Mountains to Mangroves


Eastern Himalayas Darjeeling Hills

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Darjeeling - Geographically Darjeeling is located at the foothills of the Himalayas, is the northernmost district in the state of West Bengal in eastern part of India. This little town is acclaimed as “Queen of Hills” for the beautiful hill stations surrounding it. Its awe-inspiring scenic beauty will cater a mixed experience amongst the tourists. This town is surrounded by tea gardens and even faces some of the highest peak of the Himalayas.

Kalimpong - A sub-division of Darjeeling district located at an altitude of 4,100 ft. The milder and pleasant weather attracts tourists throughout the year. Wide array of orchids, nurseries and some of the rarest cacti form the economy of Kalimpong. Other noticeable ones include Oak, Maple and chestnut that stretches up the ridge as far as the eye can reach.

Kurseong- The serenity and tranquility of this hill station enthralls the tourists throughout the year. Kurseong is located 32 km away from Darjeeling at an altitude of 1,458 metres. This beautiful hill station is known as “the school town” because of the advent of many schools.

Tiger Hill – the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of Darjeeling is the early morning visit to the Tiger Hill. Experience the early morning chill when going to the hill and come back with the thrill of having seen the play of colours on nature`s canvas. You forget the lost sleep as you are rewarded with the views of the mighty Mt. Kanchendzonga being bathed in different hues of orange and gold as the sunrises. At an altitude of 2590 meters this is the best vantage point to see (subject to clear weather) the peaks of both Mt. Everest and Kanchendzonga together.

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) A world heritage site as declared by UNESCO in the year 1999, the “Darjeeling Himalayan Railway” or “Toy Train” as popularly known, has a history dating back to 1878. This 86 Kms long journey from Siliguri to Darjeeling is on every touristor’s list travelling the North East. The slow chugging of the railway locomotives through bustling Darjeeling town, gives one a first hand experience of being transported to that era where the Britishers ruled & flambouyance meant in every word so of their travails as officers & being in their summer home referred often as the queen of hill stations.

Trek through the Singalila National Park - Trekking through the Singalila National Park to Sandakphu the highest point in West Bengal to an altitude of 12,000 ft. The Trekking programme starts from Maneybhenjung and acquaints you to the full range offering the most fantastic views of snow clad mountains while passing through the temperate forest of Rhododendron and Magnolias. Enjoy out-of the-way camp sites or trekkers hut far from the crowded rest house areas.

Darjeeling Tea – The unparalleled flavor of the Darjeeling tea is what has earned it the name of Champagne of East. Satisfying Tea lovers from across the world, the Tea history in Darjeeling started in 1845 with the first plantation by Dr. Arthur Campbell on an experimental basis by making a cross between the China and Assam tea.  Stay in a century old tea bungalow amidst the lush greenery of the Tea plantation, & interact with the workers and experience the “Orthodox” process of tea manufacture.  

White Water Rafting - A visit to the Darjeeling hills is not all about the scenic beauty, history, and enjoying nature. The white water rafting on the Teesta offers the thrill of instant adrenaline rush. The river Rangit and the Teesta  are graded in the international level at I to IV and considered to be equally good for beginners and experienced rafters.

Darjeeling the “Queen of Hills” : As the name suggests a visit to the North East is incomplete without a visit to Darjeeling. Those who have set their foot once is sure to keep coming back to the place for the sheer aura that it offers & rightly so, the queen of hills is reverred among tourists galore, who are numbed by the reflection of snow, shimmer & sparkle over the mighty Kanchendzonga.

Sunrise Tour in Darjeeling takes around 03 hours during an early clear morning and starts with a visit to the Tiger Hill to watch the spectacular sunrise and its amazing effects on the Mt. Kanchendzonga (29168 Worlds 3rd highest peak),

On the way back visit the Ghoom Monastery - one of the oldest Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in Darjeeling area built in the year 1850 and Batasia Loop War Memorial created to honor and to serve as a memorial for the Gorkha soldiers of Darjeeling area who sacrificed their lives in various operations and wars after India`s independence.

A half day sightseeing in Darjeeling could cover Padmaja N. Zoological Garden (Closed on Thursday) established on August 14, 1958. It specializes in breeding animals adapted to alpine conditions.

Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (Closed on Thursday) was founded in Darjeeling on4th November by Pandit Nehru who said that “The institute trains young men not only to climb Himalayan peaks, but also create in them an urge to climb peaks of human Endeavour.” HMI has the oldest mountaineering Museum of the country established in 1957. 

Tibetan Refugee Self-help Center (Closed on Sunday) established in 1 October, 1959, following the dramatic escape of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, thousands of Tibetans leaving hearth and home, fled into the neighbouring countries to live as free human beings. The production of Tibetan handicraft is the centre`s main activity.  Evening  enjoy a short walk across the Mall and Local Market (Closed on Thursday).

Guests can also take a day excursion to Mirik a small valley in the Singalila hills region, 1767m above sea level. Lake Sumendu with a 3.5Kms path around it is the main attraction of this place. The surrounding forests of pine and cardamom are sure to captivate your heart.

Kurseong, land of little white orchids, is a destination basically for those seeking refuge from the hustle and bustle of everyday city life. The little town can be explored in a half day or maximum a full day – but many decide to stay some time longer just to breathe in the fragrance of tea imbued in the air of Kurseong.

This town is surrounded by tea gardens and factories like that of Makabari and Ambootia. Visit the factory and learn the process of turning the plucked tea leaves – ready to be brewed and enjoyed. If the factory is closed enjoy a stroll through the gardens and enjoy interacting with the families of the workers and gain an insight into process.

Beside the gardens there are viewpoints like Giddha Pahar, Eagle’s Craig; the guests can visit the Netaji museum – the house where Netaji Subhas Bose had been kept under house arrest for some time. This is where Subhash Chandra Bose wrote his speech which he delivered as the president of Haripura Congress in 1938. The museum also stores many articles, letters and artifacts that reflect the story of the leader.  Or you can take a walk around Dow hill.  

Kalimpong - the little town with history, there are no monuments or sights to speak of this history. Local sightseeing in Kalimpong can be covered in a half day covering Durpin Dara (Hill Top) – a beautiful view point from where small town and the surroundings hills can be enjoyed;

Zong Dong Palri Fo-Brong Monastery – consecrated by the then visiting Dalai Lama in 1976 and also houses volumes of sacred texts recognized by various schools of Tibetan Buddhism .  

Next visit the Cactus nursery - Rare cacti both local and imported are grown with utmost care in its nurseries and is open to tourists to enjoy the thorny beauties.

Walk through the local market (Hath Bazaar) where you can experience the colorful life of the local inhabitants of this tiny Himalayan Town.