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The Best Time to Visit Darjeeling

Darjeeling can well be referred to as the queen of West Bengal’s tourist destinations. For years and years, people from all over the world have been known to flock to this little enchanted hilly haven, to delight in its picture postcard scenes, surrounding mountain climbs, steaming momos, tea plantation, and generally mood-uplifting weather.

There’s quite something about returning from a day spent rambling in the hills to a plate of hot comfort food, tea and momos, indigenous to an area. And for a change, you could also go to suitable wildlife reservoirs to have a look at red pandas instead. And did I mention the toy train like railways and the famous Ghum monastery?

What you can do in Darjeeling varies from season to season and it’s wise to plan ahead, the tourist season peaks during October and continues till March, right when winter arrives in all its beauty and descends over this place, coating it.

Darjeeling
Photo by shankar s, CC BY 2.0

MonthsConditionsOur Recommendation
April to JuneLittle sunshine with windy air, it’s the most enjoyable environment of this place.Popular Tourist Season
October to MarchPicture perfect with slight chill in the air.Ideal Time

 

July to SeptemberHeavy rainfalls, so you can face some roadblocks.Off Season

 

Monsoon in Darjeeling is just what the rule book says a proper monsoon should be. There are heavy rains through the day, the rain sometimes continues without pause, without cease and there are mists that crop up quite often, the weather turns foggy as well. The rains are so impactful ecologically that it frequently causes quite a temperature decline towards night.Darjeeling is a lot cooler in comparison to most Indian cities, and this continues through the summer season as well. In April through June, the climate remains pleasant, neither hot nor cold, and this turns out to be a major crowd puller. Tourism is popular during this time, but Darjeeling during the summer months is prone to mists and rains as well, this is almost a frequent occurrence.

This obviously means that monsoon is not a popular tourist choice to spend Darjeeling in, the rains are quite a hindrance and prevents enjoyment of the attractions, and is potent enough to give someone a cold. But if you are the kind that seeks out larger than life romanticism, like some people I know do, you might consider walking off the beaten track.

Winter in Darjeeling is when the tourist side of it really comes to life, in full bloom. The weather is Cold by any standards, and people can feel like they are vacationing in a hill station. You have to have a hard constitution to properly brave this place, whose winter forces native fauna and avian species to migrate, but it’s worth it. Snowfall doesn’t normally occur here.

How to Reach Darjeeling

Darjeeling has very convenient air travel options, the prominent airport being Bagdogra, which hosts a number of flights from places like Kolkata, Delhi, etc. Taxis could take you easily to your hotel once you alight at the airport. Darjeeling is easy to reach by train as well, the major railway station being New JalPaiguri, often abbreviated to NJP, at which trains stop from Mumbai, Kolkata, etc. You can drop by en route to other destinations as well.

Darjeeling India
Photo by Dan Tasse, CC BY 2.0

What to Do and See in Darjeeling

  • Tiger Hill

This is picturesque, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  • Ghum Monastery

A Buddhist monastery located 8000 feet above the ground.

  • Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

The famous nationwide “Toy Train”, the most fun you will have had in a while.

  • Mirik

One of the major tourist arenas of Darjeeling. You can visit monasteries, get in touch with nature through visiting orchards, or in touch with other people through shopping here. Its name translates to “place burnt by the fire”.

  • Have Local Food

The momos and local tea breeds are to die for, famous over the world and a true foodie’s delight.

  • Tea Plantations

These again are world famous, and are beautiful to look at.

Darjeeling is a proper tourist wonder, one of the hotspots of West Bengal. It provides ample glimpses into the nature connect of man-mountains, tea gardens and orchards, lakes and the tea workers greeting you with a smile. You can also shop for goodies here, visit monasteries and ride Toy rail. Hope you plan ahead and have a good time!

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