Top 10 Best Tourist Places to visit at Darjeeling in 2020

Top 10 Best Tourist Places to visit at Darjeeling in 2020

Darjeeling – Queen of Hills

Darjeeling is not only famous as a popular tourist destination for the amazing view of Kanchenjunga or toy train joy ride, but it is also famous for its charm which holds a special corner of the heart of most of the tourists who have visited Darjeeling once, especially Bengali’s.

Top ten tourist places to visit at Darjeeling in 2020
Darjeeling – The Himalayan Beauty



In most of the cases, Darjeeling is the first Himalayan tourist destination for most of the travelers like us. 
 
Though you will find many who blame this Himalayan beauty for becoming overcrowded still in most cases like mine it is first love and always holds a special corner in our heart. So it difficult to find a Bengali who has not visited Darjeeling more than once.
 
Darjeeling is also well known for its elite schools’, tea gardens, and Toy Train of Himalayan Mountain Railways which is a UNESCO World heritage. 

Top ten tourist places to visit at Darjeeling in 2020
Unesco World Heritage -Toy Train (Picture Credit – Surajit Ghosh)



It is situated at a height of 6700 ft. Darjeeling can be a perfect end of the week escape for you if you love mountains. Here is an end of the week visit plan of Darjeeling

How to reach Darjeeling : 

  • The nearest railway station to Darjeeling is NJP (New Jalpaiguri) sation.which is connected to all the major railway stations. 
  • The nearest airport to Darjeeling is Bagdogra airport.
  • The nearest bus stand to Darjeeling is the Siliguri bus stand. 
 
Raod Towards Darjeeling from Siliguri
Way to Darjeeling
 
  Distance Chart :
  • Darjeeling to NJP railway station distance = 73 km
  • Darjeeling to Bagdogra airport distance = 70 km
  • Darjeeling to Kalimpong distance = 51 km
  • Darjeeling to Gangtok distance =100  
The above distance chart has been prepared using google map distance calculator.

For car reserve :

From NJP or Bagdogra you can reserve an entire car to Darjeeling, it will be charged you from Rs. 2500 to Rs.4000 depending on the type of vehicle (4 seaters or 8 seaters) and your bargain power.

Best tourist places to visit at Darjeeling in 2020
(Picture Credit : – Debasmita Das)

For a shared vehicle :

To avail of a shared Transport, you must move to Siliguri from NJP railway station as there you will find transport, local used to avail.
If you are a budget traveler: 

Take a shared auto from outside of NJP station to Junction stoppage of Siliguri which will charge you Rs.20 per head.

At Junction taxi stand, you will find TATA SUMO and Bollero are standing for Darjeeling. 
 
Shred car charges you Rs.200 per seat, I will recommend you to book two front seats by paying Rs. 50 per seat extra for a bit comfortable journey.
On the way to Darjeeling
The roads towards Darjeeling (Picture credit: Debasmita Das)

 

Bus service :

From outside of NJP station take an auto-rickshaw to Tenzing Norgay / NBSTC 
(North Bengal State Transport Corporation) bus stand. You can get a bus to 
Darjeeling from here, it will cost you Rs.110 per head.

Bus fare fro Tenjing Norgay Bus Stand
Bus Timing to Darjeeling and other locations from Tenzing Norgay Bus Stand (Picture credit: Tarun Kanti Das)

 

Joy ride : 

You can also book your Joy ride (Steam engined Toy Train) from NJP to Darjeeling, which will arrive at Darjeeling via Ghoom Railway Station. You can book online tickets from IRCTC or any Railway reservation Ticket counter.

Toy Train (Picture credit Surajit-Ghosh )

 

Our journey To Darjeeling : 

There are many routes to reach Darjeeling, most used routes are – you can go to Darjeeling either via Kurseong or you may go to Darjeeling through of Tista bazaar.


At Darjeeling Taxi Stand (Picture credit: Sayantan Pal)



Our driver took the second option to reach Darjeeling. It took 3 hours to arrive at Darjeeling via of Tista bazaar.

On the way, we enjoyed the beauty of the river Teesta. 

At Teesta Bazar, our driver took a halt for refreshment. After having some snacks and tea in a tea stall we noticed that locals are selling woolen clothes and fresh vegetables.

From this spot the view of Teesta is very mesmerizing, we have clicked a few snaps and start our journey. 


Roads of Darjeeling (Picture credit Surajit-Ghosh)




The route goes through the Peshok Tea Estate if you are traveling in a reserved car you may consider to halt here for a while and enjoy the view of Peshok Tea Garden.

On a sunny day, you may have the fortune to view the Kanchenjunga, on the way to Darjeeling. 

Darjeeling (Picture credit:by-Soumik-Das )

Where to Stay :

After arriving at Darjeeling, your first job is to book a hotel if you already haven’t. But prior booking is recommended. 
 
At Darjeeling, you will find accommodation for all types of budget. From homestays to five star rated hotels are available at Darjeeling. 
 
I will update our database shortly for Darjeeling accommodations.
 
Keep in mind that cars are not going to drop you on the doorstep of your hotels at Darjeeling. There is no entry for tourist cars most of the time in some of the places at Darjeeling like Chow Rasta or Mall Area.

Darjeeling Mall (Picture credit: Nabarun Banerjee)




As we had opted for a shared cab, we had to walk at least 15 to 20 minutes to the Darjeeling Mall area or Chowrasta where we decided to stay.
 
Don’t entertain agents for hotel booking, I will rather recommend you to go to the lower Toong Soong Road, Chauk Bazar and book your hotel at this place.
 
It is located at a walking distance of 5 to 10 minutes from Darjeeling mall and hotels are much cheaper than those are situated in a proper mall area. 

if you are a budget traveler: Walkthrough the passing by narrow lanes beside Astabal and you could easily book your hotel for a double-bedded room which will charge you around Rs.800 to Rs.1500 per night for a cozy stay. Day-1:

After shifted to our room and getting refreshed, we have decided to spend the evening at the Mall area of Darjeeling. 

Budget Hotel at Darjeeling in 2020
View from our room of Hotel IVY Castel at Darjeeling


So, we spent the evening at the mall area and explored the Mahal market adjacent to the Mall and also did some shopping.

For dinner, we moved to the club stand are and have our dinner in a local Nepali restaurant. Though it was a Nepali restaurant, Bengali food was available there.
We had one veg thali (Cost Rs. 90/- per plate) and one chicken thali for our dinner (Cost Rs -140).

Budget Hotel at Darjeeling in 2020
View from our Hotel
We had our lunch and dinner at hotel Mahakal at Club Stand area near Sonar Banga Hotel during our stay at Darjeeling. The quality of food and ambiance both were good.
Important note: Complete your dinner and return to your hotel within 8:30PM to 9PM as all stores close within that time at Darjeeling.
Day-2:
The next day we planned to explore the best tourist places in Darjeeling. The top 10 popular tourist places to visit at Darjeeling are :
  • Tiger Hill
  • Batasia loop
  • Ghoom Monastery
  • Padmaja Naidu Himalayan zoological park
  • Himalayan Mountaineering Institute
  • Japanese Temple 
  • Peace Pagoda
  • Rock Garden
  • Happy Valley Tea Estate
  • Mahakal temple
Most of the tourists visit the Tiger hill for the spectacular view of Mt. Kanchenjungha and to enjoy the sunrise from Tiger Hill at Darjeeling, but we dropped that plan as the weather was very cloudy.
Sunrise-at-Tiger-Hill at Darjeeling in 2020
Sunrise-at-Tiger-Hill (Picture credit Somnath Chakraborty)


If it is your first visit to Darjeeling you must consider visiting Tiger Hill because Darjeeling trip is incomplete without Tiger Hill.  

For visiting Tiger hill you must book your reserved car the day before your trip, it will cost around Rs.1500 to Rs.2500 depending on the vehicle. 

Some times also shared trips are available to Tiger Hill, which may cost you Rs.200 per seat.
  

Morning at Tiger hill of Darjeeling (Picture credit  Atin Banerjee)


To visit the popular sightseeing places you can reserve the car from your hotel. Most of the hotels of Darjeeling conduct sightseeing tours.

Generally, the cost for a day tour depends on multiple factors like the type of vehicle and the number of spots we wish to visit.

Tour packages like 3 points, 5 points, 7 points, and mixed points are very popular in Darjeeling.  

Three points : 

It covers Tiger Hill, Batasia Loop, Ghoom Monastery.
 
Cost: Generally Rs. 1500 for a four-seater and Rs. 2000 for an eight-seater car with Tiger hill permit.   
 

Five Points :

It covers Japanese Temple & Peace pagoda, Lal Kothi, Ava Art Gallery, Natural History,  Museum, Dhirdham Temple.
 
Cost: Generally Rs. 1800 for a four-seater and Rs. 2200 for an eight-seater car. 

Seven Points :

This package covers the Himalayan Mounteniyaring Institute, Zoological Garden, Tenzing Rock, Ropeway, Tibetan Refugee Self Help Center, Lebong Stadium, Happy Valley Tea Estate.

Cost: Generally Rs. 2000 for a four-seater and Rs. 2500 for an eight-seater car.

Mixed Points :

You can choose the spots as you wish and plan the tour accordingly.

We have planned not to go with the predefined spots and selected a few spots of our choice.

To book the car for the trip I always suggest, to reserve the car from any of Darjeeling Syndicate Taxi Stand rather than from any cab driver or agent as the rates are fixed in all syndicate Taxi Stands run by the owners of cars and drivers association.

bhanu bhawan darjeeling
Bhanu Bhawan Darjeeling

 

We booked an Alto from the syndicate which charged us Rs.1500.

Our first tourist spot is  Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park and Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and the Museum. 

These three spots are situated in the same area. So you can buy a combined ticket to explore these three places which will cost you Rs.60, the charges for the camera are extra.

The Zoological park was founded in 1958. The Zoo is at the highest altitude in India i.e 7,000 feet. 

The main attraction is an endangered snow leopard, Himalayan wolf, white tiger, Red Panda, and many beautiful birds.

The Mountaineering Institute was founded in the memory of Tenzing Norgay, the renowned sherpa. 

Here you will find many all types of equipment required for mountaineering. They also offered Training regarding rock climbing and Mountaineering.


Our next destination is Tenzing and Gombu Rock.

Tenzing Rock was founded in the Memory of great sherpa, Tenzing Norgay who climbed Everest.

The Gombu Rock was founded in the memory of Nawang Gombu.

You can enjoy the test of Rock climbing in any of these rocks by paying a nominal fee.
On your way, you can see popular St. Joseph’s School Darjeeling. 
Then we visited the Japanese Temple & Peace Pagoda. Both are adjacent to each other.

Peace Pagoda
Peace Pagoda


We were amazed by the calm environment of the Japanese Temple. 

In the Peace Pagoda, you will find various idols of Lord Buddha. The view from the Peace Pagoda is also very charming. 

Japanese Temple
Japanese Temple



After spending some time here we moved towards our next destination was Ghoom Monastery.

Ghoom Monastery
After visiting the Ghoom Monestry we moved towards the Batasia Loop. 

batasia loop darjeeling
Batasia loop Darjeeling
Next, we moved to Happy Valley Tea Estate which is the second-largest tea plantation in Darjeeling. Here you can see the Tea processing but for that, you will be charged Rs.100 extra.

Happy Valley Tea Estate


We have not entered the Happy Vally Tea Plantation but we have explored the Tea garden. 

Happy Valley Tea Estate



We have dropped the plan to visit Lebong tea garden and on our way back, we asked the cab driver to drop you near Bhanu Bhavan as you could go and explore the Mahakal Market and other nearby markets for shopping.

 Day-3

On day 3 morning enjoy the picturesque magnificence of Darjeeling from Darjeeling Mall Area, which is considered as the core of the city.


Darjeeling Mall
You could walk towards Mahakal temple and visit Mahakal temple.


Darjeeling Mahakal Temple (Picture credit: Surajit Ghosh)

You may have your breakfast at the renowned Keventer’s CafĂ© situated on Neheru Street. Hot chocolate and the chicken platter are a must-try at Keventer’s.

Keventers at Darjeeling
Keventers at Darjeeling


**If you want to enjoy the Ropeway ride plan your time return accordingly.

Ropeway Darjeeling



After breakfast, I would suggest you hire your cab from in front of hotel Ramada and plan your return journey to NJP.

For a four-seater, it will charge you around Rs.3000.

Mahakal Temple (Picture credit :Debasmita-Das)

 

Budget :

The budget for the Darjeeling tour completely depends upon you. Here you will find five-star Luxury hotels as well as hostels and holiday homes for accommodation. 

Both reserved and shared vehicles are available to reach Darjeeling and for visiting popular tourist destinations.

As a budget traveler, I am sharing our budget for Darjeeling trip :
  • Expense to reach Darjeeling :

NJP to Siliguri by auto-rickshaw: Rs.20 per head. Siliguri Junction Taxi stand to Darjeeling on a shared car: 200/- per head (pay Rs.50 extra and take the two front seats).

 
You could also reserve a car from NJP to Darjeeling which will charge you from Rs. 2500 to Rs.3500.
 
 

Accommodation: 

We have stayed at hotel IVY Castle, at lower Tung sung road which is very near to Darjeeling Mall.
 
Never go for their regular rooms, we have booked one for the first day and had a bitter experience and the next day we have booked a deluxe room which is much better. 
 
Both of the rooms we had booked from Goibibo which costs Rs.800 for the regular room and Rs.850 for the deluxe room. Both rooms are with a geyser facility. 
 
Still, I would not recommend this hotel.As per my opinion from Darjeeling, you will get your budget-friendly accommodation from Rs.800 to Rs.1500. For more details check our database.

Fooding:

 

We liked the food at the hotel Mahakal which is near to the club stand area. They offer a meal (Thali) system. For breakfast, you must consider Keventers for at least once for its famous Hot chocolate, Darjeeling tea, and chicken platter.  

The expense for Sightseeing & return to NJP:

  • We have booked our car (4 seaters) for Darjeeling Sight-seeing for Rs.1500.
  • For your return to NJP, you will get shared cars from in front of Hotel Ramada which charged Rs.150 per head.

Important points to be noted :

  • Try to book your hotel near the Darjeeling Mall area as that is the heart of the place.
  • After reaching Darjeeling, many agents approached us for hotel booking, my suggestion is to avoid them and if the possible book your hotel in advance.
  • For sightseeing purposes, either book your car from the hotel or from the Darjeeling Taxi association.
  • Market closes at around 8:00 PM to 8:30 Pm at Darjeeling, try to return to your room by the time.
 

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