Darjeeling – The heaven on Earth
If we have led you into believing that Darjeeling is purely a touristy place, that is far from the truth. Thanks to the position of Darjeeling in Himalayan foothills, there are a number of excellent trekking trails you can find around the city; Sandakphu being one of the popular ones. It is a moderate level trek that takes you through some extremely scenic landscapes until you finally reach Sandakphu at 11,929 feet.
This is probably the best trek you can undertake in the region if you are an experienced trekker. Sandakphu is the highest peak in West Bengal, so you can imagine the grand views of the grandest Himalayan mountains you can witness from here. Sandakphu Trek is an ultimate dose of thrill and amusement.
Location: Begins at Manebhanjan, West Bengal
The Ropeway came into existence in 1968, and since then, has been quite an attraction for the tourists. There are around 16 cable cars that can comfortably carry at least 6 people in one ride which takes place at an altitude of approximately 7,000 feet.
The cable cars travel from the North Point in Singmari to the Singla Bazaar, which gives the passengers to click some amazing photographs of this beautiful town.
A public park which invites a huge influx of tourists all through the year, Nightingale Park is one of the most visited places to see in Darjeeling. The main reason why people visit this park is for its magnetic views of the majestic Kanchenjunga.
The other reason for visiting this area is that the lush green environment that fills your mind and soul with high vibrations. You feel happy and ecstatic for no reason after visiting this place.
Your visit to Darjeeling won’t be considered complete until you pay a visit to this aromatic tea estate. The minute you enter the estate, the pure fragrance of well-manicured tea leaves will stir your mind with all the good feelings. This alone makes a visit to the tea plantations of this area completely worth it.
If that’s not enough, the splendorous views of the majestic Kanchenjunga peak will leave you breathless and wanting for a day or two stay in the area.
The place attracts a large number of tourists, mostly because the trekking routes of this Hill are quite beautiful. There is also a small cave located at a distance of about 15 minutes from the Hill which is highly revered in nature.
People feel blessed after visiting this cave; thus, it is recommended to not miss this place and soak in its good vibes. If someone old is preparing to visit the cave, then it advisable to take little breaks and rest on the benches while making their way to the cave.
A great place for the patrons of history and nature, Bengal natural History Museum is one of the most prominent museums you can find in the region. This unique museum is dedicated to the rich wildlife or biodiversity of the region and its history. The museum is divided into two large sections, and features different sub-sections where specimens of a variety of avifauna and fauna that are found in the region.
The museum claims to have specimens of 820 bird species on display here, which is quite impressive for any nature lover taking a tour of the museum.
Location: Darjeeling – Jorethang Road, Darjeeling
Timing: 8 am to 7:30 pm
Tenzing himself practiced climbing in this place and that alone makes this area quite popular amongst the tourists, especially those who seek adventure. In fact, every year, Indian Army organizes rock climbing competitions at Tenzing Rock.
It is advised to trek to the Rock with care since the slope might get slippery due to meandering streams or rainfall. On your trek, you will also come across many food stalls, such as those of Maggie, Momo, chai and coffee, etc. on the way. The overall experience of reaching the Rock is adrenaline-pumping.
If you love being outdoors and surround yourself with the freshness and calm of nature, Dooars is the most ideal place for you to visit when you are in Darjeeling. Dooars is a place that defines ‘pristine nature’ with its untainted, lush green landscapes. It is a vast region of floodplains that encompasses tea gardens, hill slopes, undulating meadows, tropical forests, and ethnic villages.
The place is ideal for nature photography, wildlife exploration, and nature stay. The natural beauty of the region and the variety of experiences it has on offer make Dooars one of the most fascinating places to visit in Darjeeling.
Location: The Dooars region politically constitutes the plains of Darjeeling District, the whole of Jalpaiguri district and Alipurduar district and the upper region of Cooch Behar district in West Bengal and the districts of Dhubri, Kokrajhar, Barpeta, Goalpara and Bongaigaon in the state of Assam.
Established in 1986, Neora Valley National Park, located in Kalimpong District of West Bengal is one of the best places to visit in Darjeeling for indulging in wildlife experience. The wildlife park spreads over a region of 88 sq. km and houses some exotic species of flora, fauna, and avifauna. The extremely charming valleys and hills at the park are soothing to one’s eyes, and call for a unique photography session.
The rich Himalayan biodiversity of Neora Valley National Park attracts wildlife enthusiasts from different parts of the country. The park is also famous for trekking trails that pass through it.
Location: Neora Valley, 81 km from Darjeeling
Timing: 9 am to 4 pm
Entry Fee: No Information
The city’s Mall Market, this is the heart of Darjeeling, both literally and symbolically. Being the main market area, this is the most bustling part of the city frequented by locals and tourists alike. Chowrasta literally translates to four-way. Whether you want to let the sun warm you on a cold morning or you want to catch a crimson sky during sunset, Chowrasta is the place to be.
A number of hotels, restaurants, and shops are available here so you can be assured of spending an eventful evening at Chowrasta. From relishing delicacies to shopping for souvenirs, there are a number of activities to try here.
Location: The Mall, Darjeeling
Timing: 10 am to 9 pm
This is essentially a rehabilitation centre for the Tibetan refugees, but since the place gives an opportunity to indulge in a shopping experience, it has also emerged as a popular site among tourists. This help center was initially established with an objective to make the Tibetan community in Darjeeling self-dependent by offering them opportunity to earn money.
The place now offers a wide range of handicrafts including wooden articles, exquisite shawls, leather jackets, and much more that will tickle your fancy. In fact, these products are exported to 36 countries all over the world. Apart from being a place for shopping, it is also a good place to learn about Tibetan refugees living in India.
Location: Havelock Villa, Gandhi Road, Darjeeling
Timing: 9 am to 4:30 pm
Himalayan Life is an initiative of Institute for Integrated Rural Development (IIRD) , a not-for-profit developmental organisation dedicated for brining prosperity in the communities through research & studies, training & capacity building, project planning & implementation, monitoring & evaluation and institutional networking in the national and global perspective. (For details, Please visit https:// iirdshimla.org)