Darjeeling, a town located in the northern part of West Bengal, India, is one of the most popular hill stations in the country. It is known for its scenic beauty, tea plantations, and rich culture. The town attracts a large number of tourists every year who come to experience its stunning landscapes, enjoy its delicious food, and learn about its fascinating history. In this blog, we will explore some of the things to do in Darjeeling that will make your visit to this charming town unforgettable.
- Visit the Tiger Hill:
Tiger Hill is a well-known viewpoint in Darjeeling that offers panoramic views of the Kanchenjunga range, the highest mountain range in India. It is also a great place to watch the sunrise as the first rays of sunlight illuminate the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas. The best time to visit Tiger Hill is during the months of October to December when the weather is clear and the skies are usually free of clouds.
- Take a ride on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway:
The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, also known as the “Toy Train,” is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Darjeeling. The train takes you on a scenic journey through the hills, forests, and tea plantations, offering stunning views of the surrounding landscapes. The train ride is slow-paced, and it’s an excellent way to relax and soak in the beauty of Darjeeling.
- Visit the Happy Valley Tea Estate:
Darjeeling is known for its tea, and the Happy Valley Tea Estate is one of the oldest and most popular tea estates in the town. The estate offers guided tours where you can learn about the tea-making process, explore the tea plantations, and enjoy a cup of freshly brewed Darjeeling tea. The estate is also a great place to enjoy a picnic with your family or friends while admiring the stunning views of the valley.
- Explore the Batasia Loop:
The Batasia Loop is a unique engineering marvel located about 5 km from Darjeeling town. It is a spiral railway track that loops around the mountains, offering breathtaking views of the valley and the Himalayan range. The loop was constructed to help the Toy Train navigate the steep gradient of the hills. You can walk around the loop and enjoy the views, or you can take a ride on the Toy Train and experience the loop firsthand.
- Visit the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute:
The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute is a must-visit attraction in Darjeeling, especially if you are interested in mountaineering and trekking. The institute was established in 1954 by Tenzing Norgay, the first man to reach the summit of Mount Everest with Sir Edmund Hillary. The institute offers courses and training programs in mountaineering, trekking, and other adventure sports. It also has a museum that displays artifacts, equipment, and photographs related to mountaineering.
- Take a stroll in the Darjeeling Mall:
The Darjeeling Mall, also known as Chowrasta, is a popular shopping and dining destination in Darjeeling. It is a pedestrian-only zone, and you can take a leisurely stroll while enjoying the cool mountain breeze and the stunning views of the valley. You can also shop for souvenirs, handicrafts, and traditional clothing at the various shops and stalls in the Mall.
- Visit the Japanese Peace Pagoda:
The Japanese Peace Pagoda is a beautiful Buddhist temple located on a hilltop in Darjeeling. It was built by the Japanese Buddhist monk Nichidatsu Fujii as a symbol of peace and harmony. The temple offers stunning views of the Himalayas and the surrounding landscapes. You can also attend the daily prayers and meditation sessions that are held in the temple.
- Trek to Sandakphu:
Sandakphu is the highest peak in West Bengal and is a popular trekking destination in Darjeeling. The trek to Sandakphu takes you through dense forests, valleys, and remote villages, offering stunning views of the Himalayas. The trek usually takes about 4-5 days, and you can stay in tea houses and lodges along the way.
- Visit the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park:
The Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park is a wildlife park located in Darjeeling. It is home to a wide variety of animals, including snow leopards, red pandas, Himalayan black bears, and Tibetan wolves. The park is also a breeding center for the endangered red panda. You can take a guided tour of the park and learn about the conservation efforts being undertaken to protect these animals.
- Visit the Ghum Monastery:
The Ghum Monastery, also known as the Yiga Choeling Monastery, is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery located in the town of Ghum, about 8 km from Darjeeling. It is one of the oldest monasteries in the region and is home to a large statue of Maitreya Buddha. You can attend the daily prayers and meditation sessions held in the monastery and learn about the rich Tibetan culture and traditions.
- Visit the Observatory Hill:
The Observatory Hill is a sacred hill located in the heart of Darjeeling. It is considered to be a holy site by the locals and is home to several Hindu temples, Buddhist shrines, and a mosque. The hill offers stunning views of the town and the surrounding mountains. You can also attend the evening aarti ceremony held at the Mahakal Temple, which is located on the hill.
- Visit the Tenzing Rock:
The Tenzing Rock is a natural rock formation located in Darjeeling, named after Tenzing Norgay, the famous mountaineer who scaled Mount Everest with Sir Edmund Hillary. The rock is a popular destination for rock climbing and rappelling. You can take a guided tour and learn about the history of rock climbing in Darjeeling and the various techniques used in the sport.
In conclusion, Darjeeling is a town that offers something for everyone. Whether you are interested in adventure sports, wildlife, culture, or just want to relax and soak in the natural beauty of the region, Darjeeling has it all. The above-listed things to do in Darjeeling are just a few of the many activities and attractions that the town has to offer. We hope this blog has inspired you to visit this charming town and explore its many wonders.