Darjeeling, the enchanting town, also known as the “Queen of
Hills” lies nestled in the grandeur of the snow-capped mountains and lush green
tea gardens. A holiday resort during the British rule, this town still exudes
its past grandeur, charm and majesty, attracting a lot of visitors. Tucked away
in the Himalayas, south of the state of Sikkim, Darjeeling at an altitude of
almost 7000ft is situated in West Bengal, sharing its border with Sikkim in the
north, Nepal in the west and Bhutan in the east. Darjeeling derives its name
from the local Tibetan name ‘Dorjee-ling’, meaning ‘Place of the Thunderbolt’.
Kalimpong is a small sleepy hill resort at an altitude of about 4000 ft and
is cradled on a saddle between the Durpin Hill and Deolo Hill. Kalimpong meaning
‘Fort of the King’s Minister’ was once the hub of the trade of India with Tibet,
but now attracts a lot of visitors looking for a quiet holiday.
Darjeeling internationally acclaimed as one of the best hill
resorts is also a paradise for trekkers and adventure seekers. Trekking in
Darjeeling is an experience which no lover of nature should miss. It takes one
to places where nature is yet in her premival majesty. It brings one face to
face with sublime grandeur of the Himalayas.
The region abounds in rhododendrons, magnolias, primulas,
orchids and ferns of numerous varieties. About six hundred different species of
birds inhabit the green forest on the slopes of the mountains.
VISA AND PERMITS:
Foreigners visiting Darjeeling must possess
an Indian visa. No special permit is required for
either traveling or trekking inside Darjeeling.
However, necessary travel documents need to be
shown as and when required.
Transport is providing by buses, four-wheel drive
and smaller vehicles. Local taxis are also
available for hire for getting around.
From Kathmandu, take the one-hour flight to
Bhadrapur (the nearest Nepalese airport to
Darjeeling), drive to Kakarbhitta (Nepal-India
border, 34 km), to Siliguri (36 km) and to
Darjeeling (77 km, 2 hours 30 minutes). Darjeeling
is also connected by road with Sikkim (120 km) and
Bhutan (about 200 km). Darjeeling town is 90 km
from Bagdogra, the nearest Indian airport, where
scheduled flights operate from New Delhi, Kolkota
and Guwahati. The nearest railheads are Siliguri
and New Jalpaiguri (88 km), which is, connected
Kolkata, New Delhi, Guwahati and other major
Indian cities. From Siliguri, buses, taxis and the
famous toy train (8 hours) leave for Darjeeling.
SEASON: March-May and September-November
are the best times to visit. Bring light woolen
clothing during summer (maximum temperature 16
degrees Celsius) and heavy woolens in winter
(minimum 1.6 degrees).
ADVENTURE: Trekking, white water rafting,
kayaking, canoeing, mountain biking and rock