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Darjeeling Destinations


Darjeeling

Darjeeling, well known as the “QUEEN OF HILL STATIONS” lies in the north part of West Bengal (India). It has enclosed with hills, stunning forests of teak wood, pine trees and all green tea estates. Traveling through the crisscross roads of the region would be daring and memorable. Nearest access, point to Darjeeling is Bagdogra airport and NJP or Siliguri railway stations away at a distance of 90 km. The highest hill railway line in Asia is moving along the road and traveling in the toy train would be an added astonishing experience. UNESCO has approved this railway as one of the world heritage sites.

Tiger Hill

Tiger Hill is located at an altitude of 2590 meters (8482 ft.) and 15 km from Darjeeling town. From here, you can get a splendid view of Mount Everest, the highest mountain and Kanchenjunga range.

Batasia Loop

Batasia Loop is a railway loop, about 5 kms away from Darjeeling, an amazing feat of engineering and it is quite a treat to observe the Toy Train passing through this loop. The War memorial is constructed in the remembrance of the brave sons of Darjeeling who died for the country since Independence in 1947.

Ghoom(GHUM) Monastery/ Highest railway station

This is at the town of Ghoom that boasts of the highest railway station in the world located Two kilometers from Darjeeling. It also has a monastery.

Japanese Peace Pagoda

Japanese Peace Pagoda is a latest attraction constructed by Japanese Monks and commands an outstanding view of the city and the Himalayan Range.

Dhirdham Temple

Dhirdham Temple is located just below the Railway station and is structurally a replica of the famous Pashupatinath temple of Kathmandu, Nepal.

The Mall and Chowrasta

The Mall and Chowrasta are important attractions in Darjeeling. The Mall road originates and concludes at the Chowrasta, which is the hub of Darjeeling town. A walk around the Mall gives you a feel of Darjeeling life with the pleasing view of the mountains, valleys with rhododendron trees and old houses.

Ava Art Gallery

Ava Art Gallery about 10 minutes drive from the motor stand, it is just below the main road on the way to Ghoom and it houses have fine art and embroidery work of Mrs. Ava Devi.

Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park & Himalayan Mountaineering Institute

The Tenzing Norgay Himalayan Mountaineering Institute trains mountaineers. It has a small museum also. Adjacent to it is the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park. Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park: placed adjacent to the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute. It is a high altitude wild life park and a new residence for the Siberian Tiger, Himalayan Black Deer, Deer Panda, Llama and birds.

Tea Gardens in Darjeeling

In Darjeeling, it will be a unique experience to visit a nearby Tea Garden to observe the real method of the manufacturing of Darjeeling Tea. You can even have the chance of buying tea directly form the tea factory. There are about 70 tea estates in this hill area and the most nearby one is the Happy Valley Tea Estate, which is about 3 kms from the city or within a walking distance of about 40 minutes.

Rock Garden

The Rock Garden (also known as Barbotey Rock Garden) at Chunnu Summer Falls and Ganga Maya Park, near it, are recently added tourist spots in the hilly town of Darjeeling in the state of West Bengal, (India). It is a showpiece meant to lure tourists back to Darjeeling after political agitations disrupted the visit by tourists in the 1980s. There is one more rock garden in Darjeeling named as Sir John Anderson Rock Garden, which is part of Lloyd's Botanical

Ganga Maya Park

Ganga Maya Park is further down the road, about 3 kilometers from the Rock Garden. Named after an innocent victim of police firing during the GNLF agitation, “it meanders down the course of a chortling mountain stream, past gazebos, clumps of flowering shrubs and trees, over humped backed bridges under which koi-carp coruscate, and into a circular lake with paddle boats and a waterfall.” It has a small lake where boating facilities are available. Gorkha folk dances are performed to entertain the tourists.

Kurseong

Kurseong located at a height of 2458 Mts. (4864 ft), placed at a lower elevation for those who hate the severe winters of Darjeeling, Kurseong enjoys a milder and a very strong weather all over the year. Guru Rabindra Nath Tagore and the great composer Atul Prasad Sen got inspiration for some of their famed works around Kurseong. Sister Nivedita, the great follower of Swami Vivekananda made Kurseong her residence. A charming walk through the jungle of Cryptomaria japonica on the road, now called Aranya Sarani, escorts to the vast unlock meadows at Chimney. Almost 4 kilometers from Kurseong Railway Station in a stylish mansion in the deep woods of St. Mary's Hill is housed the Eastern Forest Rangers' College (EFRC). Earlier the campus was the sight of St. Mary's seminary, the first such seminary of the east of Suez. A statue of Jesus and Mary and the newly built Jt. John's Church, an example of modern architectural brilliance, are also located on the same hill. A picnic at Kettle Valley Picnic Spot at Dilaram Tea Estate on the Banks of the river Rinchengtong offers you an unusual opportunity to play in its crystal-clear waters in the backdrop of snow-clad mountains.

Mirik

It is one of the stunning hill stations at an altitude of 1767 meters with its own particular charms. Mirik has a wonderful lake and likewise eye-soothing tea gardens. Outstanding view of sunrise and sunset can be seen from Mirik Mountain. One can get pleasure from the huge area of orange orchards. Mirik is also the major supplier of oranges in West Bengal. From the top, one can have an aerial vision of the peaceful village life around the hill area amidst the flourishing green tea estate. Here you can also enjoy boat and horse riding. Those who are interested in gardening can buy variety of baby plants and seeds and other garnishes.

The Sumendu Lake

The lake is the chief attraction here and there is a 3.5 Km Path around it. You can boat here and the thick forest of pine, cardamom and the orange will certainly fascinate your heart. Another magnetism of Mirik is Pashupatinagar in the margin of Nepal.

Rameetay Dara

A viewpoint from where one can get a wide view of the plains and the mountains. Sunrise and sunset seen from this point are treasured sights.

Deosi Dara & Rai Dhap

These are the observation point contributing a panoramic vision of the plains, the hills and the peaks are an idyllic picnic spot. The source of drinking water for the whole of Mirik.

Debi Sthan

The respected Hindu temple, the Singha Devi Mandir is on the western bank of the lake.

Tea Gardens

Mirik is encircled by tea estate. Like Thurbo tea Estate, one of the well known, is only 2 km from Mirik. One can visit the factory to see tea being processed.

Kalimpong

Kalimpong is a hill station in the Mahabharat Range in West Bengal (India). It is situated at an average elevation of 1,250 meters (4,101 ft). The town is the headquarters of the Kalimpong subdivision, a part of the district of Darjeeling. Kalimpong is famous for its educational institutions many of which were established during the British colonial period. It used to be a gateway in the trade between Tibet and India prior to China's annexation of Tibet and the Sino-Indian War.

Kalimpong, located on a ridge overlooking River Teesta, is a tourist spot owing to its temperate climate and proximity to popular tourist locations in the area. Horticulture is also important to Kalimpong: it has a flower market unique for its wide array of orchids; nurseries, which export Himalayan grown flower bulbs, tubers and rhizomes, contribute to the economy of Kalimpong. Home to ethnic Napalis, indigenous ethnic groups and non-native migrants from other parts of India, the town also is a religious centre of Buddhism.

Tharpa Choling Gompa

Recognized in 1922, the Tharpa Choling Gompa belongs to the Yellow Hat Sect of Tibetan Buddhism, started in the Tibet in the 14th century and to which the Dalai Lama belongs. It is a 40-minute walk from city; take the path to the right off KD Pradhan Rd, just before the Milk Collection and Extension Wing Building.

Thongsa Gompa

Lower down the hill, the Thongsa Gompa, of Bhutanese Monastery, is the oldest monastery in the area and was founded in 1692. The present building is not so old - the Gurkhas in their rampage destroyed the original across Sikkim before the arrival of the British.

Zong Dog Palri Fo-Brang Gompa

In 1970s at Zong Dog Palri Fo-Brang Gompa was sacred by the Dalai Lama, also famous as Durpin Monastery, in 1976 after six years of establishing it. The significance of this monastery lies with the sacred Kunguyar kept here. It contains all 108 volumes carried by Dalai Lama in his exile.

Flower Nurseries

India's gladiolas and orchid is naturally produced from Kalimpong region, flowers are exported from here to many cities in northern India. There are many well-known flower nurseries like the Sri Ganesh Moni Pradhan and the Udai Mani Pradhan in the area. There is a flower festival in Kalimpong in October.

Dr Graham's Home

It takes less than an hour to walk from the city centre up through stands of bamboo to Dr Graham's Home, which was founded in 1900 on the lower slopes of Deole Hill. The school was established to teach the children of tea workers. It is extend on 193 hectares. Visitors are welcome to the turn-of-the-century school buildings, and many people picnic in the gorgeous grounds. From the school itself, it is a 40-minute walk to the top of Deole Hill, where there are fine views over Kalimpong.

Gangtok

Gangtok is the capital of Sikkim ( India).the word Sikkim originates from the word “SUKHIM”, which means Paradise and it is rightly called ‘Mystic Himalayan kingdom’ .Gangtok is situated in the Hills of the eastern Himalayan range, at an altitude of 1,437 metres (4,715 ft). The town, with a population of thirty thousand belonging to different ethnicities such as Nepalis, Lepcha and Bhutia, is administered by various departments of the Government of Sikkim. Nestled within higher peaks of the Himalaya and enjoying a year-round mild temperate climate, Gangtok is at the centre of Sikkim’s tourism industry.

The precise meaning of the name Gangtok is unclear, though the most famous meaning is "hill top".Today, Gangtok is a centre of Tibetan Buddhist culture and learning, with the presence of several monasteries, religious educational institutions, and centers for Tibetology
Labrang Monastery

The monastery built about 100 years before is the Labrang Monastery, just 1 km further from Phodong. This monastery belongs to the Nyingmapa wing of Tibetan Buddhism, the same as that of Pemayangtse monastery in West Sikkim. Its name translates simply as the dwelling place of the Lamas (Buddhist monks).

Pemayangste Monastery

The Pemayangtse Monastery located near by Gyalsing city. Latsun Chempo originally built this monastery as a small temple in the last of 17th century. Later on the temple structure reconstruct into a monastery.

Rumtek Monastery

Rumtek Monastery is 24 kilometres out of Gangtok, on the further side of the Ranipool valley, and is easily accessible by car or taxi. The monastery is very huge, with lots of outbuildings, and there are many young children studying there: when I visited, most of the boys, and one little girl, were sitting in the courtyard, studying their homework, and reciting their lessons for the older monks. Rumtek, is the seat of the Karmapa Lama who heads the Kagyupa Sect of Buddhism.

Tasuklakhang - The Royal Chapel

The Royal Chapel, Tsuklakhang, is inside the palace grounds. Generally called Tsulakhang Royal. It is the main place of adoration and assembly and the repository of a vast gathering of Buddhist scriptures.

Changoo Lake / Tsongo Lake

Tsongo Lake is about 35 km away from gangtok. Tsongo Lake pronounced as Changoo” lake. Narrow roads, steep heights, zigzag curves and deep valleys make this a brave trip and all around greeneries, beautiful rare flowers and Yaks on both sides of the road turn this cherished journey. Tsongo Lake is an oval shaped lake with a deep of 50 feet and area of 1 km. Most attractive thing about this lake is that it will be fully frozen during January to April just like the Dal Lake in Srinagar.

The lake shaped by the melting snow of mountains, stands at an altitude of 12,400ft, and has an average depth of 50ft. There is a footpath runs from the lake to a calm resting shed. It is a great place to just lie down for a lazy while and take in the smells and sounds of Mother Nature. The lake freezes throughout the winter months, and it is believed that in olden times monks could guess the future by looking at the hues of the lake water! You could try fishing here, as the lake has some rainbow trout. Foreigners are now allowed to visit the lake as well.

Deer Park/ Rustomji Park

This park is also known as Rustomji Park named after one of the Dewans of the Chogyal of Sikkim. The park has a big open enclosure, sheltering animals like the red panda and the Himalayan Bear. A big sculpture of Lord Buddha commemorating his preaching of the gracious truths in the Deer Park at Sarnath beautifies the park grounds. A butter lamp continually burns in front of the statue, which is bounded with flowers of excellent variety. The park commands an amazing vision of the hills, surrounding Gangtok.

Khecheopalri Lake

In divergence road between Gyalsing and Yoksum, is clear water Kechopari Lake (wishing lake). The lake surrounded by mountains with thick forests and wild life. The lake is once more a ideal undisturbed mirror. 27km from Pelling, the Khecheopari Lake seems just straight out of this dream. The Lepchas connect a great deal of spiritual implication to the water body and believe that a bird sweeps up each leaf that drops in this wishing pool. The Khecheopari Lake is well liked with trekkers, and if you happen to be here at dusk, you might be blessed enough to see some locals offering prayers and floating leaf-lamps on the lake waters. Out of sheer admiration for the sentiments of the locals, it is wise to neither swim in the water nor litter the lake area.

Menmecho Lake

Perched between the mountains below the Jelepla Pass, the Menmecho Lake lies 20km ahead of the Changoo Lake. The lake is formed by the melting snow of mountains and is the source of the Rangpochu River.
Research Institute of Tibetology

The world-renowned Namgyal Research Institute of Tibetology, is built in the typical Tibetan manner of architecture; roosted on a hilltop, Situated amongst woods of magnolia and oak, the institution encourage research on the largest collections of books and documents on Mahayana Buddhism in the earth.
There are about 30 thousand volumes and translations of the original teachings of Buddha, and a variety of other treatises of other venerable Buddhist scholars from around the world.

Government Institute of Cottage Industries

The Government Institute of Cottage Industries is a further exciting place to visit. Situated uphill from the main bazaar, the institute was established in 1957, with the aim of promoting local handicrafts. The outlet at the organization is a good place to pick up handicrafts like tangkhas, woollen carpets, dolls and masks amongst other things.

Deer Park/Tashi Viewpoint

Deer Park is located on the edge of the ridge. The Deer Park is also a well-liked viewpoint. Tashi Viewpoint is a further tourist spot and a pleasing even if a trifle long walks from the town. 6km from the town, on the North Sikkim Highway, the vantage spot is best to visit in the early morning hours. Far-away monasteries roosted on the Kanchendzonga Range, seen in the light of the early morning sun, can be quite a transcendental experience.

The Hanuman Temple

The climb to Hanuman Tok is another delightful experience. The Hanuman Temple at the top of the hill is a calm tiny spot and offers a fine vision as well.

The Ipecac Garden

About 14km from Gangtok, is the Orchidarium or the Ipecac Garden, extend more than six acres of ground. It houses Sikkim’s many varieties of orchids and new rare tropical and temperate plants. The garden is also a popular picnic spot.

Nathulla Pass

Nathulla Pass: India-China border, where the prehistoric silk route once passed through, is 14200 ft above sea level. You need a special permission from the Indian Army to visit this spot.

Shri Baba Harbajan Mandir

This temple, dedicated to a Sikh army soldier is around 52 km away from Gangtok city.CAPTAIN "Baba" Harbhajan Singh was an Indian army officer who died near the Nathula Pass in eastern Sikkim,( India). The soldiers of the Indian army, who have built a Shrine in his honour, revere him. Baba is reported to have granted favours to the soldiers, and guard each one in the inhospitable terrain.

A shrine was built at his Samadhi, at an elevation of around 4,000 metres (13,123 ft). According to army folklore, Baba is a stickler for discipline and is known to admonish those who do not tow this line. A camp bed is kept for him, his boots are polished, and uniform kept ready every night. The sheets are reportedly crumpled every morning and boots muddy by evening. The Major continues to draw a salary and takes his annual leave. According to legend, Major Harbhajan Singh drowned in a glacier following the 1962 Sino-Indian War in 1968 while escorting a column of mules to a remote outpost. He was the first casualty of the 23rd Punjab Regiment, and a manhunt was launched to find him. He was found after three days and cremated with full military honours. According to legend, Major Harbhajan Singh led the search party to his body, and later, through a dream, instructed one of his colleagues to build and maintain a shrine after him.

Pelling

Pelling is located at an altitude of 2985 m above the sea level. The green area with lots of lakes, waterfalls, and rare trees would fascinate you with its magnificence. Another point of attractions at the place is the view of the highest Indian mountain peak, Kanchenjunga. In addition, you can see many Glaciers. You can also visit The Pemayangtse Monastery. This is one of the olden monasteries in northern part of India. The famous annual Chaam (monk dance) is held on the 28th and 29th day of the 12th month of the Tibetan Lunar Calendar. Clothed in costumes of rare splendor the lamas symbolize Mahakala and Guru Drag-dmar. The third day dance ends with a colour full ceremony.

Pemayangste Monastery

Pemayantse monastery is particular because it is meant only for ‘ta-sang’ lamas (pure monks). Believed to have been conceptualized and intended by the pioneer of Buddhism in Sikkim, Lhatsun Chhembo, Pemayangste quickly became the nuclei of monasteries in Sikkim. Today, it is considered as the "premier monastery" of the State.
Know Pemayangtse Monastery in Sikkim

Pemayangtse Monastery in Sikkim belongs to the Nyingma order and all other Nyingma monasteries in Sikkim are subordinate to it. Located about 140 km form Gangtok in Sikkim, Pemayangtse Monastery commands an inspiring view of Mt. Kanchendzonga. Pemayangtse Monastery Sikkim was a small Lhekhang build by Lhatsun Chenpo in the 17th century AD. Later during the rule of the third Chogyal Chakdor Namgyal, Lhatsun Chenpo's third reincarnate jigme Pawo extended the monastery and reconstruct the organization.

There are 108 monks in the Pemayangtse Monastery Sikkim. The monks of Pemayangtse are generally from the leading Bhutia families in Sikkim.

The Structure of the Pemayangtse Monastery in Sikkim

The Pemayangtse Monastery shelters numerous spiritual images and other substance of worship, most of which are valuable because of their ancientness. On the top floor of the monastery, there is a wooden statue, interpreting the Maha Gurus Heavenly Palace "Sanghthokpalri". The late Dungzin Rimpoche, who took five years to construct, accomplished this masterpiece.

The major festival of the monastery is on the 28th & 29th day of the 12th month of the Tibetan calender, usually corresponding to the month of February. During these two days, sacred dances are performed and pilgrims come from all over Sikkim to watch them.

Sangacholing Monastery

This monastery is located on a ridge above Pelling and the well-known Pemayangtse Monastery. To reach the Monastery one has to walk on steep hilly slope, which show the way through rich forests area.

Khecheopalri Lake

The Hindus and Buddhists believe Khecheopalri Lake as one of the holy lakes of Sikkim. The lake remains hidden in the forests. It is believed that birds do not permit even a single leaf to float on the lake surface.
Jaldapara

The National Park Jaldapara is in Jaipalguri District. The forest sanctuary, which is typically covered with tall grasses, is full of wild life. There are single horned rhinos, tigers, wild elephants, deer, swamp deer, hog deer, wild pigs, bison and a number of birds.

Jaldapara Wild Life Sanctuary is a prominent wildlife spot of West Bengal and is in Alipurduar sub-Division of Jalpaiguri District. It can be easily accessed from Siliguri which is about 124 km away. The River Toorsa runs through the sanctuary, which is nestled in the foothills in the region generally known as the Dooars. The flora is mainly tall elephant grasses, interspersed with trees and bamboo clumps. The most famous animal is the one-horned rhinocerous, an animal threatened with extinction. Other wild life to be seen are tigers, wild elephants, barking deer, spotted deer, wild boar, bison and a number of birds. Elephant safaris can be enjoyed at the sanctuary and are the finest way to walk around the habitat and see wild animals from a close distance

The western side of the sanctuary is crossed by river Torsa, while the eastern stretch is drained by river Malangi. Torsa River rises in Tibet and flows across Bhutan before entering the Brahmaputra. Since the entire area is on the flood plains, floods can be severe, with whole forests washed downstream. The whole park can be seen on a breathtaking Elephant-safari, organized from Hollong. Jeep safaris are also organized within the sanctuary.

 

 

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