The engrossed azure skies marqueeing over the verdant tea plantations, rolling lush green mountains, thin sheets of misted clouds coating the locale, the behemothic elevated Khangchendzonga piercing the majestic skies, the orchids, pines and beautiful rhododendrons and the adorable Toy Train making it’s way through the hills that leaves you intrigued at the astonishing spectacle, Darjeeling has an aura that takes you back in the twentieth century ambiance and amongst the serenity of the nature.
The place welcomes you with open arms and entraps all your anxieties as well as accommodates you with a fresh atmosphere to breathe in. An exuberance of features of this beautiful Himalayan town at its foothills awaits you as you explore these top things to do in Darjeeling.
Witness the sun peeping out of the clouds and impart its first rays on the twin peaks of Kanchenjunga and bestow the multi-hued morning rays as well as a sweeping view of the Everest, all from the Tiger hill. The first glimmer of daylight makes the hilltop glare in orange hues. Reach at 4:15 am to catch the mesmerizing sight. Located at an altitude of 2590 meters, Tiger hill also proves to be perfect for other adventures like trekking and hiking.
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Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and Zoo
₹50 (Indians) and ₹100 (foreigners)
Nestled along with the zoo, the Institute was established in 1954 and since then has been fascinating the breed of mountaineers as well as commoners. Divulge into the history and some amazing facts at the attached Museum as well as learn the techniques and equipment employed by Mountaineers to survive. The same complex also hosts a zoo that is renowned for its successful snow leopard breeding program. It also houses some rare species like red panda along with golden monkeys, Himalayan bear, Tibetan wolves and Siberian tigers.
Visit the quaint charm of the city as you set foot in this 10 day long jamboree. I situated to escape the violent political agitation, Darjeeling Carnival perpetrates to unveil the rich culture and heritage of the place. Delve in the rock band performances as well as some art exhibitions while you sip some of the local, fresh aromatic tea at the Tea festival. Indulge in a boisterous celebration and lose yourself.
Teesta Tea and Tourism Festival
When: November – December
The aroma that arises, the hues it exudes when brewed and the fresh taste that dissipates the drowsiness and gives a new perspective to rise and shine, the tea definitely deserves a celebration to its honour. Tea tasting among other activities such as cultural activities, water sports, toy train ride, food carnival and film festivals encompass the celebration. The festival targets towards boosting the tourism and brings to people what all the marvelous city of hills hosts.
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Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary
Timings: 06:00 am to 06:00 pm
The panoramic views of the Kanchenjunga and other snow-clad elevating mountains along with a vicinity delved in nature and wildlife, the sanctuary is apt to rest in the lap of mother nature. Spread out in 960.31 hectares, this wildlife haven puts to display an aura of spectacular scenery and abundance of flora and fauna. A reserve earlier, it was granted the title of a sanctuary in 1998. Witness majestic animals like Elephants, Indian Bison, Royal Bengal Tiger and Leopard as well as beautiful birds like Peafowls, Parrots, Kingfishers, Green Pigeons, Partridges and Hornbills.
With rolling lush green hills and an emerging sun in the backdrop, verdant tea plantations makes for a picturesque vista. Take a walk along these sprawling tea gardens and get bewitched by the blossoming green tea leaves and rising whiffs of the aroma. Opt for a home stay and visit these from a local’s perspective. Some prominent tea estates are Makaibari Tea Estate, Singtom Tea Estate Resort and Glenburn Tea Estate & Retreat.
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Darjeeling Toy Train
Reminisce the choreography of the popular song ‘Kasto Maza’ from ‘Parineeta’ which was shot in the same toy train and croon the lyrics as you board this toy train. Making its way through the majestic hills loaded with greenery and misted clouds while emitting smoke out of its chimneys, the toy train ride is a perfect quaint scenario.
Take an 88 km ride from Siliguri to Darjeeling and praise the beauty of this surreal place as the cold breeze makes you twist and twirl.
Soaring at a height of 8586 m, Kanchenjunga Mountains holds the reputation of being the third highest in the world. Sprawling towards Nepal and Sikkim, gushing waterfalls, matted greenery and plantations and snow paints the mountain. It offers a zealous expedition to the trekkers and is home to snow leopard, Himalayan black bear and Assamese macaque. Explore this mountain and get astonished by its beauty.
So, head straight to this splendid hill station and escape the searing heat while you delve in some good times.