When you’re visiting Darjeeling everything that you will come across is Magic. Especially, if you have been living away from the mountains. The Queen of hills has the chilly magic that rarely other places on earth can offer. I have been visiting Darjeeling since I was 10 and I cannot remember the number of times I’ve been to these tour spots in Darjeeling.
In this blog, I have compiled a list of 10 best Darjeeling tour Spot that you must visit when you’re at that majestic mountain top.
Spoiler: Its not a zoo.
Tiger hill is the most renowned tourist spot in Darjeeling. At the summit of the highest Railway Station, Ghoom, Tiger Hill will give you the best panoramic view of Mt. Everest and Kanchenjunga. This UNESCO world heritage is a must visit if you would love to witness the sunset and the sunrise while the calm winds give you a face massage.
One of the most visited tourist locations in Darjeeling.
If the clouds are clear and the sky is clean, Kurseong should be visible to the south and in the distance, along with the Teesta River, Mahananda River, Balason River, and Mechi River meandering down to the south, at a height of 2590 metres and a distance of 13 kilometres from Darjeeling. Overlooking the Chola Range is Tibet’s Chumal Rhi peak, which is 84 miles (135 kilometres) distant.
Tiger Hill is adjacent to Senchel Wildlife Sanctuary.
The second best place to visit in Darjeeling is definitely the Batasia Loop. This place is known because of the British Architectural brilliance Spiral Railway, a technique used to climb up steep hills. The railway line is used by a toy train. Batasia Loop is approximately 5 Kilometers from Darjeeling, just below Ghoom railway station.
Apart from your head in clouds you’ll find a museum of the great Gorkha and the other Army Soldiers who fearfully fought great causes for the nation.
Padmaja Naidu Zoological Park
Famously known as the Darjeeling Zoo is a place full of animals at a mountain top. That would be an understatement, of course. This Zoo established in 1958 with the approximate elevation of 7000 feet spread across 68 acres is the largest high altitude zoo in India.
Padmaja Naidu Zoological Park, situated at the Birch Hill neighbourhood of Darjeeling is just 8 mins walk (1.8 Kms.) from the Mall Road, Darjeeling.
The history of naming this Zoo dates back to Indira Gandhi when she dedicated this tourist place in Darjeeling to Padmaja Naidu, ex-governor of West Bengal, daughter of Sarojini Naidu.
This high altitude zoo not only has some exotic animals protected like the Tibetan wolf, Himalayan wolf, red panda and Snow leopard but also many rare varieties of birds caged in large boxes. This is also an internationally recognized zoo because of conservation breeding of Snow Leopard and Red Panda.
A great Darjeeling Tour Spot especially if you have kids with you.
Also knows as in the town of Darjeeling is India’s first cable car system. The 2.5 km Cable car aka Ropeway that connects two points namely the South point and the Singla on the banks of Ramman river. The ropeway approximately takes 45 minutes to travel between these distances and passes over dense forests, green valleys, tea gardens, and flowing rivers. Ropeway is mandatorily a Darjeeling tour spot worth experiencing.
The Darjeeling Ropeway is functional between 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM during the winter and monsoon season and 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM during summer and autumn. The ticket prices are nominal and the joyride will be fun that’s a guarantee.
Himalayan Mountaineering Institute
The Institute is jointly run by the central and the state government. Himalayan Mountaineering Institute at Jawahar Parvat, Darjeeling is 9 min walk (2.2 km) from Mall Rd. The institute boasts itself to be one of the premier mountaineering institutes of the world. The museum inside the institute will take you back in time.
When I first visited this museum I was speechless looking at the numerous animals and things that were kept preserved. Time has literally stopped for them.
Out of the 7 pagodas in India, this one is situated in the hills of Darjeeling. Built under the guidance of a Buddhist monk in japan, Nichidatsu Fujii. Placed in a well accessible area of Jalpahar hill, a 12 min (2.7 km) walk via Gandhi Rd and Lal Kothi Rd, situated is the four iridescent, gold-polished statues of Lord Buddha inside the pagoda.
The foundation stone was laid down in 1972 and it has been one of the most visited places in Darjeeling since then. The white architecture will give you a pleasant experience amidst the clouds.
The pagoda is the highest free-standing building in Darjeeling, with a height of 94 feet and a diameter of around 23 metres. Visitors will enjoy stunning views of Darjeeling’s verdant scenery as well as the distant Kanchenjunga Range from the top of this white pagoda.
Senchal Lake & Wildlife Sanctuary
This is one of those darjeeling tour spot that is at the outskirts of the hill town. This lake is said to provide the drinking water to the town of Darjeeling. It is approximately 7-8 Kilometers from Darjeeling and can be reached via Ghoom and Jorebunglow.
You may find the habitat for barking deer, wild boar, Himalayan black bear, Indian leopard, jungle cat, rhesus monkey, Assam macaque, Himalayan flying squirrel amidst the green dense forest and the lake.
There is also a provision for accomodation for tourists subject to availability. The tourists can spend the night at the Lambi Forest Rest house inside the sanctuary.
Observatory Hill View Point
This is at the Darjeeling Chowrasta square or more popularly known as the Mall road. As the name suggests, you’ll enjoy the delightful view of the snow covered Kanchenjunga.
The Mall and Chowrasta
There is a saying, if you haven’t been to the Mall or the Chowrasta you haven’t been to Darjeeling. Technically its impossible to be in darjeeling and not have visited the mall and the chowrasta but I thought this should be on the list.
These are the main centres of tourist attraction in Darjeeling. Inspite of thousands of tourists at this area, this is one of the most clean places in whole of Darjeeling. A definite place for your evening walk when you’re staying at the hill station.
Chowrasta means a point where four roads meet, it has been there since the Victoria era and is the heart of the hill resort town of Darjeeling.
Happy Valley Tea Estate
Happy valley tea estate is situated at the Lebond Cart Road, Darjeeling. Its a 437-acres tea plantation situated at an elevation of 2,100 meters above sea level.
Visitors can venture into the tea gardens, experiencing the busy life of the estate workers there. You will find thousands of workers plucking the tea leaves in the fields, carrying large cane baskets on their back and working hard to earn a livelihood. One is even mesmerised by the simplicity these workers shows in their daily living.
It has attracted tourists from different regions of the world and many have even written books on it.The very moment you look at these tea gardens you feel like running wide arms open. It brings one very close to Mother Nature. These tea gardens right below the nose of Kanchenjunga is a busy tourist spot in darjeeling.
That concludes the list of TOP DARJEELING TOUR SPOTS you must visit when you’re at that majestic mountain top. If you think we’ve missed out on something that should be on this list let me know in the comments below!