About Darjeeling


Darjeeling is a town in India's West Bengal state, in the Himalayan foothills. Once a summer resort for the British Raj elite, it remains the terminus of the narrow-gauge Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, or "Toy Train" , completed in 1881. It's famed for the distinctive black tea grown on plantations that dot its surrounding slopes. Its backdrop is Mt. Kanchenjunga, among the world's highest peaks.

How to reach Darjeeling ?

It takes about 3 hours to reach Darjeeling from both these locations by car. Private taxis (available at NJP and Bagdogra), shared taxis (available at NJP) and bus (from Siliguri bus stand, only 8kms away) are the only public transport to reach Darjeeling from NJP station or Bagdogra airport.
Unlike in Gangtok, there is no helicopter service from Bagdogra to Darjeeling town. You need to go by road and negotiate steep & winding mountain roads. Alternatively, you can take the fascinating toy train from NJP all the way up to Darjeeling soaking in the Himalayan beauty over some 7 hours.

Although the area of Darjeeling hill town itself is small (about 10 square kilometers), Darjeeling is also a district and spans over a large area of about 3,108 square kilometers. The district has subdivisions like Kalimpong, Kurseong, Siliguri etc. So there are many lovely places to visit in Darjeeling hills and around.

You will see numerous sprawling tea estates in Darjeeling that produce world's best tea, as well as the amazing narrow gauge Toy Train - an engineering marvel which could overcome the steep gradients and curves of the mountains and provided a scenic railway transportation in the hills.

Residents are mostly immigrant Nepalese (predominantly Gorkhas), Tibetans, as well as some Lepchas and Bhutias from Sikkim. Nepalese are mostly Hindus while Tibetans follow Buddhism. When you compare them with the people of lower plains, they are quite different both in looks and culture. It's an amazing world out there. But they are warm and tourist friendly.

Places to see in Darjeeling

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Tiger Hills

If you want to witness the first rays of sun hitting the twin peaks of Mount Kangchenjunga, along with a panoramic view of Mount Everest peeping through the peaks standing by its side, then Tiger Hills make for a perfect sunrise for you. You can see Kurseong to the south along with multiple rivers flowing down. Senchal Wildlife Sanctuary is another nearby attraction you could visit - the place inhabits various high-altitude animals and bird. It is one of the most popular places to see in Darjeeling & yes you have to get up at 0400 hrs to witness this scenic view.

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

A visit to the city of Darjeeling is incomplete without a joyride at the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway toy train. Moving at a snail pace over the hilly terrain, it is an experience no one wants to miss & icing on the cake is Hotel Shalom Palace is located at walkable distance from the railway station one can get the breathtaking view from the hotel of Mountains and mini train.

Japanese Peace Pagoda

As you climb up from Clubside along Gandhi and AJC Bose roads, you see this glistening white structure standing out - that's the Peace Pagoda. The Peace Pagoda, one of the 70 odd such structures built under the guidance of Japanese monk Nichidatsu Fujii, is worth a visit during the daily pujas.

Batasia Loop

Located around 5 km from Darjeeling, Batasia loop is a spiral railway track where the toy train takes a complete 360 degree turn. The toy train descends by 1,000 ft. as it completes the loop through a large circular area. One can do shopping of local & traditional Darjeeling clothes at a very economical price.

Himalayan Mountaineering Institute

The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, commonly known as HMI Darjelling, was established on November 4, 1954 primarily to encourage mountaineering as an organized sport in India. HMI regularly conducts Adventure, Basic and Advanced levels of mountaineering courses which are very comprehensive courses. These courses are highly subsidised to encourage mountaineering as a sport.

Observatory Hill

Like most other hill stations in India, Darjeeling also has a Mall Road and atop the Mall is the Observatory hill. The hill hosts the famous Mahakal temple and the original shrine of Bhutia Busty monastery, making the place of religious significance for Hindus and Buddhists alike.

Rock Garden

The Rock Garden or the Barbotey Garden as its commonly known, is located a little far from the city around 10 km away. The benches in the garden are made by cutting rocks at different levels. Ideal for kids to click number of pictures and enjoy.

Nightingale Park

This park was earlier called 'The Shrubbery' when it was a private courtyard. The park was closed for renovation for about four years and has reopened for public since 2011. There is a giant statue of Lord Shiva, a musical fountain along with the great scenery.

Singalila National Park

Singalila National Park , located on the Singalila Ridge at a height of 7000 feet above sea level, is a national park of India in Darjeeling . The park is well known for the trekking and other adventure sports. The national park is similar to a paradise for the trekkers and adventure lovers.

Trekking in Darjeeling

If you love to trek and enjoy the nature, don't miss out on one of the many unbelievable treks in Darjeeling hills. There are routes offering stunning views of the mountains, forests and wildlife. There can be light treks over few days with 4-5 hours of walk a day that even casual walkers can undertake, or heavier treks for several days over mountain landscapes that offer fabulous experience. Where else in the world can you get a vista of four out of five highest peaks of the world in one stretch of snow, or get to see exotic rare animals like Red Panda, or view flowering plants like rhododendrons, magnolia, carpets of primula and over 600 varieties of orchids? I have been to such fascinating treks and shared my experience in the link above.

Weather & Climate

When should you visit Darjeeling? Depends on what and how you want to enjoy. Most visitors target the view of Kanchenjunga in a temperate weather. Many others like to feel the winter in the hills and the occasional snow. Others love even the monsoon and play of the mist. And there are some who just want to feel the hills when there are no tourists and Darjeeling is at its serene best. This section will guide you through the weather conditions in Darjeeling in different seasons, and let you know what can you expect and what you can't.
Hotel Shalom Palace look forward to welcome you and be a part of your memorable tour with highest luxury and comfort. For any clarification or any query please feel free to contact us.