concrete fence. Three Shiva-lingas representing Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwar are believed to have been manifested here. There is also stunning scenery of hills and valleys which you can enjoy from behind the temple.
LLOYD BOTANICAL GARDEN - Lloyd's Botanical Garden was established in 1878 when 40 acres (160,000 m2) of land was acquired at Darjeeling to form a botanic garden as a distant annex of the Calcutta Botanical Garden. The land was provided by William Lloyd, in whose name the botanical garden has been named. Located on an open slop just below the Eden Sanatorium (SaheedDurga Mall District Hospital ), this garden covers 40 acres and is divided into three main sections. The upper section contains indigenous Himalayan Species, the middle is home to a range of conifers, and the lower section boasts exotic plants from a range of different countries. Here you can rest in the peaceful sanctuary created by old Himalayan cherry trees, or gaze at the water garden with a weeping willow arching over a rocky cascade. Lloyd Botanical Garden is open seven days a week and entry are free of charge. Visitors are required to observe the rules of the garden and may not disturb or pick the vegetation. For lovers of nature, reserve a couple of hours to experience all that the gardens have to offer, and don't forget your camera and notebook.

HAPPY VALLEY TEA - ESTATE The tea estate was originally established in the year 1854 by an Englishman named Wilson. But in 1903 the ownership was passed over to a rich Bengali man named T.P Banerjee. Ever since then the Banerjee’s have been taking care of the management of the tea estate until 2008 when Sanjay Bansal took over the ownership of the factory. Even the roads going to the tea estate have been named after him. When the estate was owned by Mr. Wilson, it was known as the Wilson Estate. Mr. Banerjee went on to buy another tea estate known as Windsor Tea Estate in the year 1929. Later on, he combines these two to create the Happy Valley Tea Estate. The total area of the tea estate stands approximately 270 hectares. The tea estate is located 3km from the Chowk Bazaar area. While the road to the tea estate is quite steep, the climb will be worth it once you reach the tea factory. As you walk through the winding roads with the Kanchenjunga looming high over you, you will be instantly transported to a dreamland where everything is quiet and peaceful. Along the way, local cottages and the home of villagers will greet you.

Lamahata

LAMAHATTA - Lamahatta, a picturesque village just 23km away from Darjeeling, is our latest interest among the off-beat destinations. It is said that some Buddhist monks used to stay here before independence. The word “Lamahatta” is derived from the words “Lama” meaning a Buddhist monk and “hatta” meaning a hut. So Lamahatta actually turns out to be a hermitage and this place promises an environment that feels as tranquil as a monk – a measure of balance between nature & man. At an altitude of 5,700 ft., this Eco-park has a lot to offer. It is an ultimate example of how Eco-tourism can change a place for the better. The place has been developed as an Eco-tourism site in the year 2012, called Lamahatta Eco Park, to showcase the majestic views of peaks & rivers and the dhupi& pine forests here. Lamahatta offers a tranquil atmosphere for all those looking for some peace away from the monotonous humdrum of city life. Nature will cleanse everything and you will be refreshed after having that garden-fresh Darjeeling tea. So visit Lamahatta and stay there for a day or more to relax and rejuvenate.

Kurseong

KURSEONG - Also known as the 'Land of White Orchids', Kurseong is a hill station located close to Darjeeling famous for its waterfalls, temples, and Buddhist gompas apart from the excellent view that the place provides.Perched on the Siliguri-Darjeeling highway, Kurseong is a quiet hill station. Kurseong enjoys milder and pleasant weather most times of the year. During the monsoon season, the rain-gods are more than generous as the town receives non-stop rains for days. The rains are in fact much needed for the flora and fauna of the area. Kurseong, the 'Land of White Orchids', gets its name from the flowers found in abundance on its hill-slopes. It's difficult not to fall in love with the view of tea plantations, lush green forests in the panoramic setting of snow-clad mountains. At sunset, you can see an amalgamation of the most beautiful colors in the sky. You can see the British remnants in the form of churches and school in the town. This small hill-town makes for a great stopover for tourists looking for a more peaceful alternative to Darjeeling.

2 – POINT TOUR (9:30AM TO 12:30PM OR 1:30 PM TO 5:30PM)

ROCK GARDEN & GANGAMAYA PARK - The Rock Garden (also known as Barbotey Rock Garden) at Chunnu Summer Falls and Ganga Maya Park are recently added tourist attractions in the hilly town of Darjeeling in the state of West Bengal, India. It is a showpiece meant to lure people to Darjeeling after political agitations disrupted tourism in the 1980s. There is another rock garden in Darjeeling known as Sir John Anderson Rock Garden, which is part of Lloyd's Botanical Garden.
MIRIK LAKE - Mirik Lake, or Sumendu Lake, is a lake in Mirik, Darjeeling district, West Bengal, India. It is 1.25 km long. The lake has an 80 ft. long arch footbridge across the lake called the Indreni Pull. One may also rejuvinate oneself by boating in this serene lake.

Jorpokhri

JOREPOKHORI - Jorpokhri is a tiny village on a hilltop and located in the Darjeeling district. From Darjeeling town, it is about 19kms and can be reached from the road to Mirik. Located at an altitude of 7,400 ft, the main feature of Jorpokhi is its twin lakes after which the place has been named. 'Jor' means two and 'pokhri' stands for a lake or water tank. The boundary of the natural lake has been concretized with seating arrangements so that the visitors can enjoy the water area. There is a huge model of a snake and a fountain in the middle of the tank.
PASHUPATI MARKET - You will find this market on your way to Mirik Lake. Situated right at the Nepal border, this is the place to buy cheap cosmetics and clothes imported from Thailand. It’s not more than a 10-minute walk away from the Darjeeling-Mirik Road. Don’t be fooled by cab drivers who will offer you a ride to the market for Rs. 200 saying the market is a short distance away.

 

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