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Places of Interest Around Darjeeling

TIGER HILL (SUN RISE)- The trip to the summit of the hill is through Ghoom, the highest railway station on the D.H. Ry. In the fast receding glimmer of the night, the spectator finds himself standing on the mound bedewed with sparkling frost, plunged in hush and silence and steeped in frigid cold. The first rays of the sun shoot ahead and shed light upon the twin peaks of Kanchenjunga and gradually paint the whole of its snow body with a beautiful orange colour. From Tiger Hill, just the top of Mount Everest (29,002') is visible, peeping out through two other peaks standing by its side. The peak that looks highest is that of Makalu (27,799'). These three peaks are seen to the north-west a little left of Phalut. Everest looks smaller than any of its two sisters, although Everest is not only higher than either of them, but the highest peak in the world, the distance in straight line of Everest from Tiger Hill being 107 miles. This phenomenon arises from the fact that Everest is several miles beyond them.


BATASIA LOOP - Batasia Loop is a famous loop situated on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway between Ghoom and Darjeeling, in West Bengal. Constructed in 1879 it is an engineering marvel and feat where the train takes a very unique turn. The meter-gauge toy train winds its way over this loop. Batasia Loop is just five kilometers from Darjeeling. Batasia Loop is a photographer’s paradise.The War Memorial, constructed in memory of the brave sons of Darjeeling who died for the country since Independence in 1947, is worth visiting.


GHOOM MONASTERY- Called Sakya Monastery, the monastery in Ghoom is located 8 km from Darjeeling. Sakya monastery is a historic as well as significant monastery of the Shakya Order. The original monastery was built during the early twentieth century. The monastery can accommodate around sixty monks. The statue of Maithreya Buddha (meaning “The Coming Buddha), which is 4.57 meter high, of this monastery is of interest here. The monastery also preserves some of the rarest Buddhist manuscripts.


PADMAJA NAIDU HIMALAYAN ZOOLOGICAL PARK - This is the only Zoo in the world to breed Tibetan Wolf in Captivity and the first South Asian Zoo to breed Snow Leopard and Siberian Tiger. Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoo is a unique zoo in the country. It is situated at an elevation of 2133.5 meters against the glorious background of the mighty Kanchenjunga. This zoo in Darjeeling is the only specialized zoo in the country and is internationally recognized because of conservation breeding of Snow Leopard and Red Panda. It was established on 14th August 1958 under the Department of Education of the State for study and conservation of the Himalayan Fauna. On 21st November 1975, the zoo was dedicated by Shrimati Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India, to the memory of Shrimati Padmaja Naidu, former Governor of West Bengal. Since then the zoo is known as Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park.


HIMALAYAN MOUNTAINEERING INSTITUTE- Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI) was founded in Darjeeling with the personal initiative of Late Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India. The Institute was established on 4th November 1954, which was then the hub center of all mountaineering activity in India. Late Maj N.D. Jayal was the first Principal of the Institute whereas Late Tenzing Norgay was Director of Field Training. The Institute is located at an altitude of 6800 feet above sea level.The Institute is the landmark in Darjeeling and an important center of tourist attraction. It commands a magnificent view of Kanchenjunga. The Swiss Foundation for Alpine Research was approached to prepare a scheme for the HMI and Arnold Glatthard, Principal of Swiss Mountaineering School, Rosenlaui, visited Darjeeling for this purpose.


ROPEWAY- Darjeeling Ropeway (Currently not operational) is a ropeway in the town of Darjeeling in the Indian state of West Bengal. The ropeway is a popular tourist destination in the town. Its cars are plied between the North Point in the town of Darjeeling and Singla on the banks of the Ramman river. The journey on the ropeway offers beautiful views of the hills and the valleys around Darjeeling.


TENZING ROCK & GOMBU ROCK- Tenzing Rock and Gombu Rock are situated on Lebong Cart road in Darjeeling and provide a challenging experience for the rock climbers. It is also known as monkey rock. The rock is named after Tenzing Sherpa and Nawang Gombu. Tenzing Sherpa climbed the Tenzing rock in the presence of Jawaharlal Nehru without taking any safety measures. Himalayan Mountaineering Institute conducts rock climbing courses on these rocks.


TEA GARDEN- The tea gardens of Darjeeling are situated at an altitude of 6500 ft to 7000 ft above the sea level. The credit for the fame and fortune of Darjeeling Tea goes to these gardens. About 42000 to 49000 acres are utilized for the production of the tea in the area. The tea garden of Darjeeling plays an important role in increasing the beauty of the hills. 


TIBETAN SELF-HELP CENTRE- The Tibetan Refugee Self-Help Centre was started on October 1, 1959.  It was here in Darjeeling that the Thirteenth Dalai Lama spent his exile in India between 1910 to 1912 following a Chinese invasion at that time. In 1961, the Centre was fully registered as a Charitable organization under the Indian Law. It has also received exemption for Income Tax on all gifts and donations made to it. The production of handicrafts continues to be the Centre's main activity. Today the centre has been exporting to more than 36 countries all over the world. Besides traditional items such as Tibetan carpets, wood, metal and leather works, the Centre have also experimented in finding new production lines incorporating traditional Tibetan motifs which would find a ready market both here and abroad.


GORKHA STADIUM- It is a popular stadium within Darjeeling, West Bengal state of India. This ground is located at Lebong in Darjeeling. It is a vast ground where youngsters often play football. We get to see snow filled mountains as the backdrop which adds to its beauty.


BENGAL NATURAL (HISTORICAL MUSEUM)-Established in 1903, Bengal Natural (Historical Museum) provides visitors with a wonderful view of rich flora and fauna of the hill resort and its surrounding areas. This museum interestingly depicts the archeological proofs of the natural world and the evolution process of natural environment. It is the perfect place for naturalists, as it provides them a rendezvous with numerous exotic varieties of plants and animals. Bengal Natural History Museum offers the visitors an acquaintance with about 4300 specimens of Himalayan fauna, including a number of fauna indigenous to Bengal and Darjeeling. The popular sections at the museum include the blocks of fish, insects, birds, bird eggs, reptiles, butterflies and herbariums. The estuarine crocodile, a rare variety of crocodile, which is held responsible for the loss of many human lives in Asia, is also housed here. This place will be greatly liked by all those who love greenery and wildlife. Except for Thursdays, this museum is open for visitors throughout the week.


JAPANESE TEMPLE- The Japanese Temple in Darjeeling is built in a pure Japanese architectural form. The peace rocks were built by the Fuji Guru in India. The Guru was very much inspired by the thoughts of Mahatma Gandhi and felt the urge to build these stupas after being inspired by Gandhi's teachings. It was built in order to promote peace after he saw the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombing in 1945. It was built in the year 1972. The temple stands on the philosophy of peace and spirituality. The designer of the temple was Dr. M. Okha. The spectacular view of Mount Kanchenjunga along with entire Darjeeling city line is best viewed from this place. If you want to experience the tranquility and serenity of life then it is a must to visit this place. The best part of the Japanese Temple in Darjeeling is when the prayers are chanted. The humming and the solemn chanting of prayers give to the place a spiritual air. The visitors can take photographs inside the temple but it is strictly prohibited during the prayers. If you really want to know the meaning of peace and experience it then the Japanese Temple of Darjeeling is the best place to visit.



AVA ART GALLERY- Situated about 4 km from the Market Square and on the National Highway, Ava.Art Gallery was established in 1965 by the Late. Bhopal Rao Sett and Ava Devi. It is the only Art Gallery of its kind in the Hills. A collection of 60 pieces of art work in water, oil and thread paintings are displayed in the Gallery.


DHIRDHAM TEMPLE- Dhirdham Temple is one of the most popular Hindu temples  in Darjeeling. Located besides the Darjeeling railway station, the temple has Lord Shiva as its presiding deity Dhirdham Temple is regarded as one of the most sought-after tourist attractions in this city. The temple was built in the year 1939, making it one of the oldest Hindu shrines in the city of Darjeeling. It was constructed by Rai Saheb Purna Bahadur Pradhan. The temple has been designed by a Gorkha architect, named Beg Raj Sakya, who was inspired by the architecture of the Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu, Nepal.



ROCK GARDEN- It is situated about 10 kilometers from Darjeeling. While proceeding from the town along Hill Cart Road, one has to turn right, well before reaching Ghum. The road descends rapidly into the valley. With sharp bends all the way, there are breathtaking views at many points. Tea gardens dot the hill slopes. Constructed by The Gorkha Hill Council Tourism Department, The Rock Garden is not one in the conventional sense. A multi-level picnic ground terraced around a natural waterfall, its attraction is in it “being a sort of road-side facility but with a little too much concrete.” The garden offers a beautiful view of a hill stream cascading over rocks along the slope, done up with flower gardens and sitting spaces at different levels. There also is a small lake.


GANGAMAYA & CHUNNU SUMMER FALLS- Ganga Maya Park is further down the road, about 3 kilometers from the Rock Garden. Named after an innocent victim of police firing during the GNLF agitation, “it meanders down the course of a chortling mountain stream, past gazebos, clumps of flowering shrubs and trees, over humped backed bridges under which koi-carp coruscate, and into a circular lake with paddle boats and a waterfall.”It has a small lake where boating facilities are available.  Gorkha folk dances are performed to entertain the tourists.


MIRIK LAKE- The latest addition to the tourism map of Darjeeling is Mirik. This is a valley on a mountain top with a nice lake and friendly people. Many of nature beyond tours starts with Mirik as it is considered an ideal stop over before moving on to more famous destinations. Mirik is situated at an altitude of 1768 meters above sea level. The weather is pleasant here for most part of the year. The temperature rarely comes close to 30 degrees centigrade in summer and during the winter it may hover around 13-18 degrees.


NEPAL BORDER (PASHUPATI MARKET)- Pasupati Market is located on the Indo-Nepal border The market is famous for foreign goods. The place also forms the gateway to Nepal.


JOREPOKHARI- Jorepokhari, also spelled Jodpokhari, is a small picturesque hamlet situated about 16 km from Darjeeling, in West Bengal. It lies on the road connecting Darjeeling with Mirik.Jorepokhari, surrounded by the evergreen forest, is famous for its rich natural heritage.


For local sightseeing it is advised to use your Taxi / Cab that you have used to travel upto Pelling. You can retain your vehicle, use it for sightseeing and also proceed to the next destination. Getting a local taxi for sightseeing is difficult and expensive.

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