Darjeeling is the most famous and must visited tourist spot in West Bengal. It is located in the Mahabharata Range of the Himalaya or Lesser Himalaya. The average height of Darjeeling from sea level is 2,050 meter (6,710 feet). Darjeeling is famous for its natural beauty and marvelous atmosphere. At summer Darjeeling is a very good destination to visitors. Many tourists from east and north-east India come to Darjeeling to spend summer vacation. It is internationally renowned as a tourist destination, along with for its tea industry and the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the headquarters of Darjeeling district.
|Altitude||2,042 m (6,400 ft)|
|Location||Darjeeling district in West Bengal, India|
|Nearest City||Siliguri, Kurseong and Kalimpong|
|Distance||77 km from Siliguri and 88 km from New Jalpaiguri|
|Temperature||Summer : Max. 25°C and Min 10°C
Winter : Max. 13°C and Min 2°C
|Clothing||Light woolen and tropical in summer (umbrella and raincoat are useful) and heavy woolen in winter.|
|Languages||Nepali, Gorkha, Hindi, Bengali and English|
|Best Season||March to mid-June and October to December|
In Darjeeling, four main seasons are experienced: summer, rain, autumn and winter. From March to mid of June, plain-land of Darjeeling experienced a high temperature with much humidity. The temperature varies from 20°C to 35 °C. At nights, a cool breeze carries moisture bringing relief to the people.
In mountainous parts of Darjeeling, the average temperature in summer is near about 15°C. After mid of June, South-West monsoons blows over the district, which pick up a huge moisture, from the Bay of Bengal. That moisture forms clouds and causes of rain in all over the district. In Darjeeling an average rainfall is 310 cm. This season is known as rainy season. Until mid of September the West-South monsoon continue.
From mid of November to February, being the coldest time in Darjeeling. It is known as winter season. In plains of Darjeeling, the average temperature in winter is around 14°C. Where in hill area of Darjeeling and its surrounding area, it is experienced nearly 2°C average at night and some time it come downs to the freezing points with snowfall at that places. The lowest recorded temperature in Darjeeling is −5°C on 11th February 1905.
Darjeeling is the headquarter town of Darjeeling district with a Municipality having 32 wards. The municipality consists a board of elected 32 councilors; one from each ward. And they elect a chairman, who is the executive head of the municipality. The Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council's elected councilors are authorized to manage certain affairs of the hills, including education, health and tourism. There have two police stations at Darjeeling and Jorebungalow. A Deputy Superintendent of Police oversees the town's security and law affairs.
As of 2001 India census, total municipal population at Darjeeling is 107,530 with a population density of 10,173 per square km. The sex ratio is 1,017 females per 1,000 males, which is higher than the national average of 933 females per 1000 males. The three largest religions are Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity. The majority of the populace is Gorkhas of ethnic Nepali background. Indigenous ethnic groups include the Limbu, Rai, Tamangs, Lepchas, Gurung, Bhutias, Sherpas and Newars. Other communities are the Bengali, Anglo-Indians, Chinese, Bihari and Tibetans. The most commonly spoken languages in Darjeeling are Nepali, Gorkha, Bengali, Hindi and English.
Tiger Hill : Tiger Hill is situated at an altitude of 2,590 meters from sea level and just 13 kilometers drive distance from the Darjeeling town. This is an ideal place to visit early-morning, when the first sun-ray drops on the snow cover Mt. Kanchenjunga and reflects of colorful rays, which builds a nostalgic scenario of golden sun-ray and snow. This magnificent view of the sunrise over the "Kanchanjunga" earned great attraction to all visitors of the World. Mt. Everest, the highest peak in the World, is also visible from here. If you plan to visit at Tiger Hill, then get up and reach at Tiger Hill as early as possible. Otherwise all positions may be booked but you canâ€™t manage a little place with any cost. So, you should reach at Tiger Hill at or before 4'o clock in the morning.
Batasia Loop and the War Memorial : The Batasia Loop situated about 5 kilometers from Darjeeling town. Here the Heritage Toy train makes a 360 degree turn. You can enjoy the famous Toy train journey between Darjeeling and Ghum, which take a round at famous Batasia Loop. You can manage your Toy train trip twice a day at 10:00 AM and 1:40 PM with a fare of Rs. 50/- for general class and Rs. 250/- per head for First class. Batasia Loop is also famous for the panoramic view of the Mt. Kanchanjunga. A War Memorial is constructed at Batasia Loop in the memory of the brave sons of Darjeeling who died for the country since Independence of the nation. There is a popular market, where you can buy local handicrafts and any other items.
Rock Garden and Ganga Maya Park : Rock Garden and Ganga Maya Park are very popular destination and picnic spot for visitors to Darjeeling. It is developed with natural water falls. One can enjoy the boating facilities and take a breath taking view of the scenic beauty.
Japanese Peace Pagoda : The Japanese Peace Pagoda was inaugurated by a Japanese Buddhist Monk, named Nipponzan-Myohoji in 1982. it is situated on the slopes of the Jalpahar Hill in Darjeeling. It also showcases the four avatars of the Buddha. It is also a very beautiful place to take an excellent view of the Darjeeling town and the Himalayan Range. You can reach at the Japanese Peace Pagoda, by foot or on taxi.
Botanical Garden : In 1878, Mr. W. Lloyd has gifted near about 40 acres of land to build up a botanical garden with the Himalayan and local flora. It has a huge verity collection of rhododendron, magnolia, orchids, etc. of the Eastern Himalayas, situated near the district hospital. Now it is known as Lloyd Botanical Garden. It is open all over the year and there has no any entry fees.
Mirik (elevation 1767 m), just 50 kilometer road distance from Darjeeling has become a popular tourist destination day by day in the tourist map of Darjeeling district for its climate, natural beauty, and well accessibility, less pollution and minimum crowds. It is surrounded by forests, flowers and is a very peaceful and pictorial tourist spot situated in the Himalayan foothills.
Kalimpong is a sleepy little town situated at an altitude of 1,200 m, near about 50 km to the east of Darjeeling.
Kurseong (elevation 1,458 m) is a quaint little town about 30km to the south of Darjeeling on the way to Siliguri.
Sikkim is the second smallest and least populous state of India, nestled in the Himalayas. Sikkim is always attracts visitors with its natural beauty. Its legendry mountains, landscape and monasteries are famous for tourists point of view. There have several magical mountain lakes. Gangtak, Thangu Lake, Yumthang Valley, Lachung, Pelling are some popular tourist destination in Sikkim. Gangtak, capital city of Sikkim is 98 kilomiter away from Darjeeling.
By Road :
Siliguri is the nearest main town to Darjeeling, which is well connected with all major cities and towns in India by train, bus, air and any other vehicles. Darjeeling is just 50 kilometers away from Siliguri, and there has regular bus services in between both towns. But it is a very slow journey due to twisty and steep mountain road up to Darjeeling. You can get shared jeeps with a fare of Rs. 120/- per person, journey time may be 3 hours. It is cheep and faster than bus. Darjeeling is also accessible from Gangtak. You can get jeeps or Tata Sumo from Gangtak to Darjeeling.
By Rail :
The nearest railway stations are New Jalpaiguri (NJP) and Siliguri. And all major cities in India are well connected with both railway stations. And several trains run to and fro the both stations, throughout the day. Some best trains are Rajdhani Express (Gowhati to Delhi) and Darjeeling Mail (Sealdah to New Jalpaiguri, runs at night). Distance between New Jalpaiguri and Siliguri is 12 km and will take 15 minutes to come Siliguri from New Jalpaiguri. You can get taxi and any other vehicles. And then you may follow the above road route to reach in Darjeeling.
You can take your journey with the famous Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, known to all as the 'Toy Train'. You can start your toy train journey from NJP at 9 oâ€™clock in the morning. And it may take at least 6 hours and 30 minutes to reach at Darjeeling.
By Air :
The nearest airport is at Bagdogra, 11 km west from Siliguri by road. It is a domestic airport and scheduled flights with Kolkata, Delhi, Guwahati and all other major cities in India. Air India, Jet Airways, Spice Jet, Air Deccan, Indigo and Druk Airways are some common air service to and fro Bagdogra airport. You can get taxi and local bus from Bagdogra airport to Siliguri. Taxi fare is Rs. 150.00 whether bus fare near about Rs. 10.00
Accommodation is easily available at Darjeeling. A verity of hotels, tourist Lodge, tourist cottages, holiday home are available with various budgets. There has a tourist lodge of WBTDC at Bhanu Sarani, where you can manage a room with 2, 3, 4 or 5 beds. Room fare is start from Rs. 600/- to above, it depends with available facilities. Some other good hotels are available at M.G. Road and H.V. Lama Road. Fare range may be start from Rs. 800/- and above.
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