Darjeeling means 'Land of Thunderbolts'. In tibetian language Darjeeling means 'Big Hills'. However in my opinion Darjeeling is heaven on earth. Darjeeling is a hill station with panaromic view of landscapes, scenery and seasonal hilly flowers. The roads serpentine through the hills and the slopes look lush green dotted with timber houses. Every house has a colourful garden. The slopes and mountains look beautiful with green trees. Tea garden can also be viewed. Darjeeling tea is famous for its taste and flavour. Darjeeling has a small railway station at Ghoom. From here the toy trains start and take tourists to enjoy the beauty of nature. The mountains are overcasted with clouds. The charming glory of Kanchanjunga mesmerises the tourists. The Mall is located in the heart of the town and is a market place. It is fenced with railings and benches are kept to sit. The Mall has many shops which sell foreign as well as Indian goods. Jewellery shops are there. Typical hilly handicrafts are sold, prayer beads, woollen clothes, brass statues are also sold here. Here the tourists enjoy pony ride, some enjoy relaxing others enjoy eating. The Mall has many Hotels and resorts for the comfortable stay of the visiters. All along the chowrasta are shops.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit Darjeeling is April to May and September to November. The weather remains pleasant. Light woollen clothes can be worn in the period between mid September to November. Cotton clothes can be worn in the period between April to May. Heavy woollen clothes are worn if the tourists visit from November, as it gets cold. In December snow fall may occurs in Darjeeling. The hill station remains shut down during the monsoons from June to mid September because of heavy rains and land slides which can strand vehicles for hours.
Places of Tourist Attractions
The beautiful Himalayan ranges can be seen from Darjeeling. The eternal Kanchanjunga can be seen with its golden silvery slopes during the morning. One can get a charming view of the Kanchanjunga from some of the good located hotel rooms. To enjoy the beauty of the snow clad Kanchanjunga one has to wait for the sunrise. If the sky is cloudless tourists can have a grand view of the sunlit ranges of the Himalayas. Kanchanjunga appears to be wrapped in shining gold. The Himalayan ranges take a rosy glow. The eye catching view of the Himalayan ranges along with the chilly cold winds fills the
heart with plesure.
MirikMirik stands at an altitude of 1767 metres on Singhalila hills south west of Darjeeling. Mirik is not as cold as Darjeeling. It gets its water supply from the lake Raidhap. The climate is pleasant. Jorepokhri, twin pond is located on the way to Darjeeling-Mirik route. Mirik is famous for its lake and Cliffed hills. Paddling and boating are the chief attractions here. The calm serene hilly locality is a source of pleasure for all the tourists.
PashupatinagerIt is another attraction for tourists visiting Mirik. It is on the Darjeeling Mirik route and is situated in Nepal near the India Nepal border. One can buy foreign goods from here.
Himalayan Mountainering Institute
The museum of the Himalyan Mountainering Institute is very famous as it displays the himalyan expeditions since 1857. It is located about 2 km from the Mall. It provides a glimpse of methods and techniques of scaling mountains and displays equipments for mountaineering.
Race CourseIt is situated 8 kms from the Mall and is highest race course at an altitude of 1809 metres. In the past races were held here.
Sonanda MonastryBuilt in 1960, it is place of worship for the buddhist people.
Natural History MuseumThis museum remain open for tourists from 10 am to 3 pm. Tourists interested in variety of insects, moths, butterflies, birds and reptiles can visit this museum.
How to reach Darjeeling
To go to Darjeeling one has to reach Siliguri or New Jalapaiguri which has a well connected Railway station from all over India. One can reach Siliguri by bus or train from Kolkata. From Siliguri one can travel by bus, minibus, landrovers or jeeps to reach Darjeeling. These vehicles leave from Tenzing Norgay Central Bus stand at Siliguri. The buses run at half an hour interval from 6 am to 4 pm. It takes nearly 4.5 hours to reach Darjeeling. The nearest Airport is at Bagdogra in Siliguri.
People, Hotel and Accomodation
The local population comprises of Gorkhas, Lepchas and Nepalese. People are mostly Hindus, with some Buddists and Christians. Languages spoken are English, Hindi, and Gorkhas. People are amiable and they welcome tourists warmly. Tourrism is the main source of income for local population. Hotels of Indian and Western styles are available here which provide all modern amenities. Some hotels are: