The name Darjeeling is a derivation of ‘Dorjeeling’ meaning the land of Dorjee or the thunderbolt. Darjeeling is a town in the Indian state of West Bengal, situated in the foothills of the Himalaya at an elevation of 2134mts.Known for its tea industry, for which the region is famous, is the only major industry after tourism. The peoples of the Nepali, Lepcha, Bhutia and Tibetans communities are considered to be the original inhabitants of the hilly portion of the district. They are a fine, frank race and naturally open-hearted.
Darjeeling can be reached by a drive of 80 kms or by a 80-km long Darjeeling Himalayan Railway popularly known as the Toy Train. A pair of train from Siliguri Town Station and NJP ply daily to and froDarjeeling, The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999. Passing through the forests, waterfalls, over deep valleys and through the mountains and tunnels it will remind you of Bollywood movies Sagina Mahato, Aradhana and Parineeta.
The Mall – Is the heart of the town where every visitor is seen taking a stroll and relaxing. The Mall or Chowrastha is a huge flat platform surrounded by benches for people to sit. The view is exhilarating with the view of the Kanchendzonga standing with all its might. A walk along the Mall Road opens a beautiful view of the surrounding hills.
Local sight seeing –sarrange for a five points or seven points’ tour. Local operators are also available to conduct the same. The tour includes points or places of your choice from among the list given below
Tiger Hill – Passing through primitive forests of is the steeply ascending road to Tiger Hill which is 11 km from the town and at an elevation of 2,590 mts. No finer place exists to the viewer in the grandeur and beauty of towering snow-capped Kanchendzonga. The peak is the third highest in the world, and presents many more formidable hazards than Everest. This is basically 5 AM trip i.e early morning.
Batasia Loop / Ghoom Monastery / War Memorial – 5 km from Darjeeling in Ghoom is the Batasia Loop. The train’s figure-8s and “Z” maneuvers are as picturesque as the flowers, streams and waterfalls. At Batasia (“windy place”) one gets a grand view of the town of Darjeeling perched on the slopes of hills and with the towering snow-capped Himalayan range in the background. Here a very beautiful statue of the Maitrayie Buddha is established. Ghoom Monastery preserves ancient rare handwritten Buddhist manuscripts.This is basically 5 AM trip i.e early morning from there you come back to hotel for breakfast after which the rest of the places are visited.
Museum – Near to Chowrastha is the Museum of Natural History, containing a representative and comprehensive collection of the fauna of the region. The specimens are displayed in true to life attitudes of all birds’ species, reptiles and animals found in different altitudes in theEastern Himalayas. The butterfly and beetle section needs special mention.
Ava Art Gallery – About 2km from the town enroute to Ghoom, houses the art and embroidery works of Mrs. Ava Devi.
Jorepokhori – It is a hamlet which nature has chosen with care and blessed it with beauty and lush greenery. The place lies on the road connecting Darjeeling with Mirik at a distance of about 16 km from Darjeeling. ‘Jod’ means “a pair” and ‘Pokhri’ means “a lake”. Lepchajagat and Tinchuley are two other spots worth visiting.
How to reach Darjeeling
By Air – Bagdogra is approximately 80 kms away and is served by regular Indian Airlines and Jet Airways flights from Kolkata and Delhi.
By Rail – New Jalpaiguri (NJP) is approximately 82 kms away and is the furthest and nearest railway station for Darjeeling. AsDarjeeling has a narrow gauge Junction but Siliguri station has all the three gauges i.e. Narrow, Meter and Broad.
By Road - Darjeeling is approximately 82 kms from Bagdogra, a little over a 95 kms from Gangtok, and approximately 45 kms from Kalimpong. Darjeeling is well connected to Siliguri by a distance of approximately 90 kms.