Snow-capped mountains against clear, blue skies; acres and acres of lush green tea gardens; a toy train lazily winding its way up a hill; a mist hanging low in the air; a horse trotting down a path with a child gleefully clinging to it—no, we’re not describing a postcard. This is DarjeelingIf you’ve grown up in Kolkata, or any part of West Bengal, for that matter, you’re undoubtedly familiar with this hill station, which is teeming with as many Bengalis as locals at any time of the year
Covered head to toe in winter wear, People huddle around cups of steaming tea, or walk down to Mall Road to ride a horse or shop for some locally crafted trinkets or tea. The locals stand in stark contrast to the tourists, in their fashionable comfort clothing, clearly accustomed to the weather. Darjeeling, famous for trips with the family, is not just a tourist destination—it is the stuff memories are made of, no matter what your age or status. Nestled in the mountains, facing the mighty Mount Kanchenjunga from any point, there’s plenty to do for the tourist in Darjeeling. Head for the tea gardens, where you can dress up like the local tea pickers and get your photo clicked among the sprawling tea estates. You can pick your own tea and take it back home as a souvenir. And, of course, you’ll be able to purchase the most authentic Darjeeling Tea from the gardens itself. Hop onto the toy train and relax, as it passes slowly through the small hill town. Pack a picnic basket and visit the many parks and lakes that are scattered across the town. Opt for a guided tour of all the heritage spots and famous cafes. Ride a horse down the now commercial Mall Road while the rest of your group shops and eats. And if you are up for an adventure, sign up for one of the many treks Darjeeling has to offer, up winding mountain terrains. The view from almost any spot in Darjeeling is nothing short of breathtaking. The best way to get around in Darjeeling is by walking. You can enjoy the pleasant climate and truly soak in the sights as you do so. Taxis are available at fixed stands, and many offer tour packages as well. You can even opt for a shared jeep to get to the nearby town of Ghoom, where you can visit the monasteries, and even walk back to Darjeeling at the end of the day. The roads and mountain trails can be slippery and dangerous during the monsoon or winter months, so tread carefully. There will be taxi drivers and tour guides who will take your for a ride. Opt for a well-recommended one. In the last few years, Darjeeling has been known to witness occasional political unrest. If riots or any disturbance occur, stay safe inside your hotel unless advised otherwise.
Darjeeling is not well connected to other major cities of the country via regular flights. The nearest airport is in Siliguri at a distance of 40kms.
Airports: Bagdogra Airport
You can easily get regular trains to Darjeeling from other major cities of the country..