Entering Darjeeling is like travelling back in time to the days of the British Raj, a vertical Victorian London - like town populated with oriental faces. Church spires and brick chimneys dominate the skyline.
The oldest site in Darjeeling is Observatory Hill, known locally as “Makal-Babu-Ko-Thaan”. According to legend, a Red Hat Buddhist Monastery called Dorje Ling, or 'place of the Thunderbolt', stood at this very spot. The Nepal is destroyed it in the 19th century. The Shivas and Buddhists share the temple that stands there today.
While in Darjeeling a visit to any nearby Tea Garden to watch the actual process of the manufacturing of Darjeeling Tea is worth it. Some of the Tea Gardens also sell their packet teas. There are about 70 tea gardens in this hill region and the most accessible one is the Happy Valley Tea Estate, which is about 3 kms. from the town or within a walking distance of about 40 minutes.
Darjeeling Rangeet Valley Passenger Ropeway
This Ropeway is in one of the most beautiful part of the town and is situated at North Point about three kms. from town. The cable car ride takes six passengers at a time and it passes over the lush green tea gardens with breathtaking view of the mountains Kanchenjunga and provides an experience that cannot be easily forgotten. The valley has glorious views of Sikkim and the river Rangeet.
The Mall is Darjeeling's popular commercial street. It is lined with Tibetans selling hand-knitted sweaters and souvenir shops chock-full of Himalayan artifacts and both real and imitation antiques. Photo shops carry turn-of-the-century photos as well as specializing in hand-painted black and white prints with glowing oil colours. The Mall leads to Chaurasta, a square, which doubles as a bandstand, a pony riding arena for children and a heaven for lovers.
The Chowrasta, meaning crossroad, is a peak of commercial activity. The Mall road originates and culminates at the Chowrasta. This is the heart of Victorian Darjeeling. Here hotels, restaurants and shops brush against each other. The shops and stalls are a veritable paradise for souvenir collectors. The Bhutanese sellers display their wares. Woolen garments, tribal ornaments, Thankas, rosaries, brass statuettes and Gorkha daggers are kept on display for sale. Foreign goods are also available in some shops. Local handicrafts are much in demand.
Tibetan Refuge Camp
The area in and around Darjeeling is a treasure chest of interesting destinations. The Tibetan Refugee self-help scheme produces traditional artifacts, Jewellery and carpets for tourist consumption.
Situated at an altitude of 8,482 ft. and thirteen kms from the town, this spot has earned international fame for the magnificent view of the sunrise over "Kanchenjunga" and the great Eastern Himalayan Mountains. Even Mount Everest, the world's highest peak, is visible from here.
Phalut & Sandakphu
A week's smallest-trip of Phalut and Sandakphu will get one within reach of the high peaks for the onlooker it affords a more spectacular panorama than at Tiger Hill. Giant flowering Rhododendron trees, a collection of reds pinks and whites Dwarfs comprise of the en route trail. On attaining heights of over 3,048 mts one is surrounded by skeletal trees devoid of leaves and branches, which are especially eerie when the clouds roll in and envelop the area.
Further afield, in Pashupati on the Nepal border, one can purchase foreign goods at reasonable prices, view wildlife such as the endangered one-horned Rhino, Deer, Gaur, and wild boar while seated atop an Elephant's back at Jaldapara Game Park; learn of the Lepcha legend at the confluence of the Teesta and Ranjeet Rivers; relive Kalimpong's past glory as a trading post by visiting the market filled with traditional Tibetan medicine, spices, musk, wool and silk; or for the truly adventurous-hire some ponies and a crew and take to the hills.
Kueseong is mid-way between Siliguri and Darjeeling. The way from Darjeeling to Kurseong is generally open throughout the year. So, the toy train is not coming to Siliguri then one can come up to Kurseong. This place is equally beautiful and is full of natural splendor.
Mirik is fifty two km from Siliguri and fifty five kms from the nearest Airfield of Bagdogra. Mirik is being developed as a new hill station in the mountains. Tea estates, orange orchards and cardamom plantations surround Mirik. It has all the facilities to fulfill the needs of a tourist.
Siliguri / New Jalpaiguri
The twin Cities of Siliguri and New Jalpaiguri are the departure point to Darjeeling, Sikkim and the North Eastern states. Being the nodal point this place has become very busy and crowded. Siliguri also acts as a transit point for Nepal. Tourists come to Siliguri and New Jalpaiguri mainly to change bus or catch trains.
Kalimpong is within Darjeeling province and is a sub-division of Darjeeling. It is a small but bustling town in the Himalayan foothills of West Bengal - Kalimpong is at an altitude of 1,250 mts. This bazaar town was originally a part of Bhutan but later it was taken over by the British and finally it settled down with West Bengal.
Darjeeling Gymkhana Club Ltd.
One of the most well equipped Clubs of the region with facilities of Indoor and Outdoor games. Visitors may become temporary members over here.
This is popularly known as the Planter's Club and has the best possible location in town and has a breathtaking view of the mountains and valleys. Approachable directly by car and has parking area. Limited number of rooms and available for temporary members but permanent members have the first claim. Fully equipped kitchen, bar and other indoor game facilities are available here.
Senchal Golf Course
This nine-hole Golf Course is one of the highest Golf Course in the world (altitude 8,150 ft). It is near Tiger Hill and has a Club House and a Tourist Lodge.
Lebong Race Course
About eight km from the town, it is one of the smallest and highest Race Course in the world. Races are held during Spring & Autumn season under the management of local Gymkhana Club