is the Queen of India's hill stations. Its setting is one of
incomparable beauty. A Victorian town of old world charm 'discovered' by
the British, it is almost completely surrounded by fragrant tea gardens
which seem to flow over the layered slopes like emerald swells on a
rough sea. These are in turn interspersed by untamed jungle of Fern and
Bamboo, groves of sweet smelling Coniferous trees and hamlets lost and
which may be the finest this earth has to offer, It hits one like
Darjeeling's true name, "Dorje Ling", or 'Place of the
Part Victorian holiday resort, part major tea-growing centre,
Darjeeling straddles a ridge 2,200m up in the Himalayas and almost
600-km north of Kolkata. Its been more than 50 years since the British
departed, still the town remains as popular as ever with holiday-makers
from the plains, and promenades such as the Mall and the Chowrasta still
burst with life.
Darjeeling is a fascinating tourism place rich in natural beauty and
surrounded by the Buddhist monasteries. Its beauty surpasses any other
hill station of India.
Adventure Sports in
Treks in the eastern Himalayan region are organized through both high
and low altitude areas. The most popular of treks is the one through
high altitude areas across the Singalila range in Darjeeling, which
starts from Maneybhanjang, goes to Meghma, Toughu, Gairibas, Sandakphu,
and Phalut.The fourth and last day is the return trek to Darjeeling,
which may be taken along the same route or via Ramman, Rimbick and
Another adventurous high altitude trek done in Darjeeling is in the
Kalimpong region from Relli, Pankhasari, and Neora to the highest point
in the areas, Rochella at 3,400m. From here it is a steady descent to
Tangta, Jhalang along the foothills to Samsing. Trekkers can enjoy the
natural panorama of exotic varieties of Himalayan flora, bird, and
wildlife that can be seen along this route.
This is a 6/7 days moderate trekking from Maneshanjang, which is 26-km
by road from Darjeeling and ideal for views along a standard trail. The
route trek is famous for its views of Kanchenjunga, Mt. Everest and
Rhodendrons from Phalut and Sandakphu.
Hand Gliding / Balloning
Both these sports have been experimentally introduced at Dhoteria in
Darjeeling district, during the Tea & Tourism festival in Nov-98.
The topography with its high ridges, cliffs and deep-down valleys, is an
ideal venue for such sports.
Senchal Golf Course
This 9-hole Golf Cource is one of the highest Golf Cource in the world
(altitude 8,150 ft). It is near Tiger Hill and has a Club House and a
Lebong Race Course
About 8-km from the town, it is one of the smallest and highest Race
Course in the world. Races are held during Spring & Autumn season
under the management of local Gymkhana Club
Ghoom, as the town's name seems to suggest, is gloomy and dank with
perpetual fog. At this Tibetan village, which is at an altitude of 2,276
m (7,470 ft), one can hear the foghorn-like sounds of Buddhist monks
blowing their giant Gyeling pipes from the rooftops of the nearby
Yiga-Choling ' Yellow Hat' Buddhist Temple.
Ghoom is the jumping off point for an excursion to Tiger Hill, which
should not be missed if the weather co-operates. For a truly magnificent
view of the Himalayas, one must arrive before the sun rises and the
clouds roll in. Inky darkness gives way to a gauzy mauve dawn and the
peaks are unveiled in all their glory. Mount Everest, Lhotse, Makaly,
Kabru, Kanchenjunga, Siniolchu and Chomolhari can all be seen with the
forbidden peaks of the Tibetan Trans-Himalayan as a backdrop.
Places of Interest in Darjeeling
Tiger hills 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 Mall is Darjeeling's popular commercial street. It is lined 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. The Mall leads to
Chaurasta, a square, which doubles as a bandstand, a pony riding arena
for children and a haven for lovers.
The Chowrasta, meaning crossroad, is a hive of commercial activity. The
Mall Road originates and culminates at the Chowrasta. This is the heart
of Victorian Darjeeling. Here hotels, restaurants and shops brush
against each other. The shops and stalls are a veritable paradise for
souvenir collectors. The Bhutanese sellers display their wares. Woollen
garments, tribal ornaments, Thankas, rosaries, brass statuettes and
Gorkha daggers are kept on display for sale. Foreign goods are also
available in some shops. Local handicrafts are much in demand.
Tibetan Refugee Self-Help Center
In 1959 was established a center for the refuges who had fled Tibet
with the Dalai Lama after the Chinese invasion. This self help center
has been developed as workshop for the manufacture of handicrafts. The
fine and superb carpets, woollens, woodcarvings and leather work form
this center has been very popular among the tourists. The money
collected after the sale of the products goes to the Tibetans who work
here. The variety Tibetan Curios on sale are also attracting the
visitors in a big way. This center has established it self in the
International scenario as place for hard work, self esteem and truth.