Darjeeling local sightseeing: 10 beautiful spots to visit in the mountains
Updated: May 18, 2019
Right from the mountain air to the tea gardens, everything is mesmerizing in Darjeeling.
Being my first trip after marriage, it has a special place in my heart. A Darjeeling local sightseeing to watch out for! The Darjeeling Diaries unfold.
Best time to visit Darjeeling is from March to May and October to November and we visited in late March - Epic time to go on a hill station in India, escaping the overall hot climate during the summer.
How we reached
Darjeeling is located in the Eastern Himalayas in the state of West Bengal, India.
We took a flight from New Delhi to Bagdogra - a Military airport and hired a cab from the pre-paid taxi counter located inside the airport itself to Darjeeling which is approx. 3 hrs away by road.
Tip: There are no buses or shared taxis from the airport so the cabs can be costly if you are not in a group. Luckily we talked to a group of tourists on the airport and they were okay with us tagging along, which heavily reduced the cab cost for us.
After we reached Darjeeling, we set out to explore the world of mountains which we had just arrived to.
Darjeeling Himalayan Railway
This is the most colorful station in India I have seen so far. The station is lined up with Joyride trains which explore the heart of Darjeeling covering a 14 km stretch and circles back from the Ghoom Monastery back to Darjeeling.
Darjeeling Himalayan Railway was built the late 19th Century and has since provided services through its historic Steam engine. The station also has a railway museum in the vicinity.
Train Ticket Prices : (1 USD = 74 INR)
Joyride Diesel Engine: Rs. 805 + taxes.
Joyride Steam Engine: Rs. 1405 + taxes.
You can book your tickets at
Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (irctc).
Darjeeling Ropeway/Cable Car
This is the best way to view the Tea Gardens and Kanchenjunga Mountain range. It is a 3 km ride and might take around an hour for a round trip. The tickets can be bought at the counter for approx Rs.200.
Tip: You might end up in a long queue so be prepared to wait for an hour, maybe. I assure you it is worth the wait.
Tea gardens - Darjeeling tea
You can take a stroll in the gardens. Rent a traditional dress and get your photos clicked and printed right away! There are shops selling packets of Darjeeling Tea in case you want to have some tea-time back home.
Himalayan Mountaineering Institute
Established in 1954, it has provided mountaineering as a sport and career in India.
The institution came into existence right after the first successful trek of Mt. Everest by Sherpa Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary, in 1953.
Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park
The park is named after the ex-governor of West Bengal. It has conservation and breeding programs of endangered animal and bird species found in the Himalayas. The zoo is engulfed in the coniferous trees of the region making it a beautiful spot within the dense forest. You can access the park with a ticket bought at the park entrance(Rs.30). It is located in the vicinity of the Mountaineering Institute.
It is a 2 story Buddhist temple which had been made with Japanese style architecture hence the name Japanese temple. The entrance has two white marble lions on its side. We went inside and sat in the prayer room where the priest chants mantras while beating a drum. The ambiance is peaceful and makes you forget about the worries of your fast-paced life.
This is built right beside the Japanese temple and has various forms of Buddha idols carved around it.
To view all the idols, you have to walk around the structure. Beautiful artwork is carved into the walls of the Pagoda, in between those idols.
The idols have four main forms of Lord Buddha where you can see Him Sitting, Standing, Sleeping and Meditating.
Tibetan Buddhist Monastery
This was my first time visiting a monastery. I had not seen such a colorful structure in a while.
The monastery represented the peace and tranquility we need in our lives. There were some unique drums being played and chants being recited.
By the time we reached the monastery, I was huffing and puffing from the cold (I am a bit dramatic) and maybe the scarcity or oxygen. However as soon as we reached there, I saw little monks studying and running around in their maroon clothing and all my tiredness was gone. We sat in there for a while, looking over the drawings of Gods and Demons.
This has been my favorite spot so far, a treat to the eyes. It is an amazing place where the joyride train tracks are laid looping around the garden. This is one of the spots which can be seen from the train. The train stops in the garden so that people can spend some time around and gorge on the beautiful, misty Himalayan view.
We went there twice and it can be seen in the pics that once it was sunny and other time it decided to go all windy and cloudy.
Tip: Batasia loop is also accessible by cab if you have not booked a train.
Darjeeling War Memorial
This is one of the most important historic venues. It is a monument built in the honor of soldiers under the Gorkha regiment of Indian Army.
There is also a statue of a Gorkha soldier in front of the monument and a platform where all the names of the martyred soldiers are carved. The war memorial is located in the center of the flower garden of Batasia Loop. On a sunny day, you could see the Himalayan Kanchenjunga Mountain range in the background of the memorial.
Do write us in the comments if you have visited the mentioned spots or are planning to visit?
Did you like our post about Darjeeling local sightseeing? Let us know in the comments.
Check out our other posts on nearby hill stations and landmarks.