Are you planning for a Darjeeling tour this summer holiday? Do the hills beckon you with their snow-capped peaks and lush green valleys? Are you wondering about the Darjeeling tourist places that you must visit? If you are unsure of where to begin, you have landed on the right page.
In this article, we will take a look at the 15 most interesting places near Darjeeling that you must include in your Darjeeling tour itinerary.
Darjeeling has forever been a favourite summer retreat. Back in the days of the British, Darjeeling was as popular as it is today. The British Viceroys would escape to the picturesque hill station in quest of respite from the intense summer heat. The central point of attraction of Darjeeling tourism is the fact that there is a vibe of colonialism mixed with a typical hilly environment that makes the town unique among other hill stations.
Darjeeling is Beautiful, Darjeeling is Happening
Located at an altitude of 6,710 feet in the Lesser Himalayan ranges, Darjeeling is a tourist’s piece of paradise. The two most prominent parts of tourism in Darjeeling revolve around stunning tea estates and towering monasteries. While the tea estates are a by-product of colonial culture, the monasteries are of Buddhist religious significance.
Yet another prime element of the tourism industry is the irresistible weather of Darjeeling. The weather factor pulls in several tourists each year. It is never too hot in Darjeeling. While summers are mild and pleasant, spring and autumn are the best seasons to visit. In these two seasons, sightseeing is a wonderful experience. With rhododendron flowers in full bloom and clear blue skies, Darjeeling certainly lives up to its label of the ‘Queen Of Hills’.
Read This to Know Darjeeling Weather and Temperature in Details
Due to this great weather and visual delight of Kanchenjunga, tourists always kept pouring into the place. To meet tourist demands and also due to its sheer historical significance a lot of Tourist places got developed nearby centring Darjeeling.
15 Best tourist places to visit in your Darjeeling tour
If a Darjeeling tour is on your mind, then plan your innings in a way so that you can cover all the 15 places that are mentioned below. Trust us when we tell you that you will not be disappointed. The tourist places of interest near Darjeeling can be classified into two broad categories.
- Sight-Seeing Options: Places that you can cover in your Darjeeling Tour while you stay in Darjeeling only.
- Nearby Darjeeling Tourist Places: Tourist Places that should be clubbed with your Darjeeling tour for a night or extended stay
Darjeeling Tour Sightseeing: Places to Visit
#1. Tiger Hill
Watching the sunrise on the horizon from Tiger Hill, Darjeeling, will leave a memory with you that will last forever. Along with the beautiful orange hue of the rising sun, you can also witness a panoramic picture of the majestic Kanchenjunga.
Tiger Hill is around 11 Km away from Darjeeling and is at an altitude of 8482 feet above sea level. The surrounding areas are natural forest reserves. An observatory deck is under construction on the hilltop in order to accommodate the innumerable tourists that come visiting in peak seasons.
The viewing time is around 4 in the morning. It is a usual sight to spot mufflers, scarves, woollen caps, monkey caps, heavy jackets and shivering humans thronged together, waiting patiently for the sun to let out its first rays.
As the sun slowly emerges from the horizon, the view is to die for. The mountain ranges are at a riot of colours while the sun paints the canvas. Photographers will be on cloud nine with the kind of pictures that they will be able to capture. The splendid views will more than makeup for your early morning struggle with sleep and the chill.
#2. Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and Darjeeling Zoo
If you are trekking or a mountain climbing enthusiast, this place is just for you. HMI is a lot of things at the same time. It is a museum, home to a boarding school, the Himalayan Zoological Park as well as a shop for souvenirs.
The museum is stacked with mountaineering gears and artefacts needed for expedition purposes. The museum was built as a tribute to two renowned mountains climbers, Tenzing Norway and Sir Edmund Hillary, who had climbed the Everest in 1953. The boarding school caters to students who wish to study mountaineering.
The zoo is popularly known as the Darjeeling Zoo. It occupies around 68 acres of land and is home to several endangered species. If you love wildlife photography, you can capture a Siberian tiger prowling around or a snow leopard napping peacefully. The ever elusive red panda is also a common sight. You will also spot many species of bright and beautiful birds.
#3. Darjeeling Rock Garden
Around 10 Km from the main town of Darjeeling, there is a Rock Garden that is constructed around Chunnu Summer Falls. It has several tiers and the whole picture looks absolutely amazing from a distance. The waterfall cascades down the rocky slopes and there are well-manicured gardens and benches at each level.
Your car will take you through these slopes and you can view the entire landscape while going uphill. The road uphill is steep and there are sharp curves and bends ahead.
The Rock Garden was built in the 1980s to attract tourist attention to Darjeeling after the brief lull following political troubles in the hill station.
What will instantly captivate you while going uphill is the way the clouds play hide and seek. One moment, it is cloudy and foggy in front of the car’s windshield and the next moment, the clouds have transported to the tier below the one you are riding on.
The waterfall descends with a soothing rhythm that calms your soul while you go downhill. Bright and beautiful flowers are in full bloom in seasons and the garden is skilfully ornamented with these flowers.
#4. Batasia Loop
Around 5 Km away from Darjeeling, Batasia Loop is a circular railway track around a well-landscaped garden. The garden covers an area of 50,000 sq ft and is dotted with several plants bearing flowers. It is situated at the base of Ghoom station. The Darjeeling toy train runs on this track on a loop and this is how the place got its name. It is indeed a mesmerizing view and a prime tourist location in Darjeeling.
There is a historical fact behind this place. The Batasia loop was specifically built to serve as a gentler slope for the toy train to descend slowly after reaching Ghoom station. Earlier, the descent was 100 feet and was too steep for the toy train to cover comfortably. The Batasia Loop, thus, serves as a means to end
It is a place of tourist interest because of the incredible view of Mt. Kanchenjunga and other Himalayan ranges from the garden. It is also a spectacular sight to see the toy train emerging through billowing clouds and take the gentle curves of the terrain.
#5. Darjeeling Ropeway
Among all other tourist places in Darjeeling, the ropeway is the most sought after by adults and children alike. Singamari is the place from where you will have to board the ropeway. The ropeway is also known as Rangeet Valley Passenger Cable because it gives you a fantastic aerial view of the valley running along Little Rangeet river.
The cable car offers stunning views of the lush green tea gardens, rivers in full flow, dense forests and cascading waterfalls all through. The cable car ride lasts for close to 45 minutes. In this short span of time, you will be able to descend from 7000 feet to 800 feet.
You could get off the ropeway and take a tour of some of the tea gardens. You could meet and greet the local women plucking away tea leaves and learn a thing or two about this incredible art.
#6. Ghoom Monastery
The Ghoom Monastery is traditionally known as Yiga Choeling Monastery. It is situated at an altitude of 8,000 feet at Ghoom and is around 8 Km away from the town of Darjeeling.
The monastery happens to be the first Tibetan Buddhist Monastery that was built in Darjeeling. It was built in the year 1875. It is a famous pilgrimage place and attracts many tourists in peak seasons. Apart from the external architecture, it is also home to the statue of ‘Maitreya Buddha’ that is almost 15 feet high.
The statue of Buddha inside the monastery was apparently built with the clay that was sourced from Tibet. Two oil lamps continue to burn in front of the statue of Buddha all year long through time immemorial.
#7. Mahakal Temple
The Mahakal Temple is highly sacred and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The hill on top of which this temple is located is known as the ‘Holy Hill’. It is a few minutes away from Chowrasta.
The most interesting part of this temple is the fact that there is a Hindu priest as well as a Buddhist monk at the altar.
This is because this temple is sacred to Hindus as well as to Buddhists. According to a legend, this place was once a Buddhist monastery and hence the amalgamation of two different cultures happens. Shiv Ratri is celebrated with huge pomp and glory. The environment is calm, spiritual and there is unmatched tranquillity around. This temple is situated just above Mall Road and it is a trip of its own class.
#8. Mall Road | Darjeeling Mall
For the shopaholic in you, Mall Road is the perfect place to be. It is a busy market all day long and even till the late hours in the evening. You will find almost everything that you might want to shop for.
The road is spotted with tourists who are either out to dine at a restaurant or buy local and branded items. Mall road is not specifically a brand destination. It is home to a number of local handicrafts like exquisitely designed carpets, hand-embroidered shawls, Tibetan masks, costume jewellery etc. You could find uniquely designed woollen items in the shops on Mall Road.
You will also come across bookstores, cafes and small eateries lining the sides of the road.
The only trick that you need to master before buying things from this place is to bargain with all your might. If you can bargain well, you will be able to crack good deals.
Tourist Places that should be included in Darjeeling Tour
These are some special places that are scattered around Darjeeling and demands a night stay to savour them in totality. These places are fast gaining popularity with tourists that loves to stay in secluded beautiful places and likes to avoid city rush.
Sandakphu is situated at an altitude of 12000 feet and happens to be the highest peak of West Bengal. The best time to visit Sandakphu would be from March-May and from October-December. This is the season when the Rhododendron flowers are in full bloom and paint the peaks in beautiful colours of their own.
Sandakphu is a prime tourist destination because of the spectacular views it offers at the break of dawn. If you are lucky to have clear and visible skies, then you could have a panoramic view of the 4 loftiest peaks of the world.
Both sunrises and sunsets are stunning to see from Sandakphu. There are even two separate viewing points to ensure that you get the best views possible.
While Sandakphu is a famous trekking site and tourists usually trek up to this place, it is also possible to reach this place by driving up to it. However, the road conditions are not ideal to drive up to the place and it will be much more enjoyable if you opt for trekking.
To club Sandakphu with your Darjeeling tour, you got to take 3-4 days extra at hand for Sandakphu and Phalut Summit.
If you want to know more about Sandakphu please click the below-given link
Mirik is around 49 Km away from Darjeeling and takes 2.5 hours to reach by a private car, shared jeeps or taxis. It is famous for its large natural lake situated at an altitude of 5,000 feet above sea level. Since the altitude is lower, weather conditions are highly favourable for tourism.
Mirik happens to be a favourite tourist spot among Darjeeling tourist places. This is due to the fact that it is nestled in beautiful surroundings. There are tall and towering pine trees all around and the atmosphere is tranquil at its best.
Mirik Lake is also called Sumendu Lake. A footbridge arches over this lake and is known as the Rainbow Bridge. Mirik Lake is 1.25 Km long. There are Dhupi trees lining its western bank and the eastern bank has a beautiful garden. Mirik Lake is a favourite site for boating. The long stretch of the lake allows you to boat away leisurely and you can also view the snow-capped mountain peaks while boating on the lake.
The weather is always mild and pleasant. The temperature never exceeds 30 degrees C in summers and never goes beyond 2 degrees C in the peak of winters.
Mirik is an awesome place to stay and you must consider clubbing Mirik for 1or 2 nights with your Darjeeling tour plan.
If you are looking for places to stay in Mirik, please go through these given links
Kalimpong 1250 metres above sea level. It is approx 50 km away from Darjeeling. Summers pleasant and winters could be really cold. The best time to visit Kalimpong would be during the summer season.
Kalimpong, as a tourist spot, offers the best of both worlds. It is at once quiet and peaceful because of the abundance of churches and monasteries around. There are beautiful nurseries in Kalimpong that have orchid plants of different varieties. These nurseries are worth a visit to see the collection that they have of various kinds of flowers.
Did you know that Kalimpong produces 80% of the country’s gladioli produce?
There are three important monasteries in Kalimpong that deserve special mention. These are the Tongsa Gompa, the Tharpa Choeling Gompa and the Zong Dog Palri Fo-Brang Gompa.
If you are looking for places to stay in Kalimpong, please go through these given links
Kurseong is around 31.5 Km away from the town of Darjeeling and it takes an hour and a half to reach Kurseong by car. It is quieter in comparison to other towns and districts located near Darjeeling. It sits at an altitude of 1458 metres above sea level. Kurseong originally means the place of the White Orchid.
Kurseong is famous in history because of the many artistic compositions that have been made here. The famous poet, literary artist and songwriter, Rabindranath Tagore had composed many of his songs and poems in this town.
You can visit Makaibari tea garden and Eagles Craig. The Eagles Craig is a high cliff which serves as an observatory point from which the beautiful town of Kurseong can be seen. Makaibari Tea Estate is famous for its landscape and the tea it brings to our palettes.
If you are looking for places to stay in Kurseong, please go through these given links
Lava is around 148 Km from Darjeeling and it lies at an altitude of 2350 metres. It is mostly popular for bird watching since many migratory birds come visiting here. It is also an ideal place for nature exploration.
Lava is the beginning point of the Neora Valley National Park. You will notice a significant change in the vegetation as you approach Lava from Kalimpong. The deciduous trees give way to pine trees, fir trees and birches.
If you are looking for a place to stay in Lava, please go through the given link
Lataguri is an approximately 3 hours 30 minutes drive from Darjeeling. It is at a distance of 110 Km from the township of Darjeeling. It is right outside the Gorumara National Park and nature enthusiasts will absolutely love exploring the various facets of natural flora and fauna in this settlement.
This place is very close to the National Park and is, therefore, a source of thrill and adventure. You can go driving in the wild, spot wildlife, visit forest caves, watch unknown migratory birds and enjoy the calm, serene surroundings.
If you are looking for places to stay in Lataguri, please go through these given links
Rohini lies at a distance of 66 Km from Darjeeling. It is closer to Siliguri. Rohini attracts tourist attention because of its stunning natural surroundings and forestlands. The forests of Lama Gomba lure tourists each year and especially the ones who like spotting wildlife and going on jungle tours.
There is a picnic spot, around 15 minutes by car from Rohini and is known as Dudhia. There is a hilltop in Rohini that allows spectacular views of the valley and the surrounding mountain ranges.
If you are looking for a place to stay in Rohini, please go through the given link
So, these will be our 15 choices of tourist places near Darjeeling that you must cover in your Darjeeling tour plan.
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