Darjeeling, The “Queen of the Hills”

Darjeeling – The “Queen of the Hills”  is a flavorful district, internationally known and famous for its tea industry. This hill town is on a lower range of altitude in comparison to the others in the Himalaya, which allows the residents and visitors to escape the immense summer heat of the plains.

Darjeeling is the main town of the Sadar subdivision and also the headquarters of the district. It is located at an average elevation of 6,710 ft (2,050 m) in the Darjeeling Himalayan hill region on the Darjeeling-Jalapahar range that originates in the south from Ghum. The range is Y-shaped with the base resting at Katapahar and Jalapahar and two arms diverging north of the Observatory Hill.  Kanchenjunga, the world’s third-highest peak, 8,598 m (28,209 ft) high, is the most prominent mountain visible. In days clear of clouds, Nepal’s Mount Everest, 29,029 ft (8,848 m) high, can be seen

How To Reach Darjeeling:

Air:
Bagdogra Airport is the nearest airport which is situated about 88 km from Darjeeling. This airport is connected by air traffic services from all major metropolitan cities in India.Roads:
 Bus services to Darjeeling can be availed from Siliguri. Tenzing Norgay Bus Terminus is the main bus terminus in Siliguri from where regular luxury bus is available to reach the Darjeeling.

Railways: New Jalpaiguri is the nearest railhead and is about 88 km from Darjeeling. This railway station is connected with major cities in India by regular trains. Most trains heading towards the North Eastern States of India makes a stop at the New Jaipaiguri Junction.

Distances of nearby cities from Darjeeling:

Distance from Kolkata: 759 km
Distance from Gangtok: 119 km
Distance from Guwahati: 590 km
Distance from Nepal: 677 km
Distance from Sikkim: 120 km

Major tourist attractions in Darjeeling:

Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park – Also known as the Himalayan Zoo or the Darjeeling Zoo, Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park spans across 68 acres and is situated at an elevation of 2134 meters above sea level. Started in 1958, the zoo has a collection of animals and birds found in the Lesser Himalayan region. This zoo is also a breeding center for the rare snow leopard, red panda and the Himalayan wolf. It attracts around 3 lakh visitors every year.

Tiger Hill – At 8,500 feet, Tiger Hill has the highest railway junction of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway line and is a World Heritage Site. It offers spectacular views of the nearby mountain ranges. A drive of around 11 km through the Chowrasta and a 2-hour trek uphill will take you to the place where the peaks of Mount Everest turn orange with the first ray of sunlight.

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway – The toy train ride from New Jalpaiguri to the hills of Darjeeling is a service of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway that started its operations in 1881. Four steam locomotives serve the visitors with a memorable journey into the hills. The trains run until Ghum and passes through Siliguri Town, Siliguri Junction, Sukna and Kurseong. This railway line is among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Singalila National Park – Situated on ridge of Singalila, this national park is at an elevation of 7000 feet. It is a habitat to a wide variety of mammals such as wild boar, pika and barking deer and birds like the blood pheasant, old world babblers and golden-breasted fulvetta. This region is also popular as the trekking route to Phalut and Sandakphu.

Darjeeling Mall
The mall is one of the most popular places in Darjeeling. It is the center of tourist activities in the town and most of the hotels are clustered around the mall. The mall is also the location of the taxi stands from where tourists can hire taxis to the sites in and around Darjeeling.

Ghoom Monastery 
Ghoom is the last destination of the famous Darjeeling toy train. Located six kilomerters from Darjeeling, Ghoom is home to the famous Ghoom monastery at an altitude of 2407 meters. The main attraction of the monastery is the 4.5 meter statue of Maitreya Buddha.

Observatory Hill
This place is a popular point from where tourists can get a magnificent view of the entire region and Mt Kanchenjunga on a clear, sunny day.

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