Things to do in Darjeeling: Exploring the Resplendent Hill Town


Top things to do in Darjeeling

Darjeeling is the most adored and one of the most beautiful hill stations of India. Apart from the engaging scenery and panoramic vistas, there are also a plethora of activities and things to do in Darjeeling. From walking down the tea estates, to trying the ropewat, riding the Toy Train and trekking the forests, there is no dearth of sightseeing and things to do in Darjeeling. You can also browse the markets or just go on a nature walk on your own. Other than that, one of the most exciting things to do in Darjeeling is river rafting in the Teesta which you must definitely experience. Have a look at the several things to do in Darjeeling given below.

Here is the list of 20 Things to do in Darjeeling: Exploring the Resplendent Hill Town

1. Witness a Mesmerizing Sunrise at Tiger Hill

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Lying at an altitude of 2590 meters and a distance of 13 kilometres away from the Darjeeling, Tiger Hill is most famous for its splendid sights of the morning sunrise from where you can see the peaks of Kanchenjunga illuminate before the sun is seen at lower elevations. This is one of the prime things to do in Darjeeling. The magnificent view of snow - capped mountains sitting amidst cotton clouds attracts tourists to Tiger Hill from all over the country. Interestingly, this is also the summit of Ghoom, which is the highest railway station in the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

2. Enjoy a Ride in Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

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The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, also referred to as the DHR, and lovingly called the 'Toy Train', is a 2 feet narrow gauge train that runs between New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling, in West Bengal, India. A journey in this Toy Train has amazing sights on display. Passengers on the train witness pleasing mountain views and pass by villages and local shops on the way, with children merrily waving at them. The pace of the train is so slow that local children often hop and off the moving train. A ride in the much-loved train is an opportunity only few would like to miss as it is one of the topmost things to do in Darjeeling.

3. Be Awed by the Beautiful Batasia Loop

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Perhaps one of the most picturesque train routes in all of Darjeeling, the Batasia Loop is a lush green toy train pathway that is meant to minimise the elevation of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. The unique design of this magnificent attraction allows the track to wrap around itself through a hilltop tunnel. One of the most enchanting aspects of the Batasia Loop is its unmatched natural beauty which is a wonderful sight to behold. As several other charming attractions and things to do in Darjeleing, you can enjoy a panoramic view of the Darjeeling in all its verdant glory from here.

4. Stroll Down the Resplendent Tea Plantations

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Be it black, green, or oolong, tea is as synonymous with Darjeeling as a view of the majestic Kanchenjunga. With over 80 tea plantations spread across the slopes of the valleys of this tourist trap, a visit to at least one tea garden is crucial to the tourist's agenda when in Darjeeling as this is one of the most essential things to do in Darjeeling. If the fragrance of the well-manicured shrubs weren't enough to draw the attention of passers-by, these lush green wonderlands also offer services like homestays and guided tours, with some even providing travellers with the chance to engage in some tea plucking.

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5. Browse the City Markets

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Darjeeling is surely present on the list of 'Must-Visits' of every traveler and why not? It is a fantastic place for spending the vacation. What adds on to the fun? SHOPPING! It has some excellent stuff to showcase to its visitors. Darjeeling is famous for its handmade items including pendants with gems engraved on them, paintings known as 'Thankas' which depicts stories of the Buddhist religion. Nehru road is likely to be the perfect spot for the tourists. Another place to stuff in your shopping bags is Chowk Bazaar which has all kinds of stuff ranging from clothes to mouth-watering dishes. Market Browsing is one of the prime things to do in Darjeeling.

6. Trek up to the Majestic Sandakphu Peak

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Sandakphu Peak (11,941 Feet) is the highest peak in West Bengal. The highest peak of Singalila Ridge in Darjeeling district, almost near the border of Nepal, it is located very close to Singalila National Park. You can reach the peak either by car or trekking. The trek is a beautiful 51 km long way up the hill, starting from Manebhanjan. Since this is an arduous trek, it is advisable to undertake it only after ensuring your complete fitness. If you are an adventure enthusiast, the activity should definitely be there on your top things to do in Darjeeling.

7. Enjoy a Bird's Eye View from the Darjeeling Ropeway

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Darjeeling is renowned across the world as one of the most picturesque hill stations, where one can witness a myriad of exquisite landscapes, from the glorious snow-capped mountains to the charming valley replete with verdant tea estates. For this reason, the Darjeeling Ropeway finds itself as a prime attraction and one of the popular things to do in Darjeeling, giving its passengers an array of divine panoramic views as they travel across the magical valley.

8. Find Peace at Japanese Peace Pagoda

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As you climb up from Clubside along Gandhi and AJC Bose roads, you see this glistening white structure standing out - that's the Peace Pagoda. The Peace Pagoda, one of the 70 odd such structures built under the guidance of Japanese monk Nichidatsu Fujii, is worth a visit during the daily pujas. Be sure to include this in your list of things to do in Darjeeling.

9. Go Trekking in the Verdant Woods and Valleys

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Offering you a sweeping view of four out of the five highest peaks of the world Mt. Everest, Kanchenjunga, Makalu and Lhotse, all in a single stretch, Darjeeling offers some of the best trekking routes in the world. Singalila range is one of the most popular trekking routes while Sandakphu & Singalila Trek, Phalut Trek and Sikkim Trek - Dzongri & Goechala are some of the other trekking routes in Darjeeling. Trekking here is one of the top things to do in Darjeeling.

10. Take a Peek in the Tibetan Culture at Ghoom Monastery

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At a grand elevation of 8,000 feet, the Yiga Choeling or old Ghoom Monastery is the oldest Tibetan Buddhist Monastery of Darjeeling. Established in 1850 by Lama Sherab Gyatso, this shrine is part of the Yellow Hat sect known as Gelupka who worship the 'Coming Buddha' or 'Maitreyi Buddha'. A 15-foot high statue of Maitreyi Buddha is seen in the central hall, made entirely of clay brought from Tibet. One can also find many rare Buddhist manuscripts within the premises. Visitors are treated to a beautiful view of the majestic Kanchenjunga outside the monastery. Visiting the monastery is one of the best things to do in Darjeeling.

11. Watch the View from Observatory Hill

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Like most other hill stations in India, Darjeeling also has a Mall Road and atop the Mall is the Observatory hill. The hill hosts the famous Mahakal temple and the original shrine of Bhutia Busty monastery, making the place of religious significance for Hindus and Buddhists alike. Watching the view from this vantage point is one of the most popular things to do in Darjeeling.

12. Savour the Sumptuous Food

There are lots of options for foodies as well in Darjeeling ? from traditional Tibetan and Sikkimese cuisine to Thai delicacies to good old North Indian dishes, Darjeeling has plenty of options to cater to the taste buds of food lovers, spoiling them with scrumptious food and lip-smacking delicacies amidst the ambience of gorgeous views. Trying the local cuisine is one of the topmost things to do in Darjeeling. The popular items that you must indulge in include Momos, Thukpa, Aloo Dum, Sael Roti, Naga Platter, Nepali thali, Tongba, Channg and many more. Not to mention, tea is a popular beverage consumed by all.

13. Take a Walk at Happy Valley Tea Estate

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At a magical altitude of 6,800 feet, the Happy Valley Tea Estate is a fine land expanse of about 437 acres, growing some of the finest shrubs of this delightful drink in the world. It is the second oldest tea estate in the tea-rich town of Darjeeling, with its origins being closely connected to the history of cultivating and producing the world-famous Darjeeling Tea. The endless expanse of lush plantations situated on a hilly slope combines well with the captivating aroma ensuing from within, mesmerising travellers as they are treated to the charming nuances of producing tea. Walking through the tea estate is one of the best things to do in Darjeeling.

14. Visit the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute

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Located in the hill station of Darjeeling, Himalayan Mountaineering Institute is recognized as one of the best mountaineering institutes in the world. Aspiring mountaineers from all over the world come to this institute to develop their skills. Besides being one of the best mountaineering institutes in the world, the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute has become a significant tourist attraction on account of its picturesque setting in the hill station of Darjeeling. The magnificent view of the 8586-meter high peak of Kanchenjunga, the third highest peak in the world, from this institute is genuinely mesmerizing.

15. Marvel at the Beauty of Rock Garden

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The Rock Garden or the Barbotey Garden as its commonly known, is located a little far from the city around ~10 km away. The benches in the garden are made by cutting rocks at different levels. The flower beds are gorgeous and the garden also has a waterfall flowing through it, which is quite a pretty sight during monsoons. Despite the tourists attraction, the road to get to the garden is in a bad condition. Visiting here is one of the top things to do in Darjeeling.

16. River Rafting in Teesta

White Water Rafting in the River Teesta is one of the most exciting things to do in Darjeeling. A favourite among the adventure junkees, the rafting has a series of rapids ranging from Grade 1 to 4. However, the difficult rapids are only allowed to the professionals or the seasonal trainers as it is risky. You should definitely try this activity when in Darjeeling.

17. Admire the Relics at Bengal Natural History Museum

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A testament to the indigenous flora and fauna of the region, the Bengal Natural History Museum is a fascinating plethora of more than 4000 specimens being exhibited. Located in the heart of Darjeeling at the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park, this museum was originally started as a small building in the Botanical Garden meant to showcase the varieties of butterflies and birds of the hills. Today, one can find preserved remains of the bird species, reptiles, insects, fishes, and mammals displayed in a replication of their natural habitats. An attractive display of the various minerals of the region is present here as well. Be sure to include this in your top things to do in Darjeeling.

18. Wildlife Spotting at Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park

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The Padmaja Naidu Zoological Park is a splendid enclosure in Darjeeling housing a wide variety of animals. Also known as Darjeeling Zoo, this is the largest high altitude zoo in India. It specializes in breeding animals adapted to alpine conditions and has successful captive breeding programs for the snow leopard, the critically endangered Himalayan wolf and the red panda. The zoo serves as the central hub for Central Zoo Authority of India's red panda program and is a member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums. This is one of the most touristy things to do in Darjeeling.

19. Admire the Charm of Nightingale Park

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This park was earlier called 'The Shrubbery' when it was a private courtyard. The park was closed for renovation for about four years and has reopened for public since 2011. There is a giant statue of Lord Shiva, a musical fountain along with the great scenery. This is one of the primary attractions of the hill town and visiting here is one of the favourite things to do in Darjeeling, for both the tourists and localites.

20. Natural Retreat at Singalila National Park

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Located at an altitude of more than 7000 feet above the sea in the Singalila range, the Singalila National Park is the highest national park in the state of West Bengal. Initially a wildlife sanctuary, the place was converted into a national park in the year 1992. The national park encompasses a beautiful, 78.60 sq km land of virgin rhododendron forests, alpine valley and rare species of animals and orchids. It is most famous for the breathtakingly mind-stirring view of the Himalayan peak that it offers, providing a panoramic view of the gigantic Himalayas from Nepal to Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh (India), up to Bhutan. Going on a Jeep Safari here is one of the top things to do in Darjeeling.

This post was published by Aqsa Aleem

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