Things to do in Darjeeling || Darjeeling Sightseeing || What to see in Darjeeling || North Bengal Tour || Hill-station, west Bengal || Darjeeling Travel Plan
If you fall in love with Darjeeling, which obviously you will.. I did.. you can stay here for as long as you want.. of course, if you don’t like winter that much then this place is not a year-round one for you.. but never mind, this place is worth staying for 3-5 nights minimum.
Apart from the food, Mall, shopping, cakes and coffees, there are quite a few things to do in Darjeeling.. actually a lot of things to do in Darjeeling.. here are few of them.. I really wanted to chill at the last stretch of the journey and I wanted to enjoy all good vibes of the place rather than running from pillar to post from morning till afternoon.. so I touched a few of them..
Get up before hen’s call in the chilled night when everyone wants to cuddle to their thick soft blanket and enjoy their dreamy world.. get dressed, don’t forget your woollen cap, mufflers, gloves, socks etc and go out to see the sunrise behind the pinnacles of the Kanchenjunga.. oo that’s a thrill… ooo wait.. waitttt..
The car will stop miles away and before that miles away you will see cars lined up.. then you walk to the main place on the still dark road with other tourists.. so many other tourists, settle yourself somewhere to see the sunrise.. oohh wait again..
You will see the sunrise, ONLY when it’s a good clear weather.. Did I experience all these live!!!
Excuse me.. I would rather hold tight to my warm blanket and will enjoy my sleep rather than, try my luck on a cold morning.. I would rather see the sun, rise from the horizon of a seaside.. which is more than enough for me.. Phew!!
I came for leisure, not for a jam-packed adventure!!
So for me, it was a no-no.. even during day time I didn’t want to go there, I had an amazing view of Kanchenjunga from various parts of Darjeeling.. so ‘hail’ to my holiday sleep time..
Peace Pagoda & Japanese Temple:
Before I Start with the tour excluding Tiger hill.. one very important thing.. during season time (March to November being peak) though Darjeeling is a throughout-the-year destination now.. if you have a plan for sightseeing of Darjeeling, then start early, max by 9-10 in the morning, earlier the better.. because everybody wants to do this, and the traffic you will see, will make you impatient.. especially if you have babies or big babies with you.. & drivers usually don’t prefer driving post 3-4 in the evening..
Peace Pagoda and Japanese temple are in the same vicinity, you can cover both places at a time. These are temples on the hills, simple temples in the mid of nature.
Of course, the architectures are lot inspired by the respective cultures, but most beautiful is the quietude, the positive vibes of the place and natural beauty. If you are lucky enough you will get an amazing and crystal clear view of the Kanchenjunga, for us that was a win-win.
You need about 20 minutes here, but while going in or coming out, with the number of cars lined up, you may understand how long you will have to wait to move forward.. Make sure the car has some good music!!
Another monastery.. we are on the hills!! There will be temples, monasteries and I love visiting monasteries. It has a different inconceivable serenity and I am always drawn to such places. So, Ghoom monastery, where the car drops you, you have to go down some steps instead of going up and this temple is kind of in a small foothill. There is a temple, there is a small canteen if I am not mistaken, there are a few shops for tourists.. the place was quite full of people, I had a hard time taking pictures. But do give a visit to the place..
Batasay loop is mainly a viewpoint to capture the entire landscape, the Kanchenjunga peak. If you go during the sightseeing trip, there is an entry fee. INR 30.00 per person. However, if you have a plan to take the Toy train then the train goes inside the loop and waits there for some time and you won’t need any entrance fees at that time.. so we skipped that place.. another reason was the ticket counter was crammed.. we didn’t have any intention to wait there..
Spoiler.. this place broke my heart.. when we reached, the monastery was closed for lunch (11:30 am to 12:30) and we couldn’t make another visit for the day’s plan we had. But from outside you can understand that the monastery is bigggg.. beautiful and I only saw it from outside :(((
Chitray Tea Garden:
If you are in Darjeeling, tea garden visit is a must right?? The head of the family wanted to go to happy Tea Valley as that’s the place to visit accordingly to him, and that’s the place the couple had visited when they were young (within a year of their marriage most probably) and they loved the place.. but with the era of growing tourism, tea garden visits are more commercialised.. drivers prefer Chitray over Happy valley, as parking is easy and there is one more reason.. we will come to that a bit later.
So Chitray tea garden is surely beautiful, all green mountain valleys, some ‘watch-out’ walking path, dress up like a hill girl, take snaps.. all ok.. but somehow I was missing the charm as described of the Happy tea valley by my two other (old of experience) travel companions..
I wanted to buy tea from a tea garden, here also you will get tea, but the shops are outside the tea garden, right at the parking lot, lined up.. which means quality is at question, it’s all touristy, commercialized.. you know what I mean!! I also bought some tea to try.. it was expensive but the taste was weird.. so can’t vouch for the quality of the purchase…
SO Happy Valley is on my next list (& I Promise Darjeeling will be again and very soon.. it has to be.. you don’t want to know this though.. do you!!)
So your driver for the tour will drive you there.. you may negotiate with him to take you to Happy Valley tea garden.
BY THE WAY.. have you watched the movie ‘Main Hun Na’?? The main hero of the movie, the college where they shot the movie, it’s in Darjeeling. The driver will ask you to keep the camera ready and will just drive you through.. no stop.. how much you will see, understand, record.. all up to your quick intelligence.. I was out of reach…
you go to see a huge.. like 100 meters long rock.. that’s it!! Actually, if you want to experience, at a preliminary level, as to how rock climbing feels, Tenzing rock does that.. many schools bring their student and give them an experience.. they even teach rock climbing (base level) to potential or interested ones here.
For tourists: if you want to climb up, then Rs. 100 per person is the cost.. rest should be clicking pictures like me, and appreciating the surroundings, then carrying on with the rest of the tour.
Actually, it’s Zoo + Mountaineering museum + there is a teaching centre for mountaineering and a small place of stay for monks.
Teaching area isn’t open always, you aim for the museum and zoo. Entry fee is Rs. 60.00 per person and camera charge additional.
You will need a good 1 hour here, it can be a little more. Let’s start with the zoo.. it’s a huge area, different species of animals, birds etc.. then one road goes to the mountain museum. It gives information on mountaineering, the gears, attires you may need, different peaks been climbed by mountaineers, various collections which we non-adventure people can’t even imagine of etc. etc.. The entire tour is very interesting, fun and sure not to be missed.. who misses a tour to a museum or a zoo!!
The zoo closes by 4 pm.
Actually, most of the attractions here are closed latest by 4pm.. so by 4 your tour will be wrapped anyway.
*** There is also a ropeway ride, I didn’t even go close to see how it looks.. oo it was so crowded..
This you have to do on your own, this is right next to the Mall, and cars aren’t allowed inside, you have to take some good steps and you have to walk to the higher hill area to go to the temple. But do go once, it’s a beautiful place. No entrance fee is required, no restriction to take pictures and no one forcing you to buy or offer puja to the deities, you are in the place with the supreme power.. and that is beautiful
SO that’s all in a day-long sightseeing tour of Darjeeling.. excluding tiger hill for me.. I am way too happy being able to get a good clear view of snow-clad mountains from a distance.. that was more than enough for me.. more of a laid-back luxury.. I didn’t wish for anything more except going back to Darjeeling once again..
One more experience to share.. that will be on the next post…
2 thoughts on “North Bengal Travel Blog Post: Darjeeling Part II- what else do you do??”
Great, Quality Content for The Ultimate Tour Guide, A lot of thanks for sharing, kindly keep with continue !!
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