Whether you’re a nature lover, adrenaline junkie or a culture vulture, there are plenty of things to do in Darjeeling during your visit. Take a ride aboard the charming little toy train, trek up to Tiger Hill just in time to catch the sunrise, channel your inner zen at Peace Pagoda, go gushing down the River Teesta or amble along Chowk Bazaar in search of precious little trinkets. Here is everything you can do in Darjeeling.
Mountain Lovers! Here Are All Things Fun You Can Do In Darjeeling
Take A Joy RIde On The Toy Train
The Toy Train Ride definitely rates as one of the top things to do in Darjeeling. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is recognised by UNESCO to be “the most outstanding example of a hill passenger railway” in the world. Don’t miss it for the world. Experience a languid ride enjoying wonderful views as the ancient steam train hoots, hisses and chug-a-lugs its way round the mountain. This train runs from NJP station to the township of Darjeeling, covering a distance of 88 kms. If you're not so eager to travel the whole hog from NJP, we suggest you take the joy ride trains from Darjeeling to Ghum and back. Make the most of the stopover at Batasia Loop, taking in the breath-taking surroundings. Tickets cost INR 1100 (for steam loco) and INR 630 (for diesel loco) and include entry to the railway museum in Ghum (highest railway station in India).
Meditate At The Peace Pagoda
Visit the Peace Pagoda, one of the most popular attractions of Darjeeling for an outright serene and tranquil experience. Located among the rolling hills of the Jalapahar area in Darjeeling, it is one of the 30 such pagodas in the world that were established by the Japanese Buddhist monk Nichidatsu Fujii as a way of promoting world peace and harmony. Perfect place to escape the chaos and meditate in the quiet.
Revel In A Sunrise At Tiger Hill
No trip to Darjeeling is complete without watching the Sun rise at Tiger Hill. Located 11 kms from the town of Darjeeling. Tiger Hill is on the summit of India's highest railway station, Ghum. To experience Tiger Hill in all its glory you need to leave by 3.30am in the morning to reach there at least half an hour prior to sunrise to witness alpenglow (an optical phenomenon that makes the mountains appear to glow in a pink or reddish hue just after the sunset or before sunrise). That view is worth all the trouble you may have taken to wake up early.
Learn The Ropes At The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute
If you’re a climbing enthusiast or an adventure seeker, this one’s for you. This place offers great insights into the equipment and skills needed to conquer some of the highest peaks in the world. They have Rock Climbing and other basic activities for one-time tourists who do not want to get into full-fledged courses. The basic course will set you back by INR 4000/- per person lasting for a month while rock climbing and other activities cost a mere 200 bucks per person. Whatever be the duration, the entire experience is unmatched and completely exhilarating.
Spot Rare Wildlife At The Himalayan Zoological Park
Whatever you do, don't miss visiting this zoo dedicated to the conservation of endangered Himalayan species. Get ready to meet the red pandas, Tibetan wolves, Himalayan black bears, clouded leopards and other big cats. Built on the mountainside, the hilly landscapes and natural setting helps the species of north eastern Himalayas survive without difficulty.
Go On A Tea Trail At Happy Valley
If you want to know what really goes into your cup of tea, head to the Happy Valley Estate. This scenic tea garden spread over 450 acres of land, is one of the world’s highest tea factories, located at an altitude of 6500 ft. We recommend you take a guided tour of the tea estate to learn about the different blends, varieties and growing methods of tea. The plantation shows off the best nature has to offer, so don’t forget to sample the tea grown here. There is also a shop on the estate where you can pick up your favourites tea from. Make sure you book your tour at least a day in advance.
River Raft On The Teesta
Calling all adrenaline junkies! Gushing down the mountains, the foaming white water stretches with varying rapids (from grade 1 to 4). It is excellent for rafting for both beginners as well as seasoned rafters. Combine rafting with camping beside the Teesta River for the best experience. The River Teesta offers rafting opportunities all around the year. Avoid the monsoon season though. March to June is the ideal season.
Shop Till You Drop At The Local Markets
Darjeeling is a delight for every kind of shopper. From the local favourite Chowk Bazaar to the tourist haunt of Mall Road, there are many places where you can go shopping. If you’re looking for one of the best places to pick up knick-knacks to take back home as gifts then you must head down Nehru Road. Here you will find a number of stalls selling handicrafts such as engraved gems, pendants, carvings and other trinkets, made locally and of course a multitude of local teas; something the region is famous for. Bhutia Market is where you will get all your winter wear and fancy jackets at very reasonable prices.