In and Around Darjeeling

Darjeeling hill region lies in the northernmost part of West Bengal in India.Prior to the year 1816 the whole of the territory was know as ‘British Sikkim’ belonged to Nepal, which had won it by conquest from the Sikkimese. By a treaty signed between Nepal and the British at ‘Segoulie’ in 1816 the former ceded the 4,000 square miles of territory to the later, which in turn by a treaty signed at Titalya in 1817 was handed over to Sikkim.

Later in 1828, when G.A. Lloyd and J.W.Grant round their way into the west of Darjeeling, they were very much impressed with the possiblilities of the station as the sanatorium. Lloyd was deputed to start lent in money or land. This transfer was successfully accomplished on February 1st 1835. Sikkim unconditionally handed over a strip of hill territory covering approximately 138 square miles in area (24 miles long and about 5 to 6 miles wide) which included the village of Darjeeling & Kurseong Sub-division, for the establishment of a sanatorium for the invaded servants of the East India Company.

About 15 years in 1850 the relation between Sikkim and British had been far from satisfactory. In February 1850 foothills of Himalayas and portion of Sikkim Hills bounded by the Rammam and the Great Rangeet river on the north, Tista on the East and by the Nepal frontier on the west, covering an area of 640 square miles were also captured by the British India.

In 1865 British force captured whole areas of Dooars and in 1866 Kalimpong Sub-division (belong to Bhutan) was also captured and added to Darjeeling District. This was the last addition to the District, which thus acquired its present dimension by increasing the area to 164 square miles. The year 1866 may thus be taken as marking anopoch in the history of Darjeeling.

The name Darjeeling is thought to be a derivation of 'Dorjeeling' meaning the place of the Dorjee, the majestic thunderbolt of the Lamaist religion. In fact, the famous Buddhist Monastery standing at the top of the Observatory hill was known by this name.

General Information

STD - 0354
Altitude - 2134 metres (above sea level)
North Latitude - 27°3'
East Latitude - 88°16'
Area - 11.44sq km (4.4 sq. miles)
Population - 1,00,000 (approx.)
Annual Rainfall - 320cm (126”)
Best Season - March to June and September to December
Clothing Required - Light woolen and tropical in summer (umbrella and raincoat are useful) and heavy woolens in winter.
Climate - Summer : Max.26°C Min:8.5°C   Winter : Max.6.1C   Min.1.5C
Best Season - April to mid June and September to mid December
Clothing Required - Light woolen and tropical in summer (umbrella and raincoat are useful) and heavy woolens in winter.
Language Spoken - Hindi, Gorkha, Tibetan and English.
- Well connected by Air from all parts of the country to Bagdogra (Siliguri), which is the nearest Airport and is a mere 2 hour drive from Darjeeling.
- Very well connected to Siliguri, which is a terminal city. A fleet of luxury State/Private buses run overnight to Siliguri from Calcutta. From Siliguri, 2 hour scenic drive through tea gardens and for sets either by taxi or luxury bus which operate throughout the day, takes you to Darjeeling. Buses are released after every half an hour from Siliguri (Tenzing Norgay Bus Stand).
- There are 12 Stations linked between New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling and is about 90 kms. of ride in Toy Train. The journey is about seven and half hours through the magnificent view of Darjeeling and her neighboring hills. This ride is specially for the nature lovers.


In and Around Darjeeling

Tigerhill 3 points
Tiger Hill
Situated at an altitude of 2590 metres (8,482 ft) and 14 kms. From the town, this spot has earned international fame for the magnificent view of the sunrise over Kanchenjunga and the great eastern Himalayan mountains. Even Mount Everest, the worlds highest peak is visible form here.
Ghoom Monastery
About 7kms. Away from Darjeeling town, one can visit the monastery on the Ghoom spur. It is one of the oldest Buddhist monasteries in India. There is a 2ft high statue of maitrey Buddha.
Batasia Loop and War Memorial
About 5 kms. from Darjeeling this railway loop is a marvelous feat of engineering. It is fascinating to watch the toy train wind its way round the loop. The war memorial is in honour of those Gorkhas who laid down their lives in the service of the nation.

Japanese Temple and Peace Pagoda
This monumental pagoda is situated about 2 kms from Chowrasta. The sparkling white pagoda rise 28.5 metres from the ground level and has a diameter of 23mts. Embedded in the wall of the pagoda are four statues of Buddha is gold polish and eight carvings on sandstone depicting different stages of Gautam Buddha’s life.
Ava Art Gallery
The art gallery is about 2 kms. form Chowrasta on the way to Ghoom. Displayed in the gallery are the fine art and embroidery works of Mrs. Ava Devi.
Dhirdham Temple
Situated just below the railway station, is built on the style of the famous Pashupatinath Temple of Katmandu (Nepal)
Shrubberry Nightingale Park
It is situated on the Jawahar Parbhat near Governor's House. One can find the peace and tranquility in this beautiful garden. Also a giant statue of Lord Shiva is nested. Moreover the best sight of this garden can be seen in the night with the glittering of lights and dance and songs.
Bengal Natural History Museum
A few minutes walk form Chowrasta is the natural history museum which has a wide range collection of preserved reptiles, birds, butterflies and other insects. A visit to the museum is a must especially for scholars of natural sciences.
Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park
The Zoo exhibits some rare Himalayan fauna including the snow leopard. The collection includes the Himalayan black bear, the red panda, tigers and colorful Himalayan birds.
Himalayan Mountaineering Institute
This is one of the premier schools of mountaineering in the world and imparts mountain climbing training to enthusiasts. The museum of the institute portrays a range of mountaineering equipments that were used by various expedition as well as photographs concerning them.
Tenzing Rock and Gombu Rock
Situated at Lebong Cart Road, Himalayan Mountaineering Institute conducts preliminary course on rock climbing on these rocks and often demonstration are held. One can also try their skill in the climbing with the help of professional.
Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre
The Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre was established on 1st October 1959 to Rehabilitates displaced Tibetans who had followed his holiness the Dalai Lama to India. The Centre produce excellent carpets, Woolen goods, wood work, leather work etc. the Tibetan craftsmen can be seen at work at the Centre.
Darjeeling Tea Garden
Of about seventy tea gardens in this hill region, one can visit any gardens and factory and see the plucking and processing of the world class Darjeeling Tea. Rangeet Tea Estate and Happy Valley Tea Garden are the nearest from the town.
Observatory Hill (Mahakal Temple)
The hill feature above Chowrasta and a few minutes from it is called Observatory Hill, on which is nested the Mahakal temple. MAHAKAL is considered as the incarnation of lord Shiva. Adjacent to the Mahakal temple is also a Buddhist shrine, manifesting the complete harmony that exists between Hinduism and Buddhism.
All roads converge at the Chowrasta. The “Charring Cross” of Darjeeling the Chowrasta, meeting place of all the tourist, and men about town, who lounge around taking in the sight and the fresh air from the mountain. Here connecting the two main arteries of the town, Nehru Road and the Bhanu Bhakta Sarani, popularly known as the Mall.

Rock Garden 2 Points
Rock Garden and GangaMaya Park
This garden (or Park) is situated below Dali (outskirt of Town), nearly 11 kms from the main town. Rock garden is built with the patch of solid rock. Whereas the Gangamaya Park is filled with the greeneries, boating and fountain water, along with the tune to Nepali Dance.
Mirik Lake & Pasupati Foreign Goods Market in Nepal Border
Mirik-a nest in the hills is West Bengal’s one of the hill resort at an altitude of 1767 metres with its own special charms – 49 km. From Darjeeling and 52 km. Long lake is fed by perennial streams. A floating fountain in the middle of the lake is a joy for ever and very often you may find the glory of Kanchenjungha reflected in the lake waters. A rich forest with thousands of Cryptomaria-Japanica trees clothe the slopes on the west. A 3.5 km. zig-zag footwalk takes you along the lake – a sleek foot bridge connects the garden on the east with the woods on the west. Alone or in company, you are sure to enjoy a boat-ride in the lake.

Other Activiities
Toy Train Joy ride
Toy Train Joy ride from Darjeeling Railway Stn. to Ghoom Railway Stn. & Back – 18 Km. Timing - 10.00 hrs & 13.15 hrs daily and duration of ride is 2 Hrs & 20 Mins (15 Mins halt at Batasia Loop) Rate : 265/- per head.
Melli to 29th Mile on Teesta River. Distance 13 Km. Rate – Rs. 350.00 per head. Capacity of the Raft is for 12 Pax maximum without rescuers.