Nestled in the Himalayan mountains and the glistening Mt. Kanchenjunga peak towering over the sky, Darjeeling fondly called “The Queen of the Hills.” Darjeeling is a town in the West Bengal State of India.
Once upon a time, this place was a summer resort location for the British Raj elite. Darjeeling is famed for the distinctive black tea grown on plantations that dot its surrounding slopes.
Nature at its best
Be there during the spring season, and that makes you a ‘heavenly feel.’ Natural Himalayan gardens bloom and turn to such a beautiful landscape that makes you feel like you are in paradise. Check out some of those blossom pictures and scenery from Rock garden.
The Toy Train Joy Ride
Darjeeling remains as a UNESCO site for the narrow gauge Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR), also knows as Toy Train completed in 1881
The DHR or Toy Train is a 2 ft (610 mm) narrow-gauge railway based on zigzag and loop line technology that runs between New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling. There are special trains services for tourists, which runs between Darjeeling and GHUM Railway Station.
GHUM is the highest point of DHR. Between these stations, you can enjoy the joy ride, especially when the train takes a 360-degree turn at “Bhatasia Loop.” This is a spiral railway created to lower the gradient of the ascent of the DHR. Above this loop there is a landscaped garden and train stops there for a while for tourists to roam around.
“All the steam locomotives currently in use on the railway are of the “B” Class, a design built by Sharp, Stewart and Company and later the North British Locomotive Company between 1889 and 1925.” – Source: Wikipedia
The Joy Ride service train (Toy Train) is powered by DHR B Class steam locomotive
Darjeeling is also fame by the “Himalayan Mountaineering Institute.” This organisation was established on 4th November 1954. The primary aim of this group is to encourage mountaineering as an organised sport in India.
This prestigious institute has provided training for some of India’s leading mountaineers. Located inside the zoo, within the complex is the fascinating Mountaineering Museum. The museum in an ‘encyclopedia’ with loads of first information and memorabilia from the 1922 and 1924 Everest expeditions, which set off from Darjeeling, as well as more recent summit attempts.
Note: There are so many other attractions in Darjeeling that I haven’t included here. Those are intentionally omitted for the interest of time and blog space. One should plan Darjeeling visit at-least for a week time, to explore most of them.