Darjeeling hills

10 fascinating things to do in Darjeeling

Author: Mohammed Amaan
Date: 2020-09-11

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The Queen of Hills, Darjeeling, is located in the northern part of West Bengal. Located at an altitude of 2050 meters, it’s known for its year-long pleasant climate and the astonishing view of the majestic Khangchendzonga Range. It’s no wonder that Darjeeling was one of the preferred summer destinations for Britishers.


Holding timeless beauty within its colonial architecture that amicably collides with aspects of modernity, Darjeeling has everything that appeals to tourists. From wonderful tourist landmarks to its tea gardens and a ride on the UNESCO World Heritage site Darjeeling toy train, Darjeeling offers unique experiences


TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN DARJEELING

1. View the Sunrise over Mt. Khangchendzonga at Tiger Hill

Wake up early and visit Tiger Hill from Darjeeling to see the sunrise view of the gigantic Himalayas. Anyone will be amazed to see the beauty from here. For trekkers, there is a trail from Darjeeling to Tiger Hill of about 12 km via Aloobari Monastery. This could be on the list of things to do here.

Distance from Darjeeling to Tiger Hill: 27 km 

View of Khangchendzonga from Tiger Hill

View of Khangchendzonga from Tiger Hill

2. Visit a Monastery

The monasteries of Darjeeling are perfect to learn about Buddhist culture, architect, and beliefs. Yiga Choeling Monastery, situated 8 km from Darjeeling town, is one of the major Buddhist sites near Darjeeling. It is also known as Old Ghoom Monastery. Other such sites include Dali Gompa, Samten Choeling (New Ghoom Monastery), and Tashi Dargyaling Monastery.
Yiga Choeling Monastery, Darjeeling

Yiga Choeling Monastery, Darjeeling

3. Take the Toy Train Ride

The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and taking a ride in it is itself an experience. It’s a 2-foot gauge railway that was built in 1881. This joyride will take you through the local culture of Darjeeling along with a short tour of Batasia Loop. Here, the track spirals around over itself through a tunnel and over a hilltop.

Distance from Darjeeling to Batasia Loop: 9 km

Darjeeling Toy Train

Darjeeling Toy Train

4. Rejuvenate at the Japanese Peace Pagoda

Inaugurated on 1st November 1992, in Darjeeling, the Japanese Peace Pagoda houses four avatars of Buddha including Maitreya Buddha. It was designed to provide a focus for people of all races and creeds to help unite them in their search for world peace. The temple is also known as the Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist Temple. From the top of the Pagoda, you get a panoramic view of the Darjeeling landscape including the Khangchendzonga Range. The prayer timings are from 4:30 am to 6:00 am in the morning and again from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm in the evening. If you can time it right, you can also join the prayers and get an opportunity for introspection and feel the divine peace the temple offers.

Distance from Darjeeling to Peace Pagoda Temple: 2 km

Japanese Peace Pagoda Temple, Darjeeling

Japanese Peace Pagoda Temple, Darjeeling

5. Climb Tenzing Rock

If you have an interest in mountaineering, the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute in Darjeeling is a must-visit place for you. HMI was established on 4th November 1954 in Darjeeling to encourage mountaineering as an organized sport in India. Tenzing Norgay was the first director of field training for HMI. It regularly conducts various mountaineering courses. They are also highly subsidized to encourage mountaineering as a sport. 

Climbing Tenzing Rock should be on your to-do list of Darjeeling. It is a gigantic rock used for practice by HMI volunteers. The right face of Tenzing Rock is used by amateur climbers and even tourists can experience the climb with the help of guides. 

Distance from Darjeeling to Tenzing Rock: 4 km

Tenzing Rock, Darjeeling

Tenzing Rock, Darjeeling

 6. Take a Cable Car Ride 

Darjeeling ropeway started in 1968 and is the first cable car system in India. From the cable car, you get a breathtaking view of the valley below and Darjeeling town. You can see the spread of lush green tea gardens on the hill slopes, flowing rivers, waterfalls, and forests, and to top it all, the magnificent view of the Great Himalayas. It is also called Rangeet Valley Passenger Cable Car of Darjeeling.

Distance from Darjeeling to Ropeway: 14 km

Rangeet Valley Passenger Cable Car, Darjeeling

Rangeet Valley Passenger Cable Car, Darjeeling

7. Raft in the Teesta River

About a 50 km distance from Darjeeling, river rafting in Teesta River is a must addition to your things to do in Darjeeling list. If you are looking for a lifetime experience, this could be an option. As you raft down Teesta, the amazing view of the dense forests along the slope of the mountains, vegetation, birds, and fish, combined with the excitement of rafting through the torrents and foaming waters create an unforgettable experience. Overall an awesome feeling.

There are 6 grades or levels of difficulty depending on the rapids or the current in the river. Grade 1 (with flat calm water) is the easiest and Grade 6 is the most difficult.

Rafting in Teesta River

Rafting in Teesta River

8. Take a Walk in a Tea Estate

Darjeeling produces one of the best teas in the world. There are a lot of tea estates in Darjeeling and taking a walk on those trails is altogether a different experience. You can visit Darjeeling Happy Valley Tea Estate, which is the nearest to town. Nearby areas like Lamahatta, Kurseong, and Mirik also have a good number of tea estates.

Distance from Darjeeling to Happy Valley Tea Garden: 3 km