Famous for its snow-capped peaks and tea, Darjeeling is a tourist hub in the Indian state of West Bengal. The town derives its name from the word 'Dorje meaning thunderbolt and 'Ling' meaning land; thus, the name Darjeeling translates as the 'Land of thunderbolt'. This picturesque hill station is one of the most-visited tourist destinations in the country, owing to its bewitching beauty, sprawling tea plantations and captivating sites.
Darjeeling holds the pride of being home to Mt. Kanchenjunga- the world's third highest mountain crest. The spectacular view of the sunrise over the Kanchenjunga range, from the Tiger Hill, is worth beholding. Another notable attraction of the town is the Toy Train or the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, which is one of the only two railways to have the honour of being bestowed upon with the title of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Popularly known as 'Queen of the Hills', Darjeeling is a perfect retreat to rest in nature's lap.
Attractions in Darjeeling
Tiger Hill is a prominent sightseeing spot in Darjeeling, located at an altitude of 2590 m. A splendid view of the sunrise over the Kanchenjunga Range, Eastern Himalayan Mountains and the Mt. Everest, is a sight to behold from this point.
Situated on the outskirts of Darjeeling, Batasia Loop is a place where the famous Toy Train makes a 360 degree turn. It features a war memorial and shopping arcade, and provides a breathtaking view of the Kanchenjunga peak.
Observatory Hill & Mahakal Temple
The oldest site in Darjeeling, Observatory Hill is situated at the loftiest ridge of the town. Locals refer to it as the 'Holy Hill' since it houses the Mahakal Temple, served by a Hindu priest and a Buddhist monk.
Ghoom Monastery, constructed in 1875 by Lama Sherab Gyatso, is a popular landmark in Darjeeling. It features a statue of 'The Buddha of the future' called Buddha Maitreya (or the Laughing Buddha) and exhibits some rare handwritten Buddhist manuscripts.
Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park
Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park, or the Darjeeling Zoo, was established in 1958 in the memory of Padmaja Naidu- the former Governor of West Bengal. It is the breeding centre for Tibetan wolf, Siberian tiger, red panda and Snow leopard.
Himalayan Mountaineering Institute
Himalayan Mountaineering Institute was established post the successful ascent of the Mt. Everest by the Nepalese Indian Sherpa- Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary. Various mountaineering courses are carried out at this institute every year.
Tenzing Rock and Gombu Rock
Tenzing Rock and Gombu Rock, standing opposite each other in Darjeeling outskirts, are used by the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute for rock climbing demonstrations. Both the rocks are named after the mountaineers who climbed the Everest- Tenzing Norgay and Nawang Gombu.
Darjeeling-Rangit Valley Passenger Cable Car
Famous as the Ropeway, Darjeeling-Rangit Valley Passenger Cable Car is just perfect to enjoy the panorama of verdant tea gardens sprawling across the city. Connecting the city to Singla Bazaar, this ropeway is the oldest of its kind in India.
Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre
Established in October 1959, the Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre aims at making the Tibetan community independent by the production of handicrafts. This rehabilitation centre was set up after the Tibetans left their country on the footsteps of Dalai Lama.
Peshok Tea Estate
Peshok Tea Estate is a picturesque tea garden situated in the outskirts of Darjeeling. It was closed since 1995 after being abandoned by its former owner, but has recently started functioning under the Dooteray and Kaley Valley tea estates' management.
Toy Train is the sobriquet of the 83-km long Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, traversing from Siliguri to Darjeeling. Run by a steam engine, this unique train is the second-of-its-kind in the world to be recorded as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Our Recommended Hotels in Darjeeling
17, Gandhi Roadmore...
Located in Darjeeling, Hotel Viceroy lies close to Mall and only a 25-minute drive from the railway station. This 4-star hotel has rooms in Attic Premium and Executive categories. These rooms feature modern amenities including mini-bar, television, tea/coffee maker and en suite bathroom. In addition, the hotel offers other services and facilities that include doctor-on-call, laundry, Jacuzzi, health club, pool table, fitness centre, gift shop, currency exchange and massage centre. There is a multi-cuisine restaurant in the premises where guests can relish a range of lip-smacking delicacies. They can head to the lounge to enjoy Darjeeling tea while enjoying the scenic views of the surroundings.
Cedar Inn Darjeeling
Dr. Zakhir Hussain Road, Below St. Pauls School Darjeeling, Tungsung Bastimore...
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Located on the Zakir Hussain Road, Ceddar Inn is at a short distance from popular tourist attractions of the Darjeeling. It is approximately 6 km from Darjeeling Airport and less than 2 km from the railway station. Contemporary design of the hotel is complimented by modern amenities featured in the rooms. Lavishly designed rooms have been classified as Observatory Suite, Executive Suite MAP, Executive suite AP, MAP and AP Single as well as Double. They feature TV set, fire place, telephone, laundry bag, complimentary fruit platter, bottled water, tea and coffee maker along with hairdryer.
A range of Indian, Chinese, Himalayan and continental specialities are offered at the Terrace Cafe. Guests can feast on these delicacies in soothing ambience of the restaurant. To enjoy a few drinks, they can head towards the Bar of Paradise, which offers a good collection of international and domestic wines, liquor and beer. Apart from this, the hotel offers special sightseeing packages on demand.
Mayfair Hill Resort Darjeeling
Opposite Governor Housemore...
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The Mayfair Hill Resort used to be summerhouse of Maharaja of Nazargunj, and flaunts royal decor. It is located on The Mall at a distance of approximately 70 km the New Jalpaiguri Railway Station and Bagdora Airport. There are 4 guestrooms in the premise equipped with modern amenities like TV, hairdryer, mini-bar, DVD player, safe, iron table study table and fireplace. Furnishings of these rooms are inspired by British Colonial decor. The picturesque view of the valley or garden can be seen as well as captured from rooms.
Guests can dine at the on-site multi-cuisine restaurant Mangolia or Tiffany. They can savour specialities of Thai, Indian, Continental, Oriental or Chinese cuisine at these restaurants. Spar services are also offered in the hotel premise that can be availed after full day if excursion. Stunning views of valleys, tea gardens and Sandakphu Range can be seen while enjoying drinks at the Douglas Lounge Bar. In addition to this, there is a library, business centre equipped state-of-art facilities to carry out business smoothly.
New Elgin Darjeeling
18 HD Lama Roadmore...
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Situated in the heart of Darjeeling, the Elgin Hotel is at a short distance from the Darjeeling Railway Station. Tourist attractions of the town can be reached in few minutes and it is approximately 9 km from Darjeeling Airport. There are 25 Deluxe Single and Double rooms and Deluxe Suites. The impact of colonial Era can be easily seen in the decoration and furnishing of these rooms. They are equipped with large LCD TV, electronic safe, tea or coffee maker and a telephone. In addition to this, Suites feature personal bar and Wi-Fi services.
The on-site restaurant – The Gazebo at the Garden – serves a range of snacks and drinks. Guests can feast on European and Asian delicacies at the Orchid Dining Room. They can head towards the Tea Lounge and Timber Bar to grab drinks. A full service spa is also available in the hotel premises for guests who want a relaxing and rejuvenating massage.
Windamere Hotel Darjeeling
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The Hotel Windamere situated on a prime location, and just a few minutes’ walk from the Darjeeling Railway Station. Tourist attractions like Ghoom Monastery, Kali Temple and Toy train can easily be reached. There are multiple accommodations for different types of travellers. Showcasing the British Colonial Era, the rooms have been categorised as Tinker Bells Cottages, Pepper, Forget Me Not, Executive, Elite, Superior, Standard Rooms and Heritage Suites. These fully air-conditioned rooms feature TV, telephone, writing desks and temp control.
Mouth-watering Indian and Continental delicacies can be ordered at the in-house restaurant. They can also enjoy drinks and brews at the Windamere Bar, serving guests since 1939. Other services include 24-hour front desk and room service. For a chit-chat in the evening or reading novels, guests can head towards the Daisy’s Music Room.