Sights to See
The World Heritage Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is and engineering wonder and travels from New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling passing some quaint sights on the way which is a photographer’s delight.
The undisputed highlight of a trip to Darjeeling is the Tiger Hill located at an altitude of 3000 meters (8482 ft.). Situated 15 km from the town of Darjeeling, the place offers a spectacular view of the Kanchenjunga peak.
Founded in the late 1800s by Lama Sherab Gyatso, Ghum Monastery is the most famous Buddhist monastery around Darjeeling. The most revered image in the monastery is a 5m-tall (16-ft.) clay statue of the Maitreya Buddha. It makes a sublime detour due to the breathtaking location and views of the landscape.
Another attraction of Darjeeling is the railway loop of Batasia Loop, an amazing feat of engineering. 5 km from Darjeeling, the place offers a spectacular view of Darjeeling town with the Kanchenjunga and other snowy mountains in the back-drop. Here the War memorial was built in the memory of the Gorkha soldiers who laid down their lives for the country.
Another landmark of Darjeeling, this temple is a replica of the famous Pashupatinath temple of Kathmandu in Nepal.
Apart from the outstanding view it commands, Observatory Hill is held sacred by Hindus and Buddhists.
Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park
This is the only specialized zoo in the country and internationally recognized for its conservation breeding programmes of Red Panda, Snow Leopards, Tibetan Wolf and other highly endangered animal species of Eastern Himalayas.
Located 10 km to the south-east of Darjeeling, Senchal Lake provides water supply to Darjeeling town. Located at an altitude of 8,160 ft atop a hill, the place is a favourite picnic spot.
Lloyds Botanical Garden
Lloyds Botanical Garden should be your stopover if you are on a sightseeing trip to Darjeeling. Laid out in 1871, this beautiful garden occupies an area of 40 acres. Situated just below the Market Motor Stand, the garden is the habitat of bamboo, oak, magnolia, arisaema, cotoneaster, wild geranium, and rhododendron. The garden is a delight for the nature lovers who throng here in large number.
Happy Valley Tea Estate
Of about seventy tea gardens in this hilly region, this is one of the nearest, about 3 km from the town. Here one can see the processing of the world famous Darjeeling tea.
Lebong Race Course
The smallest and highest horse race course in the world, Lebong Race Course is about 8 km from the Mall, famous stroll-through destination in Darjeeling.
Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre
Tibetan refugee self help centre was set up on 1st October 1959 to rehabilitate the exiled Tibetans who had followed Dalai Lama to India. This centre produces excellent carpets, woollen goods, wood work, leather work etc. The Tibetan craftsmen can be seen at work dyeing, weaving, and spinning wool on old bicycle wheels at the centre. Here a fascinating museum houses photographs exhibiting the establishment of the centre, the Tibet struggle, and the famous visitors.