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In & around Darjeeling

Situated at an altitude of above 8000 ft, Tiger Hill offers a picturesque and panoramic view of the Himalayas.

The best time to visit is before dawn, very early in the morning and is well worth it. Witness the rapidly changing colours over the Kanchenjunga peak in its kaleidoscopic splendor which will surely leave you spellbound. One can also catch a glimpse of Mt. Everest

Rising abruptly over ‘Chowrasta’ is the observatory hill, locally known as ‘Dara’.

From where, you can see the whole mesmerizing mountain range with more than 12 peaks of over 20,000 feet high each and the surrounding countryside, right up to Sikkim.

A few minutes away from Tiger Hill, the Senchal Lake is a great picnic spot.

Built during the British rule, the lake provides Darjeeling’s water supply.

Situated on the summit of Observatory Hill, this was once the location of a Buddhist monastery, ‘Dorje-Ling’. It is still of great sanctity to the Bhutia people of the region.

The temple’s three Shiva-Lingas (phallic stone structure) represent ‘Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwara’, Hindu icons of Creation, Growth and Destruction respectively.

While standing amidst the ringing bells and fluttering flags, one can feel the tranquility and the serenity of the place.

The Japanese Peace Pagoda was established by Nipponzan Myohoji, a Japanese Buddhist, to ensure peace and harmony in the region.

This pagoda, built in traditional Japanese architectural style, offers a peaceful retreat and a chance to interact with the Japanese monks.

Explore the most famous monastery in Darjeeling – ‘Yogachoeling Gompa’. It enshrines a huge, 15-ft. image of the ‘Maitreya Buddha’.

This magical monastery is often covered in mist and is old and dark, and so it is often affectionately called Gloom. Ghoom also has three other Gompas, namely, ‘Samdenchoeling’, ‘Sakyachoeling’ and ‘Phin Sotholing’.

Here, you can also enter the shrine and click some nice photographs.

Learn the basics of mountaineering from the real pros. Set up on the top of Birch Hill, the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute was established by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, in 1954, to encourage and train young boys and girls for mountaineering.

One of the founding members and also the Field Director of the Institute was legendary Sherpa Tenzing Norgey.

Today, the institute houses a museum which holds a rare collection of mementoes, historical mountaineering equipments and documents with regard to scaling of Mt. Everest and other peaks of the great Himalayan range.

This was once the courtyard of Sir Thomas Tartan’s bungalow, which was later developed into a public park.

After the destruction of the bungalow in an earthquake in 1934, this park became a popular shooting location for many Bollywood and Tollywood movies during the 1950s and 1960s.

After being neglected for a good while, the park was re-developed in the late 1990s. The park now boasts of a giant statue of Lord Shiva, a temple and a musical fountain.

The wildlife collection of this zoo is rarely seen elsewhere in India. The prime objective for establishing this in 1958 was to study the conservation and preservation of Himalayan fauna.

This zoo houses many rare species of animals including the Siberian Tiger, the Red Panda and the Tibetan Wolf. It also houses a Snow Leopard breeding centre.

Over 100 years old, this 40-acre flower-filled garden is home to some of the best flora in the region.

Chestnut, Ash, Birch, Magnolia and Maple trees can be found here. Orchids of almost all the Himalayan varieties find representation here.

Located in the heart of town, there is a wide promenade atop a ridge, lined with shops and restaurants.

A must-visit for everyone for some serious shopping, good cuisine or just to enjoy the environs and be at peace.

Ganga Maiya Park is about 3 km from the Rock Garden. It meanders down the course of a chortling mountain stream, past gazebos, clumps of flowering shrubs and trees, over hump-backed bridges and into a circular lake with paddle boats and a waterfall.

It has a small lake where boating facilities are available. Don’t miss the Gorkha folk dances performed here.

Situated almost 5 km from the town is the Batasia Loop (“windy place”), which is a huge railway loop for the Toy Train.

This is an engineering marvel to overcome the steep climb, which can be best experienced while taking a joyride. From here, you get breathtaking views of Darjeeling with the magnificent Kanchenjunga Peak in the background.

The school is situated in Darjeeling and shares the Jalapahar estate with an Indian Army Cantonment.

It is the highest public school in the world, located at 7,800 feet (2,400 m) above sea level.

The Kanchenjunga mountain range forms the scenic backdrop to the school.

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