Darjeeling, a Himalayan district in West Bengal is a popular hill station in the country situated at an altitude of 2,050 meters above sea level. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is a World Heritage Site. The steam locomotives connect the plains with the hill station. Tourism in Darjeeling developed during the 19th century.
It is also popular as one of the largest tea growing districts in the country. Black tea has earned fame for it. Part of the eastern Himalayan range, the stunning hills, diverse landscape, slopes of tea plantations and the botanical gardens make it a desired place for honeymoon and leisure travel. Wildlife, the alpine forests and the orchards are other reasons why tourists come to the hills of Darjeeling. If you are planning to escape the heat of the plains plan your vacation to this hill station in West Bengal, Touristplacesinindia gives you information on the various Darjeeling tourist attractions.
Top Darjeeling Tourist Attractions
Besides scenic locales, this hill station is host to several other tourist attractions. Here are few of them.
Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park – Also known as the Himalayan Zoo or the Darjeeling Zoo, Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park spans across 68 acres and is situated at an elevation of 2134 meters above sea level. Started in 1958, the zoo has a collection of animals and birds found in the Lesser Himalayan region. This zoo is also a breeding center for the rare snow leopard, red panda and the Himalayan wolf. It attracts around 3 lakh visitors every year.
Tiger Hill – At 8,500 feet, Tiger Hill has the highest railway junction of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway line and is a World Heritage Site. It offers spectacular views of the nearby mountain ranges. A drive of around 11 km through the Chowrasta and a 2-hour trek uphill will take you to the place where the peaks of Mount Everest turn orange with the first ray of sunlight.
Observatory Hill – Popular as the Darjeeling Mall, the Observatory Hill offers panoramic views of the Kanchenjunga peaks and the snow clad Himalayas. The temple of the Mahakal is situated at the former location of the Bhutia Busty Monastery. This monastery is the oldest in the district. Right from the Chowrasta you can see the Mahakal Temple atop this hill. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Mall area is ever bustling with visitors. There is a separate sunset point, line of garment shops and you can enjoy pony rides.
Japanese Peace Pagoda – This magnificent building is among the 30 pagodas located at different places worldwide. These pagodas symbolize non-violence and peace. Built by the Japanese Buddhist Nipponzan Order, it is located in the outskirts of Darjeeling town. There is also a temple adjoining this pagoda. You will wake up with early morning drumming in the streets by the Buddhist monks.
Darjeeling Himalayan Railway – The toy train ride from New Jalpaiguri to the hills of Darjeeling is a service of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway that started its operations in 1881. Four steam locomotives serve the visitors with a memorable journey into the hills. The trains run until Ghum and passes through Siliguri Town, Siliguri Junction, Sukna and Kurseong. This railway line is among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Singalila National Park – Situated on ridge of Singalila, this national park is at an elevation of 7000 feet. It is a habitat to a wide variety of mammals such as wild boar, pika and barking deer and birds like the blood pheasant, old world babblers and golden-breasted fulvetta. This region is also popular as the trekking route to Phalut and Sandakphu.
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