must see tourist places in and around darjeeling
- On 2021-03-11
Darjeeling, the name itself reminds all the travel maniacs of a perfect college that includes beautiful serene local, green valleys, snow-capped mountains, and of course mysterious surroundings with lots of clouds hovering here and there. The meandering hilly roads that run along the world heritage toy train tracks will definitely make you feel romantic if you are a first-time visitor to this northeast Indian terrain. Local delicacies that carry the flavors of almost all the neighboring countries of the northeastern part of India will make you visit Darjeeling time and again.
Now let’s talk about the places in Darjeeling that draw the maximum number of tourists round the year. These are the destinations that you can’t afford to miss in order to have a perfect getaway in the Himalayan hill state. Visit each of these places will give a lifetime memory to cherish.
- Tiger Hills:
You simply can’t put anything else on your Darjeeling bucket list until and unless you make a visit to Tiger Hills. Tiger Hills is heaven for nature lovers. If you are an adventure lover and sporty enough to climb the hills to witness the sunrise from Tiger Hills, then this is the place for you to be. The chariṣsmatic view of the golden sunbeams on the peak of Kanchenjunga is something that gives you an out-of-the-world experience.
Similarly, this is a perfect place to spend your afternoon and watch the sunset. Fix your cameras and phones from your favorite spot in the Tiger Hills to watch the sun reflecting a bunch of brilliant hues before calling it a day.
- Batasia Loop:
This is an elevated area below Ghum railway station. The tṣracks here are spiral and often pass through tunnels. What adds a treat to the eyes is the view of the verdant and lush garden. This is a perfect place to come with your family. It is a wide and well-planned garden that makes Batasia Loop one of the popular tourist destinations of Darjeeling. You would surely like to capture the view of a toy train passing through the spiral tracks here in your camera. The overall atmosphere looks like a dream here. The park is accessible throughout the day.
- Padmaja Naidu Zoological Park:
Padmaja zoological park is enlisted among the finest zoological gardens across India and also in Asia that features rare flora and fauna. It is located along the downslope of Jawahar Road. The largest population of snow leopards is here. So, this is a must-visit place for you to come with your family, especially children.
Don’t miss the opportunity to see red pandas, Himalayan bears, clouded leopards, and Tibetan wolves. The snow leopard breeding center is also an important zone. The park opens around 8.30 in the morning and closes at 4 in the afternoon. If you are a domestic tourist, you will have to pay Rs 20 to enter the park. It is Rs 50 for an international tourist.
- Peace Pagoda:
This is one of the most sacred and peaceful places not only in Darjeeling but on the eastern side of the country. This is the hub that reflects various avatars of Lord Buddha. This pagoda is situated right beside the Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist Temple. It attracts tourists from all over the world, especially countries where Buddhism is the main faith. Many people visit the pagoda to reflect on their minds and meditate. You can enjoy a brilliant view of the entire Darjeeling from the summit of the pagoda. The pagoda opens at around 5 in the morning and closes at 7 in the evening. There is no entry fee here.
- Ghoom monastery:
This is another famous tourist place in Darjeeling that draws visitors in large numbers. Also known as the Yiga Choeling Monastery, the prayer hub is located along the downslope of Ghoom railway station. This is one of the oldest monasteries of the east, and it carries the heritage of the old Buddhist culture. A lot of old sagas of the ancient Buddhist culture and tradition can be heard from the officials of this monastery. If you have a knack in ancient Indian history, then this is the perfect place for you to gather some knowledge.
There is a large prayer room here. You can also visit the library and the study hall. This place is also regarded as a center of Buddhist knowledge. The monastery opens around noon and remains open till midnight. There is no entry fee for this monastery. If you plan to visit anytime during the morning or in the afternoon, do not forget to taste the local food such as momos and tulpas that are available at the small food joints right outside the monastery. Darjeeling is a place for foodies. Various colonial styles and local dishes are available here.
- Rock Garden:
Rock Garden is one of the famous tourist spots in Darjeeling. It is a man-made rocky garden that presents an array of things like flora and fauna, waterfalls and bridges. You can do plenty of activities at this place which is widespread. If you are visiting Darjeeling with your family, then you can certainly plan a picnic here and have a great time. You can also click family or couple pictures wearing the local attire. Also, pony riding is a famous activity here. The park opens around 8 am and closes at 5 pm. The entry is free of cost.
- Himalayan railway station:
A visit to Darjeeling remains incomplete without a stop at the Himalayan rail station or a ride in the toy train. Riding the toy train that passes through the tea estates on the mountain slabs into the abode of clouds is a dream for tourists. This train has been given the prestigious tag of UNESCO heritage. The station itself in the lap of the Himalayas is a picturesque sight. This place along with toy trains has been used in several movies and documentaries. The charisma and charm of the place have been nicely captured on the silver screen. So many songs and poems have been written on this romantic journey.
Toy train joy ride: From Darjeeling to Ghum station
The duration of the journey in the toy train from Darjeeling to Ghum is about 2 hours. Darjeeling to Ghum and back covers a total distance of about 14km. There are several rides of this toy train service in the morning. Though the number of rides varies in different seasons and based on the rush of tourists. The train stops at Batasia Loop for around 10 minutes for passengers to enjoy the panoramic view of Darjeeling.
Here at the Batasia Loop, the train takes a turn to give passengers a scenic view of the garden. Generally, there are 18 rides of this toy train service in a day, so if you are planning to come to Darjeeling, you must keep a day free just for this unforgettable toy train ride. The Darjeeling toy train services are very famous among international tourists. People from across the world eagerly look forward to taking this ride once they step into Darjeeling.
- Nightingale Park:
This is a perfect place for an afternoon stroll. The Nightingale Park is a vast open space full of greeneries. Breathe in the salubrious mountain air while enjoying the majestic view of the locale. During springtime, the trees here remain covered with white and pink blossoms. The park which was left open for common people after 2011 gives you the opportunity to sit in the lap of nature and enjoy a perfect evening with your loved ones. There is a large statue of Lord Shiva at the center of the park. You should also enjoy the musical fountain situated in the park. The park opens at 7 in the morning. So, you can visit the place for a morning walk as well. Rs 10 is charged for every visitor at the park.
- Himalayan Mountaineering Institute:
For many people, the main purpose of traveling to Darjeeling is to visit the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute. This the place for training for this adventure sport. Many professional mountaineers and amateur trekkers come here and take their necessary knowledge from the experts and proceed with the journey. This center is recognized as one of the best training institutes on mountaineering in India. This place is located with the amazing backdrop of the Himalayan mountain range. If you or your kids share a passion for adventure sport, this is the place to be in Darjeeling. You can get a lot of expert advice or even enroll in a short time course at your convenience.
- Singalila National Park: Singalila National Park is a delight for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. It is located at an altitude of 7000 ft above sea level. It is the highest national park in Bengal that is covered with thousands of rhododendrons and other trees. The sprawling greenery is like the heart of Darjeeling. The place offers a riveting view of the Singalila Mountain range and an impressive panoramic view of the Himalayas which is spread across Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Nepal, and Bhutan. The entry fee of this park is Rs 100. It opens at 6 am and closes at 7 in the evening.
- St Andrew’s Church: This church gives you the flavor of the old Darjeeling. This is one of the best churches here. It was actually built in the colonial era. The structure stands as an architectural marvel. The church carries many memories of the past. This is close to Mall too. Spend an evening at the church area, and you will see that the impact of the British era is still very prominent in several structures across this Himalayan town.
- Happy Valley Tea Estate: A trip to Darjeeling will remain incomplete if you don’t visit at least one of the tea estates. For example, Happy Valley Tea Estate is one of the oldest tea gardens of Darjeeling. If you visit this garden, you will get to know a lot about the tea garden community people, their work culture and lifestyle, etc. Also, you can gather knowledge about tea farming and processing. While coming back purchase some finest tea from the garden itself so that back home when you relish your perfect morning drink, you will remember your visit to these lush and verdant gardens nestled in the lap of the Himalayas.
Top activities to do in Darjeeling
Darjeeling Ropeway: If you want to enjoy the best view of Darjeeling, then ropeway is the best route. Darjeeling ropeway service, also known as the Rangeet Valley Passenger Cable Car, starts from Singmari, which is just 3kn away from Darjeeling Chowk Bazar. The ropeway journey is about 45 minutes. You will travel at an altitude of 7000 ft. The Darjeeling ropeway is one of the first cable car services in India. Here, almost 16 cable cars are there, each of which can carry around five to six passengers. So, if you are visiting Darjeeling with your family, then take a halt at Rangeet valley ropeway and take the maximum fun out of it.
Sandakphu trek: Many people consider Darjeeling as the Trekkers’ Wonderland. Various different kinds of treks are available here for both professional and amateur mountaineers. This is altogether a different and exciting experience that you can have here. Sandakphu trek is considered as the holy grail of Indian trekking, and this has been named so for all the right reasons. This pretty trek lets you view Mt Everest at a certain distance, and the feel itself is inexplicable. So, if you are sporty enough, take a trek to Sandakphu. Darjeeling mountaineering institute makes all the arrangements.
River rafting in Teesta: If you are visiting the eastern states of Darjeeling or Sikkim, then there is no point in missing the adventure of wild river rafting. This is pure fun to raft in the rivers of Teesta or Rangeet that gush down the Himalayas. The place where Teesta and Rangeet meet is called Triveni. This is the place where hundreds of tourists camp. The rafting activities remain mostly closed during the monsoon. So, in case you want to give this river rafting a try, then make sure you get all the details about the timings and charges. You can also contact the Darjeeling tourism department for their assistance.
The friendly neighbor Sikkim: It is judicious to cover the neighboring state of Sikkim if you are already visiting Darjeeling. There are several customized tour packages for the combined trip of Darjeeling and Sikkim. The common tours can be completed within a period of 8 days to 10 days. Sikkim tour places share a lot of geographic, cultural, and traditional similarities with the Darjeeling travel destinations.
Tour plans: If you start with Darjeeling, then after covering all the important destinations here, you can head for Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim. If you start in the morning after breakfast, you will reach Sikkim during lunchtime which is very convenient for any tour party. If you spend an overnight stay in Gangtok, there are plenty of Sikkim tour places to cover.
You can take a guided tour to Tsomgo Lake and Baba Mandir on a single day. You can have lunch outside. There are so many food shacks and joints by local residents here. Both these places are located at a distance of just 40km from central Gangtok city. So, you can easily come back to the hotel by the evening and spend a night in Gangtok.
For Lachen, you have to dedicate one entire day. It is located around 118km away. On the way to Lachen, you can view the majestic seven sister falls, one of the famous waterfalls of India. Along with Lachen, Gurudongmar lake can also be visited at your convenience. If you are a nature lover, then proceed to the valley of flowers, popularly known as Yumthang Valley among travelers to this part of the land.
There are places like Ganesh Tok, Hanuman Tok, Tashi viewpoint among others. You can pick and choose from the places as per your choice or can cover everything if you have time and other important resources. The infrastructure here is amazing. All transportation and accommodation facilities are of global standard. Even if you are a complete stranger to this part of the globe, nothing is going to hamper your travel plans.
Conclusion: Darjeeling has something for everyone. Be it young or old, nature lover or religious tourist, food fanatics or adventure sports enthusiast, everyone can enjoy this place to their heart’s content. Also, if you are simply tired of the mundane city life and feel like sitting idle in a quiet peaceful place, then this is your refuge. The place has been drawing thousands of tourists from across the globe for its own charm, heritage, tradition, and lots of warmth of local people. It is very difficult to ignore the calling of the blue hills and vast greens once you visit Darjeeling.