Darjeeling, known as the ‘Queen of Hills’, stands indeed as a queen of the hill areas of north-eastern India. Situated in the Mahabharat Range or Lesser Himalaya, Darjeeling is a complete paradise for all the travel mongers. Legend says it is named after Lord Shiva as ‘Durjaya Linga’ meaning ‘the almighty powerful Lord Shiva’. Another legend says it is named after ‘Dorje’ meaning Lord Indra’s thunderbolt scepter and ‘Ling’ meaning land, thus called as the ‘land of thunderbolt’.
Beside these mythological tales, Darjeeling is an attraction for tourists mainly for its heavenly natural view. Tourists and travelers will definitely desire to explore the picturesque beauty of this place.
1. Senchal Lake and Sumendu or Mirik Lake: are the main water bodies of Darjeeling that attracts tourists for various reasons. Senchal Lake is approximately 10 km away from the town and is favourite picnic spot to the tourists. Tiger hill is not far away from this place. The club-house with 9 golf-courses is like a cherry on the top. Mirik Lake or Sumendu Lake is an artificial lake. Horse-riding and boating is arranged in this area for the tourists for enjoyment. Good food and comfortable shelter are provided to the people who come to enjoy the serene beauty of Darjeeling.
image credit: mobsea.org
2. Tiger Hill
Apart from these places one visitor must experience standing on the Tiger Hill and watching the enormous beauty of rising sun from behind the hills and the orange color of the sun reflecting from Kunchenjunga. Not only sun-rise the place is known for the snow-fall. Mt Everest is seen peeping but Makalu looks much bigger as it is much closer to this area than Mt Everest. People cannot ever forget the visit to this place of such a higher altitude.image credit: makemytrip.com
3. Botanical Garden
Lloyed’s Botanical Garden in Lebong Cart Road is spread over 40 acres of area. Forest native plants of Himalayan Region of Darjeeling, Sikkim region and the neighboring region are preserved here. It also preserves orchids from Singalila Ridge along with around 150 species of Cacti and Succulent and a various flowers like rhododendron, oak, magnolia etc. image credit: wikimapia.org
4. Rock Garden
Sir John Anderson Rock Garden is a part of this Botanical Garden. But Rock Garden which is more famous is at the Chunnu Summer Falls. It is not literally a garden of rocks. A picnic ground is built around the fall and people can see different species of flowers blooming and hill stream coming down over the rock slopes. image credit: en.wikipedia.org
5. Himalayan Mountaineering Institute
The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute of Darjeeling is situated in the Jawahar Parvat area, is a pioneer to establish mountaineering as a respected sport. Tenzing Norgay was the first director of this institute in the field training. The Everest Museum within the institute preserves the photos as memories of all the brave mountaineers who climbed the Mt Everest along with the mountaineering equipments of used to scale of Mt Everest by the mountaineers.image credit: makemytrip.com
6. Dowhill Eco-Park
The Deer Park known as the Dowhill Eco Park in Kurseong is spread over 20 acres that is one of the finest places for preservation of mainly the animals of Himalayan Region. The Eagle Crag in this area is a view point around 1 km uphill from Kurseong Railway Station. The vast view of Teesta River and the dense forest, tiny hamlets, green slopes, snowed peak of Kunchenjunga, floating clouds underneath makes this place a must visit spot for the tourists image credit: holidayiq
7. Singalila National Park
The Singalila National Park on Singalila Ridge is well known for its trekking route to Sandakphu. It is above 7000 ft above sea level. Rivers like Sirikhola and Rammam flows through this area. Travelers are attracted for the vas variety of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. The camping areas are mostly free from the jungle danger like snakes and insects which is suitable for family camping. This place is an Eden for all kinds of people, i.e., people who come for forest adventures or trekking and also the people who come for a peaceful holiday.image credit: indiagetaways.co.in
8. Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park
Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park is an almost 68 acres zoo in Darjeeling town. It is generally famous for its breeding program especially for breeding of snow-leopard. Besides a lot of more endangered animals are parts of the breeding program like red panda and Himalayan wolf and salamander, mountain goats, endangered birds mountain goats etc. image credit: dooarsecoviillege.wordpress.com
9. Monasteries and Gomphas
Darjeeling is a pilgrimage for the religious people too. The temple of Mahakal, a form of Lord Shiva, is built in the Observatory Hill area. There is a sacred cave in the Mahakal Temple area which is worshipped by the visitors. Bhutia Busty Monastery, also in the area of Observatory Hills, the oldest monastery of Darjeeling. The Ghum Monastery is almost 8 km from Darjeeling which represents a statue of Lord Buddha which is almost 15 ft high. The Jagdish Mandir in Kurseong was built over around 300 years ago. It was built for worshipping the Lord Bishnu. The Peace Pagoda in Darjeeling town is an embodiment of the vision to unite all the races and tribes in the shelter of peace. The building of this pagoda was guided by a Japanese monk; hence it is called as Japanese Peace Pagoda. The mind freshening smell of ‘agarbatti’, the enchantment of mantras and the ring of bells drive all the worries and create a true devotional environment.The gomphas in Darjeeling have a great part making this place magnetic for the tourists. The Ging Gompha, the Bhutia Busty Gompha, Aloobari Gompha are the places that people find pretty interesting to visit.image credit: blog.easemytrip.in
The blessing of nature and the activities of the people of Darjeeling makes this place attractive as a holiday destination or for a trip. Tourists and travelers, nature-lovers, researchers from all around the world find this place as an embodiment of el-dorado. There is no doubt calling Darjeeling as the ‘Himalayan Heaven’. You will wish to hymn the renowned lines
‘If there is anywhere Heaven on the earth,
It is here, it is here, it is here.’