Places To Visit In Darjeeling

Located at a height of 2,050 m above mean sea level, Darjeeling is a scenic hill station located on the beautiful and lush green slopes of the Himalayas in the easrern part of India, about 700 km from Kolkata. Whether or not you are an avid tea drinker or not, you must surely have heard of the famed Darjeeling tea. With tea plantations spread across its steep slopes cut by toy train tracks, Darjeeling is the most revered hill station in the eastern part of India.

You can choose to hike on the hills of Darjeeling, use the ropeways to reach the sightseeing spots in Darjeeling and even go about plucking tea leaves of your own and get a feel of this unique experience. In addition, there are places to visit in Darjeeling like the Tiger Hill from where you can catch panoramic views of the twin peaks of Kanchenjunga, with Mount Every peeking from behind as well, which is definitely worth seeing.

A trip to Darjeeling will surely be an immersive experience, that will leave an impression of the solace and beauty of lush green hills and mountain tops in its purest and rawest sense on you. Chances are you will be leaving wishing to return to the bliss of Darjeeling to the soonest.

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The Mahakal Temple in Darjeeling is located on the summit of the observatory hill and definitely it offers exquisite scenic views of the city from the top. The deity of Lord Shiva is the main deity who is worshipped here. If we look at the history of the place, it is said that the place where the temple has been built today was earlier a place of Buddhist Monastery. Hence, this place has great importance both for Hindus and the Buddhists. Around the temple, there are many monkeys, so one needs to be a little cautious while walking up the hill. Several small temples are located around this main temple which is dedicated to Lord Hanuman, Ganesh, and Durga. At the entrance and on the ceiling, there are several Buddhist flags that are tied which give this place a picturesque and divine appeal. As this temple is an amalgamation of both Hinduism and Buddhism, around the main Shiva linga, there are Buddha idols. Also, both prayer flags, as well as the temple bells, can be seen hanging in the main entrance. It is a great place for someone who is looking for a tranquil and a spiritual environment. Various festivals like Ganesh Puja, Shivratri, Buddha Jayanti are celebrated with great pomp and show here.

This is not the only temple in Darjeeling, but the Mahakaleshwar temple in Darjeeling is one of the most revered of all the temples around. This temple is revered by both the Hindus and the Buddhists. It is a place to be to get the best of devotion. It has a long history behind it and has increasingly grown in popularity over the years.

If one has not been here once in a lifetime, then your experience in tourism can never complete. It is a place for real time devotion where every second spent in this temple is worth your time and money.

It is important to tell you that there is a complex of some sort while at this temple. Located close by is the Hanuman Temple, which is erected next to it. The devotees of both religions, however, worship without hindering each other.

The presence of hundreds of Buddhists flags around adds colour to the atmosphere here. The co-existence of two different kinds of faith is hard to come by. It is, therefore, an experience as one gets to see how things really work.

When one enters the temple, one will hear the Hindu Priests chanting prayers as well as well as Buddhist monks reading out their holy scripts. There is a beautiful harmony between both religions with many bells hung on the walls.

The devotees walk barefoot around the temple three times and they ring the bells as they walk along. The Buddhist believe that the many flags flying around the temple make their prayers connect directly to heaven. With a change in the colours of the flags due to the effects of the weather; Buddhists believe that it signifies that the sins of devotees are being washed away.

One's visit to this temple is not complete if one did not visit the Makahal cave. It is outside the temple complex, but rather very close to the temple. A visit to this cave is an experience that can last a lifetime. This is a place where one can have deep, sober reflection on other issues of life aside spirituality.

It is a beautiful side attraction and a great place for religious buffs and tourists who choose to visit this religious enclave.

If you want a place where you can make a request to the God; if you believe in the powers of prayers and serious about getting answers, in an enabling environment, then you must visit this place in question. One's expectations will be met.

Situated at a distance of 4 km from Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, Darjeeling Rangeet Valley Passenger Ropeway is a passenger ropeway located in Darjeeling town of West Bengal . Also known as Darjeeling Ropeway, it is one of Asia's longest Passenger Ropeways and also the first Passenger Ropeway in India.

Darjeeling Ropeway was started in 1968 by the Forest Development Corporation of West Bengal . It was initially established to cater to the tea gardens at the valleys below which didn't otherwise have a simple access. Starting with just one cable car, now it was upgraded to 16 cable cars each having a capacity of six persons. It was closed in 2003 after four tourists died when the cable broken causing two cars to fell down the hill. Later it was re-opened with many safety measures in 2012.

Darjeeling Ropeway operates between the North Point in the town of Darjeeling and Singla on the banks of the Ramman River. From an elevation of 7000 feet in Darjeeling's North Point, this ropeway descends to 800 feet at Singla. Stopping at Tukver, Burnesbeg and Singla tea estates, it's an 8 km long ride which takes 45 minutes to reach Singla Bazar. One could get down at any point for a close look at the valleys and continue with the journey any time later. The journey was indeed a memorable one.

The present ropeway has been extensively modernized and visitors can now safely travel over the clouds to witness the aerial view of the luxurious tea gardens below. It is one of the best ways to experience the panoramic views that Darjeeling is so famous for. The ropeway goes over green forests, high mountains, waterfalls, flowing rivers, breathtaking valleys and lush green tea plantations.

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Situated at an altitude of 2590 meters and a distance of 13 kilometres far from the Darjeeling, Tiger Hill is mostly famous for its splendid sights of sunrise from where you can see the peaks of heavenly Kanchenjunga illuminate before the sun is seen at lower elevations. It also provides a beautiful panoramic view of The Great Mount Everest.

The magnificent view of snow-capped mountains sitting amidst cotton clouds attracts tourists to Tiger Hill from Around the country. Interestingly, this is also the summit of Ghoom, which is known to be the highest railway station within the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The entry ticket to the Tiger Hill is Rs.50, however, there are different ticket rates at the Observatory Tower depending on the level. The ground level ticket rate is Rs. 20/- per person, the 1st floor is Rs. 30/- and the top floor which has comfortable seating with slightly better view is Rs. 40/-.

The starting time from Darjeeling is 3.30 AM to reach tiger hill by 4.15 AM The starting time becomes 4.15 AM in winters due to delayed sunrise time. The roads get blocked by a convoy of jeeps and cars during the best time of the season. To get up to the sunrise spot, it requires a short climb on foot from the parking spot. One can book a car or an Innova for INR 1200/ INR 1800 from a travel agency in the city or pay INR 200 per head.

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Situated on the slopes of Jalapahar hills in Darjeeling, the Peace Pagoda, or the Japanese Peace Pagoda is one of the peace pagodas designed to establish unity, harmony and goodwill amongst people belonging to different sections of society. Famous for its tranquillity, it offers stunning views of snow-studded peaks including the Kanchenjunga peak making it an ideal place for peace and nature lovers.

The Peace Pagoda was built under the guidance of Nichidatsu Fujii, a Buddhist monk from Japan. The foundation stone was laid on 3 November 1972 and was inaugurated on 1 November 1992. Designed by M. Ohka, it took almost 36 months to complete the construction. 

As one enters the temple, there is a picture of Fujii Guruji, the founder of Nipponzan Myohoji - a Buddhist order for world peace. He is said to have witnessed the tragedy of Hiroshima - Nagasaki. The title of Guruji was given to him by Mahatma Gandhi. In the temple, you will also come across images of Lord Buddha, alluding to its Buddhist ties.

The pagoda houses the four avatars of Buddha including Maitreya Buddha and was designed to bring together people of different caste in search of peace.

At a distance of 1 km from Ghoom train station and 6 km from Darjeeling, Old Ghoom Monastery, also referred to as Yiga Choeling Monastery, is a Buddhist monastery situated at Ghoom near the beautiful hill town of Darjeeling. It is one of the oldest and most popular Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in the region of Darjeeling and also one of the must visit places in Darjeeling.

Yiga Choeling Monastery was established in 1850 CE by the Mongolian astrologer and monk Sokpo Sherab Gyatso, who was the head of the monastery until 1905 CE. The Monastery belongs to Gelugpa or the Yellow Hat sect. This is the first ever Tibetan Buddhist monastery to be built in the Darjeeling region. During the Chinese occupation of 1959 in Tibet many high ranking monks fled to India and took refuge in this monastery.

The monastery is famous for its 15 feet high statue of Maitreya Buddha or Gyalwa Shampa, which implies Buddha of the future or the upcoming Buddha. This statue was created during the tenure of the second head of the monastery Lama Domo Geshe Rinpoche (1910 - 1952). This is one of the biggest and oldest statues of Buddha in Darjeeling area. This statue was created with clay that was all brought from Tibet. In front of the Buddha's statue there are two huge oil lamps that keep burning throughout the year.

Inside the Yiga Choeling Monastery there are images of the many Buddha deities and lamas like the Chenrezig (Avalokitesvara), Buddha of compassion, and Tsongkhapa who was the founding father of the Gelugpa sect to which the Monastery belongs. Ghoom Monastery preserves some rare, handwritten Buddhist manuscripts. There also are bells and an enormous drum inside.

There is another monastery called Samten Choeling Monastery in Ghoom which is additionally sometimes referred as Ghoom Monastery by the locals. Located on the way to Batasia Loop and Tiger Hill, the Ghoom Samten Choeling Monastery was founded by Domo Geshe Rinpoche. The monastery follows the Gelugpa school of Tibetan Buddhism. A 26 feet tall stupa has been built recently in memory of Lama Anagarika Govinda, a great scholar from Germany well known for his book on Buddhism

The Padmaja Naidu Zoological Park is a splendid enclosure in Darjeeling housing a large number of different sort of animals. Also known as Darjeeling Zoo, this is a haven for animals of all kinds and a huge centre of attraction for animal lovers and nature enthusiasts. The zoo is known internationally for its breeding and conservation programs and also includes an off-display breeding centre for snow leopards and red pandas. In addition to these rarer species, the zoo is also enriched with Asiatic black bear, barking deer, leopards, blue and yellow Macaw, Eastern Pangolin, Pheasant, Himalayan Monal, Himalayan Wolf, Lady Amherst, leopard cat, Macaw, Red jungle fowl, Red Panda, Royal Bengal tiger , Sambar Deer, Temminck's Tragopan, Yak, and lots of more.

This attraction was set up in 1958 and was named after the former governor of West Bengal, Padmaja Naidu, who was also the daughter of Sarojini Naidu. Witha n average elevation of a whopping 7000 feet, it's the most important and biggest high altitude zoo in India. The Padmaja Naidu Zoological Park focuses on breeding animals adapted to alpine conditions and has successful captive breeding programs for the snow leopard, the critically endangered Himalayan wolf and the red panda. The zoo is the central hub for Central Zoo Authority of India's red panda program and is a member of the world Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Owing to its unyielding efforts to repopulate these endangered species, the Darjeeling Zoo has been awarded the prestigious honour of "The Earth Heroes" in 2014 out of over 300 zoos worldwide.

At a distance of two .5 km from Darjeeling railway station, Happy Valley Tea Estate is a vast garden located in Darjeeling town of West Bengal . This is known to be the second oldest tea estate in Darjeeling after Steinthal Tea Estate and also one amongst the favored places to experience Darjeeling Tourism.

Spread over a neighborhood of 177 hectares, Happy Valley garden was established by Mr. David Wilson within the year 1854, which was then referred to as Wilson Tea Estate. In 1903, the estate was taken by an Indian, Tarapada Banerjee, an aristocrat from Hooghly. Later Banerjee bought the Windsor Tea Estate nearby in 1929 and merged the 2 estates under the name of Happy Valley Tea Estate. Since 2008, the tea estate has been under the ownership of Sanjay Bansal. Today, over 1500 people worked within the tea estate.

Located within the vicinity of Darjeeling town, it's one among the main tourist attractions in Darjeeling. It also features a museum and features a factory. Situated at an altitude of two ,100 m, Happy Valley is considered as one of highest tea factories within the world. Being a tourist spot, the Tea Estate offers an opportunity to witness the intricate process of tea production. Walking through a garden on the gentle hill slopes of Darjeeling and seeing the tea processing is usually a special experience. There are guides who will offer to take the visitors inside and show the whole production process of tea. they're usually the workers of the factory acting as guides during their off time and charge small fees.

Happy Valley is popular to supply a number of the best quality of tea in India, which matches by the name 'Super Fine Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe'. This gets further categorized into green tea, White tea and black tea. The plantations here are as old as 150 years. There are seasons for various sorts of tea. Green and tiny little bit of White Tea are plucked during March to May. June to August is that the season for black tea. September to November is again the season for Green and White Tea. During the other months (December to February), teas aren't plucked and therefore the machines don't operate.

Timings: 8 AM to 4 PM, closed on Sunday & Monday

One of the top tourist attractions in Darjeeling, this Observatory Hill is known for its Buddhist and Hindu temples that are spread across this Hill. Some of the famous temples amongst them include Mahakal Temple, Tibetan Memorial Shrine, and Kanchenjunga Temple.
 
The place attracts a large number of tourists, mostly because the trekking routes of this Hill are quite beautiful. There is also a small cave located at a distance of about 15 minutes from the Hill which is highly revered in nature.

People feel blessed after visiting this cave; thus, it is recommended to not miss this place and soak in its good vibes. If someone old is preparing to visit the cave, then it advisable to take little breaks and rest on the benches while making their way to the cave. 
 
This Observatory is one of the oldest sites of the city and thus, it is quite a popular tourist spot of Darjeeling. 
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FAQs

Nightingale Park, Rock Garden, Ghoom Monastery and Peace Pagoda are the best places to visit in Darjeeling if you are visiting for two days. These places will allow you to soak in the rich and extensive natural beauty of the lush green hills of Darjeeling, its tranquility and
Tiger Hill, Batasia Loop, Ghoom Monastery, Rock Garden, Singalila National Park, St, Andrew’s Church and Senchal Lake are some of the best natural and man-made places to visit in Darjeeling for sightseeing purposes. It will always be an enriching experience to walk along the vast tea plantations in Darjeeling and even pluck a few tea leaves on your own to take back home as memoirs from your special trip. The surreal sights offered at all of the places to visit in Darjeeling will leave you in awe of the beauty of these top places to visit in Darjeeling.
Tiger Hill, Ghoom Monastery, Batasia Loop, Senchal Lake, Chunnu Summer Falls. Besides, vast tea plantations like Happy Valley tea garden and various observatory hills around Darjeeling are some of the best places to visit in Darjeeling for couples. You can also have a romantic time with your partner on the ropeway in Darjeeling or parks like Surya Sen Park.
The natural beauty, pleasant weather and the peace and serenity at the places to visit in Darjeeling like its lush green hill slopes make it an ideal destination amongst honeymooners. You will be able to find peace and solace at the places to visit in Darjeeling, making for the ideal setting for a romantic and beautiful honeymoon.
Darjeeling is famous for the serenity and tranquility and natural beauty at the places to visit in Darjeeling, such as lush green hills. It is in fact the only hill station in its region and is therefore a popular tourist spot amongst honeymooners and people seeking a getaway. Darjeeling is famous for its tea products, woollen textiles, and Thuka and momos, its local food delicacies.
While 2 days are often sufficient for the main city of Darjeeling itself such as Tiger Hill, Ghoom Monastery and Nightingale Park, in order to visit all the places to visit in Darjeeling district and soak in the mesmerizing beauty of tourist attractions in Darjeeling, you will need a duration of 5 days on your trip.
The summer months of April to June are the best time to visit Darjeeling, thanks to the pleasant climate and general atmosphere around places to visit in Darjeeling, and the wide range of fun activities to do in Darjeeling during this time.