About Me

I had been a Software Engineer for half a decade doing my 9 to 5 job. Always craving to have new experiences with the help of travel, I started exploring places for a while. Now I love to roam around (or 'roll around' I would prefer) and share my experiences, with folks around. :) 

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Darjeeling diaries: 10 beautiful spots to visit in the mountains

October 13, 2018

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 historic venue 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. Darjeeling is also famous for many Bollywood songs and movies being pictured in this spectacular location. We were there for three days and then went to Gangtok for the next part of the trip. The best part of Darjeeling travel was the break we got from the escalating temperatures of Nagpur city where we started our travel from. 

This is a part of our 7 day itinerary of stunning Darjeeling and Gangtok City honeymoon tour which we had planned by ourselves and had fun executing it.

 

 

 

How we reached

in the Eastern Himalayas in the state of West Bengal, India.

We took a flight from Nagpur to New Delhi and from there, 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 reduced the cab cost for us significantly.

 

This was a pleasant journey atop the mountainous terrain and I couldn't ask for more. What a view we got to see even before reaching Darjeeling. We reached Darjeeling at night and after spending the chilly night in our cozy hotel room; we set out to explore the world of mountains early next day. We were planning to see the sunrise point but missed it as the sun rises at around 4 in the morning in this part of the country.

We hired a private taxi and the nice guy who drove us around the town also became our travel guide for that day. He showed us many iconic spots and covered most except the toy train which we took on the next day.

Cost of the private taxi is approx. Rs. 2500-3000 depending on the car you have rented.

 

Below are the mesmerizing places and landmarks we enjoyed.

 

 

Himalayan Railway - Darjeeling toy train booking

Here comes the toy train expedition! This is as far as I remember, my first time getting on a toy train. I was like a hopping bunnynot literally though) when we reached there. The toy train is also famous for one the 70s Hindi movie song ' kab !'.

This is the most colorful station in India I have seen so far. up with Joyride trains present in the heart of the beautiful mountainside. It explores the heart of Darjeeling covering a 14 km stretch and circles back from the 'Ghoom' Monastery back to Darjeeling.

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 you the ticket 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. We can buy the tickets at the counter for approx Rs.200.

 

Tip: You might end up in a long queue so be ready 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

after the ex-governor of West Bengal. It has conservation and breeding programs of endangered animal and bird species found in the Himalayas. 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 entranceRs.30). in the Mountaineering's vicinity Institute.

 

 

 
Japanese Temple

It is a 2 story Buddhist temple with Japanese style architecture hence the name Japanese temple. The entrance has two white marble lions on its side. We 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.

 

 

 
Peace Pagoda

right beside the Japanese temple and has various forms of Buddha idols carved around it.

To view all the idols, walk around the structure. 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 dramatic) and maybe the scarcity or oxygen. However, as soon as we reached there, I saw little monks studying, some of them running around and all my tiredness vanished. We sat in there for a while, looking over the drawings of Gods and Demons.

 

 

 

loop

This has been my favorite spot so far, a treat to the eyes. It is an amazing place where the joyride train tracks looping around the garden. This is one spot which I could see 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 you can see in the pics that once it was sunny and other it went all windy and cloudy.

 

Tip: 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 . in the center of the flower garden of '' Loop. On a sunny day, you could see the Himalayan Kanchenjunga Mountain range in the .

 

 

Write to us in the comments if you have visited the mentioned spots or are planning to visit?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check out our other posts on Darjeeling Gangtok and also beautiful forts and hill stations.

 

Check out more about one-day Gangtok sightseeing, cost

 

7 day Itinerary for stunning Darjeeling and Gangtok city

 

A remarkable visit to the inspiring Raigad Fort, in monsoon

 

Ultimate things to do in Smoky Mountain in October

 

 

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