Mingling with the Queen of the Hills "Darjeeling"

10th Apr 2010
Photo of Mingling with the Queen of the Hills "Darjeeling" by Ruchi Jain
Photo of Mingling with the Queen of the Hills "Darjeeling" by Ruchi Jain

Darjeeling, a small town in the state of West Bengal, is a land of breathtaking beauty crowned with the mighty Himalayas. It is one of the most magnificent hill resort in India.Covered with green tea bushes, the exotic forests covered with the milky clouds, it indeed is the Queen of hill stations. Be it a student, photographer, professor, a rockstar or a retired professor, this place with it's magical wand can spell magic on every age group. So be prepared to fall for this place. 

The culture of this place is quiet distinct. After Hinduism, Buddhism is the next predominant religion in Darjeeling followed by Christianity. To understand and feel the divine spirituality of the place, one need to visit a monastery, temple or a church and listen to the head of the shrine to feel the culture. The amazing parks, gardens, museums, monuments and memorials of Darjeeling are all the rich heritage of the place. Shopping is inevitable as well here. One cannot afford missing the artwork and tea from Darjeeling. Activities including trekking and mountain biking are the fun part in your stay at Darjeeling. 

The Darjeeling Zoo consists of all the wild animals found at the high altitude in the upper Himalayas. Some rare animals like red panda, snow leopard and Tibetan wolf are witnessed. I was lucky enough to have seen all of these. The surrounding is splendid as it is covered with mountains.
Photo of Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park, Darjeeling, West Bengal, India by Ruchi Jain
Tiger hill is the highest point in Darjeeling. The most amazing part of this place is the sunrise view of the Kanchenjunga and the snow peaks of the Himalayas. I had witnessed the Mount Everest from here as it was a clear day.
Photo of Tiger Hill, Senchal Rd, Darjeeling, West Bengal, India by Ruchi Jain
Batasia Loop is a spiral of a narrow railway track where the toy train takes a sudden sharp descent from The Ghoom. You will experience a wonderful view of the garden, streams and falls which will mesmerize you. It gives a beautiful view of Darjeeling's landscape along with Kanchenjunga.
Photo of Batasia Loop, Darjeeling, West Bengal, India by Ruchi Jain
Darjeeling ropeway is also known as the Rangeet valley passenger cable car. It gives a mind blowing view of the valley below, the lush tea gardens, dense forests, mountain streams all over along with the breath taking waterfall and snow peak in the background. You can even get down at the lower station and enjoy the tea garden by walking through it. Its really difficult to experience so many things together at the same p lace.
Photo of Darjeeling Rangeet Valley Passenger Ropeway, Darjeeling, West Bengal, India by Ruchi Jain
Rock garden is a terraced garden at different levels which have been cut through rocks having waterfall. It has good seating arrangement. It is a good place to hang out as it's very peaceful. It is almost 10 km from the Darjeeling town.
Photo of Rock Garden Road, Bloomfield Tea Garden, Darjeeling, West Bengal, India by Ruchi Jain
Known for it's culture, the Japanese temple is located in the Jalapahar hill, which is symbolic of peace and tranquility. It is constructed in a typical Japanese style where everyone can join the prayers and hum the chants. People fond of learning about different culture and their rituals, can go ahead and consult the shrine of the temple. They take great pleasure in explaining it.
Photo of Japanese Temple, Jalapahar, Darjeeling, West Bengal, India by Ruchi Jain
Very near to the Japanese temple is the peace pagoda, where there are four avatars of Lord Buddha. The view from the top is splendid and the snow peak range is also visible from here along with Kanchenjunga.
Photo of Peace Pagoda, West Point, Darjeeling, West Bengal, India by Ruchi Jain
It is a house of various birds, mammals and animals. The displays here are the specimen of real creatures that had been captured and preserved. It had been started with an effort to display butterfies and birds of Darjeeling but fortunately it now has collection of various animals.
Pedong is a picturesque hamlet surrounded by pine forests. It has magnificent views of Kanchenjunga . It actually falls on the Silk rote that connected Tibet with India. Trekking can also be done here. It is situated 20km from Kalimpong in west bengal.
Photo of Pedong, West Bengal, India by Ruchi Jain
Only 16 km from Darjeeling, Jorapokhri is an untouched natural beauty. The lakes present here has actually given this term "Jorapokhri" which are the main attraction in the place. It is very serene and you can spend hours admiring the purity of the untouched divine place. The Himalayan Salamender, an endangered specie from the reptile family can be encountered here, though I did not see.
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