What is there not to love about Darjeeling? High above the clouds, this stunning hill station is a peaceful getaway for tourists from around the world. Beyond producing some of the best tea in the world (unofficially known as ‘the champagne of teas’), Darjeeling is a natural and cultural wonder. Discover its vibrant green hills, distant mountain peaks, and unique culture!
Darjeeling is located in West Bengal at an altitude of 2,042 meters/6,700 feet. It is one of the most famous tourist destinations in India – and rightfully so! North of the city, Kanchenjunga (8,586 meters/28,169), the third highest peak in the world, stands tall for all to see. Although spring and autumn provide the best weather in Darjeeling, the city is just as charming throughout the year! The majestic Himalayan views, rolling tea plantations, lively markets, and lovable culture set Darjeeling apart from all other destinations in India.
Locals are mostly ethnically Nepali (Gurkha origin), while some are Lepcha and Bhutia from Sikkim, Tibetan, or Bengali. Most people follow Tibetan Buddhism and the beautiful, ornate monasteries throughout the city are always fascinating to check out! Each one has a gorgeous view of the hills, and a unique character and history. Some of the monasteries in and around Darjeeling are: Dali Monastery, Ghum Monastery, Tamang Monastery, Bhutia Busti Monastery, Yiga Choeling (Old Ghum) Monastery, and the Japanese Peace Pagoda. Stepping into each of these, a feeling of peoce overcomes you, and you will leave feeling a sense of spiritual rejuvenation. One awesome thing to do is visit during the morning or evening puja ceremony, when you can listen to monks of all ages chanting and drumming their hymns.
Some other amazing things to check out are: the Darjeeling Toy Train Joyride (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Mall Road / Chowrasta, and Tiger Hill. The Toy Train whistles its way through the hills, giving you an adventure found nowhere else. The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute was founded by Tenzing Norgay (1 st Everest summiteer) and holds a bunch of equipment used during the first summit, among other things. Mall Road is the main market area in Darjeeling, and Chowrasta is where it begins. Try some delicious local delicacies or buy some handicraft souvenirs before you leave. Tiger Hill (2,573 meters/8,441 feet) is a hilltop just outside Darjeeling where you get a breathtaking view of Mount Everest and Kanchenjunga. These are just a few of Darjeeling’s numerous awesome spots to see!
Of course, a trip to Darjeeling is not complete without a trip to one of the city’s many tea plantations. For tea lovers, this is a bucket list experience. Try either Darjeeling white tea, organic green tea, or oolong tea straight from the garden. Chances are, if you are sipping tea in Darjeeling, the views will be breathtaking as well. Some of the well-known tea gardens around Darjeeling are: Happy Valley Tea Garden, Singtom Tea Estate and Resort, Glenburn Tea Estate, Margarets Hope Tea Garden. Check out our treks, tours, and other adventures around Darjeeling!