Darjeeling serves as an ideal destination as a mountainous gateway to the Himalayas. It is quite famous for its superb-quality tea called Darjeeling tea, and also for having the first Himalayan passenger railway system. Darjeeling offers the overwhelming beauty of sunrise in the tiger hills. It is also a popular honeymoon destination.
Darjeeling was under the Raja of Sikkim in the historical times. Later on under the British Empire, the city had its plans and the first major road connecting Darjeeling to the other major cities was built in 1839.
[caption id="attachment_914" align="alignright" width="392" caption="Kanchenjunga and Darjeeling seen from Tiger Hill"][/caption]
How to reach
Darjeeling is well connected to the next adjacent major terminal city Siliguri. Even Darjeeling is quite easily reachable from Kolkata. There are several luxurious buses plying to Siliguri from Kolkata on a regular basis at periodic intervals. Darjeeling is another pleasant journey of about a couple of hours from Siliguri. Taxis are also easily available from Siliguri.
The closest railhead from Darjeeling is New Jalpaiguri Station. The dedicated train named Darjeeling Mail connects Darjeeling to Kolkata. There are several other major express trains connecting this mountain city to other different cities of the country. From New Jalpaiguri station, the very famous toy train takes the passengers right up to Darjeeling and the journey is absolutely splendid.
Darjeeling is well connected by air to all parts of the country through Bagdogra (Siliguri), which is the nearest airport and is a mere 3 hours drive from Darjeeling.
Places to see
Dhirdam Temple located inside the city is a popular haunt of the tourists. Tiger Hill situated at 8482 feet is an extraordinary blend of forests and hills and also offers a wonderful view of the majestic Mount Everest. Batasia Loop and War Memorial 5 kms from Darjeeling is situated just below Ghoom. This loop presents an excellent view of the city and the Kachenjunga. Happy Valley Tea Estate is an extensive tea plantation stretching endlessly for kms and one can also purchase the best quality tea from here. Barbotey Rock Garden and Mirik Lake situated not very far are all widely known for their exquisite natural beauty. Local sightseeing trips can easily be arranged by the innumerable city tour and travel agencies.
Famous spots you must not miss
Mirik situated at 5,800 feet on a rare valley formation among hills is a must visit with its naturally formed lake from the waters of innumerable streams gushing down.
High-quality Darjeeling tea, most of which is exported to the foreign countries, is a primary item to be shopped for in Darjeeling, apart from handicrafts and woolens.
Places to stay
Hotel Viceroy, Hotel Seven Seventeen, The Elgin Hotel Darjeeling, Sterling Resorts Darjeeling, Windamere Hotel, Dekeling Hotel, Fortune Resort Central, Hotel Mayfair are some elite hotels of Darjeeling. Budget hotels comprise Cedar Hotel Classic Guest House, and Darjeeling Tourist Lodge.
Best time to visit
May and June in the summer months see a huge influx of tourists from different parts and also the months of September, October, and November are quite ideal for visiting the place.
Summer time can prove to be a very pleasant stay in Darjeeling with the climate at its best. Temperatures seldom soar above 25 degrees Celsius. Winter months are definitely chilly with frequent snow falls.