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Ideal duration: 2-3 days

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"Queen of The Himalayas"

Darjeeling Tourism

The previous summer capital of India under the British Raj, Darjeeling has come off age as one of the most sought after hill stations in India. Located in West Bengal, this scenic hill station is the perfect getaway for a romantic honeymoon. Nestled amidst acres of tea plantations, Darjeeling stands at the height of 2,050 meters above sea level, thus boasting a cool climate all year round.

The toy train established back in 1881 is conferred the title of World Heritage Status by UNESCO. The train begins its journey from the plains and rises to over 2000 metres above sea level, offering breathtaking views of the mountains as it chugs along.

Over 86 tea estates in Darjeeling are responsible for producing the worldwide famous 'Darjeeling Tea'. Have a cup of locally brewed chai at the tea estate, or get down amidst the plantations to pluck a few tea leaves yourself; you are free to take your pick!

The third highest peak in the world and the highest in India, the Kanchenjunga peak, is visible from here, and you can enjoy a panoramic view of the peak. Some of Darjeeling's most popular attractions include monasteries, botanical gardens, a zoo, and the Darjeeling-Rangeet Valley Passenger Ropeway cable car, which is the longest Asian cable car. Tiger Hill is a fantastic spot to see the sunrise over the mountains in all its fiery glory. 

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The Toy Train

The very famous toy train or the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, is one of the few hill railways still operating in India. The train passes through storefronts and weave its way through the main roads, bringing the traffic to a standstill. However, these stoppages only give you more time to soak in the mesmerising beauty and diverse culture of this lovely town. This train made its first journey in September 1881 and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999. There is a daily steam service to/from Kurseong and a diesel train service to/from NJP. The journey to/from NJP is an exhausting eight-hour haul, so you might want to consider the steam train to/from Kurseong. There are also two-hour joy-ride during the high season from Darjeeling. It stops for half an hour in Ghum which is India's highest railway station. Make sure to book at least a day ahead.

Darjeeling Tea Tourism

Popularly known as the "Mecca of Tea", Darjeeling is leading in the area of tea tourism. With 80 operational tea gardens, sprawling across acres of land, Darjeeling produces what is known as the "Champagne of tea". This place is all about spending a few days in a sprawling tea garden, in a Bungalow that was typically the residence of a former British tea planter. Located on top of the hills amidst cool winds and misty weather, Darjeeling gives you an experience like no other. Imagine waking up in the middle of lush tea gardens, sipping a cup of finest aromatic tea, taking a stroll through the gardens and talking to the garden workers learning about their life. Ultimate, isn't it? That's Darjeeling tea tourism for you.
Darjeeling has numerous places to learn about tea production. The busiest time is from March to May, but occasional plucking occurs from June to November. Also, there is no plucking on Sunday. You can go for a homestay with a tea pickers family and you'll get to join your hosts for the morning work in the tea bushes. You can return home with a batch of your very own hand-plucked Darjeeling tea.

History of Darjeeling

The name Darjeeling means the "the land of the thunderbolt", derived from the Tibet word "Dorje" meaning "thunder" and "ling" meaning “piece of land”. Prior to its acquisition by East India Company, Darjeeling used to be a part of Sikkim and even before that, a part of Nepal. In February 1829, a dispute broke out between Nepal and Sikkim about their borders and hence, Lord William Bentinck- Governor General of India at the time, set out to resolve the situation. In the process, he realised that the quaint hill town had strategic advantages for trade and military outpost. Later, it was also realised that the land was ideal for tea plantations. The district underwent major development and became a major tourist attraction visited by the British officials. It, therefore, earned itself the title of "Queen of hills". After independence, the district was merged with West Bengal and since then is one of the most popular hill stations in India.

Culture of Darjeeling

Darjeeling has a unique and diverse culture. The city is a home to mix immigrants from Nepal, Sikkim, Tibet, Bhutan and even Europe, due to work opportunities in tea plantations in the bygone era. Hinduism and Vajyarana Buddhism are the main religions of the people. One of the major festivals of Darjeeling is Losar, primarily their new year, which is celebrated in January or February depending on the position of the moon (lunar calendar). Darjeeling Carnival is another major festival held annually. The fair involves a display of folk dance and arts. Local rock bands participate in the same. Other important festivals are Makar Sankranti, Chotrul Duchen (Buddhist festival commemorating the four events in the life of Gautam Buddha), Tendong Lho Rumfaat (Prayer of the Tendong mountain) etc.

What Makes Darjeeling An Amazing Tourist Destination

Anyone looking for one of the best river rafting experiences ever can head over to the Teesta river to get the thrill of actual white water rafting, under the guidance of trained supervisors, of course.

Beautiful colonial architecture, including mansions and churches, dot this beautiful little town. Filled with people from Tibet, Nepal, nearby Indian states and the Gorkhas, Darjeeling is brimming with cultural diversity.
Darjeeling is a street shoppers' paradise, where you can find everything from handmade trinkets to plush scarves and shawls to Tibetan artefacts like flags, prayer wheels and wall paintings. Street shopping at Mall Road (more popularly known as Chowrasta) is a busy affair, and you will find hundreds of people sifting through the goods displayed to see what they like at any given hour of the day.

Flora and Fauna in Darjeeling, West Bengal

In terms of flora and fauna, Darjeeling houses over four thousand species of plants, three hundred varieties of ferns, six hundred species of birds, and loads of mammals and wild animals. You can find trees such as chestnut, cherry, sal, birch, oak, elm, a lot of wet alpine tress and fine rare orchids. Rhododendron also grows on the hills. It is also home to myriad birds including woodpeckers, orioles, sunbirds, flycatchers, finches, Bengal florican and herons etc. A large number of animals can be found too like tiger, leopard, hog deer, one-horned rhinoceros etc.

Restaurants and Local Food in Darjeeling

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. Essentially the food here has distinct traces of Bengali, Nepali and Tibetan elements, styles and dishes, all together.

In spite of such wide choices, one of the first items on the cuisine here includes the finest and freshest qualities of tea found in the area which you must try. 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.



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Suggested Itinerary for Darjeeling

Day 1 - Arrive in Darjeeling. Check into your hotel and freshen up. Later, you can head over to the Chowrasta Mall. Sit on a bench, enjoy the ambience and watch the activities going on. Take a stroll along the scenic Mall road. You can visit old heritage shops and buy some curios or souvenirs.
Day 2 - Go for the early morning tour covering the sunrise from the Tiger Hill, followed by Old Ghoom Monastery and Batasia Loop. You can be back to your hotel by 8:00 AM. Relax for a while. Later head off for the 7-point local tour which takes about 4 hours and covers Zoological Park, Ropeway, Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Lebong Race Course, Happy Valley Tea Estate and Tibetan Self Help Refugee Centre.
Day 3 - Take the two hour Toy Train joy ride from Darjeeling station. There is a high demand for this, so book your tickets a day in advance. You will enjoy the breath-taking vistas from this heritage train while observing the colourful local culture. In the second half, you can visit the Rock Garden and Maya Park.

Best Time to Visit Darjeeling

Commuting within Darjeeling

Darjeeling Photos

Darjeeling, West Bengal
Darjeeling has a recorded history from the early 19th century
 Darjeeling is located at an elevation of 6,700 ft and is a main town of the Sadar subdivision
Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, 2ft guauge railway running between new Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling

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FAQs on Darjeeling

What is famous about Darjeeling?

Close to Siliguri which is well connected by rail and air. Excellent view of Kanchenjunga. Colonial heritage. Good food.

What is not so good about Darjeeling?

Slightly congested and traffic jams. Gets crowded in peak seasons.

What is the best time to visit Darjeeling?

April to June are the best months to visit Darjeeling. However, a lot of people also prefer visiting the place during the winter months from October to December.

The months from October to March see a sudden change in the weather, as by the end of October a slight cold reigns in the area. Winter is at its peak from mid- November to January and the temperature ranges between 7 degrees to 5-degree Celcius. 

April to June marks the offset of summers in the city. Darjeeling during these months is pleasant and not very hot. The temperature reaches 25 degrees at the max. The gushing bright sunlight makes it ideal for exploring the tourists' spots. 

The months of July to August welcome the showers. With heavy rainfall, a lot of roadblocks are observed in the hill station and hence visiting Darjeeling during these months is not very advisable. September again is an excellent time to visit as there is less rainfall and the greenery is at its best at this time of the year.  
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What is the local food in Darjeeling?

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. Essentially the food here has distinct traces of Bengali, Nepali and Tibetan elements, styles and dishes, all together.

In spite of such wide choices, one of the first items on the cuisine here includes the finest and freshest qualities of tea found in the area which you must try. 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.



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What is the best way to reach Darjeeling?

The nearest rail is New Jalpaiguri. This is well connected to most of the major cities in India. The town of Darjeeling is approachable from Siliguri, nearly 80 km away, by Darjeeling Himalayan Railway also known as Toy Train. The nearest airport is Bagdodara, near Siliguri. Cabs are easily available from Bagodara to Darjeeling.
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How much does a package cost for Darjeeling?

The packages for Darjeeling start at INR 8375 which can be further customized based on number of people, days, hotel category, vehicle type and customizations. You can have a look at all packages here

What are the top hotels in Darjeeling?

There are 307 in Darjeeling which can be booked through Holidify. The most popular hotels in Darjeeling are Coelogyne Home Stay, Riva homestay family room, Priya Homestay, Haamro Ghar Room Shares, Allay's Home stay, Dajling Homestay. You can see all the hotels in Darjeeling here

What are the things to do in Darjeeling?

The top things to do in Darjeeling are Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, Tiger Hill, Batasia Loop, Darjeeling Ropeway, Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Nightingale Park. You can see all the places to visit in Darjeeling here

What are the places near Darjeeling?

The top places near to Darjeeling are Gangtok which is 47 km from Darjeeling, Kalimpong which is located 20 km from Darjeeling, North sikkim which is located 57 km from Darjeeling, Kurseong which is located 17 km from Darjeeling, South sikkim which is located 17 km from Darjeeling

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Popular Questions And Answers on Darjeeling

Q. Is December a good time to visit Darjeeling?

TRAVEL UPDATE,S

2 years ago
Yes ,why not .do you want to visit and confuse about timing so here is the details As your question is can i visit darjeeling in December I would like to inform you that darjeeling has perfect wea (Read More)ther you can visit any time But December is good choice to visit ....."Link Hidden"
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Q. In June ....any tour ?

Prasadam Prasad

3 years ago
Yes, Good to visit.
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Darjeeling Reviews

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Sam Pundir

2 years ago
Amazing This Blog Is Really Helpful to me "Text Hidden" "Link Hidden"

Namaste Darjeeling Local Food

1 year ago
It is one of the best place to visit in Darjeeling. I really love the 360 circuit of Toy Train Tract. Seeing Mt Kanchenjunga through telescope was one of the best moment I could have here. Also witne (Read More)ssing war memorial at the center of Park was really inspiring.

Aayush Kumar

3 years ago
Beautiful place. There are lots of places in Darjeeling to visit. One should go to sandakfu aswell if coming to Darjeeling. Enjoy the toy train ride over Himalayas foot range
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