"Explore the unexplored Beautiful Places of Sikkim"
Located at the highest point in Darjeeling area, Tiger Hill is best known for the dazzling sunrise view of the Kanchenjunga and the snow covered peaks of the entire eastern Himalayan range. On a clear day you can even see the mount Everest from here. Tiger Hill is located 11km from the Darjeeling Town and takes about 40 minutes to reach by car.
One of the major tourist attractions in Darjeeling is the Tiger Hill, which is the highest point in the region. It stands at an elevation of 2,590 meters overlooking the spur of the snow capped mountain ranges of the Eastern Himalaya. The Tiger Hill is one of the two points in India from where you can capture the entire panorama between Mount Everest and Kanchendzonga along with other peaks like the Kabru, Rathong and Kokhtang on a sunny morning. The other point from where you can have a glimpse of a similar panorama is from Phalut, at 3,600 meters approximately, which can be only reached by trekking. The Phalut trekking route from Darjeeling starts from Manebhanjan and goes through Tonglu, Giribas, Kalapokhri and Sandakphu. The Singalila National Park that falls on the trekking route is yet another attraction in and around Darjeeling. Nonetheless, the Tiger Hill is best known for the amazing view of the Kanchendzonga peak at sunrise. It is easily accessible by road and roughly takes 40-45 minutes to reach from Darjeeling town.
Located 5km from Darjeeling Town and just below Ghoom, Batasia Loop as the name suggests, is a loop or a spiral of a narrow gauge railway track where the Toy Train negotiates a sudden sharp descent from Ghoom. It's a wonderful viewing place with manicured gardens, streams and falls, from where you can get a wide range view of the Darjeeling's landscape, Kanchenjunga and the other Eastern Himalayan peaks.
This is one way you can be part of special diverse offerings from the nature and all in one place. From the ropeway of Darjeeling which is also known as the Rangeet Valley Passenger Cable Car, you can have mind blowing view of the valley below, see the spread of lush tea gardens, dense forests, mountain streams in their full flow, waterfalls, and the awesome snow peaks at the background. Get off at a lower station and enjoy the tea estates, walk through the tea gardens, or just relax and enjoy the view around. It's hard to find all these together in one place.
The Chowrasta or the Mall is the town center in Darjeeling. This is a lovely little flat area, a public square where four roads meet. This public place is where you would like to lounge & bake in the sun, sit and watch the wonderful views of the mountain range and see many locals and tourists hanging around. One side of the mall is lined with pine trees through which you get wonderful mountain vistas, the other side is lined with lovely boutique shops of different kinds. And all around the mall, you have benches to sit and relax.
Both these places around Darjeeling town are haven for botanists. The Rock Garden, which is approximately 10 kilometers from Darjeeling town, is set with picturesque and colourful terraced gardens dotted with highly diversified flowering plants… blazing the rocks and cliffs at different levels. The Chunnu Summer Falls is another additional feature that makes the park more scenic. On the other hand, 3 kilometers ahead is the Ganga Maya Park, which is another nature park with a narrow gushing stream flowing through it. The park also hosts gardens dotted with varied species of colourful flowers and a lake. Tourists can also enjoy Gorkha folk dance at Ganga Maya Park.
About 10 minutes by car, you will reach a wonderful area that is symbolic of peace and tranquility. Located in the Jalapahar hill, the Japanese Temple is built in traditional Japanese style where you can join the prayers and feel the spiritual peace amongst humming and chants. Close to it is the Peace Pagoda where there are four large avatars of Lord Buddha. The view from the top is magnificent. You can see the snow peak range from here including the Kanchenjunga.
A fine example of traditional Japanese style architectural, the Japanese Temple is one of the major Buddhist pilgrimage sites in Darjeeling that was inaugurated in the year 1972. It is a two storied white building that maintains a large prayer room where the chief priest offers the prayers, beating a huge drum (also known as Ho-ko) that reverberates to build up a solemn atmosphere in the entire temple premises. The temple further hosts a picture of the founder Fujii Guruji and a model of Lord Buddha. Close to the Japanese Temple is the Peace Pagoda, which is a monument to inspire peace, designed to provide a focus for people of all races and creeds, and to help unite them in their search for world peace. It was inaugurated in the year 1992 and houses four avatars of Lord Buddha. From the top of the Pagoda, you get a panoramic view of the landscape of Darjeeling including the Kanchenjunga range. The Japanese Temple and Peace Pagoda are the two most sought tourist spots in Darjeeling that you can’t miss on your Darjeeling trip.
What started as a modest effort in 1903 to display butterflies and birds of the Darjeeling district, has grown to house a large collections of mammals, birds & nests with eggs, reptiles & fishes and even insects of wide varieties. The displays are actually specimens of real creatures that had been captured, stuffed and preserved. The Bengal Natural History Museum can be reached by few minutes walk from the Chowrasta Mall.
Originally formed, in 1915, to display only the specimens of butterflies and birds of the area… the Bengal Natural History Museum comprises two major sections today housing a huge collection of different specimens like birds with nests and eggs, reptiles and fishes, mammals, insects and more. The taxidermy unit that was built at the time of inception serves to mount the skins of animals so that they have a lifelike appearance at the display. While one of the sections exhibit specimens like Himalayan Brown Wood Owls, Northern spotted owlet, Northern Brown Fish Owl, pheasants, fly catchers, woodpeckers and 800 more bird species, the other is stocked with animal species like Tibetan fox, Tibetan Lynx, elephant, Toddy cat, heads of wild buffaloes hanging from the walls, panthers, leopards and many more. There are some other less important sections in the museum that display specimens of reptiles and insects.
Rising from behind the Mall, Observatory Hill is an ideal place to get a 360 degree view of Darjeeling and the peaks surrounding it. The Mahakal Temple, the central temple of Darjeeling of all faiths is located on top of the hill where the original Dorjeling Buddhist Monastery once stood.
Close to Chowrasta OR The Mall, the Observatory Hill is another prominent place in Darjeeling from where you can capture magnificent views of the snow-clad peaks, including Kanchendzonga and its sister peaks. It is approximately 10-15 minutes of uphill walk from the Mall. Atop the hill is the Mahakal Temple, which is dedicated to Lord Shiva and also holds three gold plated icons of Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwar. It is one of the major Hindu pilgrimage sites.
In Darjeeling that was built after the invasion by the Gorkhas in the 19th century. Originally this place was the home to the Dorjeling Monastery that was relocated in 1861 to its present location, which is some 2 kilometers down from the Mall. Around the Observatory Hill you fill come across the Sai Baba Temple and Hanuman Temple and several Hindu priests and Buddhist monks.
Home to the Tibetan refugees, sick, elderly and needy destitute… the Tibetan Refugee Self Help Center today houses 130 Tibetan family who mostly earn their bread and butter by producing traditional handicrafts like Buddha idols, various Tibetan sculptures, musical instruments, masks, thangka painting and many more. It is located at hillside Lebong in Darjeeling that has a historical significance where the thirteenth Dalai Lama had spent his exile in India from 1910 to 1912. It is a must visit place in Darjeeling for tourists having keen interest in Indo-Tibetan culture and their lifestyle.
This center was established on October 2nd, 1959 for rehabilitation of Tibetans who followed Dalai Lama and escaped their homeland during the period of mayhem. In order to sustain living, they adopted the principle of self help. The center is located on a hill top that can be approached from the Lebong Cart Road. You can see Tibetan men and women making exquisite hand crafted items like woolen carpets, shawls, carved wooden crafts, leather items and more. There is an outlet at the center from where you can buy these items.
Belonging to the Nyingma sect, the Bhutia Busty Monastery, which is also known as Karmaa Dorjee Chyoling monastery, is a branch of Phodang Monastery in Sikkim. It was initially built atop the Observatory Hill in 1761 by Lama Dorje Rinzing but was later relocated to its present location in 1879 after the invasion of Darjeeling by the Gorkhas. The Bhutia Busty Monastery is approximately 2 kilometers down from the Mall and houses a huge collection of Old Buddhist scripts, including the “Book of Dead”, which is one of the notable ones. The present architectural structure that dilates the Buddhist traditional style of craftsmanship pulls in thousands of tourists throughout the year. The monastery maintains a prayer room, a model of Lord Buddha, photographs of Dalai Lama and images of Goddess Tara Devi and Lakshmiswari. It also houses a huge collection of murals, which are originally made out of real gold powder.
The largest monastery in Ghoom, which was built in 1875 by Lama Sherab Gyatso and belongs to the Gelug sect, the Ghoom Monastery is one of the major Buddhist pilgrimage places in Darjeeling district. It is approximately 8 kilometers from Darjeeling town. Besides the prayer hall, the monastery houses a 15 feet high statue of “Maitreya Buddha”, images of Buddha’s disciples, and many Buddhist texts.
Perched on a steep hill and approximately 5 kilometers away from Darjeeling town, the Dali Monastery which was originally named as Druk Sangag Choling Monastery, is yet another important Buddhist pilgrimage center belonging to the Kargyupa sect. It was built in 1971 during the time of Kyabje Thuksey Rinpoche. It houses a prayer room, a Tibetan school, a coffee shop and residences belonging to over 200 monks. The monastery also maintains huge cylindrical golden coloured drums.