"Toy Train, Tiger Hill & Darjeeling Tea! What Else!" Top 5 Page for this destination Darjeeling by goutammitra

Darjeeling Travel Guide: 157 reviews and 471 photos

Darjeeling! Peace prevails at last after 20 years!

This page is being written almost 11 years after our last visit to Darjeeling! We spent a week there from 25th December'2000 to 3rd January'2001. Those were the day when Gorkha National Liberation Front ( GNLF) was in full power in Darjeeling controlling almost everything and running a parallel administration. They were extorting money from all the business houses, hotels, taxis and even tourists in the name of helping them to run the agitation. They were demanding a separate Statehood for the Gorkhas. It was not acceptable for the West Bengal govt or Indian Union State. It continued till June 2011, with GNLF out of power another group came called Gorkha Janamukti Morcha with Bimal Gurung at the helm of affairs. After endless bunds, several political murders peace ( ?) came to the Darjeeling Hills in July'2011, when new West Bengal Govt. by Mamata Bannerjee brought truce with them and empowered them with in the constitution of India. It can't be said now whether their demand for Gokhaland will end but now peace is there with people and tourists returning to the hills again.
It was that time in 2000/2001, we faced so much hatred for the plain lander or the Bengali people, that we decided not to visit this place again till peace comes back. We did made several visits to the hills but to the neighboring state Sikkim.
Now, we are thinking of visiting Darjeeling again during winter!

Darjeeling, the name came from Dorjeeling a famous Bhutia Monastry which was there at the Mall or Observatory hill, overlooking the Kanchendjonga peaks.

The continuing discord between Sikkim and the British resulted in a war, culminating in the signing of a treaty and the annexation by the British of the area east of the Teesta River in 1865. By 1866, Darjeeling district had assumed its current shape and size, covering an area of 1,234 square miles (3,200 km2).

Two persons responsible for developing Darjeeling in to a hill station Dr.Arthur Campbell , a surgeon with East India Company and Lieutenant Robert Napier also with East India Company. Dr.Campbell established a T.B.Sanatorium here for the British who were in India. The British used Darjeeling as summer capital of India ( till 1911) and Bengal ( Till date). Many new building were set up by the British and tea plantation started. The Orthodox ( Black tea with two leaves and a bud) Tea produced here in Darjeeling produced an unmatched aroma , which in turn created a name for Darjeeling Tea among European Tea lovers. The market for Darjeeling tea grew by leaps and bounds in Europe and among the Royalties of India.

The growing Tea plantation brought many people from outside, the city was full of many people apart from the British, The Indian Royalties , the Bengali people also started settling in. The the place had several British style public school like Eton, which are very favourite among the well off Indians and students from neighboring countries as well.
Soon , it was a tourist center, people from plains started coming for a change or spending vacations here. Many hotels and restaurants were built which brought employment for many locals as well as for the people who came from plains.

Darjeeling Information

Area (in miles): 1, 200 sq.miles.

Height (in meters): 2, 134 mts.

CLIMATE

Summers - Summer The summer months are the best time for visiting Darjeeling when the climate remains in a pleasant mood. Summers arrive in the month of April and lasts till June with a maximum temperature of 25°C.

Winters - The winter months creep in during December and is over by February. temperatures drop to 1°C along with heavy mist and rains toward end of December. The month of December is ocassionally accompanied by heavy snow fall.

Best Seasons: ( March - June ) & ( October - November).

Clothing: In summer: Light woolens and In winter: Heavy woolens.

Languages: Gorkhali, Nepali, Hindi, Bengali, Tibetan and English.

Religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and Christianity.


HOW TO GET THERE?

BY AIR
Well connected by Air from all parts of the country to Bagdogra(Siliguri), which is the nearest Airport and is a mere 3 hours drive from Darjeeling.

BY TRAIN
The famous Darjeeling Mail from Sealdah (Calcutta) besides other express trains from all over the country operate on daily basis to the nearest rail head at New Jalpaiguri(NJP/Siliguri). Change over at New Jalpaiguri to the world renowned Toy Train which winds its way up the hills to Darjeeling.

BY ROAD
Very well connected to Siliguri which is a terminal city. A fleet of luxury State/Private buses run overnight to Siliguri from Calcutta.From Siliguri, a 2 hour scenic drive through tea gardens and forsets either by taxi or luxury bus which operate throughout the day, takes you to Darjeeling.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:One of the most beautiful place on Earth!
  • Cons:Last 20years of Agitation to make it Gorkhaland , sent it to Dogs!
  • In a nutshell:Let darjeeling remain as Darjeeling! No politics in Heaven please!
  • Last visit to Darjeeling: Dec 2000
  • Intro Updated Aug 11, 2011
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Reviews (21)

Comments (9)

  • nixca316's Profile Photo
    Dec 5, 2012 at 7:45 AM

    I always wanted to learn more about Darjeeling... :-)

    • goutammitra's Profile Photo
      Dec 5, 2012 at 4:55 PM

      Yes, Sis, sure why not! I also want to go to Darjeeling for a few days, though it has changed a lot since I visited. Now I am told peace is back again!

    • nixca316's Profile Photo
      Dec 9, 2012 at 12:12 AM

      :)

  • Marisola's Profile Photo
    Aug 22, 2011 at 8:59 AM

    Wow! Did you just build this site on Darjeeling? Nice job! Great tips! I love your old pictures, and wonder how much has changed since then. Do you know the Bollywood song Faiza talked about?

    • goutammitra's Profile Photo
      Dec 5, 2012 at 4:56 PM

      Thanks for the visit Marie! I think I shall make a trip again to see what are the changes there! I just love this place!

  • mehulraj's Profile Photo
    Aug 14, 2011 at 8:25 PM

    very informative.want to go there sometime in future.

  • Donna_in_India's Profile Photo
    Aug 13, 2011 at 7:17 PM

    You know I love Darjeeling! Nice page and photos Goutam. I also like how you set up the intro page with visitor info.

  • Faiza-Ifrah's Profile Photo
    Aug 12, 2011 at 6:18 PM

    beautiful place. i remembered an old bollywood song - "Darling Darling". i think the girl mispronounces and says "darjeeling darjeeling" and was corrected by the hero lol. very nice to see all of you so young. not that you don't look young now hehehe.

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo
    Aug 12, 2011 at 2:22 AM

    thanks for letting me know your page was ready...now Ive enjoyed reading the info to the pics Ive seen in your facebook albums! and I would love to come and visit Darjeeling - always Sikkim but now Darjeeling too...but yes would love to see it in winter w

  • johanl's Profile Photo
    Aug 12, 2011 at 12:21 AM

    Excellent pages and pics on this rgion in India. Like the history you write and the present situation. Really well done.

  • abi_maha's Profile Photo
    Aug 11, 2011 at 9:26 PM

    As always a great page sir! :) I didn't know the name could have originated from Durjay Ling....interesting trivia that ..

  • Florida999's Profile Photo
    Aug 11, 2011 at 9:40 AM

    Nice page, but no snow in December there? I think I would like to visit Darjeeling:)

goutammitra

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