Nestling at an altitude of 2,134m above sea level and 665 km from Kolkata, Darjeeling has
The toy train starting from New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling, a World Heritage Site, offers astonishing views of the Eastern Himalayas. Tiger Hill (2,590 meters) is the highest point in the area and it offers an excellent view of the Khangchendzonga peaks. You will love to watch the spectacular sunrise over the Himalayas at the Tiger Hill. It is just 11 km from the main town. Many other peaks of the Eastern Himalayas can also be seen from this place. On a shiny day the sight of Mount Everest is enthralling. While in Darjeeling, you can explore colonial mansions, churches, Buddhist and Hindu temples, botanical gardens and a zoo for Himalayan fauna. Close to the zoo is the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute which was established in 1954.
A ride on the Darjeeling-Rangit Valley ropeway is a must do here. The longest ropeway ride in Asia offers several panoramic sights. The vast expanse of tea gardens in and around Darjeeling is also worth visiting. The Mall is said to be the heart of Darjeeling town that serves as an important meeting point for all tourists. The Observatory hill, Dhirdam Temple, Aloobaari Monastery, Bhutia Bustee Monastery and the Ava Art Gallery are the other sites worth visiting in Darjeeling.
Ill AROUND DARJEELING Kalimpong: Situated at an altitude of 1,247 meters above sea level, on the northern part of West Bengal, the hill station Kalimpong is situated on the ridge that connects Deola Hill and Durpin Hill. The Teesta River flows under the valley and is the only physical boundary between Kalimpong and Sikkim. This serene and pristine hill station is dotted with many gompas and churches. Zong Dog Palri Fo-Brang Gompa or Durpin Gompa is the largest monastery of Kalimpong. St. Teresa’s Church mimics a Bhutanese Gompa. The famous Kali Temple and Mangal Dham Temples are revered by a lot of Hindus. Dr. Graham’s Home, a beautiful orphanage and school is another attraction here. Samthar Plateau, 80 km south of Kalimpong offers stunning views of Bhutan’s Himalayan range and a chancetovisittraditional villages.
Mirik: One ofthe most important hill stations in the state, Mirik is close to Siliguri (55 km) and Darjeeling (49 km). Situated at an altitude of 1,767 meters above sea level, Mirik has some excellent tourist attractions. The main attraction is the lake in the center of the hill station. The serene surroundings and splendid views ofthe mighty Himalayas, are the major draw of the hill station. You can engage in angling, boating or take a pony ride along the banks of the lake. At Debi Sthan, you will find a temple dedicated to Singha Devi. Mirik is also an ideal base for starting a trek into the Himalayas.
Sandakphu: Situated at a height of 3,636 meters, Sandakphu although not much popular as a tourist destination, is a heaven for adventure lovers. To reach Sandakphu, you must be prepared for a arduous trek for about 12 hours from Maneybhanjan, the gateway to Sandakphu. You can also hire a Land rover from Maneybhanjan. A Trek to the highest point on this hill station will introduce you to the never seen before views of the Himalayan Range. You can have a wonderful view of a long stretch of the Himalayas starting from Bhutan till Mount Everest. The Teesta flows thundering through Sandakphu and extends a tempting invitation to river rafters. It is the only place in the world where you will find a Rhododendron and Silver Fir forests.
Ml Tourist information
The Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council Tourist Reception Centre, Jawahar Road West, Darjeeling. Ph: 2255351. (For organised tours and rafting trips at Teesta Bazaar near Kalimpong and general enquiries)
The West Bengal Tourist Bureau, Chowrasta, Darjeeling. Ph: 2254102