People of West Bengal are familiar with Darjeeling because that is their go-to place for a quick vacay. Next time you plan for Darjeeling, try to extend your vacation for a day and visit India's highest railway station -- Ghum.
A small hilly locality in the Darjeeling Himalayan region, Ghum stands at 2,258 metres (7,407 ft), is the 7th highest railway station in Asia and the 24th highest in the world. Additionally, it is also part of the UNESCO World Heritage Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (popularly called the Toy Train). If you want to enjoy the toy train ride to its optimum potential, then you can hop on the starting point at New Jalpaiguri. Those who are not eager to travel all the way from New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling can enjoy a ride on the tourist train from Darjeeling to Ghum and back.
Yiga Choeling Gompa, famously known as the Ghum Monastery, is the most popular tourist spot here. The monastery belongs to the Gelukpa or Yellow Hat Sect and is distinguished by its 15-feet high statue of the Maitreya Buddha. People often confuse it with the Samten Choeling monastery which is located below the Ghum monastery, because many travel guides and taxi drivers take the tourists here since it's on the main road. Ghum monastery is actually located at an altitude of 8,000 feet. So you might want to keep all your winter clothes ready at hand.
Lastly, you have to visit Tiger Hill, which is located on the summit of Ghum standing at 8,500 ft and is the highest hill in the immediate surrounding. The only reason you need to visit Tiger Hill is to get a picturesque view of the Kanchenjunga. Do yourself a favour and wake up early to experience sunrise over the third-highest peak in the world, it's a sight you will carry back with you long after you have left Ghum.