Darjeeling –queen Of The Hills-jodie foster

DARJEELING –QUEEN OF THE HILLS Mention Darjeeling and it evokes many images- Queen of the Hills, lush green tea gardens, the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, sturdy Gorkhas and amazing views of Mt. Kanchenjunga. Going beyond these images, Darjeeling has much to offer in terms of its cultural diversity, education and exciting opportunities for lovers of adventure sports. Like most other hill stations in India, the British developed Darjeeling as a respite from the oppressing summer heat in the Gangetic plains. Located in the lower Shivalik Hills region of the Himalayas at a height of 2,134m above sea level, Darjeeling toll the initial years of the 19th century was a part of Nepal and Sikkim. After a lease agreement with the Chogyal of Sikkim in 1835, the British started developing Darjeeling as a hill station. After independence, Darjeeling became a part of the state of West Bengal. MUST TO SEE Chowrasta and the Mall Like most other hill stations developed during the British era, the Mall in Darjeeling is the centre of all the action. It is the place around which you will find most of the tourist amenities including hotels, restaurants, souvenir shops, banks, ATMs, post offices and street vendors selling sweaters, paintings and imitation Jewellery. Observatory Hill Or a splendid view of the snow-clad Kanchenjunga, walk up to Observatory Hill, which is located near Chowrasta or the Mall. Lloyd’s Botanical Garden Many of the plant species native to the Darjeeling Himalayan hill Region can be seen at Lloyd’s Botanical Garden. Karma Dorjee Chyoling Monastery (Bhutia Busty Monastery) First built in 1765 on Observatory Hill by Lama Dorje-rinzing, the Bhutia Busty is the oldest monastery in Darjeeling. Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI) The Government of India established the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI) in 1954 to give a fillip to this adventure sport in the country. Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park Established in 1958 by the state of West Bengal, Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park specializes in captive breeding of alpine animals like Snow Leopards and Red Panda. Ghoom Ghoom hosts on of the world’s highest railway stations at an altitude of 2,225.7m and is known for the Yiga Choeling Monastery that dominates this small hilly place. Darjeeling-Rangeet Valley Passenger Ropeway The first ropeway in India and the longest in Asia, Darjeeling-Rangeet Valley Passenger Ropeway offer spectacular views. It is located at North Point about 3km from the town. A shaerd taxi service is available to reach here. It is not too far from the zoo. Go on a tour of tea estates All the hills around Darjeeling produce the world’s finest tea. Darjeeling’s tea gardens are a picturesque sight, covering terraced hill slopes, upto an altitude of 1,950m. While in Darjeeling, you should seize the opportunity to tour some reknowned tea estates. You can walk through the estates, explore a tea factory and see how moisture is extracted from tealeaves and how they are rolled and withered, sifted, fermented, dried and sorted. What to Eat A fairly good number of Tibetans and Nepalese in Darjeeling ensure that you will get delicious momos and hot steaming thukpas everywhere, more so at the Mall Road and Chowrasta. But momos and thukpas are not the only dishes you can relish. Try local delicacies like Wai Wai and Churpee while here. Wai Wai is a thick noodle eaten in soup of dry. What to shop for The Mall and Chowrasta are choc-a-bloc with shops selling all kinds of curios, sweaters, cardigans, pullovers and other winter garments. You can buy local handicrafts as souvenir. We have a list of some important shops and markets. But the first thing on your list of shopping items should be Darjeeling tea. BEST TIME TO VISIT June to September are the monsoon months hence avoid travelling to Darjeeling then. The best time to visit Darjeeling is from mid-September to mid-December and from mid –march to mid –June. HOW TO REACH By Air: Bagdogra is the nearest airport to Darjeeling. Two main domestic carriers, Indian Airlines and Jet Air, operate from Bagdogra. By Rail: Visitors may also travel to Darjeeling from NJP, by the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. This famous journey lasts 7 to 8 hours. Alternatively, you may travel by road to Darjeeling, from New Jalpaiguri, by a scenic rout. By Road: the journey by road offers breathtaking views of earth, water and sky, as the vehicle climbs from near sea level at Bagdogra near Siliguri, to an altitude of about 7,500ft at Darjeeling Did you find this article useful? 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