With snow-capped mountains mulling silently under an azure blue sky as trails of smoke from chimneys waft thoughtfully into the cool mountain air, Darjeeling is the biggest drawcard of West Bengal, and rightly so! Offering good value Darjeeling hotels and opportunities for exploration and adventure, this stunning hill station is surrounded by dramatic mountain ridges, peaceful tea plantations, and beautiful vistas of the Himalayas.
Whatever your bill of fare, Darjeeling has something to woo you with!
In Darjeeling, the serene and the lively are never far apart, blending seamlessly to present a town that is as captivating today as it was way back in 1829 when it mesmerized two British ‘sahibs' so much so that they convinced the King of Sikkim to hand over the town to them.
The name Darjeeling is commonly believed to be a British adaptation of Dorje Ling (the name of a shrine atop the hill) meaning the ‘abode of the thunderbolt'. Around this shrine, emerged a little town that drew its roots from India, Nepal and Sikkim. The Tibetan and Nepali influence are strong in Darjeeling and it is not uncommon for travellers to wonder if they really are in India.
The town is replete with natural wonders and there are enough mountains and water bodies to make adventure sports like water rafting, rock-climbing and ballooning a distinct possibility.
Darjeeling enchants all kinds of tourists and there is a lot to see and do in Darjeeling. Chugging into the little town from Siliguri or the NJP aboard the toy train is definitely a romantic experience and not something you should miss. The toy train or DHR, a relic of the colonial years, is one of the few steam engines remaining in the world. In 1999, it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The town is a bustling hive of activity and offers any number of eateries, shopping malls and bazaars. You can use our map of Darjeeling to find your bearings and also choose a hotel in Darjeeling based on its location. To get acquainted with the local culture, take a locally led Darjeeling tour or take a trip to the local bazaars. Tibetan artefacts, organic tea, bamboo umbrellas and thangkas are all-time favourites from Darjeeling.
You may also want to try the quintessential cuisine of the town. The most popular food in Darjeeling among tourists is the delicious steamed momo, consisting of an outer wrapping of dough and an inner filling of meat, cheese or cabbage.
Added to this, Darjeeling's irresistibly mild climate justifies its prestigious title as the ‘Queen of the Eastern Himalayas'. Snugly perched in the ample lap of the Himalayas, Darjeeling's climate is perhaps its most powerful trump card. Summer and spring are perfect bliss, and tourists from across the world travel to Darjeeling from February to June. If you prefer to visit when the town is not quite so ‘touristy', you could consider a trip in autumn.
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