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Darjeeling

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Can you see the sky
OH Yes thats what they said
Can you touch the clouds
Oh yes they are so near..........

.. Nearness of clouds and the feeling as if you are standing in the midst of the clouds - that is how one feels once in this little town known as Darjeeling. Mount Kanchanjegha and the monasteries fill the surroundings of Darjeeling. Internationally famous for its tea plantations and tea; its also famous for a number of things.


Flashback :
Gifted to Britishers in the 1817, it was a hill station for the Britishers to escape the heat of summers. Also known as the Queen of Hill Stations, Darjeeling is a Hill Station of West Bengal. Earler it was in the hands of Kings Of Sikkim. Whereupon two Brititsh Officers surveyed the town found its easefullness for a route to Nepal and Bhutan. British Government according to the terms of the treaty signed at Titalya on February 10th,1817. Lt. Gen. C.A. Llyod and Mr. J.W. Grant, I.C.S., the Commercial Resident at Maldah, were deputed to settle the internal factions between the Nepal and the Sikkim States. Thus Darjeeling was formed. Darjeeling remained as an inseparable part of West Bengal even after independence.

Toy Train ,World Heritage Railway Station, Tea Gardens; all these and more make it a happening place. Although you won't get much of the city lights but its rocking in the day and night. Hop on the train for a new kind of adventure.

Fast Facts:
Language : Nepali, Tibbetan, English, Hindi and Bengali
Temperature : Winter - Below 0 Deg centigrade
Summer - Upto 20 Deg Centigrade
A folding umbrella always comes as handy in Darjeeling.
Clothings : Very Warm Wollen clothes in Winter and Cottons in Summer
Best Time to Visit: October to Mid December and February to Mid April


Ghoom Monastery
Ghoom Buddhist Monastry
This the most famous monastery in Darjeeling and is about eight km from town. It enshrines an image of Maitreya Buddha (the coming Buddha).

Toy Train
Darjeeling Toy Train
Considered as the World Heritage Site, this one is not to be missed at all. Beginning from New Jalpaiguri, taking a path of 8 - 9 hrs, it ends at Darjeeling.


Tea Gardens Darjeeling
Darjeeling at its best

  • Tiger Hills : Tiger Hill the highest spot in the area at a height of 2590 metres, about 11 km from Darjeeling. The hill is famous for its magnificent dawn view over the Kanchenjunga peak. There is no other beauty like the beauty of the hills - this is the point where you will find the most of it - so go and explore it - you are at the right place!
  • Toy Train Railway Station - Ghum : Considered to be the World Heritage RAILWAY Station - the best way to reach Darjeeling is by the Toy Train (in case you have ample time as it takes at least six to eight hours by toy train).


Where and Why

Known as the Queen of Hills, its one the best places to spend your weekend. Began your journey at Siliguri railway station where you can board the tiny Toy Train (UNESCO recognizes it as a World Heritage Railway). Its a six to eight hours ride to the worlds highest Railway Station - Ghum. From here take a ride to the hotel in a cab. (It was evening by the time you will reach Darjeeling).

Darjeeling is famous for its tea world over; so began your evening with a hot peeping tea. Now that is somewhat different from what the westners know. If you ask for a cup of tea what you will get is a glass filled with incredibly milk and sugar concoction - a taste thats quite different from rest of the India. My cup of tea at Glenary's (one of the best restaurants in Darjeeling) was as splendid as the place itself.

As you set foot on the top of the hills can see the roof tops and lines of houses painted with colors of red and brown. Although it will look like other cities from far away but as soon as you shift your eyes to the surroundings - the hills, the greenery and the small little people - will sat it aside - far away from others.

Nicely named as Ranjeet Valley Passenger Ropeway, this is something which you can't go amiss. - you won't find a better way go down deep the valleys , and see the beauty of the hills with your very own eyes. Rattling our way down the hill and then up the hill will be an experience of its own.

One of the best things to do here in Darjeeling is to take a walk around the town - go afoot towards the hotel enjoying the scenery, talking with the local, sipping Darjeeling tea and hearing stories from the local people.

Have a glimpse of the rising sun from the Observatory hill - from here you can see the Kanchendzonga Range. It is also here where the shrine of Bhutia Busty Gompa once stood. Began your day with a spiritual note by visiting the nearby Kai Temple - a site sacred to both Hindus and Bhuddists. The walks at the heights will surely make your tummies hungry walk down to the hotel for the breakfast.

There is something which is special to the people of Darjeeling and its visitors - the Tea Bagans (Estate). Established long back they are the veins of Darjeeling. There is not only one variety of tea - its a wide variety - how its made - thats what you should see at one of the Tea Gardens. There is something which is special to the people of Darjeeling and its visitors - the Tea Bagans (Estate). Established long back they are the veins of Darjeeling. There is not only one variety of tea - its a wide variety - how its made - thats what you should see at one of the Tea Gardens. There are more places we covered in the entire day like Mountaineering Museum, the Everest Museum. Try out our hands at rock climbing. Its best to enjoy the place with a walk around the city- talking with the locals and hearing stories of ghosts from your Guide near the bonefire.


Suggestions
  • Take extra clothings - both warm and cotton - for it can pour at any point of day. Its a hilly area; though the winds are good but always keep something to cover your head - for you never know when it gets chilly out there.
  • Take a trip in the month of October only if you are interested in the festival of Durga Puja (Goddess of Hindus) - as its overcrowded during this period ; otherwise avoid the month of october (You see the hotels are jampacked and the town overcrowded with people).
  • Do take a pack of Glenery's homemade chocolate and gooey eclairs - for they are the best gifts you can have. Momos are something to try out - as they are different here from rest of the country - true to their taste.
  • Book a hotel in advance and try to take a guided tour if on a individual tour. Or ask your travel to book a hotel for you in advance.
  • Darjeeling is among the UNESCO World Heritage Site, something not to be missed out.

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