The dramatic landscape of Darjeeling, located in West Bengal with its plethora of tourist attractions, experiences the footfalls of various tourists throughout the year. Because of its enchanting landscape with verdant hues of the tea plants, its ornamental monasteries and its historical monuments; this mystical land has been a favorite place of recluse right from the colonial era. Moreover, with facilities for various water and adventurous sports, the popularity of this quaint place as a holidaying destination has been increased manifold. Here are some of the major tourist attractions which can be included in its sightseeing tours.
A place known for its legendary "muscatel" tea all over the
world, Darjeeling houses about 70 tea gardens. Visiting a nearby tea
factory and witnessing the actual process of how Darjeeling tea is
manufactured is a rare privilege. You can even take leisurely strolls
around its tea gardens, inhaling the bracing aroma of the tea plants and
watching local tea pickers picking tea leaves rhythmically.
Located at a distance of 13 km from the town, at a height of 2590 m,
watching the sunrise from here is an experience you can never afford to
miss. The view that it provides, as the first rays of the sun kisses the
snow-clad peaks of the 'Kanchenjunga' and the Western Himalayas, makes
it a popular tourist spot. It also offers views of the Mount Everest
when the weather remains clear.
Locally known as "Makal- Babu- Ko- Thaan", Observatory Hill
is the oldest site of the hill station. According to legends and
folklore, an ancient Buddhist monastery known as "Dorje Ling"
stood at the place that was destroyed in the 19th century by the
Nepalis. Now a temple stands at the same spot, and is frequented by the
Buddhist as well as the Hindus.
This hillock stands at an altitude of 2,407 m and is located 6 km from
the main town. It is famous for harboring the famous Ghoom Gompa. Also
known as Yogachoeling Gompa, this is the most famous monastery in
Darjeeling and houses a large statue of Maitreya Buddha. The other three
"Gompas" in Ghoom are Samdenchoeling, Sakyachoeling and the
Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park
Established in 1958, the zoo preserves and conserves some of the most
exotic wildlife of the Himalayas. The place forms a major tourist
attraction of the place as houses rare species of fauna like the
Siberian Tigers, Red Panda, Tibetan Wolf and varicolored birds. These
animals that are bred in pseudo-natural habitats are protected and taken
good care of in the place.
Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI) and Museums
The HMI located 2 km from the town of Darjeeling was established in
1954 by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru after the conquest of the Mount
Everest. It offers various courses in mountaineering and acts as a
repository of various specimens of Himalayan wildlife and ancient
mountaineering equipments in its Mountaineering Museum and Everest
Located 5 km from the town of Darjeeling, this railway loop is the
place where the tracks of the toy train spiral around over itself and
pass through a tunnel located over a hilltop. As the train crosses this
loop, it ascends almost 1000 ft in a matter of minutes. One can also
have the most enchanting views of the landscape as the train chug
upwards through this point.
Chowrasta is the hub of commercial activities of the place. Located in
the heart of Darjeeling, the Mall Road begins and ends here. The
colorful shops strewn around the streets, with the myriad display of
souvenirs, tribal ornaments, local handicrafts, brass statues, woolen
garments, rosaries and Gorkha daggers, are a source of instant tourist