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Overview of Darjeeling

 
 

DARJEELING (Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council) in northeast India provides the perfect ambiance  of a hill resort with its mild climate and laid back charm. Its verdant hills and valleys are steeped in color, and are interspersed with vast stretches of lush green tea gardens. Presiding over all these is the 8,586 m Mount Khangchendzonga looming over the northern horizon, giving a magical aura to the land that entices thousands to its environs and leaves all the senses intoxicated.

Darjeeling is hemmed in by Sikkim in the north, Nepal in the west and Bhutan in the east. Darjeeling town, Kalimpong and Kurseong are the major urban centres. Heavily influenced by British India, Darjeeling still carries imprints reminiscent of its colonial past. The toy train is one of the most striking examples of Darjeeling's British Raj influence.

DARJEELING TOWN
Darjeeling town (population 83,000 and elevation 2,134 m) is located on a spur with houses hugging the hillside. The places to visit are Chowrasta, a wide promenade atop a ridge lined with shops and restaurants; Mall Road, starting and finishing at Chowrasta, for a leisurely stroll amidst peaceful surroundings and splendid views; Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park which has the Siberian tiger, Himalayan black bear, red panda, snow leopard and many other animal and bird species, and the nearby snow leopard breeding center and the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, a training center for mountaineers which also houses the Everest museum' Natural History Museum, with its fine display of Himalaya wildlife; Observatory Hill which has Hindu and Buddhist Shrines; Dhirdham, a pagoda style Hindu temple; Tibetan Refugee Self-Help Center, a major center for the production of Tibetan carpets, woodwork and leather goods; the Buddhist monasteries of Bhutia Busty, Thupten Sangag Choling(Dali) and Yiga-Choling (Ghoom); Batasia Loop, a marvelous feat of railway engineering; Tiger Hill for its renowned sunrise view over Khangchendzonga and the eastern Himalaya; Japanese Peace Pagoda, established by the Japanese Buddhist order, Nipponzan Myohoji; and Lloyd's Botanical Garden which has a varied collection of Himalayan flora.

Visitors can also take a ride in the Darjeeling-Rangit valley passenger cable car or hop on the toy train which wheezes and winds all the way from Siliguri to Darjeeling town via Kurseong.

The Toy Train:
This train made its first maiden trip in September 1881. Puffing along the two foot gauge track, the gradient of which stays at a maximum of 1 to 20, the train passes through a region, the sheer beauty of which it starts to manifest itself as soon as one begins the journey. UNESCO has declared this train as World Heritage.

Tiger Hill,Rock Garden,Padmaja Naidu Zoo,Japanese Temple etc.


 

 
 
     
   

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