Darjeeling is a mesmerizing town filled with extreme beauty and a municipality situated in the Indian state, West Bengal. It is located in the lower Himalayan region at an altitude of 6,700 ft (2,042.2 m). The spectacular Kanchenjunga peak intensifies the beauty of this unmatchable hill station.
The Darjeeling town is small, but you may be amazed to know how many great places you can stretch for the adventures within short distances. The Darjeeling district is spread over an area of 3,000 sq. Km (including Kalimpong).
This article will give you the best Darjeeling tourist places and attractions including scenic beauties, parks, gardens, waterfalls, religious places, monasteries, museums, viewpoints, and a lot more including historic monuments and places.
It is very difficult to enjoy the sightseeing without having your own vehicle, but few of the places in the hill station are on the walking distance from the town center.
If you plan to visit some of these tourist places on foot, don’t forget some important things. The first distance in the hills is almost three times the same distance in the plains when you climb. And most of Darjeeling’s roads have loose inclination or slopes.
So long as you do not have the idea of walking around the hills, it cannot be as easy as you can think. Second, in Darjeeling, there are some sights of places that can be reached on foot. A vehicle will go up to a certain point but after that, you will have to walk the rest.
Moreover, this unique hill station in India is the entrance to one of the most popular treks in the Himalayan region of India, the Sandakphu-Phalut Trek. This trek is also the added one place in India where you can capture the entire panorama of the Eastern Himalayan ranges, from the Mount Everest to the Kanchenjunga. The whole town is filled with greenery of evergreen forests and a number of tea plantations.
Here are some of the best places to visit in Darjeeling.
1. Tiger Hill – One of the must-visit places in Darjeeling
Tiger Hill is located at the highest mark in the Darjeeling area, this hill is best known for the sparkling sunrise view of Kanchenjunga and blanket of snow which is spread over the peaks across the entire Eastern Himalayan range with some of the other peaks like the Kabru, Rathong, and Kokhtang on a sunny morning.
Phalut is another place from where you can have a glance at the similar panorama at a height of 3,600 meters at an estimate and it can only be reached by trekking.
From Darjeeling, the Phalut trekking route starts from Manebhanjan and goes through Tonglu, Giribas, Kalapokhri, and Sandakphu. Meanwhile, in the trekking of this beautiful place, Singalila National Park is in amidst of your route.
When there is clear weather out there, you can see Mount Everest from here. Tiger Hill is being located 11 km from Darjeeling Town and it takes about 40 minutes to reach by car. It’s one of the popular and must-visit places in Darjeeling.
Address: Senchal Forest, Senchal Road, Darjeeling, West Bengal 734123, India
Nearby Places: Kanchenjunga Mountain, Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Snow Leopard Breeding Centre, Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park, Ghanti Dara, Everest Museum.
Entry Charges: No Fee*
Timings: All days of the week, 4:00 AM – 6:00 PM*
How To Reach:
- Air – By road, Bagdogra Airport is 2.5 hours from Darjeeling and 2 hours by air from Delhi, and from Kolkata 50 minutes by air.
- Rail – The closest major railway station to Tiger hill is Siliguri Junction Train Station which is at a distance of 33 km.
- Road – 13 km away from the city, Tiger Hills can be easily accessed through roadways from Darjeeling.
Stopover – Hotel Travellers Inn, Hotel Central Point, Treebo Trend Dekeling.
Average Charges in these hotels – Rs 1291/- per person*
2. Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and Darjeeling Zoo – One of the best things to do in Darjeeling
This museum in Darjeeling displays several mountaineering gears and journey products. It is a well-gathered museum. The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute is an important place for mountain lovers, especially when we are talking of Darjeeling.
It was made in the memory of Tenzing Norgay, the lady who is 1953 climbed the Mount Everest with Sir Edmund Hillary. For the mountaineering students, a boarding school is run by this Institute which maintains a memorial dedicated to Tenzing Norgay, a restaurant, and a remembrance/gift shop.
There is also a Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park in the premises of Himalayan Mountaineering Institute.
This Zoological Park is also known as Darjeeling Zoo. The zoo is extended over an area of 68 acres and is home to various endangered species of animals which are inhabitants of mountainous regions like red panda, snow leopard, goral (mountain goat), Siberian tiger, Tibetan Wolf and numerous species of birds.
On the top of Birch Hill, the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and Darjeeling Zoo are found and that can be easily reachable from Darjeeling Mall.
Address: Jawahar Parvat, Darjeeling, West Bengal 734101
Nearby Places: Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park, Happy Valley Tea Estate, Roy Villa, Everest Museum.
Nearby Hotels: Hotel Central Point, Hotel Jeet Continental, Hotel Silver Oak, Hotel Vinayak Palace.
Average charges in these hotels: 1464/-
Entry Charges: Rs 40/-, per person entry fee*
Timings: All days of the week except Tuesday*
9:00 AM – 1:00 PM*
2:00 PM – 5:00 PM*
How To Reach:
- Himalayan mountaineering institute zoo – It is located on R. N. Sinha Road which is easily accessible via cabs.
- Himalayan mountaineering institute – Located on the Jawahar Prabhat Road in Darjeeling, the Himalayan Mountaineering institute can be easily reached by any means of transportation within the city.
How To Reach:
- Himalayan mountaineering institute zoo – Located on R. N. Sinha Road which is easily accessible via cabs.
- Himalayan mountaineering institute – Finds its place on the Jawahar Prabhat Road in Darjeeling, the Himalayan Mountaineering institute can be easily reached by any means of transportation within the city.
3. Batasia Loop – You’ll feel the nature at its closest
Batasia Loop is a place for the feeling of great pleasure for nature lovers, the Batasia Loop is specifically known for its circling narrow gauge railway track where the Toy Train makes a complete loop around a wonderful circular garden in the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway.
It covers an area of 50,000 square feet and is punctuated with several flowering plants. It also maintains an environmentally friendly garden, Gorkha War Memorial, and many restaurants. The Batasia Loop is approximately at a distance of 5 kilometres away from Darjeeling town and is close to Ghoom.
Address: West Point, Darjeeling, West Bengal 734102
Nearby Places: Guru Sakya Monastery, Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, Japanese Peace Pagoda, Barbotey Rock Garden, Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Ghoom Museum.
Nearby Stopover: Serenity Home, Hotel Fairmont
Average charges at these places: Rs 1193/-
Entry Charges: An entry fee of Rs. 15/- per person is there
Facilities: The place offers pay & use toilets for ladies and gents located inside at one end.
Timings: All days of the week, from 5 am to 8 pm.
How To Reach:
- Air – The closest airport is Bagdogra, near Siliguri, 96 km from Darjeeling. By road, Bagdogra Airport is 2.5 hours from Darjeeling and from Delhi, it’s 2 hours by air, and from Kolkata, it’s 50 minutes by air.
- Rail – By taking a toy train ride from Darjeeling, you will pass by this magnificent loop.
- Road – Rent a cab from Darjeeling town and reach the Batasia Loop. Located on Hill Cart Road (i.e. National Highway 55) and it takes about 20 minutes via taxi from Darjeeling town.
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4. Darjeeling Mall and Chowrasta – The heart of Darjeeling awaits you
The Darjeeling Mall and Chowrasta are one of the best places in Darjeeling and they are located in the heart of Darjeeling town. It is a get-together of people from all over the world and is a well-known popular tourist hangout in Darjeeling.
One side of the mall is entirely surrounded by the pine forest under the wraps of the high mountain peaks, the other side of the mall is ringed with shops of authentic and traditional dresses, handicrafts, carpets, rugs, paintings, semi-precious, and metalwares.
There are two extreme attraction points in Chowrasta, namely, The Hawa Ghar and the huge golden color statue of the Nepali poet Bhanubhakta Acharya. Curio Corner, Habeeb Mullick & Son, Nathmulls Tea & Sunset Lounge, Golden Tips, Life & Leaf, Jolly arts and Bhutan Tibet Art are some of the famous shops, restaurants, and eateries that are found in the local areas of Darjeeling.
One market known as Bhutia market which is very close to Chowrasta is another glue point where people who love shopping are attracted the most. It’s one of the best things to do in Darjeeling.
Address: Chowrasta | Darjeeling Reservation Center, Chamber 201, Second floor, Near IIEST, Howrah-711103, West Bengal, Darjeeling 734101, India
Nearby Places: Darjeeling Peace Pagoda,
Nearby Stopover: Tower View, Ivy Castle.
Average Charges at these places: Rs 585/-
Charges: No Charges*
Timings: All days of the week, 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM*, All shops here usually close by 8 pm.
How To Reach: In the heart of the city, the Chowrasta is at a walking distance from most parts of the city.
5. Japanese Temple and Peace Pagoda – Spiritual Feel
Japanese style architecture’s perfect and master example of traditional is the Japanese Temple in Darjeeling which is one of the prime Buddhist pilgrimage sites and it was inaugurated in the year 1972. The temple is two-storied white building that has a large praying room, where the main priest offers the prayers, beating a huge drum which is also called as Ho-Ko that echoes an intense ambiance in the entire temple area.
The temple also has a picture of the founder Fujii Guruji and a model of Lord Buddha. Peace Pagoda, a beautiful monument is another place close to the Japanese temple which encourages peace; it is designed to unite people of all races and creeds and help them to achieve peace in the world. In 1992, it was inaugurated and consists of four avatars of Lord Buddha.
From the top of Peace Pagoda, you will have an entire panoramic view of Darjeeling beauty including Kanchenjunga folds. It’s one of the best places to visit in Darjeeling.
Address: West Point, Darjeeling, West Bengal 734102
Charges: Free Entry*
Timings: All days in a week, 4:30 AM – 7:00 PM*
Morning Hours – 4:30 AM – 6:00 AM*
Evening Hours – 4:30 AM – 6:30 PM*
Nearby Places: Shree Shakti Dham(Lakshmi Narayan Temple), Japanese Buddhist Temple.
Best Time To visit: November – May, remains open all days
Nearby Stopover: Hotel Golden Heights Enclave, Hotel Yuma Darjeeling
Average Charges at these places: Rs 2723/-
How To Reach:
- Air – Here are direct flights to Darjeeling are available from Delhi, Guwahati and Kolkata via several carrier services. The town doesn’t have a Darjeeling airport. The nearest airport from Darjeeling is in Bagdogra which is at a distance of 96 km.
- Rail – The closest railway station from the main city of Darjeeling is in New Jalpaiguri which is at a distance of 62 km.
- Road – Nestled at the Jalapahar hill area, it is about a 10-minute drive by car from the center of Darjeeling town or prefer regular bus services that are available to Darjeeling from Siliguri, Kurseong, and Kalimpong. Also, there are buses available from Gangtok to Darjeeling.
6. Bengal Natural History Museum – Know the past here
In 1915, the museum was originally formed to display samples of butterflies and birds of the particular area. In the Bengal Museum of Natural History, today there are two main sections, which include various samples such as nests and eggs of birds, reptiles, and fishes, mammals, Is a huge collection of birds with insects and more.
The taxidermy unit created at the beginning works to mount the animal skin so that they have a lifetime presence at the display in the museum.
There are some other specimens in other section which showcases species like Himalayan Brown Wood Owls, Northern spotted Owlet, Northern Brown Fish Owl, pheasants, flycatchers, woodpeckers and more than 800 bird species, with other animal species such as Tibetan fox, Tibetan Lynx, elephant, The Toddy cat, wild buffaloes’ head hanging on the walls, panthers, leopards and many others.
There are few more important sections in the museum that display specimens of reptiles and insects.
Address: Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park, Jawahar Parbat, Darjeeling, West Bengal 734104
Timings: Closed on Thursdays and National holidays*, and opens from Friday – Wednesday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM*
Entry Fee: Rs 10/- per person*
Nearby Places: Darjeeling Ropeway, Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Nightingale Park.
Nearby Stopover: The Classic Hotel, Golden Enclave Heights
Average Charges At these places: Rs 1583/-
How To Reach: It is located near to Chowrashtra which falls in the center of this hill station.
6. Observatory Hill and Mahakal Temple – One of the best places to visit in Darjeeling
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The observatory hill is very close to Chowrasta or the Darjeeling Mall. The Observatory Hill is another outstanding place in Darjeeling from where you can sight magnificent views of the snow-covered peaks, including Kanchenjunga and its sister peaks.
From the Mall, it approximately takes 10-15 minutes to walk the uphill from the mall.
Address Of Observatory Hill: Naya Basti, Darjeeling, West Bengal 734101
Timings of Observatory Hill: All days of the week, 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM*
Entry Charges of Observatory Hill: No entry fee*
Nearby Stopover: The Classic Hotel
Average Charge: Rs 1583/-
How To Reach of Observatory Hill: Situated near the Chowrasta, the Observatory Hill is at an easy walking distance from the Mall road in Darjeeling.
The Mahakal Temple is located at the top of the hill which is dedicated to Lord Shiva and also has three gold-plated icons of Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwar. It is one of the major Hindu pilgrimage sites in Darjeeling that was built after the attack by the Gorkhas in the 19th century.
This place was originally the home to the Darjeeling Monastery that was transferred to other location in 1861 to its location now where it is, and it is about 2 kilomteres down from the Mall.
There is a temple of Sai Baba and Hanuman Temple also and surrounding the Observatory Hill and there are several other Hindu priests and Buddhist monks.
Address of Mahakal Temple: Chauk Bazaar, Darjeeling, West Bengal 734101
Timings of Mahakal Temple: From morning 04:00 am to 11:00 pm.
Entry Charges of Mahakal Temple: No charges*
Nearby Stopover: The Classic Hotel
Average Charge: Rs 1583/-
How To Reach Mahakal Temple: A walk towards uphill for about 15 minutes. Taxis and vehicles are not allowed in this area.
7. Ghoom Monastery – One of the largest monastery in the city
The Ghoom Monastery is one of the supreme Buddhist pilgrimage places in Darjeeling district. In 1875, the largest monastery in Ghoom was built by Lama Sherab and it is approximately 8 kilometres from Darjeeling town. The monastery has a 15 feet high statue of “Maitreya Buddha”, along with the prayer hall.
Address: Ghoom, Darjeeling, West Bengal 734102
Entry Charges: No charges*, Also, there are charges for – Still camera: INR 10 and Video shot: INR 50
Timings: All days of the week, 12:00 AM – 12:00 PM*
How To Reach: Situated 8 kilometer away from Darjeeling, The Ghoom Monastery is accessible by a drive from the city.
Nearby Places: Yiga Choeling Monastery, Tibetan Buddhist Monastery, Bokar Ngedon Chokhor Ling Monastery, Tamang Buddhist Monastery.
Nearby Hotels: Hotel Central Point, Tower View.
Average charges at these place: Rs 1000/-
How To Reach: Located 8 kilometer away from Darjeeling, The Ghoom Monastery can be reached by a drive from the city.
8. Dali Monastery – Was originally known as Druk Sangag Choling Monastery
It is situated on a steep hill and approximately 5 kilometres away from Darjeeling town. Druk Sangag Choling Monastery was the original name of Dali Monastery. Choling Monastery is again an important Buddhist pilgrimage center belonging to the Kargyupa sect.
It was built in 1971 during the time of Kyabje Thuksey Rinpoche. It consists of a prayer room, a Tibetan school, a coffee shop and residences belonging to over 200 monks. The monastery also maintains huge cylindrical golden colored drums.
Address: Dali Monastery or Dali Gomba is also known as the Druk Thupten Sangag Choeling Monastery, West Point, Darjeeling, West Bengal 734102, India.
Timings: 07:00 am – 07:00 pm*
The monastery is open from morning till evening.
Morning prayers: 5am – 6:30am
Evening prayer: 5pm – 6:30pm
Charges: Free Entry*
Nearby Places: Navin Gram, Batasia Loop, Barbotey Rock Garden.
Nearby Stopover: Pahari Soul, Hotel Meghma, Hotel Hill Crown Retreat
Average charges at these places: Rs 1020/-
How To Reach: The availability of buses and cars is from the railhead directly to this place.
- Air- Closest Bagdogra Airport
- Rail- Nearest is main Darjeeling Railway Station
9. Dhirdham Temple – A famous Lord Shiva temple
Whether you talk of Pashupatinath temple or Dhirdham Temple, both are the same in terms of architecture.
The Dhirdham Temple that is dedicated to Lord Shiva is a Hindu pilgrimage site in Darjeeling. The thing which forces you to grab your eyes inside the complex is the white colored statue of Lord Shiva that depicts the five different expressions of Shiva with his universal third eye.
In 1939, the king of Nepal, Purna Bahadur Pradhan built the Dhirdham Temple. The temple complex holds a peaceful atmosphere.
Address: Limbugaon, Darjeeling, West Bengal 734101
Entry Charges: No entry fee*
Timings: All time open, 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Nearby Places: Passenger Ropeway, Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Ghoom Museum, Tibetan Buddhist Monastery.
Nearby Stopover: Zimba-la-dim SA, Hotel Palbheu.
Average charges at these places: Rs 1792/-
How To Reach: Located right next to the railway station the Dhirdham Temple can be easily reached from any part of Darjeeling.
10. Shrubbery Nightingale Park – Witness some extraordinary Nepali cultural programs here
Shrubbery Nightingale Park is a public park which approximately takes 10 minutes and is found at the walking distance from the Darjeeling Mall or Chowrasta. It is a great place where you can see some Nepali cultural programs during the peak tourist season.
The park has many pebbled walkways in an intersecting manner and also maintains an idol of Lord Shiva. The musical fountain grabs the eye inside the park.
Address: Richmond Hill, Darjeeling, West Bengal 734101
Entry Charges: No entry fee; Rs 10/- per person for adults*
Timings: All days of the week, 7:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Nearby Places: Chowrasta and the mall, Ava Art Gallery, Observatory Hill, Everest Museum.
Nearby Stopover: OYO 28686 Hotel North Point, Hotel Golden Heights Enclave
Average charges: ₹1500*
How To Reach: Shrubbery Nightingale Park can be reached in 10 to 15 minutes walk from the Mall to the Jawahar Parbat Road, behind the Raj Bhawan in Darjeeling.
11. Senchal Lake and Wildlife Sanctuary – Oldest wildlife sanctuaries in India
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The Senchal Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the oldest wildlife sanctuaries in India that was set up in 1915 and is a shelter for wildlife lovers. It is approximately 11 kilometres away from the Darjeeling town. The Senchal Lake inside the sanctuary is one of the exquisite sites that attract lots of tourists.
The Senchal Wildlife Sanctuary is home to a variety of species of animals such as the barking deer, wild pig, Himalayan black bear, leopard, jungle cat, common rhesus monkey, Assam macaque, Himalayan flying squirrel and many more.
It is also rich in several bird species and flora and covers an area of approximately 40 square kilometres.
Address: You can reach the wildlife sanctuary as it’s approximately 11kms (7 miles) from Darjeeling town and can be reached via Ghoom and Jorebunglow.
Entry Charges: Free*
Timings: The access to this sanctuary and lake is closed during the monsoon time and reopens after September 15th.
Nearby Places: Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary Camping Place, Immanuel Church, Hanuman Mandir, Marwari Thakurwari temple, Birch Hill Park.
Nearby Stopover: A good lodge is there called, Rambi Forest Rest House, located right inside the forest.
Average charges: If rooms are offered to the public, the prices for the mass is Rs. 1000/- per room*
How To Reach: Nearby Toy Train Station is Ghum railway.
12. Love Road – Have the pleasure of fresh breeze with your beloved one
This place is pretty much recommended for travelers who are traveling with their love partners or their better half. It is spread in 3 kilometres of a narrow refreshing walkway in the middle of nature. The Love Road encircles the Birch Hill.
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Address: You can reach Love Road starting from Lebong Cart Road that head towards the Ropeway, you can even reach the Singamari location where the Love Road starts as you walk down from the Mall Road.
Entry Charges: No charges*
Timings: Day time is recommended for the visit*
Best time to visit: 12:00 pm – 04:00 pm*
Nearby Places: Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and Darjeeling Zoo, Tiger Hill, Batasia Loop, etc.
Nearby Stopover: High Central Point Hotel, Mount Olive*
Average Charges: Rs 2000/-
How To Reach:
- Air – The nearest airport is Bagdogra Airport which is 96 kilometres away from Darjeeling.
- Road – You will get enough taxis and shared jeeps from NJP to reach Darjeeling in about 3 hours.
13. Tenzing and Gombu Rock – Be ready for some adventurous things to do in Darjeeling
A memorial for Tanning Norgay and Nawang Gombo is called pilgrimage for Tenzing and Gombu Rock climbers. Nearly 20 minutes away from Darjeeling, these are two huge natural rock structures where rock climbing training is given by the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute. Tenzing used to practice on the one which was named after him.
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Address: Jawahar Parbat, Darjeeling, West Bengal 734104
Entry Charges: INR 2000 per person*
Timing: 8 am to 5 pm*
Nearby places: Sandakphu Trek
Adventurous Things To do At Tenzing and Gombu Rock: Camping, Rappelling, sightseeing, trekking, rock climbing, Biking, Water Sports, Rafting, Paragliding are some of the interesting and fun things to be a part of!
Nearby Stopover: Aashraya Home, Little Singamari Homestay.
Average Charges: Rs 1500/-
How To Reach: By car or hire a taxi from Darjeeling.