The Best Time To Visit Darjeeling And Soak In Its Beauty
Are you planning your honeymoon or heading out for a solo trip to explore Darjeeling’s dreamy destinations? We are here to throw light on this hillside beauty’s changing seasons and the best time and popular places to visit in Darjeeling. One of the most popular hill stations in India, Darjeeling is loved for its diverse ethnic culture and scenic beauty which is bound to leave you awestruck. The serene and cool weather adds to the beauty of the place and makes it more mesmerising. You can visit Darjeeling throughout the year as the weather remains cool and pleasant. However, you might want to reconsider your travel plans during the monsoon season as landslides are common during this time. We bring to you a season wise break up which will help you plan that much awaited romantic date with your darling in Darjeeling!
Best Time To Visit Darjeeling
- Between March to May – During Summer season
- Between October to November – Sometimes during winter season
Both these times, the temperature is pleasantly cool and the sky is usually clear, offering spectacular views of the Kanchenjunga snow peaks. So, start planning your Darjeeling trip and we hope you have a great time.
Why visit Darjeeling?
Before we take you through the seasons of this scenic marvel, here’s Darjeeling for you in a nutshell.
This picturesque hill station from India’s colonial past is every nature lover’s dream and travellers often wonder when the best time to visit Darjeeling is. Anyone who has travelled here would tell you that March, April and May (spring) and September, October and November (autumn) are the best months for Darjeeling tourism.
Popularly known as the Queen of all hill stations, located in the northern part of West Bengal, Darjeeling is all about magnificent views of the snow-capped Kanchenjunga, torrents flowing down the mountain slopes, lovely tea gardens, landscapes with firs, pines and ferns, and splendid natural beauty. Covering an area of 1,200 sq. miles and surrounded by the Himalayan peaks, it is indeed a beautiful place with several lush green tea estates. Also, did you know that Darjeeling was named after the word ‘Dorji’ in Tibetan which means ‘Thunderbolt’ and ‘Ling’ which means ‘Place’? Therefore, Darjeeling literally means ‘The place of thunderbolt’.
Darjeeling has a lot to offer
Darjeeling visits are always memorable and refreshing. Those festive lanes, shops, restaurants, and hotels assure a comfortable and fun filled stay. As you walk through the streets of Darjeeling, take a deep breath and experience the peace, warmth and bliss this place offers. Don’t miss the historic toy train ride which will remain etched in your memory for years to come and the Senchal Lake, Ghoom Monastery, and Observatory Hill, which are among the most popular tourist attractions in Darjeeling. Try and book your stay at a tea estate and resort to experience the best of Darjeeling’s exotic tourist attractions. There are different kinds of places to stay in Darjeeling that cater to all budgets and tastes. So, you will always find one that suits you best.
Darjeeling in Summer: From April to June
The temperature is mild during the summer season. It is usually around 25°C and it is indeed the best time to visit Darjeeling. Summer months from April to June are great for Darjeeling tourism as the climate is at its best during these months and there are so many outdoor activities to explore. Also, this is the season when tourist footfall is very high. Don’t forget to check out the mesmerising sunrise on Tiger Hill and witness the beauty of Kanchenjunga, the highest mountain peak in India. The Barbotey Rock Garden is also a great place to visit during summers in Darjeeling. Extreme cold slowly fades away and the weather becomes tranquil and pleasant by the end of March. One of the best seasons to visit Darjeeling is during summer. Colourful magnolia and rhododendrons bloom aplenty throughout the season. Taking a stroll in the streets of Darjeeling during summers is an unforgettable experience in itself. Some light woollens and shawls are all that you will need in this season. The evenings won’t be chilly and so you can easily explore the surroundings by walking.
Darjeeling in Monsoon: From July to September
Starting from July onwards, heavy monsoon is usually witnessed in Darjeeling. Monsoons are great but visiting Darjeeling during these months might prove to be inconvenient due to roadblocks in every nook and corner along with frequent occurrence of landslides. However, if you have already made plans to visit Darjeeling during the monsoon months, you will fall in love with the lush-green surroundings drenched in rain which make for some amazing photographic shots. On the other hand, by the time it is September end, there is lesser rainfall. So you can definitely consider planning your Darjeeling trip during this time. The places to stay in Darjeeling, like hotels and resorts offer lucrative deals during monsoons as it is considered to be the off season. This means you can book a luxurious hotel at an unbelievably reasonable price and enjoy your pleasant monsoon stay.
October is when the monsoon season usually ends and the climate is back to being pleasant and tranquil. The average temperature normally ranges between 7 and 5 degree Celsius. But there are times when the temperature can drop down to -2 degree Celsius, so make sure you pack your warm clothes. Curio items of Tibetan and Himalayan origin, thangkas, miniature monasteries and garments made from yak wool are also widely available during this time of the year. One of the must have delicacies during Darjeeling monsoons is Thukpa, a noodle based recipe inspired from Tibetan cuisine. You can also visit quaint cafes and sip on piping hot coffees, teas or hot chocolate while reading a book or chatting with a friend.
Darjeeling in Winter: From October to March
Winter season is super chilly in Darjeeling as the temperature ranges between 2°C and 7°C during this time. It usually begins from October and lasts till March, but can be the best time to visit Darjeeling and enjoy its snowy and pristine beauty. You can get a spectacular view of the snow-capped mountains and enjoy the solitude since not many tourists flock here in this season. Imagine spending quality time with your loved one in Darjeeling during winters. So romantic, isn’t it?
Don’t forget to carry your woollen clothes if you are planning to visit Darjeeling anytime between December and February. Yet another great attraction in Darjeeling is the wide variety of local ethnic foods. Due to the prevalence of diverse cultures, you get to taste authentic local food from several ethnic groups like Tibetan, Nepali, Bengali, and so on. The world famous aromatic Darjeeling tea, local handmade snacks like Churpee (made out of Yak’s milk) and local drinks like Tongba (a local beer) are simply delicious and lip-smacking good. Darjeeling is also renowned for delicacies like Thukpa, momos, alu dum, traditional Nepali thali, Dalle, kakra ko achar and kinema, naga cuisine,shaphalay, sael roti and gundruk. Now you can totally picture yourself having a cup of Darjeeling tea with some piping hot momos, right?
Darjeeling’s Brilliant Landscape
Now that you are aware of Darjeeling’s changing seasons, it is now time to delve deeper into how this spectacular hill station town is laid out. Darjeeling’s landscape as a whole can be visualized as three major levels on the hills. And each level is inevitably connected to the other with steep narrow roads.
Chowrasta Mall which is also known as the Town Center, is located at the top level, which is also one of the popular places to visit in Darjeeling. This is where most of Darjeeling’s popular hotels, restaurants and shops are located. The top level essentially comprises the Nehru Road entirely which leads up to the Mall, that is the Mall Road itself. Several hotels have come up along Zakir Hussain Road and many hotels at the top level offer great views of the Kanchenjunga snow peaks.
The second level is essentially the area along Laden La Road which goes down and connects the top level with places like station area, Chowk Bazaar etc at the bottom level. You will find many Indian styled hotels and shops, along with brilliant scenic views of the surrounding mountains.
The bottom level is where the popular Chowk Bazaar is located. The area remains crowded most of the time with locals comprising mostly of Nepalese, Tibetans, Lepchas and Bhutias. You can find a wide range of budget friendly places to stay in Darjeeling here. However, none of them can actually offer great views of the mountain peak. If you are fond of trekking and walking the distance, you can walk all the way up to the top most level, which takes about 30 minutes of uphill walking.
Once you are done exploring Darjeeling, consider weekend getaways like Pelling, Lava, Kalimpong and Siliguri. These are quaint hill towns that promise oodles of natural beauty, budget shopping experiences and interesting mountain culture.
Well there you go, people! We hope you got a clear picture of what Darjeeling offers and here’s what we have to say about the Queen of hill stations!
How To Reach Darjeeling
Darjeeling is 87 km from the nearest airport i.e. the Bagdogra airport via NH 31 whereas NH 55 takes you through a 69 km long route. Regular flights connect this small airport to other major cities of the country.
Trains from across the country halt at New Jalpaiguri that is only 80 km from Darjeeling. Darjeeling is also connected by toy train from New Jalpaiguri.
Darjeeling is connected to Siliguri by road. The route via NH 55 is 64 km long and the route via NH 31 is 74 km long. This road trip is very beautiful.
Best Time To Visit Darjeeling for Snow
Snowfall rarely occurs in Darjeeling. However, you can visit North Sikkim destinations like Lachung, Lachen, Yumthang, etc. if you wish to enjoy snow in winters.
Best Time To Visit Darjeeling for Honeymoon
Winter is undoubtedly the best time for a Darjeeling honeymoon. The weather is cold and the town is not crowded, making it the perfect paradise for couples.
Now that you know so much about Darjeeling, why not give it a chance? Book a package, pack your bags and get ready for an amazing trip to the land of tea and beautiful hills. You will surely return refreshed and rejuvenated!
P.s. You might like these related resources:
- 15 Best Places to visit in Darjeeling – Popular Sightseeing & Tourist Attractions
- 13 Best Tourist Places to visit Near Darjeeling – Popular Weekend Getaways