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Darjeeling Vacation, India

Tea Plantation in Darjeeling, IndiaTake the last winding bend of mountains and feel pure exhilaration fill your being. Reminds you of those two British agents who sent off to explore the region where present day Darjeeling is located Today Darjeeling wears its 'Queen of the Hill Stations' title of bit wearily. There are crowds and clutter. For the place 'Dorje Ling' or a place of thunderbolts, remains just as alluring with its little villages, tiny waterfalls and even tinier toy train track. Darjeeling is situated amidst magical mountains as they are imposing fortresses from their walls to their pinnacles, from their peaks to their crevasses. These extraordinary summits rise up from the gentle plains to the sky. Breathing, moving and relaxing in this scenery means really understanding life and filling yourself with new, refreshing energy.

Go Alive At Darjeeling
This heavenly retreat is bathed in hues of every shade. The flaming red rhododendrons, the sparkling white magnolias, the miles of undulating hillsides covered with emerald green tea bushes, the exotic forests of silver fir-all under the blanket of a brilliant azure sky dappled with specks of clouds, compellingly confounds Darjeeling as "The Queen Of Hill Stations".

Bhutia Busty Gompa
Set amidst the entourage of the Kanchenjunga range, Bhutia Busty Gompa is one of the famous Buddhist monastery. The Gompa is a branch of the Nyingmapa sect's Phodang Monastery in Sikkim. The monastery is not far from the Chowrasta and is very tastefully decorated.

Botanical Gardens
This place is worth a visit for its distinct and distinguishing collection of a variety of Himalayan plants, flowers and orchids. The gardens also has a green house.

Chowrasta- The view of Downtown Darjeeling
This one of the exclusive shopping places in Darjeeling. Here the Nehru Road and the Mall Road cross each other. The snow capped peaks of Kanchenjunga are visible from this place. There are several Hindu and Buddhists temples and you can also enjoy a pony ride form this place.

High In The Mountains
Whether you see it or not Kangchendzonga is omnipresent. Clothed in beautiful mountain mists, there is always the off chance that a brilliant sunset may bring its elusive image in. If not then from October onwards you will have the beautiful view of the place from dawn to dusk. Just soak in the splendour when the peak shakes off the night to dress in the hues of a fresh dawn. The gold and orange version of the light worths it. Close by is the Senchel Lake.

Kanchenjunga View, DarjeelingThe Chuk Chuk Gari....
If you have a time and inclination, catch a ride on the Darjeeling Toy Train which UNESCO recognizes as a world Heritage Railway from Kurseong to Ghoom. The Kanchendzonga Range also looms large and beautiful from Bhan Bhakta Sarani further up. In the neighborhood is the Observatory Hills.

Dhoom Gompa
About 8 kms from Darjeeling is the Dhoom Gompa. Here a very beautiful statue of the Maitrayie Buddha ( prospective Buddha) is established. The Monastery has also preserved some of the rare handwritten Buddhist manuscripts.

Himalayan Mountaineering Institute & Museums
The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute is located on the West Jawahar road. The institute runs courses for training mountaineers as well as has the very good collection of mountaineering equipments which have been used in various mountaineering expeditions and other wise. You can also view the Himalayan peaks through the Zeiss Telescope given to the Nepalese Maharaja by Hitler.

Observatory Hills
This point provides one of the breathtaking views of Kanchenjunga peaks. This place is also very sacred for the Hindus and the Buddhists as there are temples and the monasteries at this place. The Kali temple is decorated with the colorful flags.

Birch National Park
This is a mountaineering museums, an ensemble of Mountaineering Museums it has a great collection of mountaineering equipment, specimens of flora and fauna, traditional attire of Himalayan tribes, souvenirs from mountaineering clubs from all over the world and a relief model of the main peaks of the Himalayas.

Tea Estates
Darjeeling is just as famous for its chai industry. The fragrances of tea still rules the senses and lines the pocket here. Sprawling estates with Bungalows as old as colonialism dot the local map. Some of the tea gardens like Badamtam, Runglee Rungliot, Happy Valley, Thurbo, Margeret's Hope and Castleton.

Gardener's Delight
Also tucked away in Darjeeling are gardens, parks and natural history museums that has amazing selection of natural history. Shrubbery is a garden with a view o0f Kangchendzonga and Singalila Valleys. The Lloyd Botanical Gardens harbours Himalayan and Alpine plant varieties including flowers and orchids.

Essential Facts
  • Nearest Airport is Bagdogra and the nearest railhead is New Jalpaiguri Junction. If you are planning to go from Siliguri, take the Hill Cart Road that leads to NH55.
  • The best season to reach to Sikkim is October to January mid March to early June.
Tourist Office : Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council, Below Bellevue Hotel, Chowrasta Darjeeling.

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Kim Grindley
The Butterfly Museum and Orchidarium at Shillong peaks, Nilakurinji at Kodaikanal and Archies Strawberry Farm at Mahabaleshwar and Fossil Park at Tabo are nuff reasons to have a vacation with a difference.
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