Are you making any plans to visit Darjeeling but not sure if you want to? Or maybe you are not sure why you should visit Darjeeling and not choose another place for a weekend trip?
Me and my friends did a 3-day tour in and around the city in January 2018. You can read about our journey in here. In this post, I have listed down a few points for you, sharing why I loved Darjeeling and why I would recommend someone to go and check it out.
The Food – How can I not make it the first in the list?
Darjeeling offers a rich taste of Indian mixed with Nepali and Tibetan style. There are also some really old Colonial hotels serving classic English food. Be it in a restaurant or the road side, you will be presented with a variety of options (Tibetan style being my go-to usually). Also, because of the cold weather, you will long for some hot soups and you will have plenty of options there.
The Walks – Something to die for! Literally!
If you are one of those people who are lacking some cardio in your life, you should definitely visit this place. The previous line shouldn’t come to you as a turn off as you will be greeted with some amazing and cheap street food, friendly people and some great places to buy some cheap but cool and trendy winter clothing. Well, in most of the places in Darjeeling, you will eventually have to walk your way around (you don’t have an option there, sorry!), like the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park & Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, the Darjeeling Mall Chowk, etc. Eventually you will have to walk and you wouldn’t mind it at the end of the day.
Tea – Enriching the Soul
Ever heard of the Darjeeling tea?
Yes? I need not tell you further.
No? Were you living under a rock all this time?
The Mountains – Heavenly is the word I should use
Darjeeling has the perfect view to Mount Kanchenjunga. It can be seen from a lot of different places but the most visited place is the Tiger Hills. You will have to get up at 3 in the morning and start your journey by 4:30AM to get to the place and watch the serene beauty of the mountains. Please note – you have to book your car the previous day itself.
The Architecture – Historic in every sense
Darjeeling is home to both modern and colonial style buildings. It was used by the British armed forces as a military hill station back in the 19th century and so imprints of their culture can be found in their food, their architecture, everywhere.
Shopping – drooling topic for many, right?
Darjeeling offers a variety of options when it comes to shopping, the most popular being the Chowk Bazar or the Mall Road. You have options from woollen clothing, jewelleries, handicrafts and while shopping you will have food stalls here and there to satisfy your appetite as well. Naa, I never forget to mention food.
Toy Train – not a toy actually
Whoever goes to Darjeeling, they rarely miss the opportunity to take a ride in the Toy Train. These Toy Trains have also acquired World Heritage status. These trains will take you on a ride in and around the Darjeeling city through the magnificient mountains. We didnt have much time to take a ride in these trains but this is something I would definitely do the next time I visit Darjeeling.
Here is a small video that I made of the Steam Engined Train there –
Cheap Stay – tempting for backpack travellers
When it comes to travelling, the major cost comes with accommodation. In Darjeeling, you can significantly cut down your staying cost as you have good cheap options in hotels. Yes, you will have lavish hotels as well but if you are one of those travellers like me who just needs a place to spend the night without expecting a lot of facilities, you do get plenty of options.
Some advice –
Darjeeling can get real chilly during the winters. On the Tiger Hills, we experienced a temperature of about -1 degrees and so I would suggest you to take some warm jackets and warm clothes; gloves are a must. A good pair of shoes will be a good add-on as you will end up walking a lot if you want to experience the real city life. Thank me later.
We spent 3 days in Darjeeling (journey included) and in our total journey from Guwahati to Darjeeling and back, we spent around 6k-7k INR per head – which I believe is really cheap, considering the amount of things you get to see and experience. Read more about our entire journey here.
Do let me know in the comments section if I missed anything, I will add those in this post with appropriate credits. If you have visited Darjeeling in the past, do let me know how was your trip to Darjeeling like.
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Your Friendly Neighbourhood Traveller