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Please call (559) 446 0499 or email: brij@indiatravelerusa.com to an eastern India journey with Darjeeling

Darjeeling is located at an elevation of 7,000 ft. or 2,134 meters just south of Sikkim in the eastern Indian state of Bengal. The British built this hill station to escape from the scorching summer of Kolkata that served as their capital until the building of New Delhi in 1931. The city is situated on the borders of Nepal, Sikkim and Bhutan. It became famous for its very unique blend of black tea in the early years of twentieth century. The tea estates of Darjeeling are some of the largest production centers of black tea in the entire world.

For rail enthusiasts, however, Darjeeling is better known for its Toy Train. This famous narrow gauge steam railway plies its way from Siliguri in the plains below up to Ghoom and Darjeeling in the hills. The nearest train stations are New Jalpaiguri or Siliguri where one has to change to the Toy Train to Darjeeling, a journey that takes about 7 hours. The buses from these stations take about 3.5 hours to reach Darjeeling. Taxis are also available for going to Darjeeling. For most foreign the convenient point of entry to this region is the airport of Bagdogra.

The name of this Himalayan hill station originated from a Tibetan word Dorje Ling – place of the thunderbolt. According to Mahayan Buddhists the area was struck by a mystic thunderbold of their version of Buddhist religion. They believe that the scepter of Indra, the Lord of Gods as well as the controller of rain & thunder fell on the site presently known as observatory hill. The Sanskrit origin of the word Darjeeling comes from Durjay Ling, literally meaning Shiva of invincible prowess, whose abode is in the Himalayan mountains. Until the early years of 18th century, Darjeeling was governed by the Rajas of Sikkim. They lost control of the region around Darjeeling to the invading Gorkhas from Nepal in 1780. Two British officers of the East India Company came to this area in 1828 and were immediately struck by the beauty and temperate climate of this remote Shangri-La. They also found the site to be strategically very significant as it was a convenient link between Tibet and Nepal. The East India Company’s Governor General, Captain Lloyd then twisted the arms of the Raja of Sikkim to get this territory in February 1835 for building a resort and recreation center for the civilian and military officers of the company. Today the town retains many of the legacies of the British Government. Darjeeling's population of about 100,000 is made up of people of many races, ethnic groups and religions. Gorkhas, Bhutias, Lepchas, Sherpas. Yolmos and migrants from the plains have all made Darjeeling their home. They live in almost perfect harmony in this resort town. At the shrine at Observatory Hill, you'll find Hindus and Buddhists offering prayers beside each other. The official language is Gorkhali (Nepali), but Hindi and Bengali are also spoken, and almost everyone understands and speaks a bit of English.

The undulating landscape of Darjeeling is ideal for growing the world famous black tea. There are many plantations in Darjeeling, some of which offer tours to visitors and also sell sample packets of the Darjeeling Tea.

4-star hotels:

Glenburn Tea Estate - 8 suites in 2 bungalows
Mayfair Hotel – 42 rooms
Windamere Hotel – 46 rooms
The Elgin Hotel – 25 rooms
Cedar Inn Hotel – 22 rooms
Dekeling Hotel – 22 rooms
Viceroy Hotel – 37 rooms

3-star hotels:

Hotel Sinclaires – 46 rooms
Pineridge Hotel – 36 rooms
Welcomgroup Fortune Resort Central – 45 rooms
Snow Lion Home Stay – 12 rooms
Shangrila Residency – 12 rooms

Distance from Darjeeling in Kilometers and Miles:

Ghoom: 7 Kilometers or 4 Miles
Tiger Hill: 13 Kilometers or 8 Miles
Siliguri: 86 Kilometers or 54 Miles
Bagdogra: 90 Kilometers or 56 Miles
Kalimpong: 51 Kilometers or 32 Miles
Kurseong: 33 Kilometers or 21 Miles
Peling: 74 Kilometers or 46 Miles
Gangtok: 98 Kilometers or 61 Miles

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