Darjeeling is a town in India's West Bengal state, in the Himalayan foothills. Once a summer resort for the British Raj elite, it remains the terminus of the narrow-gauge Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, or “Toy Train,” completed in 1881. It's famed for the distinctive black tea grown on plantations that dot its surrounding slopes. Its backdrop is Mt. Kanchenjunga, among the world’s highest peaks.
Tourist Places to visit
Tiger Hill (2,590 m) is located in Darjeeling, in the Indian State of West Bengal, and is the summit of Ghoom, the highest railway station in the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has a panoramic view of Mount Everest and Mt. Kangchenjunga together. It is 11 km from the town of Darjeeling and can be reached either by jeep or by foot through Chowrasta, Alubari or Jorebangla and then climbing up the incline to the summit. At sunrise, the peaks of Kangchenjunga are illuminated before the sun is seen at lower elevations. From Tiger Hill, Mount Everest (8848m) is just visible. Makalu (8481m) looks higher than Mt. Everest, owing to the curvature of the Earth, as it is several miles closer than Everest. The distance in a straight line from Tiger Hill to Everest is 107 miles (172 km).
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.
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.
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.