Darjeeling located in the state of West Bengal is situated at an attitude of 6,710 ft in Lesser Himalaya. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is noted for its Darjeeling Himalayan Railways and its famous tea industry. A large number of inhabitants being Buddhist there are lots of old monasteries are present along its length and breadth. The vivid landscapes, tea plantation, eternal weather and the slopes make it one of the most popular tourist destinations of India. Darjeeling is the highest tea exporter and thus, tea tourism in Darjeeling attracts many visitors during the plucking season. In this season one might observe the women in the fields plucking the leaves. The aroma in the hills surrounds international visitors. Darjeeling spread across the area of 3149 sq Km is one of the important shopping centers where visitors can shop for showpieces, clothes handicrafts and showpieces. The tourists in Darjeeling shop for woolen garments, fashion clothes and shawls.
Gangtok is the capital of the mountainous northern Indian state of Sikkim. This beautiful land is well-known as the land of monasteries. It has large area bounded by lush green forests located on the Shivalik Hills. There are many tourist places in Gangtok and one famous point about this land is its Buddhist Pilgrimage Centre where large number of pilgrims make plans to visit the region. Gangtok Travel Guide drives you to an undefined history of Gangtok but from the pages of early 18th century and 19th century it is outlined that after the defeat of the Tibetans by the British, the town became an eminent commercial hub between Tibet and British India. it is a base for hikers organizing permits and transport for treks through Sikkim’s Himalayan mountain ranges.
How to reach
By Air: Darjeeling is well connected by air from all the major parts of the country by Bagdogra airport. It is the nearest airport and is mere 3 hours drive away from Darjeeling.
By Train: Those thinking to travel to Darjeeling by train can board the famous Darjeeling train from Sealdah and various other express trains from all around the country on a daily basis to reach the nearest railhead New Jalpaiguri. On reaching New Jalpaiguri one can board the famous Toy Train which chugs its way up to reaching Darjeeling.
By Road: Darjeeling is well connected to Siliguri, the terminal city as a fleet of state and private buses run overnight from Calcutta to Siliguri. After deporting at Siliguri, enjoy a 2 hours scenic drive while traversing through the forest and tea gardens either by boarding a luxury bus or private taxi to reach Darjeeling.
By Air: The airport nearest to Gangtok is about 124 kilometres away in Bagdogra, West Bengal. From the airport, you can hire a shared taxi or a private vehicle that will get you to Gangtok in a matter of two hours. The drive from Bagdogra to Gangtok is absolutely stunning with gorgeous mountains and River Teesta as your backdrop.
From Bagdogra, you can also take a TSA helicopter to get to Gangtok in just 20 minutes. However, their services depend on the weather conditions. Chopper flights also get cancelled on the pretext of insufficient bookings.
By Train: The nearest railway station to Gangtok is about 148 kilometres away in New Jalpaiguri in Siliguri. The station is well-connected to major cities like Kolkata and New Delhi. From New Jalpaiguri you can take a taxi to Gangtok or go to Siliguri Bus Station and catch a state-run bus to Gangtok, which will take you about 5-6 hours.
By Road/Self Drive
Tourists rolling in from nearby places like Siliguri, Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kolkata prefer to drive to Gangtok. The roads are well-maintained, except in a few places. The nearest railway station to Gangtok is known as a New Jalpaiguri Railway station in Siliguri. It is almost 148 kilometers away from Gangtok. It takes around 5- 6 hours to reach the Gangtok city from Siliguri. The station is much important for the passenger as there are lots of tourist spots in Siliguri, Gangtok and Darjeeling which are considered at a nearby distance only. Due to immense natural beauty and lots of tourist destination, this station always witnesses huge traffic in terms of passengers.
Places to visit
The Mall: The popular Mall road is commercial street lined by the Tibetans selling hand-Knitted cardigans and is clustered with lot of shops selling souvenirs along with both imitation and real antiques. While exploring the Mall road leads the guest will lead to Chaurasta which is pony riding arena for children.
Observatory Hill: Observatory Hill is locally known as “Makal-Babu-Ko-Thaan” is the oldest site in Darjeeling. The ancient legends reveal that a Red Hat Buddhist Monastery presently called Dorje Ling stood at this spot. The Dorje Ling was destroyed in the 19th Century. In the present time this observatory Hill is perched by both the Shivas and Buddhist believers.
Chowrasta: Chowrasta is the place from where the Mall road originates and finishes. Situated in the heart of Victorian Darjeeling it is a major paradise for the shopping lovers and souvenir collectors. The major shopping items to shop for are tribal ornaments, rosaries, woolen garments, Gorkha daggers and brass statuettes. Local handicrafts are also available for shopping.
Himalayan Mountaineering Institute: The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute was created by the Tenzing Norgay after he conquered Mt Everest with Sir Edmund Hillary on 29th May 1953. The museum display and preserves all the equipments that were used to climb one of the highlights. Near this mountaineering institute is a Zoological garden which is home to exotic wildlife like Siberian tigers, Yaks and Red Pandas etc.
Darjeeling Rangeet Valley Traveler Ropeway: The Darjeeling Rangeet Valley Passenger Ropeway is the first traveler ropeway in India. The reservation of ropeway seats must be done prior. Contact the officer in-charge of the ropeway station for prior bookings of the seat. Frequent share taxi service is available from Market Motor and Taxi Stand is to the Ropeway Station.
Tiger Hill: Tiger hill situated at an altitude of 2,590m is located at a distance of 13 km from Darjeeling and is very popular amongst the tourist for a magnificent sunrise view over the Kanchenjunga range. Standing atop this high mountain peak one can also enjoy the view of Even Mount Everest, the world's highest peak.
Mirik: Located at a distance of 52 km from Siliguri is Mirik. This picturesque land is being developed as a new hill station. It is fondly popular amongst the tourist for its orange orchards, Tea estates and cardamom plantations. The mountains surrounding it are mesmerizing and amazing to view and make you close to Mother Nature. The other nearby attractions to be explored includes Kurseong, Phalut & Sandakphu, the Tibetan Refugee Camp and the Lloyd's Botanical Garden.
Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Toy Train: The Toy Train as it is fondly called, has been the romantic heart of Darjeeling that has touched everybody who has been to this hill paradise. It was introduced in 1881 by the British connecting Siliguri with Darjeeling with a narrow gauge line. It helped cut down the enormous time it took to transport passengers by bullock cart and horse carriages along the Hill Cart Road. It also allowed the less affluent Europeans living at the lower plains to visit the health resort.
- Hanuman Tok
- Saramsa Garden
- Fambong La Wildlife Sanctuary
- Do Drul Chorten
- Enchey Monastery
- Rumtek Monastery
- Tashiding Monastery
- Tsomgo Lake
- Gurudongmar Lake
- The historical Nathula Pass that connects India's Sikkim with China's Tibet Autonomous Region has earned global fame because of its gigantic stretch, historical beauty and heavenly surrounding.