Darjeeling – Queen of Hills in India
NESTLED in the foothills of the mighty Himalayas, Darjeeling is synonymous with the best teas in the world – pouring in a cup, the elixir of life. Located just 665 km from Kolkata, at an altitude of 2134 m, it is one of the most magnificent hill stations of India and is known not only for its perennially pleasant climate, but also for its hospitable people, breath taking views and the tea gardens with their pukka traditions within which it nestles.
Once the destination of choice of the British and the gentry, Darjeeling continues to attract thousands of tourists every year who come to experience the spectacle of the first rays of the rising sun bathe the snow-capped peaks of the Kanchanjungha from the Tiger Hills: take a ride in the UNESCO certified World Heritage Toy train built between 1879 and 1881: walk the mountain trails and sample nature at her benevolent best; savour the traditions of the Raj in the tea gardens that produce teas that con noisseurs vie for: or, to simply relax and let nature cast her rejuvenating spells. One can also hang one’s boots and just chill it out in Mall or in the Gymkhana or the Planter’s Club – bearers of legacies of a colonial past.
From Darjeeling sprout various tourist trails that can take one to Mungpoo, Mink, Kalimpong, Kurseong lava, Lolegaon and Manebhanjan.
PLACES TO VISIT:
The Padmaja Naidu Zoological park, the Dhirdham temple, the Bengal natural history museum, the Lloyds botanical gardens, the Tibetan self-help centre, the Lebong race course, the Ghoom Buddhist monastery, the observatory hill, the Shrubbery nightingale park, the Gangamaya park, the Batasia ioop are the local attractions.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
Mid-September to mid-November and mid-March to mid-June.
BY AIR: Nearest airport is Bagdogra about 90 km away.
BY ROAD: Frequent Bus, private and shared taxi services are available to and from Siliguri
BY TRAIN: New Jalpaiguri/Siliguri is the railhead for all trains
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