Queen of the hills – Darjeeling

Tired of the fast city life where even if you stop, you cannot get a fresh breath of air?

Tired of the heat and the artificial air conditioning is getting you sick?

Tired of looking at the same view of skyscrapers out of your office and bedroom window?

If you’ve answered Yes to any of the questions above, you need to plan a trip at the end of this article which will act as your tour guide with information about places to visit, food to eat and where to stay.

Location: Darjeeling, West Bengal.

Flight Bookings to: Bagdogra Airport.

Temperature: 15°C

Since this is a vacation spot, there are some spots which have emerged to be tourists’ favorites. Don’t miss any of them.

  • MIRIK 

    Monks at the Monastery. Photo credits - Myshkinonline, Flickr
    Monks at the Bokar Monastery. Photo credits – Myshkinonline, Flickr

Between the high peaked mountains lies Mirik. The major attraction of Mirik is the “Indreni Pull” translating to rainbow bridge – on one side lies the tall pine trees and on the other side is the Sumedhu lake with plentiful flowers. While you are in Mirik you can visit the Buddhist Bokar Monastery for meditation, the weather is beyond perfect for such an activity.

  • Pashupati Nagar

This is a small settlement that is a 10 minute walk from Mirik and is on the border of Nepal. You wonder how the north-eastern people are always up-to-date with their fashion sense, it’s because of the Pashupati nagar market which has clothes and accessories imported from Thailand itself. If not for fashion accessories, you an even spot cheap electronics and household items here.

  • Tiger Hills 

Ever dream of watching the perfect sunrise? Tourists from around the world have declared this the best sunrise they have seen. So sip on the Darjeeling tea and keep your eyes wide open while you’re here. The Kanchenjunga peak is visible right between the hills and it’s a magical sight when the sun’s rays hit the mountain peaks which lights up the morning sky.

Sunrise at Tiger Hills Photo credits - Satyaki Bhattacharyya
Sunrise at Tiger Hills | Photo credits – Satyaki Bhattacharyya
  • Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre 

    Weaving work space at the Centre. Photo credits - Nigel Blandford, Flickr
    Weaving work space at the Centre. | Photo credits – Nigel Blandford, Flickr

With the close proximity of the Nepal border, many refugees seek shelter in Darjeeling. A Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre was set up on October 2nd,1959 by two women with just a two room space. The centre has grown since and has gone on to put a roof over many refugees and helped them set up their own livelihood. Various crafts are learnt here and one must pick up one of their works to adorn their homes as a souvenir.

With the biting cold you are bound to be extra hungry. Here are a few food items you must try to truly call your Darjeeling trip complete.

  • The Naga Platter

You MUST try the Naga platter which comes with an assortment of items including the very delicious and exclusive dried bamboo shoots with a side of steamed rice, chicken/fish/pork, pickles, etc.

  • Momos

If you haven’t eaten momos in Darjeeling, you don’t know the meaning of true love. One plate will never be enough and you’ll understand what Joey means when he says, “Joey doesn’t share food”. You’ll be devouring your second and third plate in a matter of a few minutes.

Momos Photo credits - Globe Gourmands, Flickr
Momos | Photo credits – Globe Gourmands, Flickr
  • Thupka 

You see this dish in the menu of all your local north eastern stalls but while you’re in Darjeeling do take time out to taste the authentic mouth watering thupka. The best part about this dish is that you will have easy access to as much as you want since it is the staple food of Darjeeling.

Thupka Photo credits - Sree Valli
Thupka | Photo credits – Sree Valli
  • Darjeeling chai

Nothing goes better with cold weather than a hot cup of tea. Darjeeling tea is a must even for non-tea drinkers. Let the beauty of nature seep into your pores as the tea’s taste and aroma works it’s magic.

Go check you calendar for the nearest holidays and book your tickets – thank me later.

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