A SHORT GUIDEBOOK TO DARJEELING

with women plucking tea leaves a breathtaking memory.The untouched beauty coupled with the picturesque view of mountains along with the availability of unique variety of tea exported everywhere makes it a go to place for people residing in the Eastern Part of the Country.

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How To Get Into Darjeeling?

Darjeeling being a small town , has tourist visiting from all over India. By Plane, the nearest airport is Bagdogra, near Siliguri. It’s a 96 km drive from Bagdogra to Darjeeing, which is approximately a 3 hour drive. By Train,  the nearest railway station is  New Jalpaiguri .The railway route is well connected to cities like Kolkata, Bhubaneshwar, Guwahati , etc. We took The Darjeeling Mail from Kolkata, which takes approximately 12 hours,  the next best alternative is the Paharia Express, which takes almost the same number of hours. From New Jalpaiguri , we ‘ve to take the famous “Toy Train” to the city of tea leaves. It’s difficult to get hold of the tickets of the toy train during the summer months, because of high rush  of tourist.

The   tracks running across the town surrounded by emarald  green plantations, is a popular subject of visit for tourists.  It’s the picturesque mountainous scenery  is the reason  why so many romantic movies  have been filmed ,and Darjeeling has been mentioned in articles of romantic  subject .The  toy train  stops at the Ghoom junction, running  360 degree around the Batasia Loop. What makes it all the more famous, is the fact that it was listed as World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Buses are a convenient option for the ones who ’re backpacking, and  for people who’ve money constraint. Private taxis  are a convenient  option  for family people. Back when I visited Darjeeling in the year of 2016, shared jeeps would charge  Rs. 150-200 (depending the number of riders sharing the ride).

Best time of the year to take a  break?

Darjeeling is a backpacker’s delight and honeymooner’s dream.The best time to visit Darjeeling is between the  months April-June, when the temperature is around 25 degree Celsius. While there are some honeymoon couples who wishes to go at the time of winter i.e.,October-January when the temperature drops down to below 10 degree Celsius.

Best places to Pose for a Camera

The first to top the list, is everyone’s  favourite The Tiger Hills .Before the dawn cracks, witnessing the first rays of sun, hitting the Kanchenjunga peaks , it  makes the Perfect Sunrise. Panoramic view of the toy train  around  Batasia Loops  is a sight to die for. Animal lovers cannot miss paying visit to the Padmaja Naidu Zoological Park, where Red Pandas, Tibetan Wolves, Himalayan bears could be spotted. Tourists in huge numbers are found around  the Ghoom Monastery , one of the oldest monastery in the region. The Peace Pagoda  is the best place for relaxation , and for mental peace.

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What To Grab A Bite In Darjeeling?

Darjeeling is the Hub to multi-cuisines , since it  caters to the needs of tourists from all over the world. The most famous  street food are Momos  and Thukpa, available in all the forms for food lovers. When  in Darjeeling, you just cannot  leave without   tasting the authentic tea leaves. Chaang, a local  brew, similar to beer  served in bamboo sticks catched eyeballs. For tea addicts like me, Darjeeling seemed to be next to heaven. If you fancy spice, treat your taste buds with the Dalle. Dalle is a locally made pickle, which would  surely sent a burning sensation down your spills.

Best Stop For Bargain Hunting?

Never thought my mother’s obsession over collecting unique jewellery items, would lead us to the Mall Road, a place worth visiting. The  atmosphere there  had vibes  which would remind anyone of the ancient Buddhist culture depicted in their art,  paintings ,etc. For those who admire arts and culture, must pay a visit to the Nehru Road which is famous for Buddha statues, knives, handbags, exotic Tibetan items used as souvenir. The Tibetan Self help  centre is one of the few best places known for unique carpets.

Snow capped Himalayan Peaks, the cute Himalayan train , beautiful tea garden amidst the rolling hills ,along with the Tibetan influence of arts, culture and cuisine the town has a lot to offer.