If you’re intending to visit Darjeeling, your flight would land in Bagdogra Airport. The airport, which serves as a gateway to many destinations in Northern Bengal and Sikkim, is located 16km from Siliguri township. The airport is small and can only accommodate up to 5 flights at any one time.
Approach the West Bengal Tourism Counter if you need information about hostels, travel bookings, pocket maps and printed pocket guides of Darjeeling. There are free trolley and baggage services available for passengers. The aged and the handicapped can request for a free wheelchair. If you’re feeling hungry, there are many food counters, snack bars and juice counters to cater to the needs of travellers. There are duty free shops where the passengers can shop at. ATMs and currency exchange booths are available next to the taxi counters.
Road transport is the only option available for visitors intending to visit Darjeeling. Passengers heading to Darjeeling have the option of taking a taxi or auto rickshaw to get to get there. A cheaper option would be to ask other tourists heading to Darjeeling to share a jeep. Or a minivan. Within Darjeeling, you can opt to take shared jeeps and taxis for excursions to surrounding areas. A better option would be to explore the town on foot because it allows you to enjoy the fresh air and cool climate.
Darjeeling is a hill station surrounded by emerald green tea plantations with a majestic backdrop of the white Himalayan peak. Explore the colonial architecture of buildings built during the Raj period, centuries-old Buddhist monasteries and tea plantations. One of the oldest hill stations in India, Darjeeling caters to adrenaline junkies, nature lovers as well as those wanting a quick escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.
You’ll be awakened by drumming in the streets between 4 and 5 in the morning. Don’t worry, it’s just the monks on their early morning walk. Take a jeep to Tiger Hill for a sunrise view of the snowy peaks of Kanchenjunga. Locals usually flock up to worship the sun, or just to welcome the new day and enjoy the panoramic view of the Himalayan range.
Head to Ghoom Monastery, one of the oldest Tibetan monasteries in the area. Be awed by the 15-foot tall Lord Buddha statue which is one of the oldest and biggest in the Darjeeling area. The monastery houses rare and well-preserved books, incredible murals and paintings. The colourful prayer flags offer visitors a photogenic view of the temples and the surrounding atmosphere. Next, make your way to the Tibetan Refugee Centre, set up by the Dalai Lama’s sister to provide an income for the Tibetan community. Buy high quality rugs, carpets, woven produce and clothes as souvenirs while helping the needy.
Darjeeling is home to one of the finest teas in the world. The flavour is so unique it cannot be replicated elsewhere in the world. Sipping black Darjeeling tea in Darjeeling is an experience on its own. Go on an organised tour to The Happy Valley Tea Estate, one of the highest tea gardens in the world. The tea estates have a long history and grow one of the finest teas.
view of the entire Himalayan belt and gardens filled with colourful magnolias, orchids and tulips. This trek is full of scenic nature and modest village dwellers. The trek takes roughly 8 to 9 days to complete and appeals mainly to seasoned trekkers. Lastly, go on the Darjeeling Himalayan railway, also known as the ‘Toy Train’, which is featured in many famous Bollywood movie song sequences.
This hill station is a haven for trekkers looking for a different and unique experience in India. Darjeeling is the place to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life and to enjoy the scenic views of valleys and the Himalayas.
Did you know?
Genuine “Darjeeling” tea is grown in an area of India at the foot of the Himalayas that’s less than 70 square miles large. For this reason, Darjeeling is highly prized and known as the “Champagne of teas”.
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