Best Darjeeling Travel Guide – What to Do, See & Eat!

by Dec 24, 2016City Guides, Darjeeling, West Bengal

About this blog: We have been exploring Darjeeling ever since we started travelling. We have also blogged about this place for long. This Darjeeling Travel Guide was written sometime back. We have now updated this Darjeeling travel guide with all the latest information and other details. This guide might help you when you visit the “Queen of Hills” and make you plan a perfect trip to Darjeeling.

Darjeeling, the quaint hill station located in the northern part of West Bengal is undoubtedly one of our favourite destinations of all times. To be honest, we can never get enough of Darjeeling. A land of breathtaking beauty surrounded by rolling green tea plantations along with the majestic Kanchenjunga ranges towering above the skyline has earned it the moniker of Queen of Hills. The eternal beauty and the quaint Victorian charm of the place are enough to lure travellers and tourists alike. And the cherry on the top is the adorable Darjeeling toy train that whistles its way through the mountains. Which other hill stations have so many beauties rolled in one!

Darjeeling Mall Road - Darjeeling Travel Guide

Darjeeling Travel Guide | About Darjeeling

Darjeeling is located at an altitude of about 6710 feet and is one of the most beautiful destinations in India. The name Darjeeling came from two Tibetan words dorje meaning and ling meaning land. So Darjeeling literally means ‘the land of thunderbolt’.

Previous to its acquisition by the British East India Company in 1835, Darjeeling was a part of Sikkim (Sikkim was an independent kingdom then) and also of Nepal for a brief period of time. In 1827, there was a dispute between Sikkim and Nepal again and the Sikkimese King asked the British Governor-General in India for help as per the Treaty of Titalia signed in 1817. The British then sent two of its officers Captain Lloyd and Mr Grant to settle the dispute.

It was during this time when Caption Llyod sent a few days in Darjeeling in February 1829. The place was then known as the “Old Gorkha Station of Darjeeling”. The place was nothing like what it is today. It was a deserted region with dense forests and mountains. Caption Llyod realized that Darjeeling can become a great sanatorium or health resort for the British officers.

Darjeeling Travel Guide

Soon a proposal was sent to the British Governor-General and it was soon approved as well. Caption Llyod who was by then promoted to the rank of General was sent again to negotiate with the Chogyal (King) of Sikkim to handover Darjeeling to them. General Llyod was successful in his mission and finally, in 1835 the Chogyal was persuaded to hand over Darjeeling as a gift to the East India Company as a friendly gesture. In return, the company granted an allowance of Rs 3000.00 to the Chogyal which was later increased to Rs 6000.00 per year. It might sound a meagre amount now, but it was quite a large sum during those days!

In 1839, Dr Archibald Campbell, a British resident in Nepal was brought to Darjeeling and given the charge of administration. Dr Campbell was largely responsible for the initial development of Darjeeling. He was responsible for building roads, establishing Hill Corps to maintain law and order. He also abolished bonded slavery in Darjeeling.

There were still minor skirmishes between the Sikkimese and the British during the preceding years. Finally, after 1866, Darjeeling became much peaceful and that brought an all-round development of the hill station. Farming was improved and so was communication. In 1881, the Darjeeling Himalayan Railways was introduced that connected the hills to the plains in a convenient fashion. Finally, Darjeeling was growing and flourishing.

Agni and Amrita in Darjeeling

What is the Best Time to Visit Darjeeling?

Usually, Darjeeling has two main peak seasons for tourists – March to May and October to November. This is the time when Darjeeling gets the maximum footfall of tourists. When you would visit Darjeeling, however, entirely depends on what you want to experience at Darjeeling. Here I would mention briefly about the seasons in Darjeeling.

March to May (Spring and Summer)

This is one of the best times to visit Darjeeling. The weather remains pleasantly cool. After all, one of the main reasons to visit Darjeeling is to beat the summer heat in the plains. The sky also remains clear giving a clear view of the Kanchenjunga ranges. But this is also a peak tourist season and Darjeeling will be full of local tourists.

March and April is the spring season and also the blooming season of rhododendrons.

June to September (Monsoon)

Monsoon usually starts by mid-June and lasts until September. During the monsoon, there are chances of landslides and some of the roads might be closed due to rains. Darjeeling, however, looks immensely beautiful and romantic during the rains, though you won’t get any mountain views as the weather remains cloudy most of the time. Also, tourism is low at this time and you get to see an uncrowded and relatively serene Darjeeling.

Honestly, monsoon is one of our favourite times to visit Darjeeling. We get rooms at cheaper rates, the roads are empty and the mist and clouds that envelope the roads make Darjeeling completely mesmerizing.

Darjeeling in monsoon

October to mid-November (Autumn)

Autumn is also a good time to visit Darjeeling. The weather remains pleasant, the nature is vibrant and the skies are clear. You would get great views of the snow-covered peaks during this time. Bur again, this is a peak season and Darjeeling will be full of tourists, both local and international.

December to February (Winter)

Winter in Darjeeling is extremely cold and the higher altitudes of experience snowfall in December. Tiger Hill, located only 11 km from Darjeeling also experiences snowfall during the winter. Darjeeling gets fewer tourists during this time. If you plan to visit Darjeeling during the winter, do carry woollens with you.

Winter is our favourite time to visit Darjeeling. We love to enjoy the winters of hill stations and Darjeeling never disappoints us in this matter. Also, Darjeeling oranges are quite famous and we get that during the wintertime.

Having said these, you cannot really predict the weather on the hills. At one time, it is sunny and bright and in the next moment, it can become cloudy and foggy.

Students at Darjeeling Mall

How to Reach Darjeeling?

The nearest airport is the Bagdogra Airport and the nearest broad gauge railway station is New Jalpaiguri (NJP). I have mentioned broad-gauge railways because you can reach Darjeeling from NJP by the famous toy train, also known as the Darjeeling Himalayan Railways.

From NJP, you will get both shared jeeps as well as rented vehicles to reach Darjeeling. From Bagdogra Airport, you will get rented cabs to reach Darjeeling. Shared jeeps are also available from Siliguri Main Bus Stand towards Darjeeling. Buses are also available from Siliguri towards Darjeeling, but I would recommend you to travel by the shared sumos instead of buses.

Darjeeling Tourism Map

Best Places to visit in Darjeeling

Darjeeling is a small hilly town, but there are a number of places to visit in Darjeeling that can be accessed by travelling a short distance. Darjeeling town is small, but Darjeeling district spans across 3,000 sq km. While there are a number of places to visit in Darjeeling and several attractions around the town, you can also visit Kurseong and Kalimpong, two other hill stations that are also quite beautiful and charming. Here I have discussed some of the must-visit tourist attractions in Darjeeling.

  1. Tiger Hill

Sunrise from Tiger Hill Darjeeling

I personally feel that a visit to Darjeeling can never be completed without watching the sunrise at Tiger Hill. Located at the highest point in Darjeeling at an altitude of 2,590m, Tiger Hill is located about 11 km from Darjeeling town. If you visit Tiger Hill in the day, it is just another viewpoint and you will hardly see any tourist there. But early in the morning, the place is full of a long queue of cars and people waiting for the sun to rise. Tiger Hill is now internationally famous for its magnificent sunrise view above the Kanchenjunga and other eastern Himalayan ranges.

There is a watchtower at Tiger Hill from where you will get a sweeping view of the mountain ranges.  It is an amazing experience to see the first rays of sun falling on the snow-clad ranges of the Kanchenjunga and Everest. The sky gradually changes colour from golden yellow to orange as the sun rises up the horizon.

The best time to get clear views of sunrise is during autumn and winter. But the weather in Darjeeling can be quite unpredictable and a sudden cloud can totally obstruct the sunrise view. Even otherwise, Tiger Hill is a great place to visit in Darjeeling to soak in the Himalayan beauty.

  1. Batasia Loop and War Memorial

Gorkha War Memorial at Batasia Loop

Batasia Loop is located on the Hill Cart Road and is about 5 km from Darjeeling town and is one of the major attractions of Darjeeling. The Batasia Loop is a gigantic railway loop where the Darjeeling toy train takes a 360-degree turn just after Ghum. You can get a panoramic view of the Kanchenjunga ranges and the entire landscape from here. There is a well-maintained eco-garden at Batasia Loop along with proper seating arrangements from where you can sit down and see the wonderful views.

The War Memorial is located at the centre of the Batasia Loop. The War Memorial was opened in 1995 to pay homage to the Gorkha soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the nation. Just in the middle, there is a 3-metre bronze statue of a Gorkha soldier paying homage. Outside the Batasia Loop, there is a small market area selling curios, bags, hats, and other decorative items. You can visit Batasia Loop after a trip to the Tiger Hill to watch the sunrise.

Timings: Everyday 5:00 AM to 8:00 PM

  1. Darjeeling Mall or Chowrasta

Darjeeling Mall

Darjeeling Mall or Chowrasta is the centre of Darjeeling town and is the most happening place in the entire town. It is a flat piece of land converted into a pedestrian-only zone and no traffic is allowed at the Mall. There are seating arrangements around the Mall where you can relax and have a steaming hot cup of Darjeeling tea. A number of shops are located in the Mall area including tea bars, curio shop, book shops and more. You can stroll around the Mall leisurely or else simply sit on the bench and see Darjeeling come alive in front of you. Horse ride is also available around the Mall at a prefixed rate.

There are a few important places to visit around Darjeeling Mall. You can take a walk around the Mall Road and visit a few of the important and heritage places in Darjeeling. Our article on Darjeeling Mall covers all these. There is also an open-air auditorium and stage where many functions and cultural programmes take place. The Mall or Chowrasta is actually the social fabric of Darjeeling town.

  1. The Darjeeling Zoo and HMI

Darjeeling Zoo - Walking raound the Darjeeling Mall

Darjeeling Zoo or Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park is one of the attractive places to visit in Darjeeling. Covering a vast area of 27 hectares, the zoo is the only specialized zoo for the conservation breeding programs of rare Himalayan species like the red panda, snow leopards, Tibetan wolf, Himalayan Black bear and other endangered species. The Darjeeling Zoo is the largest high altitude zoo in India and covers an area of 67.5 acres at an average altitude of 7,000ft.

HMI Darjeeling

The Himalayan Mountain Institute or the HMI is said to be a pilgrimage for mountaineers and climbing enthusiast. It is also a must-visit place for all mountain lovers. It has a museum with mountaineering displays and many expedition artefacts. HMI is located in the same complex as the zoo and both of these can be visited together. Whenever we visit Darjeeling, we make it a point to visit HMI. Just staring at the complex and reading its slogan “May you climb from peak to peak” gives us a feeling of happiness.

Timings: Everyday from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM in the summer and 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM in the winters.

  1. Rock Garden and Ganga Maya Park

Rock Garden Darjeeling

The Rock Garden and Ganga Maya Park are two beautiful parks located close to each other. The Rock Garden, located about 10 km from Darjeeling town is a terraced garden that has been cut through the rock and seating arrangements are made in between. The major attraction here is the cascading waterfall flowing down the rocks. The Rock Garden is also known as the Barbotey Rock Garden and was created by Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council to boost tourism in Darjeeling.

Ganga Maya Park is about 3 km from Rock Garden and is more spread having a beautiful flower garden and fountains. There is a small lake in the park where tourists can enjoy boating.

  1. Japanese Temple and Peace Pagoda

Japanese Temple and Peace Pagoda Darjeeling - Places to visit in Darjeeling

The Japanese Temple and Peace Pagoda is the symbol of peace and a place of tranquillity. It is located in the Jalapahar Hills about 10 minutes driving distance from Darjeeling town. The temple is also known as the Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist Temple and was built in 1972 under Nichidatsu Fujii, a Buddhist Monk from Japan. Built in the traditional Japanese style, the temple has two storeys. The view from here is simply wonderful. You can see the Kanchenjunga peak from here.

The Peace Pagoda is located just beside the temple. The Japanese Peace Pagoda was built to bring people together from all castes and creeds for the purpose of world peace. You can occasionally hear Buddhist chants and prayer at the temple. The place is indeed full of serenity and you can feel it once you are there.

Timings: Everyday from 4:30 AM to 7 PM

Prayer timings are from 4.30 AM to 6.00 AM, and 4.30 PM to 6.30 PM

  1. Happy Valley Tea Estate

Happy Valley Tea Estate - Tea gardens in Darjeeling

How can your trip to Darjeeling be complete without visiting a tea garden? Happy Valley Tea Estate is the best place where you can get a first-hand experience of tea gardens as well as how the tea leaves actually make way to your cup. The tea estate was established in 1854 and was known as the Wilson Tea Estate. Later the estate was renamed as Happy Valley Tea Estate. The estate covers an area of about 110 hectares and is one of the highest and oldest tea estates in West Bengal. Most of the tea bushes here are more than a century old!

Located below the Hill Cart Road, one of the best times to visit Happy Valley Tea Estate is during the plucking and processing season between March and October. During this time, an employee with take you around the tea factory and explain the process of withering, rolling, fermenting and drying and also explain how black, green and white tea is extracted from the same tea leaves. At the end of the tour, tea tasting is also offered. There is also a tea boutique from where you can but best quality Darjeeling Tea is grown at the estate.

Timings: The Tea estate and factory are open from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM from Tuesday to Saturday. The factory remains closed between November to February as tea plucking does not take place in winter.

  1. Observatory Hill and the Mahakal Temple

Mahakal Temple on Observatory Hill

The Observatory Hill and Mahakal Temple is located just behind the Mall. The Mahakal Tempel is located at the summit of the Observatory Hill. As you walk around the Mall Road, you will see a flight of stairs leading up to the hill and the temple. It is believed that a Buddhist monastery named Dorjeling Monastery once stood at the place where the Mahakal Temple stands.

The original monastery was built in the year 1765 by the Lama Dorje Rinzing and it was destroyed in 1815 during the Gorkha invasion. Later the Mahakal Temple was built at the place and the monastery was rebuilt at about 1.5 km downhill from the Chowrasta.

At Mahakal Temple, you will not only hear the chants of Hindu prayers but will also hear the Buddhist monks reading scriptures. It is a beautiful communion of Hinduism and Buddhism, just as we saw at Bhaktapur Durbar Square in Nepal.

Timings: From sunrise to sunset.

  1. Ghum Monastery

Ghum Monastery Darjeeling - Places to visit in Darjeeling

One of the most magnificent monasteries near Darjeeling is the Ghum Monastery, also known as the Yiga Choeling Monastery. Located at Ghum at an altitude of 7400 ft and 8 km from Darjeeling town, it is one of the oldest Tibetan monasteries to be built in Darjeeling area. The major attraction of the monastery is the 15 ft high statue of Maitreya Buddha or future Buddha. It is believed that the clay to make the statue of the Buddha was brought all the way from Tibet. In front of the statue, there are two huge oil lamps that are kept burning all the time throughout the year. The monastery also houses a number of rare Buddhist manuscripts including a 108-volume Kangyur – The Tibetan Buddhist Gospel.

  1. Tenzing and Gombu Rocks

Tenzing Rock Darjeeling - Adventure in Darjeeling

The Tenzing Rock is a naturally formed huge rock in Darjeeling and is named after the famous Tenzing Norgay. The Gombu Rock stands just opposite to Tenzing Rock and is named after Nawang Gombu, the nephew of Tenzing Norgay who had scaled Mt Everest twice in 1963 and 1965. These rocks are used by the HMI for rock climbing training. The right face of Tenzing Rock is used for amateur climbers, so you can also give a try at rock climbing.

  1. Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre

Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre - Darjeeling

The Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre was established in 1959 for the rehabilitation of the Tibetans who had migrated to India after the Chinese invaded Tibet. In order to sustain, they adopted the principle of self-help. The Tibetans make exquisite handicrafts, shawls, carpets, carved wooden and other items. If you visit there, you can see the Tibetan men and women working patiently on these handicrafts. There is an outlet from where you can buy these handicrafts. The Tibetan Refugee Centre is located on a hilltop that can be approached from Lebong Cart Road. There is also a small monastery at the complex.

Apart from these 11 fabulous places, you can visit the Shrubbery near the zoo and the Botanical garden near the Chowk Bazar.

Darjeeling Travel Guide | Darjeeling Sightseeing

Ghum Railway Station

You can go for Darjeeling sightseeing tours by getting a reserved car from Club side taxi Stand or Chowk Bazar. Usually, the cars offer 3 types of sightseeing tours – 3-point, 5-point and 7-point sightseeing tours.

3-point Tour: This is the early morning tour covering sunrise at Tiger Hill, Batasia Loop and Ghum Monastery.

5-point Tour: This includes Japanese Temple and Peace Pagoda, Lal Kuthi, Dhirdham Temple, Ava Art Gallery and Darjeeling Zoo. This takes about 3 hours

7-point tour: This covers most of the famous attractions of Darjeeling like the Darjeeling Zoo and HMI, Darjeeling Ropeway, Tenzing and Gombu Rock, Happy Valley Tea Estate, Tibetan Refugee Centre, Lebong Race Course.

You can also reserve a car and explore Darjeeling as per your choice. For more details of Darjeeling sightseeing and costs, please read our post.

Darjeeling Toy Train

Darjeeling Toy Train - Things to do in Darjeeling

Darjeeling Himalayan Railways (DHR) or Darjeeling toy train ride is undoubtedly one of the major attractions of Darjeeling. DHR is the first mountain railway in India opened in 1881 to connect Darjeeling with the plains in Siliguri. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railways is said to be one of the best examples of mountain railways and definitely an outstanding engineering feat achieved during those times. The DHR has been accorded the UNESCO World Heritage site status.

If you have the time, the best way to experience the Darjeeling Toy Train is to take a ride from NJP to Darjeeling. It is a long ride almost taking a day, but the ride will be one of life kind of experience. If you do not wish to venture in this journey, you can take a toy train ride from Darjeeling to Ghum or Kurseong.

Darjeeling Toy Train Joy Ride

The best way is, however, to take the Darjeeling Toy Train Joy Ride. This is a 2-hour ride starting from Darjeeling Station to Ghum and back covering a distance of 14 km. The train stops at Batasia Loop. The fare for Darjeeling Joy Ride is between Rs1000.00 to 1600.00 per head.

Darjeeling Tea

Things to do in Darjeeling - visit a Darjeeling Tea Garden

How can I probably not talk about Darjeeling Tea while writing about Darjeeling? There is almost no doubt that Darjeeling is one of the finest producers of tea in the world. There are a number of tea gardens and estates in Darjeeling district producing some of the finest qualities of tea. A packet of Darjeeling tea is one of the prized souvenirs of India that you can take home.

The cup is actually waiting for you. Take a sip and enjoy the aroma and taste of fresh and pure Darjeeling Tea. Well, that is enough of tea advertisements! Let me now tell you where you can have tea in Darjeeling. There are several outlets, tea lounges and tea bars from where you can taste Darjeeling Tea. Personally, our favourite is the Darjeeling tea at Nathmulls on Darjeeling Mall and Glenarys on Nehru Road. We also love the tea served by the roadside vendors.

Golden Tips Tea Lounge

Some of the best places to have tea at Darjeeling are

  • Nathmull’s Tea and Sunset Lounge
  • House of Tea
  • Golden Tips Tea Lounge
  • Afternoon Tea at Windermere
  • Happy Golden Cafe

You can buy your packet of tea from any of these places. But I would suggest you buy Darjeeling tea from places that would provide you with an invoice and not from any roadside stalls. Happy Valley Tea Estate is another good place to buy Darjeeling Tea.

Darjeeling Travel Guide | Where to Stay in Darjeeling?

With time, Darjeeling town has faced a lot of constructions, many of which are unplanned. Quite obviously, these constructions include mainly hotel. Darjeeling has a number of hotels catering to all types of budgets and travellers. These include century-old heritage stays, homestays, hostels and hotels as well. Here I will name a few hotels in Darjeeling of various categories.

Windamere Hotels Darjeeling

Luxury Hotels in Darjeeling

  • Windermere (Best views of Kanchenjunga)
  • Cedar Inn (Best views of Kanchenjunga)
  • Mayfair Darjeeling
  • Sinclairs Darjeeling

Mid Budget Hotels

  • Little Tibet
  • Central Nirvana (Best views of Kanchenjunga)
  • Central Gleneagles Heritage Resort
  • Hotel Shangrila
  • Darjeeling Tourist Lodge (Best views of Kanchenjunga)

Mayfair Darjeeling - Places to stay in Darjeeling

Budget Hotels in Darjeeling

  • Classic Guest House (Best views of Kanchenjunga)
  • Revolver
  • Broadway Annexe
  • Dekeling Hotel
  • Hotel Capital
  • Old Bellevue Hotel

Homestays

  • Pahari Soul Homestay (Best views of Kanchenjunga)
  • Happy Valley Homestay
  • Himalayan Inn

What are the Best Places to eat in Darjeeling?

Darjeeling Cuisine

Darjeeling has a unique mixture of Bengali, Nepali and Tibetan population. This is reflected well in the food and cuisine of Darjeeling. Added to this is the English influence. So overall, food in Darjeeling is simply something that we can die for.

Delicious and crisp English breakfast is quite common in Darjeeling. Keventers and Glenarys are just the places to have a proper English breakfast. Bacon, sausages, omelettes, eggs with sunny side up, sandwiches along with fresh Darjeeling Tea – who can say no to such food? For the health-conscious, the oil can be a turn-off though.

Darjeeling Food guide - momo

Darjeeling is also famous for momos, thukpas and Tibetan and Nepali dishes. There are restaurants serving Indian and Continental cuisines. In short, you will not be disappointed in Darjeeling regarding food!

Here are a few restaurants and eateries in Darjeeling that you should not miss:

  • Keventers: For English breakfast. It is also one of our favourite places to eat in Darjeeling.
  • Glenarys Bakery & Restaurant: The bakery products are simply yummy and delicious and so are the chocolates. In the evening, Glenary Restaurant serves Indian, Chinese and Continental cuisines.
  • Frank Ross Restaurant: The best place for the vegetarians.
  • Shangrila Bar and Restaurant: Multi-cuisine restaurant and bar
  • Sonam’s Kitchen: For lip-smacking momo and Nepali food.
  • Roadside Momo counters: They serve some of the best momos.

These are only a few places to eat in Darjeeling. For detailed information, you can visit our article on the best places to eat in Darjeeling.

How much does it cost to travel in Darjeeling?

Darjeeling Travel Guide

Darjeeling can be quite easy on the pocket if you wish so. A typical cost of travelling in Darjeeling is given:

Accommodation (per day/per room)

  • Budget: INR 1200 – 3000
  • Mid Budget: INR 3000 – 4500
  • Luxury: INR 5000+

Food (per day/per person)

  • Small Restaurants: INR 300 – 500
  • Mid-range restaurants: INR 600 – 1000
  • Fine Dining: INR 1000+

Sightseeing costs in Darjeeling by car are fixed. To reduce costs, you can share with other like-minded travellers. You can also walk around and explore Darjeeling on foot. We usually do that on our visits to Darjeeling. You can also hop on to the taxis that the locals use for commuting and visit from one point to the other, and then walk the remaining way.

Trekking permit at Sandakphu-Phalut will come at a fixed cost and so does guide and potter. Permit fee for Singalila National Park is only INR 100. You will get the details of the trek in our blog on Sandakphu Trek.

Darjeeling Travel Guide | Shopping in Darjeeling

Shopping in Darjeeling Guide

Darjeeling, like most of the hill stations, is a shopper’s paradise. These days, you will get almost everything in Darjeeling town. However, you would probably want to buy Darjeeling Tea, antiques and jewellery, handicrafts and curio, woollen from Darjeeling. Some of the popular handicraft items that you can buy from Darjeeling includes Tibetan masks, Thangkas, Khukris (curved Gorkha knives having decorative handles), curios and traditional jewelleries and showpieces. Stoles, woollen sweaters, jackets, caps and pashmina shawls are also widely sold.

There are many old shops and boutique shops at either side of the Nehru Road leading up to the Mall.  Nepal Curio House is one of our favourite places to hunt curio items, masks and thangkas. A Biswa Bangla outlet has also opened at Nehru Road that sells Bengal handicraft items. Another place that I would like to mention is Das Studio. You will get photography items and some old and rare photographs of Darjeeling and the mountains here. Check out the old Darjeeling postcards here.

Das Studio Darjeeling - Travel Guide

Darjeeling Mall is also dotted with a number of shops. I would like to mention about Oxford Book Stores, Habeeb Mullick & Sons (one of the best places for curios), Golden Tips and Nathmull’s at Chowrasta.

Mall Road has temporary shops with hawkers selling woollen and dress items. Bargain well when buying from these markets.

Darjeeling Toy Train Souvenir

Chowk Bazar at lower Darjeeling is a bustling market where you can get any types of household items, clothing items, bags, footwear, grocery and spices. It is infact the local market of Darjeeling town. Prices are relatively cheaper at Chowk Bazar, but I cannot guarantee the quality for items like dresses, shoes and bags.

If you want to buy authentic Tibetan handicrafts, then you should head towards the Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre off the Lebong Cart Road. You will get handmade Tibetan carpets, scarves, clothes, handicrafts, thangkas and many more made by the local artisans.

Darjeeling Travel Guide | Day trips from Darjeeling

You can make day trips from Darjeeling to Mirik (known for Mirik Lake) and Kurseong. You can hire a car from Chowk Bazar or Club side taxi Stand to visit these places.

You can also take a day trip to Takdah, Tinchuley and Lamahatta from Darjeeling.

Darjeeling is also the nearest town to Maneybhanjan, the base camp of Sandakphu trek.

View of Kanchenjunga range from Darjeeling -

Darjeeling Travel Guide | Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. How far is Bagdogra from Darjeeling?

Bagdogra is the nearest airport to Darjeeling. It is around 68km and takes about 3 to 3.5 hours to reach Darjeeling.

Q. Is it safe to travel in Darjeeling?

Yes, Darjeeling is quite safe for tourists and travellers. In the last few years, there had been a few agitations when Darjeeling had come to a stop. But now, Darjeeling is quite safe to travel. Do take an informed decision before travelling to any place.

Q. What is Darjeeling famous for?

Darjeeling is famous for a number of things with Darjeeling Tea and Toy Trains being the major attractions. Sunrise at Tiger Hill is also famous worldwide now.

Q. How is the weather in Darjeeling?

Darjeeling is a hill station and has pleasant weather during the summer months. Winters are quite cold and for the last two years, Darjeeling has witnessed mild snowfall in the months of December.

Q. Is there snowfall in Darjeeling?

Since the last couple of years, Darjeeling has witnessed snowfall in the months of December. But that is also for a few days. You will see snowfall at Sandakphu for sure.

Q. Should I carry woollens during the summer?

Yes, it is advised to carry woollen clothes even during the summer. At least a windproof jacket should be taken. The weather is highly unpredictable in Darjeeling. If it rains, the weather suddenly becomes very chilly.

Q. How many days are enough for Darjeeling trip?

2-3 days are good enough for a leisurely Darjeeling trip covering the main attractions. Usually, a trip to Darjeeling and Gangtok is done together. In that case, 7-8 days are good enough for both the destinations.

Q. How is the nightlife in Darjeeling?

Darjeeling is a sleepy little hill town. While there are bars and pubs in Darjeeling, but the town usually sleeps by 11 pm.

Q. Are there ATMs in Darjeeling?

Yes, there are sufficient ATMs in Darjeeling. There is an SBI ATM at Darjeeling Mall. Also, most of the shops accept debit and credit cards these days.

Q. Where can I buy the best Darjeeling tea?

Golden Tips and Nathmulls are some of the best places to buy authentic Darjeeling tea. Both shops are located at the Mall. You can also buy Darjeeling Tea from Happy Valley Tea Estate. It is recommended not to buy tea from road-side shops unless you are absolutely sure about the quality.

Other Resources on Darjeeling

12 Best Places to Eat in Darjeeling

Darjeeling Mall and a Heritage Walk around the Mall Road

Movies shot in Darjeeling

Darjeeling Zoo – A Photostory

Darjeeling Himalayan Railways

Darjeeling in Monsoons

Rangaroon – Experience Tea Tourism near Darjeeling

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An Insider Guide to Darjeeling

 

Best Places to visit in Darjeeling

 

 

Agni & Amrita

Agni & Amrita

Travel Experts

We are Agni and Amrita, the story-telling team behind Tale of 2 Backpackers and partners in crime in travel and (mis)adventures of life. We have been travelling together for more than a decade looking for immersive experiences while enjoying the little beauties of life. We are intrigued by heritage, culture, festivals and people and that is reflected in our travel. And yes, we love the Himalayas too.

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Best Kolkata Travel Guide for the first timers

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Ujjayanta Palace and Other Places to Visit in Agartala

Ujjayanta Palace and Other Places to Visit in Agartala

Capital cities always fascinate us. Both Agni and I feel they speak a lot about the local people, culture and history of the place and we always find it enjoyable to walk along the busy streets and lanes of a city.  If observed properly, a lot of things can be...

5 Comments

  1. I must say you have done a great job in highlighting the beauty of Darjeeling. Well Done and Keep it up

    Reply
    • Thank you so much.

      Reply
  2. Thanks for a marvelous posting! I really enjoyed reading it, this post is very interesting and informative. Thanks for sharing…

    Reply
  3. I must say your photographs are too good, I have been to many places in north India, but east is still untouched.
    I would love to be there soon..

    Reply
  4. We guess we made a huge mistake by not going to Rock Garden! The waterfalls looks so beautiful!

    Reply

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