Darjeeling is a city situated in West Bengal India. Darjeeling is a popular tourist destination known for its natural beauty, tea gardens, and colonial-era architecture. The town is situated in the foothills of the Himalayas and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains. The tea gardens in Darjeeling are a major attraction, and you can take tours to learn about the tea-making process and taste different varieties of tea. The town also has a rich cultural heritage, with many temples, monasteries, and colonial-era buildings that reflect its history. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, also known as the “Toy Train,” is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular tourist attraction. The town also offers a range of outdoor activities, including trekking, rock climbing, and white-water rafting.
This guide will help you plan your Darjeeling Trip. If you are planning a bike ride to Darjeeling, this is going to be a memorable bike trip. There are various options available to reach this place.
Culture Of the City
This place is known for its beautiful tea gardens, mountains, and rich cultural heritage. The city is a melting pot of different cultures, with a diverse population that includes people from various ethnic groups such as Bengalis, Nepalese, Tibetans, and Lepchas.
The culture of this city is a unique blend of Indian, Nepalese, and Tibetan influences. The city is known for its tea gardens and tea production, and you can take a tour of the tea gardens to learn about the tea-making process and taste the different types of tea.
The city is also known for its vibrant festivals and events, such as the Maghi Mela, which is a festival that celebrates the arrival of the new year according to the Nepali calendar. Another popular festival is the Darjeeling Carnival, which is held in the month of December and showcases the culture, food, and traditions of the city.
It is also famous for its traditional handicrafts and souvenirs, such as bamboo baskets, woolen shawls, and traditional jewelry. You can also find traditional Tibetan and Nepali items in the local markets.
Overall, it offers a unique and diverse cultural experience, with a rich history, beautiful landscapes, and a vibrant community. you can enjoy the natural beauty of the area, learn about the culture and history of the city, and immerse yourself in the local way of life.
Best season for Darjeeling tour.
This is a popular tourist destination year-round, but the best time to visit depends on what you want to see and do. Best time to visit Darjeeling–
- Spring (March to May) is the best time to visit if you want to see the beautiful blooming flowers and the tea gardens. The weather is also pleasant during this time, making it perfect for sightseeing and outdoor activities.
- Summer (June to August) is the monsoon season in Darjeeling, so it is the time when you will see the most rainfall. However, if you don’t mind a little rain, you can still enjoy the lush greenery and the cool weather.
- Autumn (September to November) is the peak tourist season in Darjeeling, the weather is pleasant, and the skies are clear, making it the best time to take in the panoramic views of the Himalayas.
- Winter (December to February) is the coldest time to visit Darjeeling, but it is also the best time to see the snow-capped mountains. If you don’t mind the cold, it’s a great time to visit.
So, it depends on what you want to see and experience, you can decide when you want to visit.
Places to visit in Darjeeling.
Darjeeling Tourist Spot
There are so many places to explore in Darjeeling and nearby places. All places have some special location that is most visited or admired. The followings are the places from here. These Darjeeling Tourist spots are must-visit places.
It is situated at an altitude of about 2,590 meters (8,500 feet) and offers spectacular views of the surrounding mountains, including the highest peak in the world, Mount Everest. The hill is most famous for its sunrise views, when the sun rises above the eastern horizon, the first rays of the sun falling on the snow-capped peaks of Mount Everest, Kangchenjunga, Lhotse, Makalu, and others. It is also known for the War Memorial, a monument built to commemorate the Indian soldiers who lost their lives during the Indo-China War of 1962. Tiger Hill is located around 11 kilometers from the main town and can be reached by car or by taking the famous Toy Train of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. It’s a must-visit place for nature lovers, photographers, and trekkers who want to experience the mesmerizing beauty of the Himalayas. This is one of the most visited darjeeling tourist places.
This place, also known as Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park, is a zoo located in Darjeeling. It was established in 1958 and is known for its collection of animals and birds from the Himalayan region, including the snow leopard, red panda, and Himalayan black bear. The zoo also has a breeding program for endangered species and is open to travelers year-round.
HMI(Himalayan Mountaineering Institute)
The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI) is a mountaineering institute. It was founded in 1954 by Jawahar Lal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, to provide training in mountaineering and related adventure sports. The institute includes a museum, a library, and various training facilities for rock climbing, ice climbing, and trekking. It also conducts basic and advanced mountaineering courses, as well as courses for instructors. The institute also operates the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute Adventure Sports Center which offers adventure activities like rock climbing, river crossing, and rappelling to the visitors.
Tenzing Norgay, also known as Tenzing Norgye and Sherpa Tenzing, was a Nepalese Sherpa mountaineer. He was one of the first two individuals known to reach the summit of Mount Everest, which he accomplished with Sir Edmund Hillary of New Zealand on May 29, 1953. Tenzing and Hillary made several attempts to reach the summit before their successful ascent, which was part of the ninth British expedition to Everest. Tenzing’s life as a mountaineer and his role in the history of Mount Everest have made him a celebrated figure in Nepal and around the world. He was honored with various national and international awards for his achievement, including the George Medal by the British government and the Star of Nepal, the second-highest civilian award in Nepal.
Tenzing & Gomba
Tenzing Norgay, the famous Sherpa mountaineer, who was one of the first two individuals known to reach the summit of Mount Everest, had a strong connection from here. He was born in a small village in Nepal but later moved to Darjeeling, where he spent much of his early life. He worked as a porter and a guide in this region, here he developed his skills as a mountaineer. He also trained at the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI), which was established to provide training in mountaineering and related adventure sports. HMI also has a museum dedicated to Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary, the first men to summit Mt. Everest.
Happy Valley Tea Estate
Happy Valley Tea Estate is a tea garden. It is known for producing some of the finest Darjeeling tea, which is considered one of the most sought-after and high-quality teas in the world. The tea estate was established in 1854, making it one of the oldest tea gardens in Darjeeling. The tea estate is spread over an area of 187 hectares and it has around 800 workers working there. Happy Valley Tea Estate is also famous for being the only tea garden in the world where the tea is still plucked and processed by hand. The tea produced in this estate is famous for its musky, fruity, and floral aroma and also has a unique taste. The tea is exported all over the world and is sold under the brand name AV 2 Clonal.
These are the places that you cannot afford to miss if your traveling to Darjeeling. If you have more time then you explore more.
Ghoom Monastery, also known as Yiga Choling Monastery, is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery located in Ghoom. It was built in 1875 and is one of the oldest and most famous monasteries. The monastery is also known as the “Samten Choling Monastery” and it belongs to the Yellow Hat Sect of Tibetan Buddhism.
The monastery is home to a 15-feet-high statue of the Maitreya Buddha, which is the largest in the region and also houses several other statues, thangkas, and other religious objects. The monastery offers a peaceful atmosphere and is a great place to learn about Tibetan Buddhism and culture. You can also take a look at the frescoes and the prayer wheels that adorn the walls of the monastery.
The Monastery is open to visitors every day, except for some religious occasions, and entrance is free. It is a popular tourist attraction and is considered one of the must-visit places in Darjeeling, especially for those interested in Buddhism and Tibetan culture.
It is always advisable to check the visiting hours of the monastery and dress modestly while visiting the monastery, as it is a place of worship.
Observatory Hill, also known as “Chowrasta Hill”. It is a popular tourist spot and offers beautiful views of the surrounding mountains, including Mount Kanchenjunga, the third-highest peak in the world.
The hill is home to the Mahakal Temple, which is considered one of the most sacred temples in Darjeeling and is dedicated to Lord Shiva(Bholenath). The temple is said to be over 400 years old, and it is believed that the temple is the oldest temple in the area. You can also see the views of the city from the temple.
The hill also has a small park and a playground, where you can relax and enjoy the views. You can also take a walk around the hill, which takes about an hour, and enjoy the scenic views.
The hill is open all days of the week and there is no entrance fee to visit. It is a popular spot to visit in the evening as the views are particularly stunning during sunset. It is always advisable to dress modestly while visiting the temple and also check the visiting hours before planning your visit.
Darjeeling Toy Train
The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, also known as the “Toy Train,” is a narrow-gauge railway that runs between New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling in the Indian state of West Bengal. The railway was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999.
The train journey offers beautiful views of the surrounding mountains, tea gardens, and villages, and is a popular tourist attraction. The train has several classes of service, including first class, second class, and open-air seating.
The train departs from New Jalpaiguri and covers a distance of 88 km over several hours, passing through several stations and over several bridges and loops. The journey is considered one of the most scenic railway routes in the world.
It is always advisable to check the schedule and availability of the train before planning your trip. If you are here you should definitely try this.
How to reach Darjeeling?
There are several ways to reach here. You can reach this place by road, air train as well. Depending on your location and preferred mode of transportation. You can reach here by following ways-
By Air: The nearest airport is Bagdogra Airport, which is around 90 km from Darjeeling. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach here. If you are coming from other states or faraway cities you should prefer, Flight.
By Train: The nearest railway station is New Jalpaiguri (NJP), which is around 88 km from Darjeeling. From the station, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach this destination. You can also reach here by Toy train, New Jalpaiguri. If you have plenty of time and you enjoy train travel, I will suggest this mode of transport. Train journeys are always fun, at least this is true for me.
By Bus: There are several state-run and private bus services that connect Darjeeling with major cities in West Bengal and neighboring states. My Suggestion is always to prefer good condition bus. Generally, I don’t prefer the bus.
By Car: You can also drive to this place, as the city is well connected by road. Hire a taxi, or you can also share your taxi, it will reduce the cost.
It is always advisable to check the availability of transport, the travel time, and the cost before finalizing the mode of transportation. My favorite mode of travel is Motorcycle. I have plenty of time just kidding, but I love long motorcycle rides. So, wherever I have to go I will use my motorcycle.
How many days are enough for Darjeeling?
The number of days you need to spend in Darjeeling will depend on your interests and the type of trip you want to have. However, generally speaking, 2-3 days are usually sufficient to see the main attractions and experience the culture and natural beauty of the area.
During your 2-3 days stay, you can visit popular attractions such as:
- Tiger Hill, for a beautiful sunrise over the Himalayas
- Ghoom Monastery, for a glimpse of Tibetan culture
- Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, for a scenic train ride
- Tea gardens, for a glimpse of the tea-making process and to enjoy the beautiful tea gardens
- Visit the local market and experience the local culture
Additionally, you can also go for short trekking, river rafting, and paragliding if you’re interested.
However, If you want to explore more of the surrounding areas, such as Sandakphu and Phalut, you might want to consider staying for 4-5 days.
It’s important to note that these are just suggestions and you can always plan your trip according to your preferences.
Frequently Asked Questions.
The average cost for a Darjeeling trip
The cost of a trip to Darjeeling can vary depending on factors such as the time of year, your accommodation choices, and how many activities you plan to do. However, an average cost of a trip to Darjeeling can be estimated as follows:
Flight or train tickets to New Jalpaiguri or Bagdogra: Prices can vary depending on the time of year and how far in advance you book.
Transportation: From the airport or railway station to Darjeeling, you can either take a taxi or a bus. The cost for a taxi is around INR 3000-5000 depending on the vehicle you choose and for a bus, it can be around INR 250-350 per person.
Accommodation: Prices for accommodation can vary greatly in Darjeeling, but budget options can be found for around INR 1000-2000 per night. Darjeeling hotels can be more affordable if you can negotiate.
Food: The cost of food in Darjeeling can also vary, but budget meals can be found for around INR 200-300 per person.
Activities and Sightseeing: The cost of activities and sightseeing can also vary. A ride on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, also known as the “Toy Train,” can cost around INR 600-1000 per person.
It’s important to note that these are just estimates and the actual cost may vary based on your choices. It is always advisable to have a flexible budget and keep some buffer for any unexpected expenses.
Can we go to Darjeeling in December?
Yes, it is possible to visit Darjeeling in December. December marks the beginning of winter in Darjeeling, and the weather can be quite chilly. The temperature ranges between 5-10 degree Celsius during the day and -5 degree Celsius at night.
It is a good time to visit Darjeeling if you want to experience the chilly weather and see the snow-capped mountains. However, it is important to note that this is the peak tourist season in Darjeeling, so you may need to book your accommodation and transportation in advance. Also, December is considered the best month to visit Darjeeling for Christmas and New year celebrations, So the city will be pretty crowded during this time.
It is always advisable to check the weather forecast before planning your trip and pack accordingly. Do bring warm clothes and comfortable shoes to make the most of your trip.
Cheap Darjeeling tour package from Kolkata.
There are several tour operators and travel agencies that offer affordable tour packages to Darjeeling from Kolkata. The cost and inclusions of the package will depend on the specific tour operator or agency you choose.
Some of the tour packages may include:
Round-trip transportation from Kolkata to Darjeeling by train or bus
Accommodation in budget or mid-range hotels
Sightseeing tours in Darjeeling, including visits to popular attractions such as Tiger Hill, Ghoom Monastery, and the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway
Meals (breakfast and dinner)
The cost of these packages can range from INR 4000-6000 per person, depending on the inclusions, duration, and time of year.
It’s important to note that these are just estimates and the actual cost may vary based on your choices. It is always advisable to do your research and compare prices before booking a tour package. Also, it’s important to carefully read the terms and conditions of the package and ensure that it includes everything you want and need.
Worst time to visit Darjeeling.
The worst time to visit Darjeeling is considered to be during the monsoon season, which typically lasts from June to September. During this time, heavy rainfall can make it difficult to travel around and enjoy outdoor activities, also landslides are common in this area during monsoons, so it can cause disruption in transportation. Also, the tea gardens and the viewpoints are not that clear during this time.
Another time that might not be the best for a visit is during the winter, from December to February, as the temperature can drop to very low, and it can make it difficult for some people to enjoy outdoor activities, especially for older people or children. It may also be difficult to find accommodation during this time as it is peak tourist season in Darjeeling.
Which is the best time to visit Darjeeling?
It totally depends on your preference, this place is visited year-round.
-Spring (March to May) is the best time to visit if you want to see the beautiful blooming flowers and the tea gardens. The weather is also pleasant during this time, making it perfect for sightseeing and outdoor activities.
-Summer (June to August) is the monsoon season in Darjeeling, so it is the time when you will see the most rainfall. However, if you don’t mind a little rain, you can still enjoy the lush greenery and the cool weather.
-Autumn (September to November) is the peak tourist season in Darjeeling, the weather is pleasant, and the skies are clear, making it the best time to take in the panoramic views of the Himalayas.
-Winter (December to February) is the coldest time to visit Darjeeling, but it is also the best time to see the snow-capped mountains. If you don’t mind the cold, it’s a great time to visit.
Why is Darjeeling famous for?
This place is famous for its culture, heritage, history, and its tea. It has only tea plantations in the world that still pluck and process tea by hand. Darjeeling is famous for its tea all over the world.
Is Darjeeling in Assam or West Bengal?
This place is situated in West Bengal India.
What is not so good about Darjeeling?
There are a few things that some people may not like about Darjeeling. One is the weather, which can be quite unpredictable and can change quickly, especially in higher elevations. Additionally, Darjeeling can be quite crowded during peak tourist season, which can make it difficult to navigate and find accommodations. Some people may also find the prices in Darjeeling to be quite high, especially for food and lodging. Additionally, the region has recently been hit by political unrest and strikes(this is not frequent), which can sometimes effect travel plans.
Enjoy your Darjeeling Trip. I hope this Darjeeling tour guide will help you plan your trip. Don’t forget to share this post. Darjeeling Tourism is much far away. I mean to say this place is safe to travel. And at last I would you to visit this place by yourself, I am don’t look for “Darjeeling tourism package” if your prefer self exploration.