"The Unmatched Queen of Hill Stations" Top 5 Page for this destination Darjeeling by anilpradhanshillong

Darjeeling Travel Guide: 180 reviews and 571 photos

The three roads that snake up from hot, humid Siliguri to salubrious Darjeeling all meet up near Ghoom or a short distance away from Ghoom, a small village barely 11 kms short of Darjeeling. At the Ghoom junction, yet another road goes up to Tiger Hill (8 kms; 25 minutes), a magnet for the early riser to view the most magnificent sunrise against the backdrop of the mighty Himalayas.

Once you collect your luggage from the carousel and walk towards your vehicle at Bagdogra Airport (IXB), the driver will take you towards Siliguri town. Barely 10 kms away, you take a sharp left turn and wend your way to Mirik and thence to Darjeeling. If you have travelled by train, you get off at New Jalpaiguri Station (NJP) or at Siliguri (different trains stop at different locations) Railway Station and take the Darjeeling More (turning) up to Darjeeling If you are intrepid, you may try out the Pankabari road which is steep, narrow, full of hairpin bends but almost always open even during the worst monsoon. The third road is actually for those who have been to Gangtok or Kalimpong and now wish to visit Darjeeling, or vice versa. Only try and return to the plains from a different road than the one you climbed to Darjeeling. That way, you will get to admire a different set of scenery.

If you are lucky and there is still light, you may suddenly view the Kanchenjunga. It will hit you right between the eyes, the mighty snow-clad five-spire mountain, the revered giant. In case the clouds play spoilsport, be careful of the sight the next morning as you draw your window curtains apart.

Situated at an altitude of 7,000 ft (2,134 m), this cherished resort of the British in bygone years, is still a major draw for tourists from all over the world. Though small, congested, crowded and perpetually struggling with a water shortage problem, Darjeeling’s main draw is the unmatched view of the Himalayas, the romance associated with the toy train and the tea industry. Like the locals put it, there are six T’s in Darjeeling, Tea, Teak, Tourism, Toy Train, Tiger Hill and Trekkers’ paradise.

A suggested itinerary:

Day One-Chaurastha-St. Andrew’s Church-Governors’ Summer Residence-Viewpoint Kanchenjunga-Temple-Step Aside-Monastery- Tibetan Self-Help Centre-Happy Valley Viewpoint-LATE LUNCH- Lloyd’s Botanical Garden-Hotel

Day Two-Tiger Hill-St. Columba’s Church-Darjeeling Railway Station (book ticket)-Dhirdham Temple-Ava Art Gallery-Japanese Peace Pagoda-LUNCH-Happy Valley Tea Estate-Ropeway-Himalayan Mountaineering Institute-Tenzing Rock-Zoo-Nightingale Park-Hotel

Day Three-Toy Train-Batasia Loop-Ghoom Railway Station-Ghoom Museum-Yiga Choeling Monastery-Return to Bagdogra/New Jalpaiguri Railway Station/Jalpaiguri Railway Station

First Written: May 17, 2012

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Scenic beauty, laid back life style
  • Cons:Like Mussoorie (India), spoilt beyond redemption by rampant construction
  • In a nutshell:A very romantic place
  • Last visit to Darjeeling: Apr 2012
  • Intro Updated May 17, 2012
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Reviews (17)

Comments (3)

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Jul 18, 2014 at 2:25 AM

    Fine tips about this fascinating place!

    • anilpradhanshillong's Profile Photo
      Jul 18, 2014 at 2:43 AM

      Thank you, Don for visiting my Darjeeling page. As a college kid, I avidly followed the Vietnam war in the newspapers. I greatly admired the Vietcong karate regimen which came out in gorgeous black-and-white-photos in 'Life' magazine.

  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo
    Jan 6, 2014 at 6:10 PM

    Great page

  • Regina1965's Profile Photo
    Sep 28, 2012 at 9:36 AM

    Thanks for the virtual tour, it looks amazing, so different from my own country.

    • anilpradhanshillong's Profile Photo
      Sep 29, 2012 at 1:30 AM

      Thank You, Regina for your kind words!
      Whew! You've been almost all over the world! Envy you!
      Best Wishes.

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