Darjeeling with its Flourishing tea plantations is hot destination in Northeast India. It was a Scottish Doctor Archibald Campbell who first planted handful if Chinese tea plants in the fertile soil of Darjeeling.
Darjeeling Himalayan Railway
With the whistle and rumble of train and thick clouds of smoke, comes the Darjeeling Railway.
( Picture source: HolidayIQ) This original Glasgow-built steam engine once transferred British troops, tea planters and civil Service employees from the foothills of the himalayas to Darjeeling. To one's surprise the train still flourishes in its full beam.
The view of green tea bushes are all intriguing while the train takes off on its journey to Ghum.
The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and Mountain Zoo
The museum consist of numerous artefacts dedicated to mountaineers throughout history while most of them belongs to Darjeeling. There are list and pictures of people who have scaled the peak of Everest.
Surrounding the HMI building is a mountain zoo. This holds up world's rarest animals - Royal Bengal Tiger, snow leopards, species of deer, foxes, red pandas, and birds.
The motivation to make this whole setup of Himalayan Mountaineering Institute sparked to commemorate the conquest of Everest by Sir Edmund Hilary in 1953.
Tibetan Buddhist Monastery
This monastery faces the tea plantations down the hill. Yes, pretty much tea plantations everywhere. Listen the conch shells that echo through while monks signal the start and end if the prayer.
(Picture source: TripAdvisor) During prayer session, the Buddhist monks of all ages sit down in rows in front of a giant Buddha statue chanting prayers, banging drums, blowing horns and ringing bells. It is all the more very pleasing place to be.
Tea factory visit
If you love exploring about the different variations of Darjeeling tea then you can visit tens of tea factories which are scattered around the hills. Each of them processing, packaging, and selling tea to all the over the world.
Broken leaf black tea, whole leaf green tea, summer solstice muscatel and green flaming tea are few of those many varieties which can be spotted here.
How to reach Darjeeling?
Through fly- flights are available from Kolkata or Delhi to Bagdogra Airport. While one way flight between Kolkata ad Bagdogra may costs INR 2,859 while from Delhi it could be around INR5000.
Once the touchdown, one need to find a three hour drive up the hills towards Darjeeling. There are countless car hire companies and drivers who would take you through.