Darjeeling is located in the Indian state of West Bengal, in the Mahabharat range of the Eastern Himalayas, at the northern most point of West Bengal. The city lies at an average elevation of 2100 meters above sea level amidst a picturesque location in the foothills of Mount Kanchenjunga. The Tibetan word ‘Darjeeling’ literally translates to ‘Land of the Thunderbolt’ and combines the best of Bengali culture and the Gorkha Nepalese culture. The history of Darjeeling is connected to the history of Buddha, the Kingdom of Sikkim and the Indian occupation of Britain. Darjeeling was also known to be the summer capital of the British under the Calcutta Presidency.
The famous Darjeeling Tea is one of the major exports of the city along with tourism, agriculture, and forestry being the major source of the town’s economy. Darjeeling is surrounded by the Teesta and the Mahananda Rivers and provides spectacular views of the mighty Kanchenjunga Mountain. Darjeeling attracts a huge number of tourists each year with its pleasant climate, tea plantations, rivers, waterfalls and views of the eastern Himalayas.
The hill city of Darjeeling was annexed by the British from the Kingdom of Sikkim on accounts of its temperate subtropical highland climate that provided a refuge from the tropical diseases of low lying plains of Bengal. The summers from April till June are usually cool and wet from the early monsoon showers. The monsoon season from July till September receive the maximum rainfall. The winter months from mid-November till February are mildly cold. The annual average temperature of the town ranges between 10 to 15 degrees Celsius.
Best Time to Visit
The climate in Darjeeling stays perennially cool with frequent showers due to the region’s close proximity to the Bay of Bengal. The best time to visit the town is between October till mid-February due to the pleasant climate and less frequent rainfalls that help the visitors enjoy the beauty of the town and its picturesque surroundings.
Attractions/Things to Do
Darjeeling is famous for its tea and agricultural industries. The tea grown in Darjeeling has a distinctive taste and flavor that is endemic to the produce grown in this region. Darjeeling tea is exported worldwide and is an iconic geographical indicator. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is a part of the UNESCO world heritage sites. The famous narrow gauge train also known as the ‘Darjeeling Toy Train’ is one of the most iconic attractions in the city. The train transverses through some of the most picturesque locations amidst the lesser Himalayas and is one of the few railways to still utilize the steam engine locomotive. To checkout more popular places to visit in Darjeeling, please visit Top 10 Places To Visit In Darjeeling.
Padmaja Naidu Zoological Park, Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Rock Garden, Tiger Hill, Japanese Peace Pagoda, Observatory Hill, Batasia Loop, Darjeeling Tea Gardens, St. Andrew’s Church, River Teesta and Jaldapara National Park are few of the several attractions in Darjeeling.
How to Reach
Darjeeling being a hill station and the erstwhile summer capital of the Calcutta is well connected to all major towns in West Bengal and the neighboring states. The nearest airport is in Kolkata and Guwahati in the state of Assam, with several domestic and international flights available via Kolkata and Delhi. Darjeeling is well connected with all major railway stations in India and has several trains available via Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Bhubaneswar, Kolkata and Kochi. Buses, Shared taxis and jeeps can also be availed to reach the town from the neighboring town of Siliguri.
Distance from Major Cities
1. Siliguri – 65 kilometers
2. Guwahati – 503 kilometers
3. Patna – 524 kilometers
4. Kolkata – 610 kilometers
5. Ranchi – 721 kilometers
6. Lucknow – 944 kilometers
7. Delhi – 1,759 kilometers
8. Jaipur – 1,602 kilometers
9. Ahmedabad – 2,162 kilometers
10. Indore – 1,790 kilometers
11. Chennai – 2,260 kilometers
12. Mumbai – 2,250 kilometers
13. Bangalore – 2,465 kilometers
14. Hyderabad – 1,990 kilometers
15. Chandigarh – 1620 kilometers
Accessibility and Accommodation
As a popular tourist destination since the British Raj, Darjeeling houses a large number of accommodation facilities from cheap and simpleton guest lounges to luxurious hotels. The city is well connected via rail, road and air from the other surrounding cities. The UNESCO heritage Darjeeling Mountain Railway is the best way to get the most spectacular and spellbinding views of the surrounding Himalayan foothills. Taxis are available at affordable prices along with local sightseeing trips. The cool climate of Darjeeling makes it possible for visitors to simply walk around the town. Cars can also be rented for personal use and getting around the town.
1 thought on “A Complete Tour Guide To Darjeeling Hill Station”
I’ve just come back from a trip to India where we spent 5 days in Darjeeling! I loved it! I would recommend the tiger hill sun rise trip, getting up at 3am was miserable, but to see sunrise over mt. Everest was truly magical!
As to be expected there’s some very good tea to be drunk in Darjeeling (if you’re into that kind of thing)!