New Delhi: Darjeeling is a hill station which attracts tourists not only from India but from all over the world. It is located in the state of West Bengal on the northern part of the state. It is bounded by the hilly terrains of Himalayas and shares its boundaries with Sikkim, Nepal and Bhutan.
The queen of hills: Darjeeling
Set on the lap of impressive Kanchenjunga, Darjeeling and its tea estates offer some of India’s most tranquil landscape. The perfect Darjeeling getaway is all about scuttling between abundant tea gardens, enjoying the pleasing train ride and taking relaxed walks along the narrow, bustling streets.
Darjeeling can be reached by the 88 Km long Darjeeling Himalayan Railway from New Jalpaiguri, or by National Highway 55, from Siliguri, 77 km away.
The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is a narrow-gauge railway that was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999 an innovative transportation system and becoming only the second railway in the world to have this honour. Bus services and hired vehicles connect Darjeeling with Siliguri and Darjeeling has road connections with Bagdogra, Gangtok and Kathmandu and the neighbouring towns of Kurseong and Kalimpong.
Lets take a look on the places to look out for in Darjeeling, which is also known awsome queen of Hills.
The Darjeeling Zoo which is also known as Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park is a place where every tourist or visitor visiting Darjeeling must go .
The animal lovers will get a look into the Himalayan wildlifeas the Zoo houses many Himalayan wildlife species which can be found exclusively in these zoo only.
It was opened in 1958 and is the largest high altitude zoo in India. It specializes in breeding animals adapted to alpine environment, and has successful confined breeding programs for the Snow leopard, the critically endangered Himalayan wolf and the Red panda.
The zoo attracts about 300,000 visitors every year. The visitors can also find the Himalayan Tahr, Blue Sheep, Himalayan Monal, Grey Peacock Pheasant, Himalayan Salamander Blood Pheasant and Satyr Tragopan.
If you are an early riser you can catch the first rays of the sun up at Tiger Hill, and if you’re lucky and the day is clear, you might even see the Everest at a distance.
Located just above Ghum at the highest point in Darjeeling, Tiger Hill is best known for its stunning view of the sunrise.
It is well-known for its panoramic vision of Mount Everest and Mountt. Kangchenjunga together. The tourists while taking a trip at Tiger Hill, can also visit Senchal Wildlife Sanctuary, which offers great picnic spots, and its two non-natural lakes serve as a tank for supply of water to Darjeeling town.
Ride in Toy Train: It is World Heritage declared by UNESCO and is the second railway to get this status. The toy train on the Darjeeling Himalayan section is not just a source of delight for the young and old, it also represents the engineering skills of the highest order.
This 83 km. long section connecting Darjeeling with the railhead at Siliguri is of great importance.
The railway line from Siliguri to the beautiful hill section of Darjeeling is considered an engineering accomplishment and passes through very picturesque country.
The railway line is laid more or less on the same arrangement as the Hill Cart road, which criss-crosses the line at several locations.
The line between Sukna and Darjeeling is almost all along located on the road-bench wither dodging or on the far edge of the road except at a few locations where the road and rail formations are on different level and follow a different alignment.
Darjeeling is also known as the Mecca of tea and extensive estates producing what we know as the “Champagne of Teas” to the delight of the world. Tea was first introduced in Darjeeling in the mid-19th century by the British, and the expansive tea estates, clubs and bungalows are suggestive of that grand era.
The visitor can just stroll through miles of rolling tea gardens, thump up a conversation with the garden workers and find out how skillfully they pluck the tea leaves.
There are 80 odd operational tea gardens in Darjeeling that span across thousands of acres of land area on open hill slopes. High on the hills with cool breeze and foggy weather, planters and workers come together to form a wonderland where tea grows in the finest form like no where else in the world.
The Darjeeling ropeway was started in 1968 by the forest development department and comprised only a single car which ran one way. Later, it was upgraded to 16 cars and went to and fro. It has become a major source of attraction for the tourists who visit Darjeeling and it’s a must for all the adventure loving people .
It has a height of 2,134 meter in Darjeeling’s North Point (Singamari), this bicable ropeway descended to 244 meter at Singla on the banks of the Ramman river, which with Little Rangeet, meets the Great Rangeet.
The ropeway passed over dense forests, mountain ridges, water falls, flowing rivers, green valleys and tea garden. The passenger ropeway was operated as a joint venture of the West Bengal Forest Development Corporation and the Conveyor and Ropeway Services Private Ltd. It had been revamped in 1988