The Queen of Hills, the Crown of Bengal and a place where tranquil meets boisterous – this is Darjeeling for you. Originally developed as a sanitarium where the colonial rulers could go to recuperate after an illness, it was also declared as the summer capital of Bengal from 1864 till Independence. Even after so many years, the place has lost none of its quaint charm.
Serenading At Tiger Hills
If you are at Darjeeling for a day and can visit only one place, then Tiger Hill is that place. Start early in the morning and by the time you trek to the top, the rays of the sun will be reflecting against the snow capped mountain of Kanchenjunga. If you are lucky, a sight of Mt. Everest may not be a dream!
Chugging Away In The Toy Train
Awaken the latent child in you by taking a ride in this UNESCO World Heritage Site, namely, The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. When introduced in 1881, the narrow gauge line stretched from Siliguri to Darjeeling. However, now the route is curtailed. Partake of all the scenic beauty you can including the monasteries, sprawling hillsides and the local culture as well.
Soak In The Aroma…
Darjeeling is synonymous with tea and the best and the costliest variants are made right here. There are more than 86 gardens here and one can take guided tours around the tea estates to see how your morning revitalizer is made.
The costs can vary from Rs.700 to Rs. 50,000 per kg and no wonder it is known as ‘Black Gold’. Moreover, there are many luxury tea retreat in North Bengal that give you the option to stay in the tea gardens and be right at the thick of things.
Sip And Bite
When the place is Darjeeling, then a steaming cuppa made from the authentic of tea leaves is a must have. When it comes to food, Darjeeling has the best of food from every cuisine of the Himalayan region like Thai, Tibetan cuisine, Indian, Chinese, Continental and Nepali dishes.
Try the momos, wanton soup and a Naga dish prepared with bamboo shoots and meat. The iconic cafes here are Keventer’s and Glenary’s that serve the best of confectioneries and savories.
Shop And Party Away
Darjeeling is a magnificent place to shop to your heart’s content and everything – be it clothes, cosmetics, shoes or wollens is easily and cheaply available. The place is extremely pocket friendly and a two day trip will not burn a hole in your pocket.
Nightlife is vibrant here and there are some popular bars and pubs here which you may go to for a warming drink in the evenings.
The Darjeeling tea garden resort concept is gaining popularity day by day and combined with the ethereal and permanent charm of the hill resort, there is no rhyme, reason or excuse why you will not make a weekend trip here.