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12 Best Things to Do in Darjeeling in 2024

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12 Best Things to Do in Darjeeling

Embark on an epic adventure to discover things to do in Darjeeling “the queen of hills” on the foothills of the Himalayas which is primarily well-known for its natural beauty and iconic Himalayan railway you could additionally watch the sunrise from Tiger Hill or explore one of many tea gardens Makaibari tea garden and learn about tea manufacturing. Visit Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park to see snow leopards and purple pandas. Immerse in spirituality at Japanese Peace Pagoda and Ghoom Monastery. Wander through Darjeeling or its neighbouring towns through the iconic Toy train of Darjeeling Himalayan Railway also a UNESCO heritage site. There are so many things to discover and do in Darjeeling, so to help you with that we’ve created a listing of 12 things you could do while you go to the lovely Darjeeling.

Ride the Himalayan Railway Toy Train

Apart from tea, another thing to do in Darjeeling is its historical toy train. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway was built by the British in 1881 and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It stretches from the lower parts of the mountains to the city of Darjeeling. The whole trip takes almost the whole day. But shorter pleasure trips are possible. The most popular is from Darjeeling to Ghoom via the Batasia Loop. The train stops for 10 minutes at the Batasia loop, where there is a viewing area and a war memorial dedicated to the Gurkha soldiers of Darjeeling. It also stops at Ghoom for 30 minutes, where the railway museum is located.

Ride the Himalayan Railway Toy Train

Visit Tea Plantations

There are more than 50 tea estates within the hills surrounding Darjeeling and any experience there could be incomplete without travelling some of them. As you depart the Darjeeling metropolis, you may find gardens everywhere and you could forestall at any appealing vicinity. Most permit you to roam around. Many people additionally sell tea.

Happy Valley Tea Garden is the most well-known tea lawn. It is most effective five mins away from the town and consequently attracts many travellers. The property is steeped in history dating back to 1850 and produces the very best excellent organic tea inside the location. For a further 50 rupees, you can get dressed up in conventional Nepali clothes and pose in a tea plantation. An hour and a half’s drive south of Darjeeling, you will locate a few remarkable tea plantations close to Kurseong is Makaibari Tea Estate which produces some of the rarest and most pricey teas inside the global, Castleton which clearly has a palace and is owned by means of Calcutta’s royal circle of relatives and the sprawling Ambutiya Tea Estate with their organic Darjeeling black tea is highly seemed.

Visit Tea Plantations

Learn About the Tea Processing Process

From March to November, witnessing and even participating in the tea picking process is a big attraction. Some of the larger tea estates offer factory tours. Happy Valley Tea Garden, which is closest to the city, is the best place to go. You will receive a complete demonstration of how to harvest, oxidize, separate and process the leaves. adorable! Guided tea tours run regularly from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. Once a day the fee is Rs.100. Makabari Tea Garden is another recommended place to learn tea processing. Their tea factory tours are well-organized and insightful, and samples are available for tasting. The fee is 20 rupees. They also offer an innovative overnight program where you spend the night in a village with a family of tea pickers and join them in the morning work for an exciting experience.

Stay in Tea Garden Resorts

Want to escape the hustle and bustle of Darjeeling city? Estate owners converted their tea plantation bungalows into exclusive spaces and began to exploit tea tourism. Check out these best places to stay in Tea Gardens, India. They don’t come cheap though, so be prepared to splurge!

Rainbow Valley Resort Kalej Valley Tea Estate, 50 minutes south of Darjeeling, is also a popular budget option. A double room in a wooden cabin costs around Rs 3,500 per night. Tathagata Farm is part of an organic tea-growing community located 45 minutes northeast of Darjeeling. It offers a truly local experience, including country walks and day hikes. Accommodation includes cabins and luxury tents. Room rates start at around Rs1000 per night.

Stay in Tea Garden Resorts

Read More: Darjeeling Homestay to Stay in While Visiting Darjeeling

See how Hindu and Buddhist faiths coexist

Take a detour from Mall Road to the famous Mahakal temple complex on Observatory Hill. The site was formerly the site of a Buddhist monastery built in 1765 by Lama Dorjei Rinzing. He apparently built the Mahakal temple dedicated to Lord Shiva in 1782 after the appearance of three Shiva Lingas. Unfortunately, the temple was invaded and looted by Gurkhas from Nepal in 1815. However, the temple still exists and is surrounded by Buddhist prayer flags and prayer wheels. Don’t be surprised to see Hindu priests and Buddhist monks praying side by side. Several other temples and a holy cave are nearby.

Windamere Hotel Back in Time

Want to know what Darjeeling was like during British rule in India? The venue is the Windamere Hotel on Observatory Hill. Some might say it’s lost in a time warp, while others will find it downright weird. Built in the 1880s as a boarding house for British nurserymen, not much has changed in over a century, including vintage furniture and old-fashioned customs. The hotel prides itself on serving formal meals in the restaurant and has designated mealtimes for children and adults. Guests are requested to dress appropriately for dinner, no pyjamas, nightwear or shorts. A highlight is traditional afternoon tea served by waitresses dressed as tea ladies from the 1930s. You will meet some interesting people there. Rates start from Rs 13,500 per night for a double room, including all meals.

Windamere Hotel Back in Time

Watch at Kanchendung from Tiger Hill

If the weather is clear, most visitors head to Tiger Mountain early in the morning to watch the sunrise over the iconic snowcapped peak of Kangchenjunga. The best months to do this are mid-October to December and March to April. Unfortunately, unpredictable fog has been known to spoil the show. Cold temperatures and waking hours also kept some from leaving.

Depending on the time of year, you should leave the hotel around 3-4 to avoid the crowd. Otherwise, you may get stuck in the caravan and won’t be able to get a seat on the observation deck. Ticket prices range from Rs 30 to Rs 50 depending on the floor. Don’t worry too much if you missed this view as Kanchenjunga can be seen from many places around Darjeeling city.

Watch at Kanchendung from Tiger Hill

Admire the Buddhist Temples

The prevalence of Buddhist monasteries in and around Darjeeling reflects Buddhism, the dominant religion of the region. Bright murals, huge golden statues and the ever-present peaceful atmosphere make them charming tourist destinations. Bhutia Busty Monastery is the closest to the city. Located at the foot of the hill from Chaurast Square, it was built in the 19th century and was moved from Observatory Hill where the Mahakal Temple is located. There are many more monasteries around Gum. These include Yiga Choeling Temple, Guru Temple and Samten Choeling Temple, home to the largest Buddha statue in West Bengal and a must-visit between Gum and Darjeeling.

Admire the Buddhist Temples

Visit the Japanese Peace Pagoda

The Japanese Peace Pagoda is another peaceful and eye-catching attraction between Gum and Darjeeling. It is one of many peace pagodas built around the world under the leadership of Japanese Buddhist monk Fuji Hitatsu in response to the brutal nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II. The monk was a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi and an ardent supporter of unity and nonviolence. The pagoda houses striking golden Buddha statues in various poses and artwork depicting his life. There is a small Japanese temple near it. Upstairs prayer hall, prayers for world peace from 16.30 to 16.00 and from 16.30. to 18. Visitors are invited to play the drums if they wish.

Admire the Buddhist Temples

Explore Local Markets of Darjeeling

Head to Darjeeling’s quintessential Chowka Bazaar, also known as the Lower Bazaar, for an authentic local market experience. Located in the southern part of town, just down the hill from Hill Cart Road, it’s where the townspeople go to buy almost anything at a cheap price. Its lanes are lined with a wide variety of products, including wholesale spices, teas, vegetables, meat, Buddhist relics, masks, household items, shoes, textiles, carpets and hats. The market is open every day except Thursdays from early morning to late evening. Weekends are especially busy as vendors bring in bulk produce from surrounding villages to sell.

See Red Pandas and other Rare Animals at Padmaya Naidu Himalayan Zoo

Padmaya Naidu Himalayan Zoo is one of the high-altitude zoo of India build to help preserve and breed endangered animals local to the Himalayas including snow leopards, Himalayan wolves and red pandas. There also are bears, birds, leopards, deer and reptiles. It is well worth noting that many animals are kept in protected open regions, so observing them is like staring at the wild. In addition, there’s a museum with numerous stuffed animals and birds. The zoo is located in the northern part of the city, about a 20-minute walk from Chaurast alongside the Lebong Cart Road. Opening hours are 8:30 am to 4:30 pm daily (except Thursdays). Allow some hours to peer the entirety.

See Red Pandas and other Rare Animals at Padmaya Naidu Himalayan Zoo

Learn About Mountaineering and Try Mountaineering at the Himalayan Mountaineering Academy

The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute turned behind the zoo in memory of Tenzing Norgay, the first individual to overcome Everest in 1953 with Sir Edmund Hillary. Its museum is a unique repository of facts approximately expeditions to climb Everest and other splendid mountain peaks. It may be visited together with the zoo because the ticket price covers elements. The academy is likewise an operating mountaineering training centre offering mountain climbing courses for all stages and laughs mountain climbing guides. There is an indoor rock wall that expenses 30 rupees to climb. Additionally, Tenzing Norgay Rock, at the northern outskirts of Darjeeling, hosts more extreme outdoor climbing activities.

Learn About Mountaineering and Try Mountaineering at the Himalayan Mountaineering Academy

Read More: Top 10 Places to Visit in Darjeeling

How to Reach Darjeeling

Reaching the jewel of the Himalayas, Darjeeling, calls for a lot of travel options that combine the journey with splendour and adventure. The nearest airport is Bagdogra Airport and Railway Station is NJP, approximately 94 km away with flights from principal cities in India. From Bagdogra, you can take a taxi or hire a private vehicle to reach Darjeeling after a scenic 2–3-hour beautiful ride from plains to plateaus to foothills.

For those who choose to journey through the closest main railway station is New Jalpaiguri (NJP) which connects all over India. From NJP, you can reach Darjeeling by way of taking the unforgettable Darjeeling Himalayan Railway the iconic steam-powered Toy Train, playing breathtaking views alongside the manner or you may reach Darjeeling by road through taxi or shared automobile.

Each route to Darjeeling gives a completely unique insight into the Natural beauty of the vicinity making the journey as worthwhile as the vacation spot itself.

Best Time to Visit Darjeeling

The best time to go to Darjeeling, a jewel within the Eastern Himalayas is for the duration of the spring from March to May and autumn from October to November seasons. Spring ushers in a colourful palette of blooming plant life against the backdrop of majestic Himalayan peaks, with temperatures starting from 6°C to twenty°C, creating an excellent setting for exploring tea gardens and taking part in clear mountain views.

Autumn reclaims the landscape with a clear sky, offering the fine views of the Himalayan variety, along with the awe-inspiring Kanchenjunga, and nice climate with temperatures soaring between 5°C and 15°C. This length is ideal for outside sports like hiking and sightseeing, as the air is crisp and the scenery is at its maximum photogenic.

Both seasons boast an extraordinarily dry climate to ensure that your tours into the mountains and cultural landmarks of Darjeeling are comfortable and rewarding. Avoid the monsoon months, as heavy rains can cause landslides and disrupt travel plans.

Best Time to Visit Darjeeling

Read More: Best Time to Visit Darjeeling All Season Guide

Conclusion

Darjeeling gives a completely unique combination of natural splendour, wealthy culture and adventurous activities. From breathtaking sunrises at Tiger Hill to the peaceful environment of tea gardens and religious solace at monasteries and temples, every corner tells a story. Darjeeling’s Himalayan Railway history adds a historic charm to the experience. Getting to understand the nearby delicacies and crafts affords a deeper knowledge of the region’s dynamic lifestyle. Darjeeling is more than just a vacation spot.

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