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Darjeeling Tourism And Travel Guide
4.8° C / 40.7° F
March to May
2 to 3 Days
Bagdora Airport (100 kms)
New Jalpaiguri (NJP) (72 kms)
Darjeeling is every bit as romantic as you have heard it to be. Nestled in the lap of the Himanchal range at a height of over 6,700 feet, you can be sure that tourism in Darjeeling will be a unique experience. Located in the northern reaches of West Bengal, Darjeeling has a distinct cultural and linguistic heritage. There's tonnes to explore here for travellers. Read on to know more in this travel guide to Darjeeling.
How To Reach
Set at a high altitude, a road journey towards the end is necessary to finally reach Darjeeling. However, being one of the most popular tourist destinations in India there are taxi services ready at both the airport and railway station to ferry you to your destination.
The closest airport to the city is the Bagdora Airport, which is about a hundred kilometres from Darjeeling. Be rest assured the journey to Darjeeling through the winding roads is in itself a worthy experience.
The nearest railway station is New Jalpaiguri (NJP). There are trains to this station from almost every major city. From here you can either board a shared cab or take a private one to get to Darjeeling. A more exciting option is to take the famous toy train from NJP all the way up to Darjeeling. The trip takes up to 7 hours but the experience is undeniably beautiful.
The NH55 from Orissa is a common option, a detour from which will bring you to the road to Darjeeling. Darjeeling is well connected to its neighbouring cities and states, like Gangtok in Sikkim, so you will find many other routes available depending on where you wish to travel from.
Best Time To Visit
The most popular time to visit Darjeeling is during the months between March to May and October to December. The weather is very pleasant during these months and the skies are clear which means there is a great chance of seeing the beautiful Kanchenjunga in the distance. The monsoon season is best avoided as it can get really foggy and there are high chances of landslides during heavy downpours. But for those of you who are looking for a more quiet and isolated sort of vacation then this is a beautiful time to visit.
Things To Do
Darjeeling Himalayan Railway:
Darjeeling’s pride, fondly known as the Toy Train, is a 78 Kilometre long rail that was completed by 1881. It is now a UNESCO world heritage site.
Tiger Hill is known for being the highest railway station in the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway and offers a view of Mount Everest and the Kanchenjunga along with other high altitude peaks dotting the distant horizon.
Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoo:
The zoo specializes in captive breeding endangered species like the snow leopard, Himalayan wolf and the red panda. In its 67 odd acres of land the zoo houses about 150 animals.
Mirik is a place to visit all by itself with its orange orchards and the beautiful Sumandu Lake. It is also visited for revered sites like the Devi Stan and the Bokar monastery.
Rangeet Valley Cable Car:
The best way to experience the complete beauty of Darjeeling is to take the cable car. The ride gives you a spectacular view of valleys, rivers, villages and the tea estates of Darjeeling.
Darjeeling’s mixed culture is a blessing for all the foodies out there. You will find all sorts of cuisines starting from Tibetan, Chinese, Continental, Thai and Nepali food available in the many restaurants that line the hill.
Darjeeling Tea Plantations: Darjeeling is most famous for its black tea. Prices may start from 500 rupees a kilo and start climbing as the varieties of tea get more exotic.
Nehru Road and Mall Road: The streets of Darjeeling are known for shops that sell woolen clothes, hand-woven clothes, handicrafts, and of course miniature souvenirs of the beloved Toy Train.