Darjeeling is one of the most sought-after Himalayan destinations in India. Read on to discover what makes it a favorite among tourists.
It is common knowledge that Darjeeling grows probably the best tea in the world. Tea isn’t merely a beverage here; it is a lifestyle. From the first tea plantation in 1845 to the 80 odd plantations today, Darjeeling and tea have had quite a history together. The wide variety of tea grown here will leave you amazed and make you ask for a cuppa yourself. Whether you are a tea connoisseur or not, do not forget to revel in the aroma of this fine brew.
The Toy Train
The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (or the ‘Toy Train’ as it is popularly known as) is a sight straight out of a fairytale. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999, the Toy Train runs its picturesque route from New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling Bazaar. Hop on and hop off at your will because this steam-engine is about as fast as a snail. Feel like Gulliver in Lilliput as this tiny train takes you on an enormously beautiful experience.
The Visual Beauty
Lush green hills visible outside, the delicious fragrance of tea in the air, an omnipresent cool breeze ruffling your hair, the grounds brimming with delightful flora and fauna – everything that dreams are made of! Plus, the schools, mostly built in the familiar colonial style of architecture, look insanely pretty as well.
As Buddhism is the second-most widely practised religion here, you’ll get the rare opportunity to witness some beautiful Tibetan-style monasteries here. The Bhutia Busti Monastery, the Old Ghum Monastery, The Dali Monastery are some notable mentions. Spend some time in the company of the wise monks and rejuvenate your soul. The view of the surrounding countryside works wonders, too.
The population is as diverse as it can get. Be it Nepalis or Tibetans, Sikkimese or Bengalis, Bhutanese or Europeans—Darjeeling has them all. Consequently, the culture of Darjeeling is a celebration of this amazing diversity. The 10-day annual Darjeeling Carnival is an unadulterated fiesta of art, music, cuisine, and most importantly, unity, with the Darjeeling Hills as the central theme. An extraordinary variety of sects and communities has been living here in blissful harmony for hundreds of years!
The delectable Himalayan cuisine makes this a great place for food lovers. From popular snacks such as the classical steamed momos that are sold in every corner of the town, to the filling thukpa soup that contains noodles, vegetables, meat and eggs and typically served in a large bowl, the town has a host of delicious dishes that will have you craving for more. Many eateries in this town also serve authentic Bangla, Naga and Nepali cuisine. Do not forget to take home a big jar of the tangy pickle that is made of spicy chillies and mustard oil.
The Flora & Fauna
The district boasts of lush green tea gardens, more than 400 species of birds and 600 varieties of orchids, rhododendrons, magnolia, primula, and the icing on the cake, the red panda! Grab your rucksack and boots, pack a lot of energy food, and set off on any of the fabulous treks that these mountains have to offer. If you’re feeling particularly lazy, jump into a jeep and drive to the nearest wildlife sanctuary or lake to immerse yourself in the gorgeous flora and fauna of the place. The Batasia Loop, the Darjeeling Zoo and the Senchal Lake are some great options.
The Best Stay Options In Darjeeling
With 33 hotels in Darjeeling, OYO offers a great range of options to choose from. These hotels can be booked here or using the OYO app.
There you go. Enchanting Darjeeling, the little hill-station with a big heart.
P.s. You might like these related resources:
- The best time to visit Darjeeling and soak in its beauty
- Plan an exciting trip with these places to visit in Darjeeling
- Weekend getaways from Darjeeling that must not be missed
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