5 amazing things to do in Darjeeling
Darjeeling, situated in India's eastern state of West Bengal, at the foothills of the Himalayas, has a rich local culture and beautiful landscapes. The city is also famous for its tea fields and has around 80 tea gardens with the Puttabong Tea Estate being the largest one of them all. It also offers plenty of interesting activities for tourists. Here are some of them.
Bagdogra Airport, 96km away from Darjeeling, is the closest airport. The nearest railway station to Darjeeling is New Jalpaiguri that connects with major parts of India. Darjeeling is also well-connected via roadways.
River Teesta, the main river in Sikkim and Darjeeling, offers a beautiful river rafting experience along with trained rafters. The river has foaming white water stretches and provides varied rapids that will excite adventure junkies. Many tourists combine rafting experience with camping here as there is a scenic landscape alongside the river. There are also small villages on both sides of the river valley.
When in Darjeeling, don't forget to enjoy the Toy Train ride with your friends and family that offers mesmerizing views. Notably, the train covers a total distance of 88 kilometers. Although you can spend an entire day on the train, start at Ghoom and opt to end the ride at Kurseong as there are several eateries there to fill your empty stomachs.
The Japanese Peace Pagoda sits between Ghoom and Darjeeling. The pagoda was established by a Japanese Buddhist monk Nichidatsu Fujii in response to the attack on Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II to promote world peace and harmony. The prayers take place in the morning from 4:30 am to 6:00 am and again from 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm.
Your trip to Darjeeling is incomplete if you don't visit a few of the tea gardens. The fields are located on the outskirts of the city and many of them are open to selling tea also. If you travel between March to November, you can be part of the tea harvesting process. There are tea planter bungalows also if you want to stay over.
Darjeeling cuisine is greatly influenced by Tibet and Nepal. Thukpa and momos are the delicious soul foods here. Thukpa contains several vegetables, Hakka noodles, and some amazing spices. Approximately 6-7 pieces of momos are accompanied by a bowl of fresh, hot soup on one plate. Traditional Nepali Thali, Sael Rotis, and Shaphalay are other must-try foods. Don't forget to enjoy the famous Darjeeling Tea.