Sightseeing in Darjeeling starts as early as 3 am! That is, if you want to view the sunrise from Tiger Hill in Darjeeling.
To catch the resplendent view of the rising sun and see Mt. Khangchendzonga in all its glory, visitors have to wake up as early as 3:00 am.
They are then picked up at 3:30 am and driven to Tiger Hill, which is 11 km from Darjeeling.
After a 45-min drive, visitors assemble at the watching platform. The quicker you reach here, the better chances of securing a good spot to view the sunrise (tourist season can get quite crazy).
The first thing you see are stars in the dark sky and a faint light near the horizon—the sun rays are just breaking through. Gradually, the horizon lights up in hues of orange and blue. Around 5:00 pm you can see the sun slowly rising above the horizon—a riveting sight that’s worth braving the chill of the early hours of the day. By now there are hawkers selling tea and coffee as well as woolen caps.
From the other side of the platform, you can see the peaks of Mt Khangchendzonga tinted in warm golden light. The rest of the mountain ranges are hidden behind blue mist.
Next, head to Ghoom Monastery, which is close to Batasia Loop. Also called Samten Choeling monastery, it was built in 1875, and monks follow the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism. The monastery houses Buddhist texts, namely Kangyur, the Buddhist canon comprising 108 volumes. Historically, this monastery provided shelter to high ranking abbots who fled to India from Tibet during the Chinese invasion.
Finally, visit the war memorial at Batasia Loop before lunch time. Batasia Loop is a spiral railway located 5 km from Darjeeling, below Ghum. It was created to lower the gradient of ascent of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. The war memorial is a tribute to the Gorkha soldiers of the Indian Army.