Darjeeling is a hill town, located at an altitude of 6,710 ft in North East India. It is a part of the state of West Bengal. The nearest airport is Bagdogra and the nearest railway junction is New Jalpaiguri (NJP). Darjeeling has a very glorious past. This hill station was originally set up as a sanitarium or health resort by the British in the mid 1800s. But over the years, Darjeeling earned its name for its world famous aromatic tea. Later the opening up of roads and Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, added a feather for tourism to prosper.
Darjeeling hill town is small (about 10 square kilometers in area), but it has also a district and spans over a large area of about 2,100 square kilometers. The district has subdivisions like Kurseong, Siliguri, as well as the hill resort town of Mirik.
The beautiful tea gardens on the slopes of rolling hills, the orchids, pines & rhododendrons, the cute Himalayan toy train whistling its way through the mountains makes Darjeeling even more popular among the nature lovers across the world. Darjeeling has a hidden gem, not within itself but in its surroundings. Yes, you guessed it right. The dazzling snow peaks of Kanchenjunga.
Darjeeling is visited by around 6,00,000 Indian tourists and 30,000 foreign nationals every year.
The famous Mall or Chowrasta, is a flat open public square, a pedestrian-only zone free of vehicular traffic and bounded by multi-colored stores with mountains and valleys in the backdrop. Most tourists generally prefer to stay near the Mall area so that they can be close to hub of all activities, restaurants and shops. Otherwise you can stay a bit away, enjoy nature & views, and a location relatively free of crowd. Even there is provision for home stay, where you are staying in a local home, experiencing and enjoying Darjeeling, their livelihood, through their eyes. This is an experience which is completely different from a hotel.
This is why; Mark Twain once said about Darjeeling: "The one land that all men desire to see, and having seen once by even a glimpse would not give that glimpse for the shows of the rest of the world combined".
Darjeeling has a pleasant and cool weather in spring, summer and autumn while the winters are chill.
The magnificent views of the snow peaks of Kanchenjunga, Buddhist monasteries, museums, art galleries, waterfalls, cable car ride are among the few innumerable tourist places in Darjeeling.
Trek lovers can undertake 4-5 hours of walk a day and very few people knows that there are unbelievable treks routes in Darjeeling hills offering stunning views of the mountains, forests and wildlife. Day trips to places like Mirik, Kalimpong and even Lamahatta and Mongpu will keep you engrossed in marvelous scenic views & sights. Jeep safari to Singalila National Park and Sandakphu, a place popular to view four of the world's highest five peaks, all in one stretch of snow.
The visit to Darjeeling is incomplete, if you haven't tasted Darjeeling Tea.