India’s favorite hill station Darjeeling is famous for its two most important aspects- the signature Darjeeling tea and the breathtaking Himalayan vistas. While most tourists visit this quintessential hill station to hit the popular hotspots, there are some offbeat things to do in Darjeeling you must try on your next trip.
Known as the “Queen of Hills”, Darjeeling is the potpourri of some major tourists attraction to attract the wanderlust souls from around the globe. From mesmerizing snow-capped peaks, and captivating flora and fauna, to the diverse local culture, this mesmerizing hill station has everything you need to explore, rejuvenate and escape the boredom loop. Wondering how to explore the unexplored Darjeeling, by avoiding the maddening crowd and chatter? Here is your quick guide to explore and enjoy doing the best things in Darjeeling on budget.
Witnessing the breathtaking sunrise
Jumpstart your day by witnessing the divine sunrise from the Tiger Hills observatory desk. This is one popular tourist spot, offering a breathtaking view of the rising sun peeking behind the sparkling white Kanchenjunga, illuminated by its rays. Apart from sunrise, you can also see the majestic morning sky changing its hues rapidly, which is a sight to behold.
Sprawling tea estates
This scintillating hill station has sprawling tea estates spreading across its nooks and corners. Darjeeling houses some of the oldest tea estates like Makaibari, Gomtee tea resort, Happy Valley, and Chamong tea estate, which must be on your tripping bucket list. Take a tour of these emerald green tea gardens, where you can also experience the tea-making process and taste the heavenly taste and flavor of the authentic Darjeeling tea.
Keep Ghoom on your travel watchlist, the highest railway in India and the 14th highest in the world. You can reach Ghoom from Darjeeling or Siliguri, chugging through the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. This oldest railway track is a perfect example of an engineering marvel, recognized as a World Heritage site. When in Darjeeling this joy train ride to Ghoom is a must for magnificent sightseeing on both sides.
Traveling to Ghoom via Darjeeling Himalayan Railway alone is a wholesome vacationing experience in Darjeeling. While passing through this route, you will come across the Batasia Loop, the famous spiral railway track, regarded as an engineering marvel.
Besides the thrilling railway journey, Ghoom/Ghum has some amazing tourist destinations like the Ghoom monastery, also popularly known as the Yiga Choeling Gompa. Other famous monasteries to visit in Ghoom are Samten Choeling, Sakya Choeling, and Phin.
Darjeeling Himalayan Railway museum in Ghoom is a must-visit to witness the glorious past of the Himalayan railways. From the oldest ticket to the gradual upgradation of the steam, everything is up here for display.
Wildlife and sanctuaries
Darjeeling is a land of lush green woods and captivating mountain wildlife. Book a day or two from your Darjeeling trip to explore the diverse Himalayan flora and fauna at some of the famous natural parks like the Chapramari Wildlife sanctuary, Singalila National park, Jaldapara National park, and others. These natural wildlife reserves are your ideal getaway to explore the wild in its natural habitat.
If you are an adventure junkie, go trekking in the Singalila Ridge trek. Experience the raw nature and wildlife on this 5-day trekking. If the weather is favorable, you can also get a glimpse of the four highest peaks on this thrilling trekking adventure.
Learn the ABCD of mountaineering
If you have extra time from your Darjeeling trip, enroll in a mountaineering course at the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute. Here you can learn the basic to advanced mountaineering courses to hone your trekking and climbing skills.
Explore the local delicacies
Treat your buds to the local Darjeeling and Tibetan cuisines like momos, thukpa, pork curry, Gundruk, Aaloo Tama, and various lip-smacking cuisines. Exploring local food is also one of the best things to do in Darjeeling besides touring your heart out in this mesmerizing hill town.