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Darjeeling - the queen of hills

Darjeeling one of the most famous hill station in India, is located in the state of West Bengal. Darjeeling (Alt. 2134m), the quintessential hill station is draped over the ridge with panoramic views of Mt. Kanchenjunga. Its undulating hills are covered with tea plantations, which has a reputation for producing best tea. The word Darjeeling has come from Tibetian means A Place Of Thunderbolt. It has also made a name for itself as a desirable destination for the nature lovers tourists. A well developed tourist infrastructure an high light such as the view of the mount Kanchenjunga range and mount Everest attract travelling from all around the world.

The area of what is now the province of Darjeeling was once a much fought-over strip of land that often changed hands. Before come under British rule it was governed by the king of Sikkim, Bhutan and Nepal. Like many a place along the Himalaya chain Darjeeling's location made it a place of refuge for the British troops who were plagued by heat an disease. By the 19th century the town already had a permanent population 10,000 of which the majority were Nepalis who worked on the newly established Tea plantations. Much later on this migration let to great tensions between their descendants and the west Bengal Govt. the majority of the Nepali speaking population.

Visit the region in spring will have the good fortune of witnessing the magnificent Rhododendron and Magnolia blossom. There are countless tourist places here including great viewpoints, monasteries & religious shrines, tea estates, museums, art galleries, parks & gardens, waterfalls and lot more. Take a look at the ones that we love to visit.

Must visit places around Darjeeling

Ghoom Monastery

Ghoom Monastery is also known as Yogachoeling Gompa. It is located in a place called Ghoom in Darjeeling, hence the name Ghoom Gompa. It was in the year 1875 that a Mongolian astrologer cum monk established the Ghoom Gompa. At the entry of the monastery,Ghoom Monastery there is a huge giant size image of seated 'Maitreya Buddha' (prospective Buddha) inside. Ghoom Monastery There are bells, ornate thanka scrolls and drums inside the monastery. Like many other monasteries in and around Darjeeling, this gompa is also a storehouse of some rare Buddhist manuscripts. Located at a distance of about 8 km south from the main town of Darjeeling, this gompa has become a destination for people seeking peace and serenity. The gompa is located nearby Ghoom station. One can also reach the gompa from Hill Cart Road as it is situated just below the road.

Batasia Loop

Batasia Loop, a massive railway loop around 5 km from Darjeeling is a great place to enjoy a 360 degree view of the beautiful landscapes of Darjeeling and the majestic Kanchenjunga range. Batasia Loop Commissioned in the year 1919,Batasia Loop Batasia Loop commands wonderful view of the serene surroundings with snowcapped mountains of the Eastern Himalayas. There is also a memorial to the Gorkha soldiers of the Indian Army who sacrificed their lives after the Indian Independence in 1947.

Batasia loop gives a fabulous experience to all of its visitors, as one stand on one side of the garden and see the toy train making a complete loop while hooting its whistle along the way and trying to negotiate the spiral track with a double loop.

Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoo

Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoo is a unique Zoo. zoo in the town of Darjeeling in theIndian state of West Bengal. It is situated at an altitude of 2133mt. the largest high altitude zoo in India. against the glorious back ground of the Mount Kanchenjunga. The zoo was opened in 1958, The park is named after Padmaja Naidu 1900-1975, the governor of West Bengal 1956-1967 and the daughter of Sarojini Naidu the nationalist leader, poet.

The Zoo specializes in breeding animals adapted to alpine conditions, and has successful captive breeding programs for the Snow leopard, the critically endangered Himalayan wolf, and the Red panda. The zoo attracts about 450,000 - 500,000 visitors every year.

The high altitude wild life is home to the Siberian Tiger, Himalayan black Bear, Goral, Blue ship, and Dear, Panther, and variety of endangered birds.

Himalayan Mountaineering Institute

The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute was set up following the successful ascent of the Mount Everest-the highest peak in the world by the local hero Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Sir Edmund Hillary on 28 May 1953. Himalayan Mountaineering Institute Himalayan Mountaineering InstituteThe institute has an interesting Everest Museum and also offers some mountaineering and adventure courses. Situated on the Jawahar Parvat, the institute is famous for its unique collection of mountaineering equipment and findings. Apart from Tenzing, legendary mountaineers like Nawang Gombu(the first man to climb Everest twice) and Lattoo Dorjee Sherpa have helped build the reputation of this pioneering institute. The institute is presently under the purview of the Ministry of Defence, Government of India and its museum is worth a visit.

Lloyds Botanical Garden

Contains a representative collection of Himalayan plants, flowers, orchids etc. Lloyd's Botanical Garden displays a fine collection of Himalayan fauna for those with an interest. The highlight of this botanical garden is the two famous living fossils called the Phantom. It is actually a home to a variety of Himalayan plants, flowers and orchids.

Dhirdham Temple

Dhirdham Temple is built in the style of Kathmandu's Pashupatinath temple adds to the varied religious architectural styles of Darjeeling. This temple is also very famous for its unique architectural structure and blend of attractive styles. For those people who love to worship God visit this temple.

Observatory Hills

This point provides one of the breathtaking views of Kanchenjunga peaks. This place is also very sacred for the Hindus and the Buddhists as there are temples and the monasteries at this place. The Kali temple is decorated with the colorful flags. Be aware of the monkey groups as some these are very aggressive.

Bhutia Busty Gompa

With the back drop of the Kanchenjunga range stands a monastery called the Bhutia Busty Gompa. This monastery was shifted from the observatory hills to the present place. The Gompa is a branch of the Nyingmapa sect's Phodang Monastery in Sikkim. The monastery is not far from the chowrasta and is very tastefully decorated. It also has a library which has a copy of the Tibetan Book of the Dead.

Druk thupten sangag choling monastery

This monastery is situated at Dali known as Dali Monastrey , about 4 kms away from Darjeeling town. This is one of the most famous monasteries belonging to the Kargyupa sect. The pioneer of this monastery was Thuksay Rimpoche, who died in 1983 and his incarnate is reported to have been born in 1986 at Ladakh. This monastery is the headquarters of Drukchen Rimpoche XII, the supreme head of the Kargyupa lineage.

Japanese Temple & Peace Pagoda

About 10 minutes by car, you will reach a wonderful area that is symbolic of peace and tranquility. Located in the Jalapahar hill, the Japanese Temple is built in traditional Japanese style where you can join the prayers and feel the spiritual peace amongst humming and chants. Close to it is the Peace Pagoda where there are four large avatars of Lord Buddha. The view from the top is magnificent. You can see the snow peak range from here including the Kanchenjunga.

Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre

This centre was established on October 2nd, 1959 for rehabilitation of Tibetans who followed Dalai Lama and escaped their homeland during the period of mayhem. In order to sustain living, they adopted the principle of self help. The centre is located on a hill top that can be approached from the Lebong Cart Road. You can see Tibetan men and women making exquisite hand crafted items like woollen carpets, shawls, carved wooden crafts, leather items and more. There is an outlet at the centre from where you can buy these items.

Happy Valley

Happy Valley Tea Estate is the oldest tea estate of Darjeeling. Established in 1854, Spread over 437 acres of land, it is located at an altitude of 6,800 feet and hence, is also one of the world’s highest tea factories. Just 3 kms away from Darjeeling, every visitor happily visits the Happy Valley Tea Estate. The plantations here are as old as 150 years and the wide stretches of lush green tea bushes are worth photographing.

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