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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Darjeeling: Full of the natural beauty in India

So fancying a trip to Darjeeling? You must be lured by the dazzling snow peaks of Kanchenjunga that overlook the hill town, the beautiful tea gardens on the slopes of rolling hills, the waterfalls, orchids, pines & rhododendrons, the cute Himalayan toy train negotiating its way through the mountains.... and you want to combine all that with great sightseeing tours, food, shopping and other exciting activities. Right? 

Yes, it's all possible in Darjeeling, a gem of a place which is known for its youthful vibe with modern as well as colonial charm. Excited? Well, there are couple of things you should ensure in order to fulfil your expectations. 

Darjeeling is a popular hill-station in the Indian state of West Bengal. Located in the Mahabharata range or lesser Himalayas, Darjeeling offers ethereal views of the majestic Himalayas, especially that of Kanchenjunga, the world’s third highest mountain peak. Darjeeling has been honoured with the title of ‘The Queen of the hills’ and it rightly deserves so for its scenic and pristine environment. Crowned by majestic Himalayas, this beautiful hill-station has been blessed with bountiful nature and salubrious climate.

When not rapt in its scenic splendor, one can explore the colonial mansions, old churches, Buddhist monasteries and Hindu temples. Also, not to miss are the botanical gardens and a zoo where one can get a glimpse of high-altitude animals and birds like snow leopards and red pandas.

Darjeeling is surrounded by vast expanses of lush green tea gardens. Tea plantations not only add to the beauty of this hilly town but have also popularised Darjeeling world-over. Darjeeling tea is world-famous for its unique aromatic flavour. So much so that tea industry, along with timber and tourism industries, forms the backbone of Darjeeling’s economy. What dazzles Darjeeling more on world tourism map, besides its magnificent beauty, is its age-old Toy Train.

Christened as Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, this narrow gauge steam engine train chugs its way uphill, providing an important transport link to the various parts of the Himalayan hills and offering breath-taking views all along. Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is now recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Darjeeling.

And this is not all! Darjeeling is said to be a paradise for trekkers and the adventurous. For those interested in shopping, there is a lot to choose from Tibetan and Sikkimese handicrafts.
Darjeeling is best visited in summers to beat the heat of the plains and revel in the pleasant weather and warm hospitality.