Darjeeling conjures visions of snow peaks, serenity of vibrant green hills steeped in splendour, a land of breathtaking beauty crowned by the majestic Himalayas. Darjeeling is one of the most magnificent hill resorts in the world. This heavenly retreat is bathed in hues of every shade. Flaming red rhododendrons, sparkling white magnolias, miles of undulating hillsides covered with emerald green tea bushes, the exotic forests of silver fir - all under the blanket of a brilliant azure sky dappled with specks of clouds, compellingly confounds Darjeeling as the QUEEN OF HILL STATIONS. The crest of Kanchenjunga shining in the first dawn light truly supports the title.
Darjeeling beckons thousands today for a leisurely respite from the bustle of the madding crowd. The traveller - whether a tourist or a trekker, an ornithologist or a photographer, a botanist or an artist - will find in Darjeeling an experience which will remain etched in the memory - forever.
Gangtok is a cosmopolitan town which offers the tourist all possible amenities. Hotels are available in a range of prices along with a variety of eateries serving cuisine for all tastes. Shopping complexes, cyber cafes, night clubs and pool parlours abound for those so inclined.
MG Marg, the main street of Gangtok town is a great place to chill out. The countrys first litter and spit free zone, no vehicular traffic is allowed into the marg. You can sit at the Titanic Park or at the various benches stretched across the mall and take in the carnival like atmosphere, especially during the tourist season. The Mall is lined with shops on both sides of the road so shopping becomes an added pleasure.
While we always talk about the sweeping views of sunrise from Tiger Hill and the view of the colossal Kanchenjunga with many other snow clad eastern Himalayan peaks from here, but we hardly talk about the summit of Tiger Hill itself. True that the blaze of rapidly changing colors of the snow peaks as the sun strikes is an awesome view, but Tiger Hill is great even otherwise. It’s a destination by itself offering not just great views during sunrise, it’s a place where you can soak yourself with Himalayan serenity anytime during the day.
About 5 kms from Darjeeling, this Railway Loop is a marvelous feat of engineering. It is fascinating to watch the toy train wind its way round the loop. The War Memorial constructed in the memory of brave sons of Darjeeling who died in different wars since 1947, is worth a visit. A glorious view of snowy peak and town can be seen from this place.
Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park (also called the Darjeeling Zoo is a 67.56-acre (27.3 ha) zoo in the town of Darjeeling in the Indian state of West Bengal. The zoo was opened in 1958, and an average elevation of 7,000 feet (2,134 m), is the largest high altitude zoo in India. It specializes in breeding animals adapted to alpine conditions, and has successful captive breeding programs for the Snow leopard, the critically endangered Himalayan wolf and the Red panda. The zoo attracts about 300,000 visitors every year. The park is named after Padmaja Naidu (1900–1975), the governor of West Bengal (1956–1967) and the daughter of Sarojini Naidu, the nationalist leader, poet, and orator who was called the ‘Nightingale of India’.
The zoo serves as the central hub for Central Zoo Authority of India’s red panda program and is a member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
Darjeeling tea is a tea from the Darjeeling district in West Bengal, India. It is available in black, green, white and oolong. When properly brewed, it yields a thin-bodied, light-colored infusion with a floral aroma. The flavor can include a tinge of astringent tannic characteristics, and a musky spiciness sometimes described as “muscatel”. Although Darjeeling teas are marketed commercially as “black teas”, almost all of them have incomplete oxidation (<90%), so they are technically more oolong than black.
The many tea estates (also called “tea gardens”) in Darjeeling each produce teas with different characteristics in taste and aroma. The Touzi Section of the West Bengal government deals with the control and supervision of all tea gardens in the district of Darjeeling as per the provisions of West Bengal Estates Acquisition Act, 1953.
Namgyal Institute of Tibetology is a Tibet museum in Gangtok, Sikkim, India. The Namgyal Rrks in the world outside Tibet.The foundation stone of the institute was laid by the 14th Dalai Lama on the 10th of February 1957 and it was opened officially by the Prime Minister of India Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on 1 October 1958.
The institute employs researchers and one of its new research programs is a project which seeks to document the social history of Sikkim’s approximated 60 monasteries and record this on computer. Another project seeks todigitize and document old and rare photographs of Sikkim for knowledge distribution.
Rumtek also called the Dharmachakra Centre, is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery located in the Indian state of Sikkim near the capital Gangtok. It is a focal point for the sectarian tensions that characterize the Karmapa Controversy.
Flower exhibitions are organized round the year at the flower show venue near the white hall complex, Gangtok. orchid shows held during the spring tourist season is one of the most popular shows organized in the state.
A unique novelty of the place is the hand made paper which is made from the bark of the tree Argali. This paper is extensively used in greetings cards and letter pads etc. Some of the handloom products here includes traditional dress materials of Neplai women and men like Dhaka Sarees, Dhaka Choli, Daula Surwal, Dhaka Topi etc. You will also get Lepcha bags, embroidery products and lot more.
Tsongmo Lake or Changu Lake 38 km from Gangtok and at an altitude of 12,400 ft, the ethereally beautiful Tsomgo Lake is a must on every visitor’s itinerary. A winding road through rugged mountain terrain and sharp cliffs takes you to Tsomgo, which means source of the water in Bhutia language. The lake derives its water from the melting snows of the mountains surrounding the lake. Of legendary beauty, the lake looks different at different seasons. In winter the placid lake remains frozen with the area around it covered in snow while in late spring the profusion of flowers in bloom adds a riot of colours around the lake.
The lake is associated with many myths and legends and is revered by the Sikkimese as sacred. It is believed that in olden times, Buddhist monks would study the colour of the water of the lake to forecast the future.