Originally just a cluster of villages that was administered intermittently by Nepal and Sikkim, Darjeeling grew in prominence during the mid 19th century when, because of its climate, the British first established a hill station there after leasing it from the Chogyal of Sikkim and later discovered that the area was particularly well suited for tea plantations. In 1849, the British annexed the area and Darjeeling became a part of British India. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway was opened in 1881 (it is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and the town became the de-facto summer capital of India during the days when the Raj was governed from Calcutta. Because it was a popular hill station during the days of the Raj, a lovely Victorian town was built among the Himalayan foothills, the remnants of which are still visible around the Chowrasta and Darjeeling remains a popular summer and fall resort for the natives of Kolkata today.
Best Season to Visit
Darjeeling experiences mild temperature during the summer season. The temperature hovers around 25°C during the season. It is the best time to visit Darjeeling and enjoy sightseeing at its different attractions. The blend of bright sunlight and cool breeze in Darjeeling promises every visitor with a memorable vacation.
Ideal to visit early morning when the first rays of the sun kiss the Mt. Kanchenjunga and give it a golden color. To visit the hill, one needs to get up at 3AM in the morning. You can taste some excellent tea on your way to the hill, which will provide much needed warmth on cold Darjeeling mornings.
Batasia Loop is bascally a place where the legendary toy train makes a loop. there is a Gorkha martyr memorial here. There is also a landscaped park. If you go early in the morning (before 8 am) you can get the glimpse of a local crafts market here. One can get dressed in the local attire and get their pictures taken.
Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI)
HMI is a destination by itself and a said to be a pilgrimage for all climbing enthusiasts of the world. It was established in honor of Tenzing Norgay after he and Sir Edmund Hillary climbed the Everest in 1953. It has a well stocked museum with mountaineering displays and many expedition artifacts, a boarding school for mountaineering students, houses for the trainers, a restaurant, a souvenir shop and more. HMI is located on Jawahar Road or the Birch Hill that can be accessed from the Mall Road and Lebong Cart Road. One can actually walk down Mall road & then Jawahar road to reach HMI. The main entrance to Zoo and HMI are the same and both should be covered at the same time. The unique feature of this zoo is, it houses animals of high altitude and mostly from upper Himalayas. You can see some rare animals here like Red Pandas, Snow Leopards, Tibetan Wolf and lot more.
Japanese Temple & Peace Pagoda
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.
Ghoom Monastery is also known as Yogachoeling Gompa. It is located in a place called Ghoom in Darjeeling, hence the name Ghoom Gompa. It was in the year 1875 that a Mongolian astrologer cum monk established the Ghoom Gompa.At the entry of the monastery, there is a huge giant size image of seated 'Maitreya Buddha' (prospective Buddha) inside. There are bells, ornate thanka scrolls and drums inside the monastery. Like many other monasteries in and around Darjeeling, this gompa is also a storehouse of some rare Buddhist manuscripts.
Mirik is a tourist spot located in the hills of Darjeeling district in West Bengal, India. It is the headquarters of Mirik subdivision. The name Mirik comes from the Lepcha words Mir-Yok meaning "place burnt by fire". Mirik has become a tourist destination for its climate, natural environment and easy accessibility.
Kurseong is a hill station and sub-divisional town in the Darjeeling district of the Indian state of West Bengal.Located at an altitude of 1,458 metres (4,783 ft),Kurseong is 32 kilometres from Darjeeling and has a pleasant climate throughout the year.Kurseong is 47 kilometres from Siliguri and is connected to the city by road and the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. The nearest airport is at Bagdogra and the nearest major railway station is New Jalpaiguri which is about 53 kilometres from the town. The economy is based primarily on education and tourism.Kurseong is surrounded by a myriad of tea gardens.
Lamahatta has been developed as an eco-tourism place in late 2012. Earlier in the same year when the Chief Minister of the state Ms. Mamata Banerjee was passing by Lamahatta in March, she stopped by for a while and took some pictures of this roadside mountain village, its vast stretching forests of dhupi & pines, and the magnificent views of the peaks and rivers around. Soon with support from the state government, the villagers and forest protection teams worked together to create a lovely tourist place. Lama in Lamahatta stands for Buddhist monk and Hatta for hut - a monk's hermitage.