Darjeeling is fondly called “Queen of the Hills”
An integral part of India’s legacy and heritage (dharohar) are its cities, towns, and villages. History awaits at every corner of India, whether its a lost legend, a well preserved palace, or a village bazaar. Through our ‘Dharohar’ section we will bring to you some of India’s treasured places.
This month we showcase Darjeeling, a city in the state of West Bengal, famous for its highly aromatic black tea with fruity and floral flavor. For all tea connoisseurs out there, your tea experience is incomplete until you’ve tasted the “Champagne of Teas” – Darjeeling Tea. It is said that these teas are the highest elevation produced teas and it is the altitude that creates an ideal environment for the tea plant. The result is that the teas grown here are imparted with a unique muscatel flavour and special aroma.
Nestled in the Himalayan foothills, Darjeeling is home to the view of the mighty Mt. Kanchenjunga. The Himalayan range is best viewed from Tiger Hill and captures the perfect sunrise. To traverse the extreme landscapes, local workers laid small-gauge tracks between New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling and built small but powerful engines, and built the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. The railway is also known as Toy Train due to its engines and compartments that look like a scaled down toy version of other trains operated in India.
The city is also famous for its Cable Car Ropeway which was the first ropeway built in India. From the cable cars can be seen a bird’s eye view of Darjeeling’s lush vegetation, tea gardens. Darjeeling is also home to the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park, that houses high altitude Himalayan animals including endangered animals like Red Panda and the Snow Leopard. Sprawled over about 40 acre of land is Lloyd Botanical Garden, another unique attraction in the city. It is a delight for anyone who wishes to enjoy a vibrant display of nature’s colors with a collection of flora including alpine plants. Finally a visit to the Chowrasta and walk around the Mall Road is a must to get a full view of Darjeeling and the adjoining areas. The nearest airport to Darjeeling is Bagdogra Airport about 95 km from the city, and the nearest railway station is New Jalpaiguri. Darjeeling is fondly called ‘Queen of the Hills’ and provides a perfect getaway for those seeking to be in harmony with nature.