As we all know that Kashmir (in Bharat (India)) is called the heaven on earth, many would call Darjeeling (in Bharat) the second heaven on earth, and both these places when get blended with their regional cultures they enlighten the entire world.
In historical times Darjeeling has been a spot for summer vacation camps amongst foreigners who came to Bharat (India). Now it is one of the renowned tourist places on earth. The place is surrounded by nature’s boon. You will find greenery every where, lush green tea gardens as far as you can see, forests, majestic hills, and snow capped mountains. Amongst the tourist places in Darjeeling, Tiger Hill is the most fascinating spot, where in people can see the eternal sunrise, and people from all over the world just come to see the sunrise again and again.
It is a thrilling experience when you are watching natures creation in a 3D panoramic view in a chilling temperature. You have to reach to the tiger hills prior to sunrise, approx 3:30 am IST. After reaching there you may take shelter in the auditorium (glass house), if you are not able to withstand the chilling temperature which is near to zero degree centigrade, and if you are adventurous and really want to remember this thrilling experience through out your life, I suggest you stand on the open space and experience the sunrise. This is a 3D panoramic view where in sun is rising from one end and you are watching its reflection on snow capped Kanchenjunga mountain on the other end, where in you are standing in the middle of it in the open air platform in approx zero degree centigrade chilling temperature. Doesn’t that sound’s thrilling…, believe me it is more thrilling when you experience it personally in blood and flesh.
Best time : The best time to visit Darjeeling is from August to October month, at this time the formation of cloud is less and the sky usually remains clear. If you can visit Darjeeling in a full moon night, then that experience you will never forget in life. At that height the moon looks bigger and more bright than its usual size, the moon light reflects the snow capped mountains gives a unimaginable view and again this is an thrilling experience which cannot be put down in words….
Reaching Darjeeling : To reach Darjeeling the nearest connected railway station is New Jalpaiguri Junction (NJP) and the nearest airport is Bagdogra (IXB). From there you have to travel by road to reach Darjeeling. The option of toy train is also available, but due to landslides and other natural obstacles, the route is sometimes closed. Hence take prior information from NJP station or Bagdogra airport before traveling by toy train. To travel by toy train you have to go to Siliguri Junction station. You can also enjoy the toy train ride, which is a legacy of Darjeeling, between Darjeeling station to Kurseong station, which is normally available.
Places to Visit : Apart from below mentioned places, you may also take local residents reference for some of the view points according to them. You may start your journey serial wise from Siliguri (The foot hills of Darjeeling).
1.Mirik – Sumendu Lake, Bokar Monastery, Orange Orchards. Mirik Church, Simana View Point, Rameetay Dara, Devi Sthan, Deosi Dara.
2.Nepal Border – Pashupati and its nearby places, Ghum Station (the highest railway station on earth).
3. Darjeeling – Tiger Hill, Dhoom Gompha, The Mall (watch the beauty of Kanchenjunga mountain from there), Observatory Hill, Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Darjeeling Rangeet Valley passenger ropeway, Kanchenjunga Mountain, Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park, Peace Pagoda, Chowrasta, Batasia Loop, Mahakal Temple, Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, Ghoom Monastery, Barbotey Rock Garden& Ganga Maiya Park, Tinchuley Village, Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Ghoom Museum, Tibetan Buddhist Monastery, Singalila National Park, Happy Valley Tea Estate, Neora Valley National Park, Sandakphu.
4. Kurseong – Eagle’s Crag, Dow Hill, Forest Museum, St. Mary’s Hill, Bhangzang Salamander Lake, Kettle Valley Picnic Spot, Ambotia Shiva Mandir, Gidhapahar Mandir, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Museum,
5. Kalimpong – Deolo Hill, Kalimpong Cactus Nursery, Pine View Nursery, Zong Dhog Palri Fo Brang Monastery, Durpin Dara Hill, Thongsha Gumpha,
Lepcha Museum , Sherpa View Point, Durga Mandir, Durpin Monastery, Jelepla View Point.
Caution : Please do not drive your self as the path is highly dangerous and hence hire local drivers or vehicles they are very much experienced. Please do not travel when the sunlight is dim and after night falls, again it is highly risky. Many people may face giddiness and vertigo due to high altitude, so take proper medication for these from Siliguri. People may also face “ear popping” issue due to high altitude, which is a general issue in which you feel your ears are blocked and hence you may feel uncomfortable and pain, to get rid of this, just hold your nose and mouth tight and blow sudden air, but do not do it frequently. Be prepared for chill climate and sudden rain sometimes.
Visit Darjeeling and admire the beauty of nature….
This article is dedicated to Aditya Dixit, who is one of my school mates…
Author : Debashish Ray, Jalpaiguri, W.B., Bharat.