Sterling Holidays

I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.

- Mary Anne Radmacher

Investment in travel is an investment in yourself.

- Matthew Karsten

To awaken alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.

- Freya Stark

To travel is to a journey into yourself

- Danny Kaye

Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by.

- Robert Frost

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page

- St Augustine

Wherever you go, go with all your heart

- Confucius

The more I traveled the more I realized that fear makes strangers of people who should be friends.

- Shirley MacLaine

I enjoy the preparatory elements of travel - packing my bags and choosing my outfits - but my favourite part is getting there

- Dominic Monaghan

For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.

- Robert Louis Stevenson

There is no moment of delight in any pilgrimage like the beginning of it.

- Charles Dudley Warner

My Favourite thing is to go where I have never been

- Diane Arbus

A traveler without observation is a bird without wings.

- Moslih Eddin Saadi

It's been a huge blessing, being able to travel and have a great life

- Seann William Scott

We travel, some of us forever, to seek other places, other lives, other souls.

- Anais Nin

Once a year, go someplace you've never been before

- Dalai Lama

Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.

- Anonymous

Like all great travelers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen

- Benjamin Disraeli

Travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in this world

- Gustave Flaubert

I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.

- Susan Sontag

The use of traveling is to regulate imagination with reality, and instead of thinking of how things may be, see them as they are.

- Samuel Johnson

He who would travel happily must travel light.

- Antoine de St. Exupery

Life is a trip. Plan your next vacation.

- Matthew Fryer

Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.

- Ibn Battuta

One way to get the most out of life, is to look at it as an adventure

- William Feather

Don’t wait for the perfect moment. Take the moment and make it perfect.

- Zoey Sayward

It is not down in any map; true places never are.

- Herman Melville

I travel a lot; I hate having my life disrupted by routine.

- Caskie Stinnett

In both business and personal life, I've always found that travel inspires me more than anything else I do

- Ivanka Trump

One of the great things about travel is that you find out how many good, kind people there are.

- Edith

Our happiest moments as tourists always seem to come when we stumble upon one thing while in pursuit of something else.

- Lawrence Block

Sterling Holidays

TEA TOWN BY THE HIMALAYAS

The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a little toy train that chugs up the mountain at about 13 kilometres an hour. It’s an ideal pace to wind through thick forests of oak, maple, chestnut, walnut, pear, cherry and cardamom plants. The rolling slopes are carpeted with tea plantations, interspersed with rhodendrons, magnolias and orchids, and Tibetan flags flutter on the Hussel Khola stream. There is a steady, perceptible drop in atmospheric temperature as you putter along, especially as the train reaches Ghoom, the highest point of its journey at 7,407 feet. From here, it descends 1,000 feet through an incredible 5-kilometre loop to arrive at Darjeeling. As you get off the train, you notice how cold it is compared to when you boarded the train at Siliguri or New Jalpaiguri.

Darjeeling, the land of tea plantations and one of the most popular hill stations in India, is situated at an altitude of 6,710 feet in the Mahabharat or Lesser Himalaya range, right beside the spectacular Himalayas. Kanchenjunga, the world’s third-highest mountain peak, is always in the backdrop. Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain peak, may briefly appear amid the clouds on a clear day.

As fascinating as the natural landscape are the natives of the hills of Darjeeling, the Lepchas, the Gorkhas, the Sherpas, and the Bhutias with their distinctive Nepali and Tibetan influence. Tibetan noodle soup called Thupka and the Tibetan momo, steamed dumplings of vegetables or meat wrapped in dough and served in soup, are the most cherished foods. Tibetan thangkas (silk paintings with Buddhist themes), singing bowls, and prayer wheels are as popular takeaways as Darjeeling tea.

The days in Darjeeling fly past as you visit high-altitude monasteries and tea gardens, bite into momos, and tap singing bowls.


FACT FILE

  • Area: 3,149 sq km
  • Altitude: 6,710 ft (Darjeeling town)
  • State: West Bengal
  • Distance from nearby towns/ cities: Mirik (50 km), Siliguri (80 km), Kurseong (35 km), Kalimpong (51 km), Gangtok (115 km), Kolkata (665 km)
  • Take away: Darjeeling tea, famous for its musky spicy taste and aroma, is a must-buy. Pouches of various varieties of the tea make great gifts too. Thangka, a Tibetan silk painting with embroidery that depicts a Buddhist deity, a scene from a story, or mandala, is another cherished buy. Apart from these, the markets of Darjeeling are full of Tibetan and Himalayan handicrafts and religious objects that make wonderful souvenirs.

TRAVEL ANECDOTES

  • DOW HILL FOREST: ONE OF THE MOST HAUNTED PLACES IN INDIA
  • Keventer's Restaurant: The Breakfast Haven
  • SNOW LEOPARD: THE ENDANGERED WILD CAT
  • CHATTAKPUR, WHERE ECOLOGY MEETS NATURE
  • SANDAKPHU: THE MISTY MOUNTAINS COLD
  • BOAT ORCHID: A TREAT FOR THE EYES
  • LATPANCHAR: BIRDWATCHER’S PARADISE
  • Sterling HolidaysSterling HolidaysSterling HolidaysSterling Holidays
GHOOM MONASTERY: A SLICE OF TIBET
  • CORONATION BRIDGE: THE RIVER GATEWAY TO DARJEELING
  • ST. MARY’S HILL: the Grotto OF PEACE  AND SOLITUDE
  • PHAGSHAPA: FIERY FLAVOUR FIESTA
  • RED PANDA : DARJEELING'S RED CAT BEAR

#1. DOW HILL FOREST: ONE OF THE MOST HAUNTED PLACES IN INDIA Located at a distance of one hour from Darjeeling, the Dow Hill forest is the most mysterious locale of Kurseong. Urban legends confirm haunted and supernatural phenomenon surrounding the forest which add to its mysticism. It's rumoured that the many unnatural deaths and suicides surrounding the place have earned it the nickname of 'Suicide Forest'.

#2. Keventer's Restaurant: The Breakfast Haven Darjeeling is well renowned for Keventer’s Restaurant and the exquisite sumptuous breakfast served there. Since years, its delectable English breakfasts have attracted several tourists. The most popular of them is the mouth-watering spread of salver served with ham, bacon and eggs. The restaurant also has a popular roof terrace which is a delight for natural ambient lovers. What’s more? Anurag Basu’s acclaimed movie ‘Barfi’ starring Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra was shot on this very open roof.

#3. SNOW LEOPARD: THE ENDANGERED WILD CAT Darjeeling is the natural habitat of snow leopards - an endangered species of wild cat. Similar to leopards but smaller in size, these wild cats primarily live in mountainous regions. Darjeeling's Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park serves as a breeding centre for snow leopards as an initiative to save this endangered species.

#4. CHATTAKPUR, WHERE ECOLOGY MEETS NATURE With the blend of exotic hills, picturesque huts and lush terrain, Chattakpur scores high as the perfect eco-village to take on for your trekking adventures. For birdwatchers, this village is a paradise as some of the rarest birds flock together here. Located at a distance of one hour from Darjeeling, this village is well-maintained by the Forest Department of West Bengal.

#5.SANDAKPHU: THE MISTY MOUNTAINS COLD The highest peak of West Bengal, Sandakphu rests around a 2-hour drive from Darjeeling. Situated on the edge of Singalila National Park, the summit offers breathtaking views of nature’s snow-lands of the Singalila Ridge and the peaks Kanchenjunga , Everest, Lhotse and Makalu. The peak of Sandakphu is accessible both by car and by trekking. Since the mountain roads are sometimes too rough to cover, trekking from Singalila National Park offers an alternative adventure.

#6. BOAT ORCHID: A TREAT FOR THE EYES Darjeeling is home to Cymbidium or Boat Orchid, a visually alluring orchid which grows in nurseries all over in Darjeeling. The unique thing about this orchid is that it is a delicacy for people from Bhutanese origins, as they cook it in a spicy curry or stew called 'olatshe' or 'olachoto'.

#7. LATPANCHAR: BIRDWATCHER’S PARADISE At a one and a half hour drive from Darjeeling, lies Latpanchar, the highest point of Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary. A fascinating place for photographers and birdwatchers, this place hosts a plethora of migratory birds in various seasons. As for the wildlife sanctuary, animals like deer, barking deer, wild boars, leopards and elephants can be found in abundance. The plantations of Cinchona adorn the region as well which add the right bit of mysticism to this awe-inspiring place.

#8. GHOOM MONASTERY: A SLICE OF TIBET The Yogi Choeling Monastery, popularly known as the Ghoom Monastery, is a Buddhist place of worship and spiritual training that was built in 1875. Located at Ghoom (or Ghum) at about 8 km above of Darjeeling, this monastery has a collection of rare Buddhist scriptures and text. The serenity of this place intrigues and captivates tourists from all over the world with their essence and culture of Tibet and Buddhism.

#9. CORONATION BRIDGE: THE RIVER GATEWAY TO DARJEELING Also known as the Sevoke Bridg, the Coronation Bridge spans over the Teesta River connecting the districts of Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri. Named to commemorate the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in 1937, this bridge is a renowned architecture in the landscape of Darjeeling. The gateway of this steel-crafted bridge is adorned by two lions giving it the nickname of ‘Baghpul’ (Tiger Bridge). The entire bridge is built on a fixed arch which was tactically constructed to support the bridge on the bed of Teesta River. While travelling from Siliguri, this bridge welcomes tourists to Darjeeling.

#10. ST. MARY’S HILL: A MILLION DOLLAR VIEW St. Mary’s Hill is a beautiful tourist place in Kurseong, located at an hour's drive from Darjeeling. Surrounded with lush green forests, the hill stands as one of the best picnic spots near Darjeeling. It also hosts the Church of St. Mary’s situated near its peak along with the beautiful Church of St. John’s. There is also a renowned statue of Mary and Jesus at a cave called St. Mary’s Grotto. Famous for its architectural brilliance, this one keeps the tourist mesmerised.

#11. PHAGSHAPA: FIERY FLAVOUR FIESTA The cuisine of Darjeeling has heavy influences from Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet. Phagshapa, is one of the exotic dishes that one must try out on a visit to Darjeeling. The dish consists of a preparation made from fried pork with chilies and radish put in the mix to enhance the flavour. Since no other spices are added, the taste and the aroma of the chilies are well highlighted in its taste. A Nepali platter by origin, Phagshapa is well cherished by the local residents as well as tourists alike.

#12. RED PANDA : DARJEELING'S RED CAT BEAR Known as the lesser panda or the red-cat bear, the Red Panda is an endangered arboreal mammal whose conservation measures are well catered to in Darjeeling at the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park. The red panda’s diet thrives on mainly on bamboo shoot and leaves and small fruits from trees. Being slightly larger than a domestic cat – the red panda looks adorable in its reddish brown fur and its long shaggy tail.


Photo gallery

Location on Map

WEATHER

Summer Winter Monsoon

Summer
8C°C – 25°C

Winter
-1°C – 10°C

Monsoon
Jun to Sep

BEST TIME TO VISIT

Sterling Holidays

March to mid-June and September to November are the best months to visit Darjeeling. By end-June, heavy rains make this town damp and dark, while temperatures fall below freezing point in December to February.

The spring months of April-May are the ideal time to see the flowers like rhododendrons, roses, dahlias, etc in full bloom.

Activities at a glance

  • Trekking

    Trekking

  • White water rafting

    White water rafting


STERLING NETWORK RESORT

Sterling Holidays
Helpdesk number

91 81450 87479

Sterling Holidays

Ghoom Monastery Road, Ghoom,Darjeeling,
West Bengal - 734102


Ghoom Monastery Road, Ghoom,
Darjeeling,
West Bengal - 734102
Phone: +91 0354 2275011
Fax: +91 354 227 4365
Email: info.resorts@sterlingholidays.com