Guestblog, Travel Tales

Darjeeling-the queen of hills! [ Guestpost ]

Darjeeling was the most scintillating hill station I had ever visited till yet. No wonder it is known as the queen of Hills.

What made it more special- It was our honeymoon destination. Moreover, it was freezing cold in the month of December.

It was a flight to Bagdogra and then a Taxi drive to Darjeeling which was a worthy 3 hour drive which crosses lush greens. After about 15-20 minutes of drive, we pass through the Khaprail Military camp area. By now the nature has turned to full green, and we were breathing pollution free fresh air. The mountains had come closer.

As we drove along, there was a point on the right from where we had a breathtaking view of the Siliguri plains and two rivers, Teesta and Balasun flowing side by side.

Ghoom Monastery

We started from Ghoom Monastery, one of the oldest Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in Darjeeling area built in the year 1850.

One of the key attractions inside the monastery is the 15-foot model of the Lord Buddha. In front of the Buddha’s statue there are two huge oil lamps that keep burning all the time and all through the year.

Photography was paid inside the inner Monastery gate.

Lover’s Meet viewpoint

It is the confluence point of river Teesta and Rangeet.

The river Rangeet (left) with its deep green and crystal clear water gushes in and meets the forceful mountain stream Teesta at a point called Triveni. On left are the hills of Sikkim and on the right are the hills of Kalimpong.

We relished spicy chana chaat which was a feast for our hungry tummy.

Ropeway, Tea Garden and Tea Factory Visit

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Darjeeling ropeway started in 1968 and is the first cable car system in India which now has 16 cable cars each having a capacity of six persons.

It was a breathtaking view of the valley below, the spread of lush green tea gardens on the hill slopes, flowing rivers, forests, waterfalls and to top it all the magnificent view of the Eastern Himalayan range including the snow-capped peaks of the Kanchenjunga.

After taking a ride on the ropeway and enjoying the panoramic views of Darjeeling, we reached Happy Valley Tea Estate which is the nearest tea estate to Darjeeling town and the most convenient one to reach. There was a guide who offered to take us inside and show us the entire tea production process for a small fee.

I was surprised to know that what is available in the market is the third by-product of tea leaves.

 

We started our day with this beautiful scene-

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Paragliding

The most memorable experience throughout the trip was Paragliding. It was my first time and I was so excited yet little afraid.

It was a sunny morning which is the best weather for the adventure. Sadly, the scout was late and we had no clue when he will come. He finally came after 1 hour of waiting and there were no bounds to my happiness.

I was bit scared as I had to run down the hill before takeoff. A shiver ran down my spine when my feet touched a huge tree top just when it made a start.

After approximately 20 mins of the sky adventure, we landed safely in the ground full of sand.

Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park

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This is the highest altitude zoo in India.

Besides various other animals, it is a habitat of endangered high altitude Himalayan animals like the Tibetan Wolf, Red Panda, and Snow Leopard etc all in semi natural habitats.

Due to sunny weather, the animals were out and a good chance for us to observe them closely. Seeing red panda reminded me of Mowgli, the jungle book.

Toy Train Ride 

How could we miss the heritage ride on the cute mini train that runs through hills?

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This is the first public transport that was built by the British to make a train move along the steep gradient of the Himalayas and connect the lower plains with Darjeeling hill town.

This is a round trip of 16kms. The train starts from Darjeeling station, goes up to Ghum, makes a brief halt at the Ghum station so that you can take a look at DHR Museum, and then on its way back stops at Batasia Loop which offers great views of Kanchenjunga as well as Darjeeling town on the hill slope, and then returns to Darjeeling.

We were about to freeze while waiting for the train to arrive but the yummy momos with chilli sauce helped us survive the chilling winds.

The sights and sounds of the steam engine are truly nostalgic.

Peace Pagoda

It was evening when we reached the Pagoda. The inside premises of the Pagoda were so peaceful and aromatic.

We were lucky to witness Evening prayer which consists of drum beating while Monks walk through the pagoda premises to offer prayer to Buddha statue.

Overall, it was a trip close to nature and if I get a chance, I would love to visit Darjeeling again. A happy pic with the Cab driver- a jolly person who made our trip more memorable.


Howdy folks! This december starts with a bang on my blog as I run a unique bloghop with 28 bloggers to write guestposts for me and each other all this month. I hope my readers will catch all the action and support this drive with their comments and feedback to encourage the writing. To know more about this blog hop in detail, you could catch this post here.

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24 thoughts on “Darjeeling-the queen of hills! [ Guestpost ]

  1. I visited Darjeeling when i was 4 so I do not remember anything about the place except for the stories my parents have told me from the photographs. Thank you Shalini and Upasna for this post and making me visit Darjeeling, though virtually, all over again. That early morning view is soothing. Getting to view the plains and the rivers below from the hills must have made an amazing view.
    Being a avid tea drinker, I am not at all amused to know that what we drink in the name of tea is actually like the dead remains of tea leaves.

    1. Thanks for your comment Anamika. Yes, it was so soothing in the chilly morning. My Husband was so scared that I laughed throughout the trail and asked him to look at those lovely terrains. How costly this TEA is!

  2. Darjeeling is on my must-see places list from India, and you’ve given me a nice idea on where to start my trip from. Thanks Upasana for sharing such a nice detailed post from the queen of hills!!

  3. I need to visit this place for two reasons: paragliding and toy train ( I love trains not as myh he as Sheldon but I do) The place does speak to you and now I have this on my wish list!

  4. I have never been to Darjeeling, this is on my to do list for a very very long time. I see Bagdogra is a common junction to visit most of the area around north east, i will touch base with you to get more details. Great post !

  5. I would love to visit Darjeeling. I think it is the only hill station that I have heard about since I was a little girl. I loved reading your post, Upasna and seeing you here is fabulous 🙂 Thank you for sharing! If I get to visit the place, I will come back here 🙂

  6. My colleague has done his schooling from a boarding school in Darjeeling and he speaks so highly of this hill station. Your post with some lovely pictures and his stories compel me visit this lovely hill station sometimes soon!

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