Queen of The Hills – Darjeeling
“Queen of the Hills – Darjeeling”, is a town in India’s West Bengal state, India in the Himalayan foothills. Once a summer resort for the British Raj elite, it remains the terminus of the narrow-gauge Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, or “Toy Train,” completed in 1881. It’s famed for the distinctive black tea grown on plantations that dot its surrounding slopes. Its backdrop is Mt. Kanchenjunga, among the world’s highest peaks.
Why One Should Visit Darjeeling?
Darjeeling is a beautiful hill station and also known as by the name of “Queen of the hills”. This is surrounded by different mountains like Kangchenjunga which can be seen from the Tiger Hill point. The best part of Darjeeling is the Steam Engine Train and this place has the highest level Railway Station in India, Ghoom.
Darjeeling, household name because of its varieties of teas and is a hill station with vast expanses of tea estates and Tibetan influence in their craft, culture, and cuisine. Darjeeling was the Summer capital of India under the British Raj and the Toy train, established back in 1881, still runs in this part and is also one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites. This hill station is filled with people from Tibet, Nepal, nearby India states and the Gorkhas and has vast cultural diversity.
longest Asian cable car. Darjeeling is a wonderful place to walk around and explore the tea estates, villages, and markets.
How to reach Darjeeling?
Bagdogra, nearest airport, which has very good connectivity with all the metro cities in India and this airport is approximately 95 KM away from the city. Also one can avail direct flights from Delhi, Kolkata, and Guwahati.
Once a person reaches at the Airport, one can reach the city by hiring taxis. This will take about 3 to 4 hours to reach Darjeeling from the Airport.
Places to visit in Darjeeling:
There are many beautiful places to visit in Darjeeling. Following are the top 5 must be visiting places in Darjeeling:
One can have the best view of this mountain from the Tiger hills, Darjeeling. This would take about an hour to reach at this place from Mall Road, Darjeeling. On a sunny day, it presents an image like it is hanging from the sky. When the first ray of sun touches the mountain, you can not just move your eyes from the mountain
- Himalayan Mountaineering Institute
The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI Darjeeling) was established in Darjeeling, India on 4 November 1954 to encourage mountaineering as an organized sport in India. The first ascent of Mountain Everest in 1953 by Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hilary sparked a keen interest in establishing mountaineering as a well-respected endeavor for people in the region. With the impetus provided by the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, HMI was established in Darjeeling. Tenzing Norgay was the first director of field training for HMI.
HMI regularly conducts Adventure, Basic and Advanced Mountaineering courses. These are very comprehensive courses. They are also highly subsidized to encourage mountaineering as a sport.
Also, there is a museum, “Everest Museum”, which one must visit.
- Japanese Peace Pagoda
Peace Pagoda – constructed by Fuji Guruji whose life mission was the propagation of peace throughout the world. I feel the message is very important in today’s war-mongering world. It is a beautiful white stupa facing mountain Kanchenjunga having Gautama Buddha statue in front. Location is very good. In my opinion, it is a must-visit place in the Darjeeling.
- Passenger Ropeway and Tea Gardens
This is one of the longest Ropeway we had in our travel so far. It takes through approximate 5 kilometers to and fro. One can see beautiful tea gardens and at the stop, visitors can enjoy hot momos and tea with a very nice view of tea gardens.
- Darjeeling Himalayan Railway
If one wants to have an experience of a steam engine train in this era of modernization then he or she should head towards Darjeeling which has India’s highest level railway station, Ghoom.
The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, also known as the DHR or Toy Train, is a 2-foot narrow-gauge railway based on zigzag and loop line technology that runs between New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling in the Indian state of West Bengal, India.