Darjeeling Travel Guide

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Darjeeling is famous for its tea. It's a hill resort in West-Bengal, and for those who are a bit tired of the hustle and bustle of Calcutta it is the ideal place to go. Old colonial style mansions and lush green hills are waiting for you.

Darjeeling is one of the most beautiful Hill Stations in India coming under the state of West Bengal.  The view of Kanchenjunga, and other ranges of the Himalayas is the attraction of this little city. Darjeeling can be reached either by Air and the nearest Airport is Bagdogra. By train, you will have to travel overnight from Kolkatta at alight at New Jalpaiguri, then take the famous Toy Train which is running for more than a Century. Winding itself into the hills there is a fantastic history behind the laying of tracks for this rail route. Darjeeling can also be reached on road by jeep, van or car. But the rail route is the most enjoyable.

We were told by the Railway authorities that during the British period in India, Darjeeling was their attraction to spend in summers and they decided to lay the railway track from the plains to the hill top. The distance was less and the height disproportionate.

The Engineer behind the construction and planning the rail route lost all hopes of laying the track and frustrated, he sent a telegram to his wife in England.  She replied him saying "GO BACK" meaning dont give up.  This word struck his mind and he lay the route succesfully. That is why when one travels in this train would suddenly find himseld or herself going on reverse and then forward again. When the train goes on reverse, it also covers a height of 12-15 feet and then forward again.  Hence, he finally succeeded in laying the track and it is being maintained as the most precious piece of engineering.

Well, the train goes slowly along the road and many Hindi movies are picturised for the scenic beauty of the hill and the train and road routes going hand in hand. There are many small stations in between like Kurseong. Until you reach Ghoom (meaning round), once cannot see the city of Darjeeling. After the train takes a 360 degree round, you see the beautiful hill station lit up because the train reaches late evening it appears like lakhs of Fireflies flying in the air.

In Darjeeling, you have many places to visit. The famous Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Zoo, Foot Ball Playground,  Buddhist temples, Japanese Styled Buddhist Temple, The Rock Garden, innumerable Tea Estates, a park in memory of the Soldiers, and the Tiger Hills a spot where people go to watch the sunrise from below the mountains and before it actually rises, there is a ray of golden shine on the snow covered Himalayas giving a feast to the eyes of the nature lover. One cannot also, miss to visit the House of Tenzing Sherpa, the first man to conquer Mount Everest. There is a famous lake called the MIRIK, almost on the border of India-NEPAL, one can go boating too in the calm atmosphere.

The native of this place are called the Ghurkhas. They are mongoloid like, very affectionate and loving. We coiuld see small little children attired from head to toe from the freezing cold walking along the ups and downs of the city to reach their school in the morning. They look like toys in motion. Jeeps are available for local sight seeing at a very reasonable rate. Though this Station is also getting crowded during the seasons, it is a beautiful Hill Station to be visited for relaxing and enjoying nature.
Obviously, it is one of the precious jewel of India, with a touch of the British influence.

Contributors

August 20, 2005 change by sumanmohan

August 22, 2005 change by giorgio

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