is a town in the Indian state of West Bengal. It is located in the Mahabharata Range or Lesser Himalyas at an average elevation of 6,710 ft (2,045.2 m). Gifted to the British East India Company in 1817, Darjeeling is the hill station of West Bengal. This has been called the queen of hill-stations. Darjeeling is one of India's most famous hill resorts. It is 2134 m or 7000ft above sea level. In 1835, Darjeeling was given to the East India Company by the King of Sikkim. It became a popular resort for the British who wanted to escape from the sweltering heat of the plains.
It is noted for its tea industry and the Darjeeling Hmalyan Railway a UNESCO World Heritage Site
. Darjeeling is the headquarters of Darjeeling district which has a partially autonomous status within the state of West Bengal.The city is centered around the Mall which has a variety of shops, restaurants and hotels. Beautiful walk ways start from the Mall
. Between Darjeeling and Siliguri is the small town of Kurseong which has several educational institutions and churches. Trekking enthusiasts can check out Sandakphu and Phalut. From Sandakphu one can see four of the five highest mountain peaks in the world - Everest, Makalu, Lhotse and Kanchanjunga.
Places to See
Darjeeling has plenty of tourist spots in and around the city. Some of the most important are listed here.
is the highest point in the area which provides the most exotic view of the Kanchenjunga peaks
. From this place the other peaks of the Eastern Himalayas can be seen. On a clear day the sight of Mt.Everest is just enthralling.The toy train coming from Siliguri is some thing which is liked by the elders and the children equally. The real fun in coming to Darjeeling is on the toy train. It takes six to seven hours to cover a distance of 82 kms and the slow speed gives you enough time to watch and appreciate the beauty which nature has provided it. This train passes through the Forests, waterfalls, over deepvalleys and through the mountains and tunnels
Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park :
Located adjacent to the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute. It is a high altitude wild life park and a new home for the Siberian Tiger, Himalayan Black Deer, Deer Panda, Llama and birds. It is open from 8 am to 4 PM
The Dhirdham Temple,
built in the style of Katmandu's Pashupatinath temple adds to the varied religious architectural styles of Darjeeling. It is near the railway station.
Senchal Lake :
A favorite Picnic Spot about 10 k.m. from the town. The lake provides water supply to the Darjeeling town.
The Dhirdham Temple
The Tenzing Norgay Himalayan Mountaineering Institute trains mountaineers. It has a small museum as well. Adjacent to it is the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park.
The Japanese peace pagoda depicts the various stages of the Buddha's life. Another attraction is the nation's oldest passenger ropeway which connects North Point to Singla Bazar.
The Lloyd's botanical gardens is another attraction.
The two popular view points are Jawahar Parbat and the Observatory Hill which offer views of the Himalayan ranges.
The Batasia loop (5 kms from Darjeeling) on the Darjeeling Himalayan railway is an engineering marvel and is another attraction even if someone doesn't want to take the slow train ride.