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SO, as you decide to travel to the Queen of the Hills, there is a whole lot of sightseeing, history and heritage which is enough to excite your senses. Along with beauty, the sight of the Kanchenjunga at the backdrop is evident from throughout Darjeeling. They say that once is never enough when it comes to this wonderful hill station and the regularity of tourist throughout the year prove that the saying is actually true. If living among the clouds were your lifelong dream, it here that you can make it true. The aroma of the widespread tea gardens as you cross it and the pristine air and environment makes you stay here from now until forever. You must firstly understand that Darjeeling is a paradise for a wonderful time away from worldly monotony and far from your real world. The sound of the Toy train and the routes that coincide with the roads for cars is another aspect that is very unique in here. Everything thing is nearly perfect here.

history of darjeeling

History of Darjeeling

The name of the Queen of hills comes from Dar-jyu-lyang which means "Abode of the Gods". The history states that Darjeeling was first a part of Sikkim and was home to the Lepcha Tribes that were said to be the natives. It was later invaded by the Gurkha Army who defeated the Bhutia and Lepcha army of Sikkim. This happened during the 1780 and it also caused the destruction of the Rabdentse and occupied areas till Teesta. After the Anglo Gorkha war, the area of Darjeeling previously under Gurkha was ceded to the British under the 1816 Treaty of Sugauli and included area between Teesta and Mechi. The British later used Darjeeling as an important buffer state between Nepal and Bhutan. The British were also behind the planting of tea plantations that is one of the most important aspects of Darjeeling.

Places to go

Ghoom Monastery

About 8 kms from Darjeeling is the Ghoom Monastery. Here a very beautiful statue of the Maitrayie Buddha ( prospective Buddha) is established. The Monastery has also preserved some of the rare handwritten Buddhist manuscripts.

Batasia Loop

Established in 1903, this natural history museum packs in its folds a rich collection of fauna found in the Himalayas and in Bengal. Among the attractions are included the estuarine crocodiles. This unique museum also has a good collection of butterflies. The mineral forms of various stones are displayed in a very attractive manner in the museum.

Senchal Lake

A scenic place near the tiger hills. This place has popularly come up as a picnic spot among the tourists. The lake supplies drinking water to the town of Darjeeling.

Kanchenjunga View

From Darjeeling one can have the best, uninterrupted view of the worlds third highest peak. Bhan Bhakta Sarani provides one of the enthralling views of these snow capped peaks. The Chowrasta also gives you a good sight to the Kanchenjunga peak.

Zoological Gardens

The zoo is situated two kms form the main town. This zoological garden houses some of the rare species of animals and birds. This is only zoo in India having the Siberian Tigers. Apart from these the rare Red Panda is also there. The Snow Leopards, Great Grey Birds, Snow Yaks are some the animals which are attracting tourist in great numbers. The entry in the zoo is by tickets which are also valid for the natural history museum and the mountaineering institute & museum.

Snow Leopard Breeding Programme

Nowadays the zoologists and the environmental scientists are trying to protect the endangered species by breeding them in captivity. Following this trend is Kiran Moktan who has devoted his life in breeding program of snow leopards. The snow leopards are not known to have bred in captivity but in this center thanks to the efforts of Kiran Maktan these animals have given birth in captivity. Snow leopards are animals who have to be kept in large enclosures. Visitors are allowed in the center but they have to watch the animals in utter silence.

Botanical Gardens

This place is worth a visit for its exotic and exclusive collection of a variety of Himalayan plants, flowers and orchids. This place is near the taxi stand. The gardens also has a green house.

Tibetan Refugee Self Help Center

In 1959 was established a center for the refuges who had fled Tibet with the Dalai Lama after the Chinese invasion. This self help center has been developed as workshop for the manufacture of handicrafts. The fine and superb carpets, woollens, woodcarvings and leather work form this center has been very popular among the tourists. The money collected after the sale of the products goes to the Tibetans who work here. The variety Tibetan Curios on sale are also attracting the visitors in a big way. This center has established it self in the International scenario as place for hard work, self esteem and truth.

Himalayan Mountaineering Institute & Museums

The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute is on the West Jawahar road. The institute runs courses for training mountaineers as well as has the very good collection of mountaineering equipments which have been used in various mountaineering expeditions and other wise. Specimens of Himalayan flora and fauna are also kept here. The record of attempts made to conquer Mt. Everest has been kept in the Mt.Everest Museum. The institute also screens short films on mountaineering. You can also view the Himalayan peaks through the Zeiss Telescope given to the Nepalese Maharaja by Hitler. Sherpa Tenzing Norgay was the Director of this institute for many years and he was cremated near the institute after his death in 1986. Near the institute is Srabri which gives a very good view of the Single valley and the Kanchenjunga range. One can sit at Srabri and feel the cool breeze from the valley.

Passenger Ropeway

Another tourist attraction in Darjeeling has been the ropeway. This was the first ropeway in India. It connects the North point (7000 ft) to the Singla Bazaar (800 ft). The rope covers a distance of 8 kms in 45 minutes. The seats in the rope way is limited and it is better to get the tickets in advance. The ropeway is exciting and unique for any one visiting Darjeeling.


This one of the important shopping places in Darjeeling . Here the Nehru Road and the Mall Road Intersect each other. The snow capped peaks of Kanchenjunga are visible from this place. Near Chowrata are several Hindu and Buddhists temples. This place is over flowing with foreign tourists. You can also enjoy a pony ride form this place.


Kalimpong is within Darjeeling province and is a subdivision of Darjeeling. It is a small but bustling town in the Himalaya foothills of West Bengal Kalimpong is at an altitude of 1250 meters. This bazaar town was originally a part of Bhutan but later it was taken over by the British and finally it settled down with West Bengal.


Kurseong is mid way between Siliguri and Darjeeling. The way from Darjeeling to Kurseong is generally open through out the year. So, the toy train is not coming to Siliguri then you can come up to Kurseong. This place is equally beautiful and is full of natural splendour.


Mirik is 52 kms from Siliguri and 55 kms from the nearest Airfield of Bagdogra. Mirik is being developed as a new hill station in the mountains. Mirik is surrounded by tea estates, orange orchards and cardamom plantations. It has all the facilities to fulfill the needs of a tourist.

Tukdah Cantonment

It is a beautiful small village about 28kms from Darjeeling which was once a cantonment area during the colonial days. The small hamlet is a peaceful offbeat destination famous for its tea gardens and green pine & cedar forests. The aroma of the unending tea gardens is a fragrance that lingers for a long time. The view of the mountains and the orchids make it a great place to stay in hotels and some homestays, available here.


It is the summit of Singalila Range which is also the second highest area within Darjeeling at an altitude of 12,000ft. The range is one of the most beautiful view point and also an engaging trekking route for adventure seekers. The amazing thing is that you will be able to see 4 of the highest peaks of the world from here. It takes around 5 hours to reach the last motorable point on Sandakphu.

Happy Valley Tea Estate

There are several tea estates in and around Darjeeling district that offer fabulous sightseeing experience and you can also view the tea making process if you are at the right place in the right time. Happy Valley is one of the most prominent tea estates that are very engaging and popular among the tourist that flood here during the peak seasons. It’s at a walking distance from the main town or the Mall too.


It is a small yet wonderfully peaceful serene village about 26 km away from Darjeeling town. It is part of the Senchal Wildlife Sanctuary within Darjeeling and it sits perfectly upon the definition of God’s wonderful creation. It ahs recently gained must tourism hype and is also a perfect place for bird watchers and nature enthusiast. People here are unaware of the modern luxury but have lived in an amazing environment, which is also very rare.


As you head to this roadside retreat of Lamahatta, the place keeps getting dense and dark with more dense forest and pine trees and then you reach the garden with wind fluttering the lined Buddhist prayer flags. It a quiet and beautiful retreat which is very picturesque and serves as a great viewpoint to see the Kanchenjunga, rivers and the beautiful pond that you will find after a kilometer of upward hike.


It is another calm destination that stands at an altitude of about 5800 ft and about 32km away from Darjeeling. The best thing here is the majestic view of the Kanchenjunga and the Himalayan range. It lies about 3 km from Tukdah, another beautiful town of Darjeeling. It lies opposite to the Kalimpong hills and its name is derived from a nepali word for local cooking stoves which is known as ‘Chullahs’. The name means 3 stoves in Nepali.


It is one of the beautiful villages amidst the most beautiful stream that passes from here. The stream and the place have the same name and is very popular among weekend dwellers from nearby plains and hill stations. On a hot day, taking bath on its chilled waters It is located on the way from Sandakphu and Phalut which makes it the best place overnight before catching the morning jeep from nearby Rimbick to return back to Darjeeling.