A Trip to Darjeeling
Summer feels really hot over the Indian plains. With average temperature around 40 degree, it makes sense to hit hill stations. And Darjeeling just fits the bill.
It is a full-fledged tourist destination. Not only Indians, but tourists across the globe visit Darjeeling through out summer and fall.
It is well connected. If you prefer flight then nearest airport – Bagdogra - is just 96 km away. All major Private and public airways fly to Bagdogra.
In case you prefer Indian railway, nearest station with inter-city rail footprint is New Jalpaiguri or NJP. Here from, you can hop into one of the very few still-running fleets of steam-locomotives in the World for a joy ride to Ghoom. Due to technical problems, toy train service to Darjeeling has been suspended till 2013.
There are ‘n’ numbers (read finitely large) of private vehicles plying from NJP to Darjeeling every minute. You can charter one or share with fellow travelers at meager cost.
Tourism in Darjeeling today is multifaceted. Along with all common benefits of a hill station, it is now attracting more tourists for wildlife tourism, tea tourism, medical tourism, flower tourism and cultural tourism.
Unlike many other Indian hill stations, Darjeeling enjoys rich mix of people across different cultural backgrounds. Tibetans, Nepalese, Bhutanese and many other clans from Indian peninsula practice their way of living here independently.
If you have interest in botany or zoology, even as a layman, Darjeeling will surly surprise you with exotic variety flora and fauna. Waving tea gardens are satiating global tea-thirst with Darjeeling black tea for centuries. For all its richness, UNESCO declared the hill station as World Heritage Site.
There was a time when accommodation was a bit problem in Darjeeling. But things have changed a lot. Darjeeling Township now welcomes you with hotels across the budget varieties. Pamper your inner Lordship staying in Victorian styled heritage hotels or abide by the shoe-string budget for Darjeeling tour – it’s all up to you.
In case you haven’t booked your accommodation before the journey, you can rely on local touts. They are handy. But never trust their words without checking what’s on offer with your bare eyes.
For site-seeing there are many privately operated tour-packages. You can also ask your hotel management for arranging one for you. Price depends on means of transportation and numbers of attractions you like to cover.
Lastly, you must never miss an evening walk around the Mall. It’s the most romantic place in Darjeeling, draped in all sorts of colonial hangover.
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