For many, the decision to travel to Darjeeling is born with a packet of tea, or perhaps simply with its exotic, evocative name. With its temperate climate, this small city in West Bengal provided relief from the summer heat of India's plains for the British administrators who first leased the hill station in the mid-19th century; later, it rose to prominence as a prime spot for tea plantations. However, there is more to the city than an air of colonial nostalgia, and our Darjeeling travel guide provides an introduction to the city, also known as the "Queen of Hills." Take a ride on the city's famous toy-train, the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, and take in Darjeeling's picturesque rolling landscapes, the crisp mountain air of the Himalayan foothills, and the unusual mix of cultures.
Things Not to Miss in Darjeeling
Much of the appeal of traveling to Darjeeling is to soak in the lush green landscape and the unique cultural atmosphere, but there are other sights that should be on your must-visit list, including:
• Tiger Hill
• The Ghum Monastery
• The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway
• The Himalayan Mountaineering Museum
• The surrounding countryside – be sure to enlist a guide for mountain climbing
When to Go to Darjeeling
Visit Darjeeling in March and April, or in autumn from September to November, for the most pleasant temperatures. Summer in Darjeeling is often wet, thanks to monsoon season, while the winters can be quite cold.