Sitting at a spectacular altitude of nearly 2,200 metres with a backdrop consisting of mighty snow-clad Himalayan peaks and verdant tea plantations, the scenic hill-station of Darjeeling in the state of West Bengal offers pleasant respite from India’s oppressive summer heat. Darjeeling has long been a popular hill station since the British established it as a centre of rest and relaxation for their troops in the mid 19th century and today continues to attract visitors because of its remarkable, lush scenery, colonial-era architecture and colourful religious monuments.Read More
Top attractions in Darjeeling include a number of Buddhist monasteries, chiefly Ghoom, formally known as the Yiga Choeling Monastery, which belongs to the Gelukpa sect of Buddhism and was established in 1850. The shrine hall houses a 15-foot-tall Buddha statue, the biggest and the oldest statue among all the monasteries in Darjeeling. Owing to Darjeeling’s proximity to Tibet, the town also has a Tibetan Refugee Centre that offers care for the young and old with 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. It's especially magical at sunrise when the mountain range glows pink with the growing light.
The beautiful and endangered snow leopard is indigenous to the Indian Himalaya region and Darjeeling supports a snow leopard breeding program with a number of the creatures housed in the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park. The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, a training school for mountain climbers, is another notable attraction with a museum featuring memorabilia from the first ascent of Everest.
Here are some popular itineraries that include a visit to Darjeeling
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:
Cedar Inn Darjeeling
The boutique Cedar Inn hotel is located high above the main town, nestling amidst groves of evergreen trees in serene environs with impressive views of the surrounding mountains. Extensive hand-crafted woodwork adorns the interiors, adding warmth and a touch of traditional elegance. The tastefully decorated rooms utilise natural materials with wood paneling and furniture, all with commanding views and many with their own fireplace for added coziness in the winter months. Typical Himalayan cuisine can be enjoyed at the multi-cuisine restaurant alongside Indian, Chinese and Continental dishes.
Cochrane Place Darjeeling
The colourful and rustic Chochrane Place Hotel is a stunning restored British colonial home sat right at the base of the himalayas. In addition to the breathtaking views that can be had from the windows, the hotel offers yoga classes and a tea shop that serves a wide range of different brews. The rooms are quaint and charming, with wooden furnishings and are kept perfectly toasty to ensure maximum comfort. Tours through the nearby tea plantations and to various monasteries can be organised at the hotel.
Elgin Hotel Darjeeling
The Elgin Hotel is a 125 year old well-preserved Victorian mansion with tastefully furnished rooms. Once the summer residence of the Maharaja, it is now a luxury hotel affording fantastic views of the surrounding tea plantations. The Orchid Dining Room features inviting interiors with classical tunes played on the grand piano whilst European and Asian dishes are served. Other dining options at the Elgin include a garden gazebo, Tea Lounge and Timber Bar. At the spa guests can select from a menu of various massage and beauty treatments.
Goomtee Tea Resort Darjeeling
With spectacular views on every side, the Goomtee Tea Resort boasts one of the most fantastic locations in the region. The resort comprises 4 beautiful rooms, each with wooden floors and ceilings and overlooking the exquisitely manicured hotel grounds. Vegetarian food is available in the dining area and guests can choose from a range of cuisines including North and South Indian, Chinese and American. The hotel is 40km from Siliguri train station and 48km from New Jalpaiguri station, both of which have direct connections to Kolkata, Delhi and more.
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.