Darjeeling is often referred to as the queen of hills. Situated in the eastern Himalayas in the state of West Bengal, is a dream destination for all travelers who love nature. Many say that traveling in India without visiting this super hill town. It’s surrounded by scenic snow clad peaks on all the sites. It’s an ideal gateway for those searching for tranquility among the abundant beauty of nature.
Whenever you decide traveling in India, don’t give Darjeeling a miss. It can be visited any time during the year. Darjeeling enjoys a pleasant climate during the summers with temperatures ranging from 25 degrees to 16 degrees and in the winters 11 degrees to minus 3 degrees.
The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) is a narrow gauge rail system that has been accorded World Heritage Status by UNESCO. It’s one of the best options to reach the hill town from Siliguri. The train starts from the plains and rises to 2050 meters above sea level. It passes through some virgin forests and offers some of the most breathtaking views of the mountains. It reaches Ghoom, one of the highest railway stations of the world, before descending some hundred feet to reach Darjeeling. Traveling to India is incomplete without a ride on the DHR.
A sight seeing trip in and around Darjeeling would of course include spending time on the Mall. It’s a flat place at the heart of town and is replete with a gamut of the some of the best eateries in the town. They dish out Nepali, Tibetan and other cuisines. Besides, the Mall has some very good curio and handicrafts stores that has an exhaustive collection of handicrafts, carpets, metal figurines and collectables, shawls etc. Momos and thukpas are the two most popular Tibetan foods in Darjeeling.
No amount of traveling in India, and Darjeeling in particular, is complete sans tasting the world famous Darjeeling tea. It’s often called as the ‘Champagne of the East’. One can also tour the famous Darjeeling tea gardens while traveling to India. There are some famous tea gardens in and around Darjeeling and a day sight seeing trip can involve a visit to one of these gardens. Tea-tourism has also gained ground over the years and one can enjoy a stay in the majestic colonial bungalows in these gardens.
Chowrasta is the local marketplace of Darjeeling. Almost anything can be bought from here. There are some famous local bakeries in this stretch that make mouth watering cookies and other confectionaries. Besides, once every week traders from surrounding areas congregate to vend their wares. People from remote Himalayan areas descend to the town on such days to buy their stuff.
Visiting Darjeeling is a unique achievement while traveling in India.