Darjeeling, located at an average elevation of 6710 ft in the Mahabharat Range or Lesser Himalaya, is popularly known as “Queen of Hills”. Snow-clad Himalayan ranges tower over this internationally acclaimed tourist destination in West Bengal.
In fact Darjeeling is famous for six Ts – Tourism, Toy Train, Tiger Hill, Tea, Teak and Trekkers’ paradise. Kanchenjunga, the third highest peak in the world with an altitude of 28968 ft. can be clearly seen from Darjeeling. Mount Everest is also visible from the town when the sky is clear.
Earlier this place was known as Taajling. The people living in the nearby village used to sit on a huge boulder there and gossip. Taaji and lung (loong) meant gossip and rock respectively in the tribal language. Later the Britishers named the place Darjeeling when they landed there.
In the 19th century, the Britishers set up a sanatorium in the area. Soon it became the summer capital of the Britishers when they preferred to stay in the hill station to avoid the hot conditions in the plains. They found the hill area fit for tea cultivation. Later they also found Darjeeling is suitable to grow teak.
The 88-km-long Darjeeling-Himalayan narrow gauge railway line is a major attraction for the tourists in the hill station. This railway line finds a place in the World Heritage Site list of the UNESCO.
Another hot destination of the tourists is Tiger Hill. Kanchenjunga can be clearly seen from the Hill. The ideal time to visit the place is in the morning when the first rays of sun hit Kanchenjunga. Darjeeling is also a paradise for the trekkers. The hill station is surrounded by dense forests which are rich in flora and fauna.
The Padmaja Naidu Himalaya Zoological Park in Darjeeling is undertaking the responsibility of conserving the endangered species of animals. The Lloyds Botanical Garden preserves the plant species.
Darjeeling has a pleasant climate with the temperature ranging from 9 degree centigrade to 15 degree centigrade. Bagdogra is the nearest airport, which is 90 km from the town. The Siliguri-Darjeeling National Highway and the Jalpaiguri-Darjeeling Himalayan railway line connect the hill station with the plains.
Darjeeling has large number of hotels to cater to the needs of the various categories of tourists. Among the high-end Darjeeling hotels are Mayfair Darjeeling, Elgin Darjeeling, Windamere Hotel, Viceroy Hotel, Fortune Resort and Sterling Resorts.
The mid-range and budget Darjeeling hotels include Olde Main Bellevue Heritage Hotel, Seven Seas Hotel, Hotel Sonar Bangla, Fairmont Hotel, Rama Holiday Inn, Sailung Hotel, Hotel Mohit, Hotel Zodiac, Bellevue Hotel, Shangrila Regency, Seven Seventeen and Darjeeling Planters Club. The luxury Darjeeling hotels offer modern amenities like room service, conference hall, in-house restaurant, car rental, laundry and gymnasium.
For more information on resorts in Darjeeling and popular Darjeeling hotels visit HolidayIQ.