Spread in ribbons over a steep mountain ridge, surrounded by emerald-green tea plantations and towered over by the majestic Kanchenjunga or Khangchendzonga (8598m), Darjeeling is the definitive Indian hill station especially the cute Himalayan toy train whistling and negotiating its way through the mountains. Dating back to the Raj era, the place is arguably West Bengal’s premier attraction, and promises some interesting exploration for the curious traveller. One can explore colonial-era architecture, visit Buddhist monasteries, and spot snow leopards and red pandas at the nearby zoo. This apart, Tiger Hill, Batasia Loop, Darjeeling Ropeway, the Mall, Rock garden, Japanese temple, Bengal natural history museum, Observatory hill &Mahakal temple are must visits.
And finally, when energies start to flag, a good, steaming Darjeeling brew is never far away.
Most tourists visit Darjeeling in autumn (October and November) and spring (mid-March to mid-May) when skies are dry, panoramas are clear and temperatures are pleasant. Winters can be cold here, so bring an extra jumper if visiting from December to February.
The capital of the state of Sikkim, Gangtok is an attractive tourist destination, reflecting a unique ambience which derives from its happy blend of tradition and modernity. Alongside the deeply felt presence of stupas and monasteries, Gangtok also bustles like any other thriving town. Irreverent, cheerful and pleasantly boisterous, Sikkim’s modern capital perches along a precipitous mountain ridge, descending down the hillside in steep tiers.
The town is blessed with a handful of sights, and doubles as a good base for excursions to places such as Rumtek and Tsomgo Lake.
Nathula Pass, Hanuman Tok, RankaMonastry, Banjhakri waterfalls, Tashi view point, Enchymonastry, Zoological park, Gangtok ropeway are some of the must visits in this quaint town.