Best places to visit in Darjeeling

Darjeeling is in the embrace of the Himalayas, attracting tourists with its breathtaking vistas, colonial charm and cultural vibrancy. But with so much on offer, where do you begin your exploration & where to find the best places to visit in Darjeeling?
Well worry not, this guide is for you and your journey, unveiling the best places to visit in Darjeeling and painting a colorful picture of the experiences that wait.

 

The Iconic Darjeeling Toy Train, A Journey Through Time

Hop on a nostalgic adventure aboard the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Affectionately nicknamed the “Toy train,” these small steam & diesel locomotives whistle through the famous Darjeeling tea gardens, picturesque towns and spectacular loops like the iconic Batasia Loop, offering a unique perspective of the region’s beauty.

Things to Note

  • – Book ahead, especially during peak season from redbus.in
  • – Choose your ride Heritage steam or Diesel.

Unwinding in Darjeeling Zoo & HMI

A place for all animal lovers, the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park, it is home to a diverse species of Himalayan flora & fauna. Witness the majestic Snow leopard, check out the playful Red pandas and mighty Siberian Tigers ( Newly Added) ; and learn about the delicate ecosystem of the Eastern Himalayas. There you will also find Himalayan Mountaineering Institute(HMI), a Legacy of Tenzing Norgay & testament to the pioneering efforts in mountaineering education and training.

Quick Facts

  • – Darjeeling zoo has the only successful breeding program for Snow Leopards in India & South East Asia.
  • – Tenzing Norgay himself served as the HMI’s first Director of Field Training.
  • – The HMI also has the Himalayan Mountaineering Museum, which is the oldest mountaineering museum in India.

Things to note

  • – The park is spread across 67 acres, so wear comfortable shoes for exploring.

Immersing in Cultural Tapestry

Dive into the rich culture of Darjeeling by visiting the Ghoom Monastery, a Tibetan Buddhist monastery where spirituality & tranquility are in the air. Witness the vibrant prayer flags fluttering in the wind, marvel at the intricate paintings, and soak in the peaceful atmosphere.

For another spiritual experience, you can also visit the Mahakal Temple, where both Hindu & Buddhist religions coexist beautifully. These experiences are among the best ways to immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Darjeeling!

Later, wander through the bustling Mall Road, Darjeeling AKA Chowrasta, a place of sights, sounds,people, local handicrafts, fragrant spices, cuisines, and whatnot to tempt your senses.

Things to note

  • – Check opening hours as some monasteries have visiting hours for tourists.

Sipping on History at a Tea Garden

A Darjeeling vacation is incomplete without sipping its world-renowned tea. Schedule a tour of a historic tea estate, like Happy Valley or Makaibari and learn about the meticulous process of cultivating and hand-plucking tea leaves. Indulge in freshly brewed variety of Darjeeling teas in the garden and enjoy its distinct musky aroma & refreshing taste. This unique experience is truly one of the best things to do in Darjeeling !

Things to note

  • – Pre-book your visit: Tours are often by prior booking, especially during peak season.
  • – Makaibari is the 1st certified organic tea estate in India, while Happy Valley boasts the oldest tea factory in Darjeeling.

A Glimpse of Colonial Legacy

Stroll down Observatory Hill Road or visit the various churches architectured in beautiful neo-Gothic styles like the St. Andrews Church, Immaculate Conception Church & the St. Columba’s Kirk. Talking about Colonial architecture you can surely not miss the Darjeeling Clock Tower and many more. These architectural gems transport you back in time, painting a picture of Darjeeling’s colonial past. This historical exploration is one of the best ways to understand the region’s past!
What better way to explore the Colonial legacy of Darjeeling than staying in one. In the British rooms of Udaan Dekeling Resort, a heritage property from 1850 preserving its heritage & charm. Darjeeling boasts a rich colonial heritage that is still evident in its charming architecture.

Things to note

  • – Check the visiting hours for tourists while visiting the churches.
  • – Ask permission before taking pictures inside churches or monasteries.
  • – Enhance your experience by reading about the history of Darjeeling and its colonial architecture before your visit. .

Witnessing Magic at Tiger Hill

No trip to Darjeeling is complete if you haven’t witnessed the captivating sunrise from Tiger Hill. As the first rays of dawn paint the majestic Kanchenjunga in a golden glow, prepare to be awestruck by the panoramic sight. Soak in the nature’s beauty of snow-capped peaks and valleys, lighting up in the golden light. Tip: Bundle up! Tiger Hill gets chilly at dawn. But just in case you missed Tiger Hill you can always have a beautiful view of Kanchenjunga from the balcony of Udaan Himalayan Suites & Spa which is no less than the beauty Tiger Hill offers.

Things to note

  • – Reach at least 30 minutes before sunrise to secure a good spot.
  • – Check the weather forecast before you leave, you won’t get a view if the weather is foggy.
  • – The spectacle lasts about 15 minutes. So Savor it.

Whether it is the Toy train, the Zoo, the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, or the heritage sites, the list is endless for the best places in Darjeeling. You just cannot be done with exploring here. Darjeeling is not just a destination; it’s an experience that touches your soul. Darjeeling offers ample opportunities to explore, find inner peace and reconnect with yourself.
So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags, lace up your boots and start on a journey to discover the best places to visit in Darjeeling. Let this breathtaking haven of natural beauty, cultural vibrancy, and serenity weave its magic on you, leaving you with memories that will last a lifetime.

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