Darjeeling is a beautiful hill station in the state of West Bengal, India. It is known for its stunning views of the Himalayas, lush tea gardens, and rich cultural heritage. Here’s a complete Darjeeling travel guide and trip plan for you:
The best time to visit Darjeeling
The best time to visit Darjeeling is from March to May or from September to November. During these months, the weather is pleasant, and you can enjoy the beauty of the place without any hindrance.
How to reach Darjeeling
The nearest airport to Darjeeling is Bagdogra Airport, which is around 96 km away. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Darjeeling. The nearest railway station is New Jalpaiguri, which is around 88 km away from Darjeeling. From there, you can take a taxi or a shared jeep to reach Darjeeling.
Things to do in Darjeeling
Visit Tiger Hill: Tiger Hill is a must-visit place in Darjeeling, especially for sunrise. The view of the sun rising over the Himalayas is a breathtaking sight that you don’t want to miss.
Explore Darjeeling Himalayan Railway: The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, also known as the “Toy Train,” is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a unique experience to travel on this narrow-gauge railway that runs through the hills and tea gardens.
Visit the tea gardens: Darjeeling is famous for its tea, and a visit to one of the tea gardens is a must-do activity. You can take a guided tour of the tea gardens, learn about tea processing, and even taste some of the best teas.
Visit the monasteries: Darjeeling has many monasteries, and visiting them is a great way to experience the local culture. The Ghum Monastery, Bhutia Busty Monastery, and Yiga Choeling Monastery are some of the most popular ones.
Visit the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park: The Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park is a popular tourist attraction in Darjeeling. It is home to many endangered species, including the snow leopard, red panda, and Himalayan wolf.
Explore the local markets: The local markets of Darjeeling are a shopper’s paradise. You can find everything from handmade souvenirs to local food items. The Chowrasta and Mall Road are the two most popular markets in Darjeeling.
Visit the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute: The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute is a must-visit place for adventure enthusiasts. It offers training in mountaineering, trekking, and skiing.
Take a nature walk: Darjeeling is blessed with natural beauty, and a nature walk is a great way to explore it. You can take a walk through the tea gardens, forests, and hills, and enjoy the stunning views.
Enjoy local cuisine: Darjeeling is a food lover’s paradise, and you can find a variety of cuisines here. Some popular local dishes are momos, thukpa, churpee, and Darjeeling tea. Keventers, Glenary’s, and Sonam’s Kitchen are some of the most popular restaurants in Darjeeling.
Where to stay in Darjeeling
Darjeeling has a range of accommodation options to suit every budget. Some popular options are:
- Mayfair Darjeeling: A luxury hotel with stunning views of the Himalayas.
- Windamere Hotel: A heritage hotel that offers a glimpse into Darjeeling’s colonial past.
- Cedar Inn: A mid-range hotel with modern amenities and a great location.
- Little Tibet Resort: A budget-friendly option with a traditional Tibetan feel.
Itinerary in Darjeeling
Here is an itinerary for a 3-day trip to Darjeeling:
First Day :
- Arrive in Darjeeling and check into your hotel
- Take a ride on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway to Ghum and visit the Ghum Monastery
- Visit the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park
- Enjoy the sunset from the Observatory Hill
Second Day :
- Wake up early and head to Tiger Hill to watch the sunrise over the Himalayas
- Visit the tea gardens and take a guided tour
- Visit the Japanese Peace Pagoda and the Bhutia Busty Monastery
- Explore the local markets in Chowrasta and Mall Road
- Take a nature walk through the hills and forests
- Visit the Yiga Choeling Monastery and the St. Andrew’s Church
- Enjoy local cuisine at a popular restaurant like Keventers or Glenary’s
- Depart from Darjeeling
This itinerary covers the most popular tourist attractions in Darjeeling and allows for some time to explore the local culture and cuisine as a Darjeeling travel guide. However, you can always adjust the itinerary based on your interests and preferences.
What to eat in Darjeeling
Darjeeling is a food lover’s paradise, and you can find a variety of cuisines here. Some popular local dishes are momos, thukpa, churpee, and Darjeeling tea. Keventers, Glenary’s, and Sonam’s Kitchen are some of the most popular restaurants in Darjeeling.
Safety tips for Darjeeling
- Darjeeling is a safe place, but it’s always a good idea to take basic precautions like avoiding secluded areas, not carrying too much cash, and being aware of your surroundings.
- It’s a good idea to carry warm clothing, especially if you are visiting during the winter months.
- Respect the local culture and customs, and dress modestly, especially when visiting religious places.
That’s a complete Darjeeling trip plan for you. I hope you have