Darjeeling is most often called the Switzerland of West Bengal. It may not be as beautiful as Switzerland but it has something that even Switzerland doesn’t have. Darjeeling is a district of West Bengal located at 27 Deg. 13 Min. N to 26 Deg. 27 Min. N Latitude 88 Deg. 53 Min. E to 87 Deg. 59 Min. E Longitude. It’s a city in the lap of the great Himalaya. This hill station is one of most preferred tourist place in North East India. The out standing beauty of this hill station attracts thousand of tourists around the world every year. Here I’m listing some of the must visit places in Darjeeling.
This is the place where you should start your tour. Witnessing the sun-sire over the Himalaya from Tiger Hill is a moment of a lifetime. 15km from Darjeeling, Tiger Hill is situated an altitude of 2590meters (8482 ft.). This is the highest point in this area and it gives the most exotic view of the Kanchenjunga peaks. If you got lucky and day is clear then you can even witness the sunrise on the Mt. Everest from here.
Darjeeling Toy Train
This the mother of all, a must ride for everybody and its a ride of a lifetime. This fascinating narrow gauge steam engine train is really an engineering achievement. If you don’t want to pay much time riding on it then you have the option to the sort ride from Darjeeling town to Ghoom. There is really no question about it that everybody must try this in Darjeeling or your tour wont be complete.
Himalayan Zoological Park and Snow Leopard Breeding Center
You will find Siberian Tiger, Himalayan Black Bear, Barking Deers in this high altitude park. Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park or the town Zoo has some rare Himalayan Fauna including the Snow Leopard, Red panda, Tibetan Wolf, Himalayan Pheasants, etc. Just nearby is a very successful Snow Leopard Breeding Centre.
Located about 5 kilometers from the Darjeeling town, Bastasia Loop is a railway loop where Darjeeling toy train takes a 360 degree turn. This place has been designed for a panoramic view of Darjeeling city and The Kanchenjunga. And the memorial inside the loop is dedicated to the Gorkha soldiers of Indian army who died in wars since 1947. This a must visit site for everyone.
Darjeeling Ropeway or Shingamari Ropeway
You will find India’s oldest rope-way here in Darjeeling. This ropeway connects North Point to Singla Bazaar. It covers about 8 kilo miters(5 miles) in 45 minutes. You will find dense forests, mountain ridges, flowing rivers, water falls, green valleys and tea gardens under you during this journey. It will give you a memorable journey for sure.
Lloyd`s Botanical Garden
This garden was founded in 1878 and named after William Lloyd. This garden is famous for its collection of different types of Orchids. This garden offers a protected habitat for many species of Himalayan trees and plants. It also has a glass-house full of alpine flowers and also features an Orchidarium and a collection of medicinal plants.
Tea gardens will be a pleasure for your eyes especially for those who live in cities. Darjeeling Tea is known as the best tea in the world, and here you will get a chance to see the manufacturing process. You can even buy tea packets from this gardens (every garden doesn’t sell). People inside the gardens are known for their hospitality.
The Mall and Chowrasta
This place is basically the commercial hub of Darjeeling town. This is a great place to sit and relax for hours, walk around the mall and you will see a great view of mountains, valleys with rhododendron trees and old houses. The picture shown here is a view of mountains from the mall.
Monasteries in Darjeeling
There are several famous monasteries like Ghoom Monastery, Bhutia Busty Monastery, Mag-Dhog Yolmowa Buddhist Monastery, Dali Monastery in Darjeeling to visit. One thing to remember is that visiting to this monasteries takes a lot of time on road, so try them only if you have enough time.