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Darjeeling – Land of Thunderbolts in East India




Darjeeling conjures visions of serenity, of vibrant green hills steeped in splendour, a land of breathtaking beauty crowned by the majestic Himalayas.
Darjeeling is one of the most magnificent hill resorts in the world. This heavenly retreat is bathed in hues of every shade. The flaming red rhododendrons, the sparkling white magnolias, the miles of undulating hillsides covered with emerald green tea bushes, the exotic forests of silver fir – all under the blanket of a brilliant azure sky dappled with specks of clouds, compellingly confounds Darjeeling as the QUEEN OF HILL STATIONS.

General Information :
– Area 11.44 sq.kms
– Altitude 2134 m
– Best Season March to mid June & September to mid December
– Clothing Summer – Light woollens, Winter – Heavy woollens
– Languages Spoken English, Nepali, Bengali, Hindi, Tibetian

Location of Darjeeling on maps.google.com:


View Larger Map

Map of Darjeeling at astrainfotech.com (link)
Another map at Darjeelingnews.net (link)

How to Reach there ?
– By Air : The nearest airport to Darjeeling is Bagdogra about 94-96 kms away from Darjeeling. Tourists heading for Darjeeling can get direct taxis/cabs to Darjeeling from Bagdogra or one can head towards Siliguri first and get a transport there. There are a number of transport facilities available from Siliguri.
– By Train : The closest Railway Station is New Jalpaiguri (NJP) about 88 kms away from Darjeeling. Once in NJP one can avail of taxis directly to Darjeeling or take an auto-rickshaw or rickshaw upto Siliguri and thus proceed to Darjeeling by getting a taxi.
– By Road : Darjeeling is connected to Sikkim, Nepal, Bhutan and all of its surrounding hills. The major access to Darjeeling is via Siliguri which is connected to all the major cities.

Darjeeling – the name is derived from the Tibetian word ‘Dorje’ which means the precious stone or ecclesiastical sceptre, which is emblematic of the thunderbolt of Indra, and ‘ling’ – a place, hence the land of the thunderbolt. Darjeeling tea, which is one of the most exported items from the city, occupies a place of pride in the entire world for its fresh aroma and taste . The city is a paradise for trekkers and is one of the most sought after cities for adventure lovers.

MAJOR TOURIST ATTRACTIONS :
1. Ghoom : The renowned Yiga Choeling Monastery dominates the hillock. While visiting the monastery you must check out the images of Maitreya Buddha. Then there are the ancient palm leaf and paper manuscripts in Tibetan script too, of much interest to the historians.
2. Museum of Natural History : The museum boasts of a fine collection of Himalayan animals, reptiles, birds and insects.
3. Tiger Hill: It is situated at an altitude of about 2590 m and gives a magnificent view of the sunrise over the Kanchanjunga hills.
4. Kalimpong: This city is located near Darjeeling at an altitude of about 1250 m and has many places of tourist attractions like Kalibari, Kalimpong market, Gouripur House, Golf Course, Pedong Monastery, and Rishyap.
5. Himalayan Mountaineering Institute: he institute was established in 1954 by the then Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, in the wake of the conquest of Everest.
6. Mirik : he hill station of Mirik is a marvelous retreat for the sun-scorched souls of the plains. In Mirik you have to see and experience the magnificence of the mighty Himalayas in the Sumendu Lake. The tea gardens and the orange orchards are the other places of interest in Mirik.
7. Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park : It is the only center in India for the breeding of the rare snow leopard.
8. Darjeeling-Rangit Valley Passenger Cable Car: Popularly known as the ropeway, it is situated at North Point. It is the oldest passenger ropeway and connects Darjeeling with Singla Bazaar at the bottom of the valley.
9. Kurseong: This city near Darjeeling is located at an altitude of about 1458 m and is famous for its scenic beauty with peace and tranquility all around.
10. The Mall: The Mall, like many other hill stations, is Darjeeling’s popular commercial street, full of tourists and people selling stuff to these tourists. It has shops with Tibetans selling hand-knitted sweaters and souvenir shops chock-full of Himalayan artifacts and both real and imitation antiques. Photo shops carry turn-of-the-century photos as well as specialising in hand-painted black and white prints with glowing oil colours.

Darjeeling – Adventure Sports
he breathtaking panoramic views of Everest and Kanchenjunga have been alluring thousands of nature lovers from different parts of the world since then. Treks in this region are organized through both high and low altitude areas.

Toy Train ride to Darjeeling
This joy ride begins at New Jalpaiguri.
Leaving New Jalpaiguri station, the train passes through the outskirts of Siliguri town and reaches Siliguri station.
After a short halt the train leaves Siliguri station and crosses the Mahanadi bridge over the Mahanadi river which flows from the Himalayan foothills.
After six miles train reaches Sukna station from where the real ascent begins.
The train now passes through Rangtang station (1404 ft/430 m) and a little further away the train may stop for water again.
It then passes Chunbhati.
Then the train passes the Tindharia Railway workshop to reach Tindharia station (2,822 feet/860m).
Leaving Tindharia one can see the jagged rock-faced mountains up ahead called Giddapahar (Eagle’s Craig) which the train later has to pass through.
After this station the train stops for water near Pagla Jhora.
Shortly after this the train reaches Mahanadi Bazar station (4,000 ft/1,225m). Leaving Mahanadi the train travels west through Gidhapahar (Eagle’s Craig) with an excellent view of the valley, the hills and tea gardens and reaches Kurseong station.
Now the train reaches Tung (5656 ft/1725m) which gives us an excellent view of the Kurseong ridge.
The journey new leads through Sonada.
The train now passes through a small town called Jorebunglow.
The train now reaches Ghoom (7407 ft/2260 m) the highest point of the journey. Leaving Ghoom the train descends towards Darjeeling.
On the way the train passes through Batasia Loop with its memorial to the Gorkha soldiers.

Places To Stay In Darjeeling :
Heritage Hotels
– New Elgin.
– Hotel Windamere.
– Fortune Resort Central (Heritage Hotel).
Premium Hotels
– May Fair Hill Resort.
– Cedar Inn.
– Himalayan resort.
– Gymkhana resort.
– Hotel Sinclairs.
Budget Hotels
– Alice Villa.
– Dekeling Resort.
– Shangrila Regency.
– Hotel Ivanhoe.
Tea Estates
– Glenburn Tea Estate.
– Makaibari Tea Estate.

External articles / blogs:

1. Darjeeling sight-seeing tour (link)

Every year from the month of April to June and September to December tourists flock in this beautiful hill station to enjoy holidays in splendor. With sprawling tea gardens, fruits orchards, cardamom plantation, exotic natural beauty, undulating slopes, exotic flora and fauna and Breathtaking scenery, Darjeeling never fails to lure visitors. Visit once and it is sure you will fall in love with its breathtaking scenery and the lovely weather condition of this beautiful hill station of India, Darjeeling.

2. Few photos of Darjeeling (link)

In India Darjeeling is a very beautiful place you cannot compare it to any other place. Darjeeling is famous for Buddhist temples and botanical gardens. There are many sightseeing places here. Large number of people attracted by the Kanchenjunga- snow-capped mountains. Tiger Hill which is at 8500ft. height is located 11 kms from Darjeeling. The sunrise over the Tiger Hill is a mesmerizing sight.

3. Kolkata-Sikkim-Darjeeling trip (link)

Our hotel was in the busy market place near the Mall road and we saw so many people here (mostly tourists) crowding the tiny shops with bags full of purchases! Not bad, huh? Shopping here was FUN!! So many things to buy and so less time! However we managed to buy some semi-precious stone jewellery and loads of woolen stuff!! Shawls were getting sold like hot cakes in almost all shops- trust me they were so good and affordable that it tempted me to buy 4!!

4. Explore tourism India with Darjeeling (link)

For centuries Darjeeling has been showing new dimensions to tourism India with its splendid landscapes, fresh mountains, eye catching sceneries and courteous people all around. Darjeeling is known as one of the most startling and magnificent hill resort with global fame. This exotic place is famous for its spectacular sunrise and sunset and glorious and sky-kissing mountains of Kanchenjunga, Lhotse, and Makalu.

5. Darjeeling, city in West Bengal (link)

Darjeeling is the holy place for both Hindus and Buddhists of the city. Tiger hill, a hill with a height of 2,600 meters, is the tallest hill in Darjeeling. It is visited by most visitors because it offers a perfect view of Kanchenjunga, the third highest peak in the world. Kanchenjunga is a beautiful hill station surrounded by many mountains and hills with chilled atmosphere due to which it is considered as summer capital.

6. Photos and information (link)

Ghoom is one of the major landmarks in Darjeeling. The renowned Yiga Choeling Monastery dominates the hillock. While visiting the monastery you must check out the images of Maitreya Buddha. Then there are the ancient palm leaf and paper manuscripts in Tibetan script too, of much interest to the historians. The Museum of Natural History is another tourist attraction in Darjeeling India. The museum boasts of a fine collection of Himalayan animals, reptiles, birds and insects.
For the botanist, an animal and nature lover Darjeeling offers several Tourist places of interest. At the Lloyd Botanical garden all tourists may enjoy the captivating collection of alpine flora and orchids. Darjeeling also has the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park. The zoo happens to be the only center in India for the breeding of the rare snow leopard. The Ussurian tigers and the Himalayan black bear are also among its attractions.

7. ravings, cravings, etc (link)

Darjeeling is first and foremost a place for tourists. The tea industry comes next in terms of importance. But I seem to be guilty of the very thing that I am bemoaning. So I will correct myself: Darjeeling is first and foremost about its people and its vibrant admixture of cultures. This is the second reason for its once bustling tourism. The first reason is because of its climate.

8. indiamarks (link)

However a Taxi from Siliguri will not take you out for sight seeing once on the hills/or in the Darjeeling town ship. It is advisable to take a one way taxi from Siliguri into Darjeeling, and book a Taxi within Darjeeling for sight seeing and your journey back to Siliguri. Taxi-fares are standard, and are generally affixed on the rear wind shield of the vehicle. Share jeeps depart regularly, from several locations around town. They leave when full, and are a cheap, fast and reasonably comfortable way to get to Darjeeling.

9. inTechgrity.com (link)

Darjeeling is best seen by walk (ahem ahem). There is a market place with all the usual shops for woollen wear and stuff, not to mention an awesome looking INOX theater complex. And we watched Casino Royale there!! Seems like the single most important highlight of our trip to Darjeeling . If you ever want woolen clothes, best to buy it from here. Dirt cheap, bargains galore and the quality is not that bad either. Three places that were good and worth the while – the Peace Pagoda near the Japanese Temple, The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI) and the Zoo! The pagoda was a treat to the eyes with the huge golden statues of Buddha at various milestones of his life.

10. More details of Darjeeling (link)

The history of Darjeeling is intertwined with that of Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim and Bengal. Until the early 19th century, the area around Darjeeling was ruled intermittently by the kingdoms of Nepal and Sikkim with settlement consisting of a few villages of Lepcha woods people. In 1828, a delegation of British East India Company officials on their way to Sikkim stayed in Darjeeling and decided that the region was a suitable site for a sanatorium for British soldiers. The Company negotiated a lease of the area from the Chogyal of Sikkim in 1835.Arthur Campbell, a surgeon with the Company and Lieutenant Napier (later Lord Napier of Magdala) were given the responsibility to establish a hill station there.

11. Go 2 Holiday in Darjeeling (link)

The Darjeeling Toy Train is a heritage railway line, which carries visitors on holiday up to Darjeeling. The train passes hill slopes covered with tea estates up to Ghoom, at 7407 feet, which is the highest stop on the railway line and then comes down to the hill resort of Darjeeling. On the way you can see Mt Kanchenjunga in the distance. The toy train was built by Franklin Prestage in 1888 and the tiny engine and coaches travel on a scenic route. The train moves at a slow pace so visitors can even hop off the train, admire the view, and catch up with the train again.

12. Gurkhafc.com (link)

The name Darjeeling comes from the word Dorje-ling,in which Dorje means “thunder” and Ling means “place” ,ie. “the place of thunderbolt”. It is also said that the word Darjeeling comes from “Dorjé-rinzing”, it is a name of a lama who founded the monastery which once stood on Observatory Hill.

13. matadorcommunity.com (link)

I finally arrived at my hotel and checked in and had a bite and chilled in my room for a bit. I was so happy to finally be here. I took a walk around the area for a bit and saw so many different faces. Asian, Bhutanese, Nepalese, Indian…they were all here. And the great thing is this is a place where alot of westerners come so I saw more white people in one hour than I have in the past 2 months. No one stared at me and I just reveled in the joy of being completely ignored! Was so awesome!

14. Another blog on Darjeeling (link)

This beautiful hill town is endowed with rolling hills, picturesque vistas, scenic natural beauty, sprawling tea gardens, lovely waterfalls and myriad places of tourist interest. It is the ideal destination for honeymooners, nature lovers, vacationers and adventure enthusiast. Every year quite in a good number tourists from all over the globe visit Darjeeling to grab its charming and splendid natural beauty. Come to this picture perfect town and it sure you will get lured with its magnetizing natural beauty.

15. Darjeeling sight-seeing tour (link)

Every year from the month of April to June and September to December tourists flock in this beautiful hill station to enjoy holidays in splendor. With sprawling tea gardens, fruits orchards, cardamom plantation, exotic natural beauty, undulating slopes, exotic flora and fauna and Breathtaking scenery, Darjeeling never fails to lure visitors. Visit once and it is sure you will fall in love with its breathtaking scenery and the lovely weather condition of this beautiful hill station of India, Darjeeling.

Photos of Darjeeling:
1. Darjeeling snapshots (link)
2. Various photos of Darjeeling (link)
3. Darjeeling and Sikkim (link)
4. travelsphoto.com (link)
5. Darjeeling Photo Gallery (link)
6. Photo Gallery of Darjeeling (link)
7. Darjeeling images / photos (link)

Video of Darjeeling toy train on Youtube:

Video of The Glory of Sunrise from Tiger Hill in Darjeeling:

Video of views of Darjeeling the Queen of the hills:

Video of downtown Darjeeling on Youtube:

Video of Darjeeling Tea Garden from a passing vehicle:




2 comments to Darjeeling – Land of Thunderbolts in East India

  • tony

    Hi, yes Darjeeling is quite touristic destination in East India, there is a company called Travel force provide grate holidys tour packages, one can get great deals from them from the following address :

    Travel Force India
    121, Pocket 12, Sector 20 Rohini
    New Delhi – 110086
    e-mail : contactravelforce@gmail.com
    web : http://www.indiatajmahaltour.com

  • Darjeeling also known as “Queen of Hills” situated in West-Bengal State of India is world famous for it’s muscatel flavoured Darjeeling tea and Darjeeling Himalayan Railway.

    Darjeeling with its natural beauty provides a wide variety of activities from leisurely scenic walks to more challenging activities such as Trekking and River-rafting for the adventurous ones. You will find thorough information about Darjeeling and your traveling needs to Dargling and its resources online.
    Visit on this site (http://www.dargling.com/)for more details like:
    How to Reach Darjeeling
    Tourist Offices & Booths
    Darjeeling Travel Agents
    Site seeing: Important points
    Darjeeling Himalayan Railway
    Darjeeling Tea etc.

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