Darjeeling is located at an elevation of 2050 meters and it is inhabited by 110 000 people. It is a citiy belonging to the state of West Bengal, India.
Darjeeling will be an enchanting experience for the tourist. The excitement starts as soon as you leave the plains and take the uphill road to this beautiful hill resort in West Bengal. On either side there are eye-soothing sights of the flora of Darjeeling: brilliant red rhododendrons, charming white magnolias, majestic pines and lush green tea bushes covering the entire hill slope.
MAIN ATTRACTIONS OF DARJEELING:
The Darjeeling tea is internationally recognised and ranks among the most popular black teas in the world. Due to the unique agro-climatic conditions of the city, the tea of Darjeeling has a distinctive natural flavour. In the Darjeeling’s tea plantations, tea growers developed distinctive hybrids of black tea and created new fermenting techniques. Darjeeling produces 7% of India's tea, approximately 9 000 000 kgs every year.
Darjeeling Himalayan Railway
Darjeeling can be reached by the 88 kms long Darjeeling Himalayan Railway from New Jalpaiguri. The train has one of the few steam locomotives still in service in India. The opening of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway in 1881 further hastened the development of the region. Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is a 60 cms narrow-gauge railway that was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999.
Japanese Peace Pagoda
The Japanese Peace Pagoda is one of these Peace Pagodas designed to provide a focus for people of all races and creeds to help unite them in their search for world peace. The foundation stone of the pagoda was laid on 3 November 1972. The height of the pagoda is 28.5 metres and diameter is 23 metres.
Built in 1939, Dhirdham Temple was constructed by Rai Saheb Purna Bahadur Pradhan. The temple architecture has been inspired by the famous Pashupatinath Temple at Kathmandu in Nepal. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Yiga Chilling Monastery
Darjeeling has many important Tibetan Buddhist Monasteries. The oldest one is in the town of Ghoom, about eight kilometres from Darjeeling. It is called the Yiga Chilling Monastery or Ghoom Monastery. Constructed in 1875 and belonging to the Gelugpa Sect, it enshrines an image of “the Coming Buddha”.
Himalayan Mountaineering Institute
Tenzing Norgay's ascent of Everest along with Edmund Hillary in 1953 provided the impetus to mountaineering as an organised sport in India. It was to commemorate this singular success that the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI) was founded in Darjeeling. It is made of three parts : The Training Wing is an advisor of field training, The Museum Wing and the Administrative Wing.
Tibetan Self-Help Refugee Centre
The Tibetan Self-Help Refugee Centre was established in 1959 to rehabilitate those refugees who had fled Tibet with Dalai Lama in the wake of the Chinese invasion. There you can see Tibetan craftsmen producing and selling a wide range of Tibetan handicraft such as carpets, woolen boots, wood carvings and leather boots.
Bengal Natural History Museum
The Bengal Natural History Museum contains a representative collection of Himalayan and Bengali fauna. It houses more than 4300 specimens. Bird species, reptiles, and other animals of the Eastern Himalayas are displayed there. The butterfly and beetle section merits special mention. Mineral forms of various stones are attractively displayed.
Lloyd's Botanical Garden
The Lloyd’s Botanical Garden spreads over 16 hectares and has been established in 1878. The Botanical Garden preserves several species of bamboos, oaks, magnolias, cotton easters, wild geraniums and rhododendrons. Here are also conserved notable collections of orchids, cacti and succulents.
Padmaji Naidu Zoological Park
Padmaji Naidu Zoological Park is claimed to be the only zoo in the world to breed Tibetan wolves in captivity. It is also the first South Asian zoo to breed Snow Leopard and Siberian Tiger. Rare red pandas are also seen here. The zoo was established in 1958