Sitting at a spectacular altitude of nearly 2200m with a backdrop consisting of mighty snow-clad Himalayan peaks and surrounded by verdant tea plantations, the scenic hill-station of Darjeeling in the state of West Bengal offers pleasant respite from India’s oppressive summer heat. Indeed, Darjeeling has been a popular hill station since the British established it as an R & R centre for their troops in the mid 19th century.
Draw cards include a number of Buddhist monasteries including Ghoom, tea plantations, faded relics from the Raj, colourful markets and trekking possibilities in the surrounding area. The beautiful and endangered snow leopard is indigenous to the entire Indian Himalaya region and Darjeeling supports a snow leopard breeding program.
A popular way of getting to Darjeeling is by toy train from Siliguri/New Jalpaiguri.
A notable attraction is the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, a training school for mountain climbers. Its museum features memorabilia from the first ascent of Everest.
Owing to Darjeeling’s proximity to Tibet, the town also has a Tibetan Refugee Centre comprising care for the young and old and craft workshops that produce carpets and Tibetan curios. Just beyond Darjeeling is Tiger Hill where it is possible to view the snowy peaks of Kanchenjunga - the world’s third highest mountain.
If you are planning a Darjeeling holiday, have a look at some of the accommodation that we recommend. 'Our Rating' indicates how we feel each property rates according to normal Western hotel standards. 'Local Rating' indicates how the property is categorised/rated locally:
For all our tours and tailor-made holidays we provide you with a clear categorisation of all hotels we use. The REGIONAL CATEGORY indicates the local rating of each hotel in each respective country. We have also rated each hotel using OUR CATEGORY, which will be in line with generally accepted western hotel grading standards.
Basic hotels and simple accommodation is a no frills option with an adventurous authentic feel.
Standard accommodation equates to a Western 3-star standard, always featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant.
Superior accommodation equates to a Western 4-star standard, featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant and often a swimming pool and/or a fitness centre.
Deluxe accommodation equates to a Western 5-star standard, usually featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, excellent service and customer care.
Lavish accommodation equates to a Western 5-star plus standard - the creme de la creme. Featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, this accommodation is a cut above the rest. Sheer opulence!
Darjeeling Tailor made suggestions
Here are some of the recent tailor made itineraries we have created for our clients which include a visit to Darjeeling.