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The Land of Thunderbolt


Darjeeling is known all over the world for its panoramic picturesque views, red rhododendrons, lush green tea plantations, majestic pines and beautiful species of fauna. Shimmering lakes, rushing streams and enchanting gorges are few of its other delights that have always captivated the newlyweds and romantic couples. It is peacefully nestled in the lower Himalayas. Its incredible natural beauty is known for its enchanting location of being near to the snow capped Himalayan Mountains. The travel enthusiasts and those searching for leisure exploration also travel to Darjeeling, either alone or with their families. One can even see the Kanchenjunga peak from the very best of hotels in Darjeeling.

The word Darjeeling means ‘the land of thunderbolt’ in Tibetan language. It is believed that before, this name was also given to the famous Buddhist Monastery that is established on the top of the Observatory hill. Darjeeling coming under the rule of British East India Company, it was a part of Nepal and Sikkim till the beginning of the eighteenth century. Till around 1817, the Raja of Sikkim was along with the East India Company’s support was struggling with these Himalayan states. The country between Teesta and Mechi Rivers was restored through the treaty of Titaliya in 1817. The disputes on Nepal Sikkim border were dealt with in 1827 when two British Governors were sent in this process. The current location of Darjeeling was thus proposed to be the site of a sanatorium. In 1839, the roads connecting Darjeeling to the other plains was built, thus establishing its life line.  Meanwhile, Darjeeling also started growing as an important trading centre linking Sikkim with Tibet, along with the famous tea plantations.

Following are few of the important attractions of Darjeeling

Tiger Hill: It is located 11 km away from Darjeeling. Tourists flock this enchanting location to experience the breathtaking sunrise over the Kanchenjunga Mountain. It is suggested to experience this heavenly journey at Tiger Hill during the months from October to December because of the serene, cool and more peaceful environment.

Observatory Hill Darjeeling

Senchal Wildlife Sanctuary: It is located near to Tiger Hill. It is known for its artificially manmade lakes and is internationally known for being one of the oldest manmade lakes in Darjeeling district.

Dhoom Gompa: It is one of the famous religious places in Darjeeling. It preserves several ancestral handwritten documents pertaining to Buddhism. A beautiful and exquisitely carved statue of Maitryei Buddha also adorns this monastery. It is situated 8 km away from Darjeeling.

The Mall Road: This is also the commercial lane teeming with local markets, cafes and shops of Darjeeling. Everday, hundreds of tourists can be seen walking through the crests and troughs of these roads, with locals playing music by the side and selling delicious tea.

Chowrasta: It is the big commercial centre in Darjeeling. In fact, the mall ends in Chowrasta. One can experience the traces of Victorian Darjeeling at Chowrasta.

Observatory Hill: It is known as ‘Makal-Babu-Ko-Thaan’ and it’s the oldest site in Darjeeling. Its becomes even more important with the Mahakal Temple situated near to it. This Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Due to its past that blends Hinduism and Buddhism together, one can easily find Hindu priests and Buddhist monks praying silently in accordance to their faith.

Excursions from Darjeeling
The nearby enchanting destinations to Darjeeling are Kurseong (30.2 km), Kalimpong (49.6 km), Jorpokhri (55.4 km) Pedong (69.8 km), Rishop (79.4km), Mirik (71.8 km) and Sandakphu (82.2 km).

Shopping in Darjeeling
Shopping for authentic, indigenous and native artifacts in Darjeeling can be done at the Chowrasta Mall and Nehru Road. Tourists generally buy interesting souvenirs from Darjeeling such as the Tibetan masks, Khukri (curved Gorkha knives that have exquisite decoration done on their handles), woolen items, traditional boots and leather items. Tankas are the local paintings that have been made by the Bhutias and are known for its enchanting appeal. The black Darjeeling tea is known for its flavor and tourists by it in innumerable quantities.

Kanchenjunga peak Darjeeling

When to reach
There are two best seasons to visit Darjeeling for tourists. The first one is the spring season which includes the months of March and April. The other includes the season of autumn which includes September and November.

How to Reach
By Air: The easiest way to reach Darjeeling is to take a flight to the nearest airport of Bagdodra. The distance between Bagdodra Airport and Darjeeling is 45 km. One can cover this distance through bus or taxi.
By Rail: The closest railway station to Darjeeling is Jalpaiguri. Distance between Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling is 90 Km. One can take a taxi or bus from Jalpaiguri to reach Darjeeling.
By Road: One can reach any of these locations like Bagdodra, Jalpiaguri and Siliguri and then take a bus or taxi towards Darjeeling.

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