Darjeeling is a city in North Eastern India, state West Bengal, located on the south slope of the Himalaya mountains, at height 2134 m above the sea level. Its population is around 110 thousand people. It is also known as „Queen of the hills“, Darjeeling is in fact a treasure with its cool climate and much greenery.
The city was established in 1835, when a British East-Indian company hired the locality, in order to create a sanatorium for its soldiers. After 1849 during the British domination, Darjeeling transformed into a tourist center. Because of the healthy climate, here come many British people, who reside in India, and also rich Indians. The first tea plantations were planted by the British settlers in 1841. Soon the tea cultivated in the region has acquired international popularity, since the teas of Darjeeling are aromatic and with delicate taste. The development of the city during the end of the 19 and the beginning of the 20 century leads to a significant flow of settlers from Nepal, therefore today the majority of the residents speak Nepalese.
Darjeeling – Himalayan railway
One of the greatest landmarks of Darjeeling is the Himalayan railway, which connects the city with the plains southwards and it is one of the few operating steam railways in India. It is a narrow-gauge line with length 86 km and it was built between 1879 and 1881. The ride with the Darjeeling railway is one extreme experience. It has been announced for an object of the world cultural heritage by UNESCO.
For the tourist it is interesting to visit the Tibetan monasteries – „Gum“, „Blutiya Busty“ and „Mag-doh-Yolmova“ near Darjeeling, where the monks show ancient manuscripts and sell beautifully coloured religious flags with drawings. The visitors hang these flags on the adjacent trees, as they believe in the ideology of the Tibetan monks, that by the power of the consciousness we can achieve the impossible.
The view from the Hill of the tiger at the sunrise of the Sun is something, which the tourist should not miss. Then peak Kangchenjunga, the third highest peak in the world, looks unreal with the peculiar radiance under the influence of the first sun beams. But in order to be observed this phenomenon, the tourist should wake up from sleep at 3 o’clock.
When there are not clouds, from Darjeeling is visible and peak Everest (8850m)- the highest peak in the world. In the mountaineering institute in Darjeeling, established by the Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, can be seen the whole equipment, used for the climbing of Everest in 1953 by him and Sir Edmund Hillary.
The Himalayan zoo Padmaja Naidu is a place where can be seen animals, inhabiting the region of the Himalaya mountains. And in the Lloyd’s Botanical Garden grow magnificent rare orchids.
The Peace Pagoda, built by Japanese, represents a beautiful white building. Its construction began in 1972 and finished in 1992.
Today Darjeeling is a city with beautiful houses in pseudo Tudor style, perched on the slope of the mountain among much greenery. The closest airport is Bagdogra, near Siliguri at 96 km from Darjeeling. It is best to hire a taxi or a jeep from Siliguri.