Darjeeling is the legendary British hill
station perched in the foothills of the Himalayas. Located in the
northern extreme of the Indian state of West Bengal, Darjeeling is just
east of Nepal, just south of Sikkim, and a bit west and south of Bhutan.
It is most famous for its once magnificent tea estates. Despite a steady
and inexorable decline since independence, roughly a half century ago,
these estates still produce a substantial
For rail enthusiasts, however, Darjeeling is better known for its
"Toy Train." This famous narrow gauge steam railway plies its way from
Siliguri in the plains below up to Ghoom and Darjeeling in the hills.
For more information you can visit the site of Darjeeling Himalayan
Railway at www.dhrs.org.
- the name is derived from the Tibetian word 'Dorje' which means the
precious stone or ecclesiastical sceptre, which is emblematic of the
thunderbolt of Indra, and 'ling' - a place, hence the land of the
thunderbolt. The sceptre of Indra is believed to have fallen at a place
where now stands the Observatory Hill.
Blessed with a cool and bracing climate, and a panoramic view of the
Himalayas, the world renowned hill resort of Darjeeling is a welcome
respite during the hot summer months.
Situated at 2134 m above sea level, Darjeeling was
acquired by the British from the Raja of Sikkim as a gift around a
hundred and fifty years ago, and developed it as a rest and recreational
center for their troops. Today the town retains many of the legacies of
the British Government.
Darjeeling's population of about 100,000 is made up of people of many
races and religions. Gorkhas, Bhutias, Lepchas, Sherpas. Yolmos and
migrants from the plains have all made Darjeeling their home, and
everyone lives in perfect harmony; at the shrine at Observatory Hill,
you'll find Hindus and Buddhists offering prayers alongside each other.
The official language is Gorkhali (Nepali), but Hindi and Bengali are
also spoken, and almost everyone understands and speaks a bit of
How to Get to Darjeeling:
Foreigners visiting Darjeeling must possess an Indian visa. No special
permit is required for either traveling or trekking inside Darjeeling.
However, necessary travel documents need to be shown as and when
LOCAL TRANSPORT: Private Taxis,
Jeeps and Land rovers are available for local sightseeing in and around
AIR CONNECTIONS: Bagdogra Airport is
90 km (3 hours) from Darjeeling. There is a bus from the airport
to Darjeeling (3½ hr). A taxi to Darjeeling is Rs.700 or Rs.150 for a
seat in a shared taxi.
ROAD CONNECTIONS: Darjeeling is
connected with all weather metalled road with Siliguri, Kalimpong,
• Darjeeling - Kalimpong...51
• Darjeeling - Siliguri....78 km
• Darjeeling - Gangtok...94 km
RAIL CONNECTIONS: Out-station trains
(Indian Railways) generally come into
either New Jalpaiguri or Siliguri. From there, visitors may proceed to
Darjeeling by 'Toy Train" (journey time 6.5 to 7 hrs) or bus or
taxi or Limo Van (journey time 3 to 3.5 hrs) to Darjeeling.
CARS/BUSES: Tourist Cars, Tourist mini
coaches and Taxis are available for transfer of passengers between
Darjeeling and Siliguri/New Jalpaiguri Junction/ Bagdogra, and also for
sightseeing at fixed rates and may be reserved through Tourist Bureau,
Govt. of West Bengal, Darjeeling.