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Darjeeling, West Bengal

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Darjeeling, also known as the “Queen of the Hills,” is nestled in the Himalayan foothills. This town in West Bengal is a popular place for tourists to visit because of its natural beauty, old forests, charming homes, friendly people, and beautiful view of the mountains. The Tibetan words “Dorje,” which means a thunderbolt, and “ling,” which means a land, are combined to form the word “Darjeeling,” which means “land of the thunderbolt.” Darjeeling is home to colonial-era architectural relics that have a unique charm. It used to be a summer resort for the elite of the British Raj, and the narrow-gauge Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, or “Toy Train,” which was finished in 1881, still ends there. It is known all over the world for the unique black tea grown on the plantations that cover the hillsides around it. The most popular place to visit in this area is the majestic Kanchenjunga, also called Khangchendzonga, which is the third-highest peak in the world and where people flock to see beautiful sunrises and sunsets.

Nearby Places to See

Tiger Hill
Tiger Hill is the best place in Darjeeling to catch a glimpse of the majestic Himalayas. Tiger Hill is 13 kilometres from Darjeeling and 2,590 m above the town of Ghum. It is known all over the world for having a breathtaking view of the sunrise over Kanchenjunga and other important Himalayan peaks. Moreover, one can also view the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest, from here.
Himalayan Mountaineering Institute
The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute was established in 1954 and has trained some of India’s top mountaineers. The institute’s main objective is to promote adventure sports among Indian youth and educate people about the Himalayas’ breathtaking natural beauty. A Mountaineering Museum housed in this institute features various artefacts and information from the Mount Everest expeditions of 1922 and 1924. On campus, there is a statue honouring Tenzing Norgay, who is credited with being the first person to reach the summit of Mount Everest.
Japanese Peace Pagoda
The shrine, which is also called the Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist Temple, was built in 1972. It is on the Jalapahar hill, about 10 minutes from the centre of Darjeeling. This elegant white structure, which features traditional Japanese architecture, provides visitors with a tranquil and quiet sanctuary where they can meditate and find inner peace. The Peace Pagoda, which is close to the temple and is one of the tallest free-standing buildings in Darjeeling, features four representations of Lord Buddha—sitting, sleeping, standing, and meditating.
Batasia Loop
Located on the outskirts of the city, this engineering marvel provides a 360-degree view of the area. It was built in 1919 to help the famous Toy Train navigate the 140-foot-high gradient. The area has a lovely garden covering 50,000 square feet, which also has rare species of plants like Ginkgo Biloba, along with fir trees and rhododendrons, all of which are blooming in the Eco Garden on the property. A war memorial honouring the valiant Gorkha soldiers who died in the wars following independence is located in the centre of the monument.
Darjeeling Himalayan Railway
The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. Also known as the Toy Train, it was established in 1881 to facilitate and reduce the cost of moving rice and other goods. It is still one of the most remarkable examples of engineering in difficult terrain, and it is now the centre of Darjeeling’s tourism industry. The train travels on a track that is only 600 mm wide. The 87 kilometres route between New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling provides a breathtaking view of the hills and the thick forests. It has been featured in several films such as Parineeta, Barfi, etc.
Darjeeling Ropeway
It was India’s first cable car, inaugurated in 1968. It was started to provide easy access to tea garden workers to their workplace. This ride offers a fabulous view of the hills around the town and beyond. This cable car used to travel from a height of 7000 feet to a height of 800 feet in about 45 minutes. Now the ride has been shortened.
Ghoom Monastery
The ancient Old Ghoom Monastery is the popular name of Yiga Choeling. The monastery belongs to the Gelukpa, or the Yellow Hat sect, and is known for its 15-foot high statue of the Maitreya Buddha. The exterior of the building was constructed in 1850 by Mongolian astrologer and monk Sokpo Sherab Gyatso, who oversaw the monastery until 1905.