(1) DARJEELING TOWN KURSEONG AND MIRIK REGION:-
DARJEELING is not only the DISTRICT head quarter of DARJEELING DISTRICT, situated in the northern part of WEST BENGAL, but was also the summer capital of BRITISH INDIA until 1911; and was the summer capital of undivided BENGAL till 15th AUGUST 1947. Besides its political gravity DARJEELING for its beauty is one of the top tourist attraction of INDIA not only for the INDIAN travellers but also for the international travellers. For its natural beauty scenic view and the facilities available for the tourists it is internationally titled as “queen of all hills”.
Tourism wise DARJEELING TOWN KURSEONG AND MIRIK REGION is divided in FOUR sectors viz. (i) DARJEELING TOWN SECTOR (ii) DARJEELING TOWN SURROUNDINGS SECTOR (iii) KURSEONG TOWN AND SURROUNDINGS SECTOR and (iv) MIRIK TOWN AND SURROUNDINGS SECTOR
(i) DARJEELING TOWN SECTOR:-
Darjeeling town is the districts headquarter of Darjeeling District situated at the extreme north of West Bengal and also one of the mega important tourist destinations not only of WEST BENGAL or INDIA rather it is one of the most popular tourist spot in the earth. Besides its panoramic scenic beauty along with landscapes and climate it has also many manmade attractions to gather the attractions of the travel lovers. Darjeeling has a rich heritance of INDO - BRITISH culture. In yester years many people called Darjeeling as Indian London and many travel lovers termed Darjeeling as poor Indians Europe. The main tourist attractions of this sector are:-
Situated at an altitude of 2,590m (8,482 ft.) and 13-km from the town, this spot has earned international fame for the magnificent view of the sunrise over "Kanchenjunga" and the great Eastern Himalayan Mountains. Even Mount Everest, the world's highest peak, is visible from here.
The main peaks visible are Mount KhangchenDZONGa (8, 598 m), Makalu (8475 m), Janu (7,710 m). Mount Everest (8, 848 m) is also visible, though from a distance, on clear days. But to savor this phenomenal scene one has to leave very early in the morning from Darjeeling.
The Chowrasta, meaning crossroad, is a hive of commercial activity. The Mall Road originates and culminates at the Chowrasta. This is the heart of Victorian Darjeeling. Here hotels, restaurants and shops brush against each other. The shops and stalls are a veritable paradise for souvenir collectors. The Bhutanese sellers display their wares. Woollen garments, tribal ornaments, Thankas, rosaries, brass statuettes and Gorkha daggers are kept on display for sale. Foreign goods are also available in some shops. Local handicrafts are much in demand.
HIMALAYAN MOUNTAINEERING INSTITUTE
Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI) was established in Darjeeling, as a step to organize the growing craze in the field of mountaineering, after the ascent of Tenzing Norgay on Mt. Everest. This institute was founded in 1954, at the personal initiative of Pt Jawahar Lal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India. The institute was initially located at Roy Villa, on Lebong Cart Road. It was shifted to current location, on the western spur of Jawahar Parbat, in 1958 and today, it stands perched at an altitude of 6,800 ft. The first principal of this institute was Late Major N.D. Jayal and its first Director for Field Training was the legendary mountaineer, Tenzing Norgay.
The Mall is Darjeeling's popular commercial street. It is lined with Tibetans selling hand-knitted sweaters and souvenir shops chock-full of Himalayan artefacts and both real and imitation antiques. Photo shops carry turn-of-the-century photos as well as specialising in hand-painted black and white prints with glowing oil colours. The Mall leads to Chaurasta, a square, which doubles as a bandstand, a pony riding arena for children and a haven for lovers.
NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM
It is a great place to be for all those who have great interest in knowing about the history. The museum has a collection of over 4300 specimen. Established in 1903, this natural history museum packs in its folds a rich collection of fauna found in the Himalayas and in Bengal. Among the attractions are included the estuarine crocodiles. This unique museum also has a good collection of butterflies. The mineral forms of various stones are displayed in a very attractive manner in the museum.
DARJEELING ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS
The zoo is situated two km from the main town. This zoological garden of Darjeeling houses some of the rare species of animals and birds. This is the only zoo in India having the Siberian Tigers. Apart from these the rare Red Panda is also there. The Snow Leopards, Great Grey Birds, Snow Yaks are some the animals which are attracting tourist in great numbers.
The Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park at Darjeeling houses a number of endangered species named Red Panda, Tibetan Wolf, the Siberian Tiger and Snow Leopard. Captive breeding programs are undertaken in order to preserve the Red Panda. The Himalayan Black bear is an old resident of the zoo. The Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park in Darjeeling is a well-known center for captive breeding, with great care taken by the authorities during the entire breeding and raising process.
HAPPY VALLEY ESTATE
Happy Valley Tea Estate is a tea cultivation ground in Darjeeling district, West Bengal. The estate was established in the year 1854 by David Wilson, an Englishman, who had named the garden Wilson Tea Estate and by 1860 had started cultivation of tea. In 1903, Happy Valley Tea Estate was taken over by an Indian, Tarapada Banerjee, an aristocrat from Hooghly. In 1929, Tarapada Banerjee bought the Windsor tea estate and merged another nearby estate and gave the name Happy Valley tea estate.
The botanical garden of Darjeeling was laid out by Mr. W. Lloyd in 1878 and hence is named after him. Come here to feast your eyes on a vast collection of rare Himalayan plants, flowers, orchids, living fossil plants and much more. The floral varieties are mostly native to Darjeeling Himalayan region, Sikkim and other neighbouring areas. A herbarium, which is a stone building built in Elizabethan style, is also present here.
This place is worth a visit for its exotic and exclusive collection of a variety of Himalayan plants, flowers and orchids. This place is near the Darjeeling taxi stand. The gardens also have a green house.
BHUTIA BUSTY MONASTERIES
Bhutia Busty Monastery (Karma Dorjee Choling Monastery) is an important monastery that belongs to the Red Sect (Kagyu) of Buddhist Lamas. It is just 15 minutes walk from the Mall. Mount KhangchenDZONGa forms the scenic backdrop of it. This colorful monastery was originally built in 1879 on the Observatory Hill. It was damaged in an earthquake in 1934, and was rebuilt with the assistance of the Chogyal (king) of Sikkim. The monastery still belongs to the government of Sikkim and receives a maintenance grant from it. It houses the original copy of The Tibetan Book of the Dead.
GHOOM (SAMTEN CHOLING MONASTERIES)
This Monastery belongs to the Gelukpa sect of Vajrayana Buddhism, also known as the yellow hat. This is the seat of ven. Dromo Geshe rinpoche, the second. A 26 ft. tall stupa has been built recently in memory of Lama Anagarika Govinda, a great scholar from Germany well known for his book on Buddhism.
The monastery has a rich collection of rare books on Buddhism. Situated at an altitude of 8,000 ft, the Ghoom monastery (also known as Samten Choling monastery), is one of the better known monasteries of Darjeeling. Said to have been built in 1875 by Lama Sherab Gyatso, it is famous for its 15 ft tall statue of Maitreya Buddha (future Buddha). The monastery also has a laudable collection of Buddhist text.
JAPANESE PEACE PAGODA AND THE TEMPLE
The Japanese peace pagoda and the temple nearby are of recent origin. The pagoda stands as a symbol of peace. It flaunts four statues of Lord Buddha that are polished in gold color. The other eight figures of him carved out in sandstone adorning the walls there depict various phases of his life. It was built under the guidance of Nichidatsu Fujii, a Buddhist monk from Japan and founder of the Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist Order.
The Japanese Temple is also known as the Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist Temple. It is built in a pure Japanese architectural style. The place commands excellent view of Mount Kanchenjunga and the Darjeeling city.
It is the most famous temple of Darjeeling, especially popular because it is a replica of the famous Pashupatinath temple of Kathmandu, Nepal. The idol of Lord Shiva represents him in five different moods or facial expressions.
Gorkha Memorial or War Memorial at Ghoom
The war memorial is situated at Ghoom - Batasia loop. It's visible when you enter or depart from Darjeeling. The toy train from Darjeeling stops here at the loop for nearly half an hour. You can also visit by road. Here you will find the Gorkha Dresses for your personalised photo session.
The War Memorial stands as a reminiscence of the Gurkha martyrs of Darjeeling, who sacrificed their lives for their country in the wars and operations that have taken place since independence. In 1976, Manish Gupta, the then Deputy Commissioner of Darjeeling, took the initiative to construct a War Memorial, to pay homage to the 76 brave sons of Darjeeling who gave the supreme sacrifice of their life, for the cause of their nation.
Ringeet Vally Ropeway
The rope way was started in 1968 by the forest development department and comprised only a single car which ran one way. Later, it was upgraded to 16 cars and went to and fro. From an elevation of 2,134 m (7,001 ft) in Darjeeling’s North Point (Singamari), this bicable ropeway descended to 244 m (801 ft) at Singla on the banks of the Ramman river, which with Little Rangeet river, meets the Great Rangeet. Stopping at Tukver, Burnesbeg and Singla tea estates, it took 45 minutes to reach Singla Bazar, 8 km away. The rope way passed over dense forests, mountain ridges, water falls, flowing rivers, green valleys and tea gardens.
The Great Rangeet flows from the glacial elevation of Kabru, in the lower regions of the Kanchenjunga, meeting first the Ramman and then the Little Rangeet flows further down. Singla offers a fascinating view of the lovely valleys of these two streams. The Little Rangeet flows across the lush green Bijanbari valley. While the Little Rangeet is overflowing with trout, the valley has wildlife, flowers and butterflies.
The passenger rope way was operated as a joint venture of the West Bengal Forest Development Corporation and the Conveyor and Rope way Services Private Ltd. It had been revamped in 1988.
The Mahakal Temple
Just up the Mall the temple of Mahakal (Lord Shiva) is very sacred place for the locals and tourists as well. This place is visited by many throughout the day! We sat here on the New Year's Eve of 2001 (1st January). We also offered our prayers to Lord Shiva.
Rising abruptly from Chowrasta is the hilltop. Situated atop is the ancient temple of Mahakal, a form of Lord Shiva. There is a cave sacred to worshipers in the temple. In Sanskrit, the word "Durjay Ling” means "Shiva of invincible prowess”. According to Hindu mythology LORD SHIVA resides in the Himalayas. There is a suggestion that the name Darjeeling could have emanated from this name. The place where the Mahakal Temple stands was once occupied by the Buddhist monastery. It is still a place of great sanctity for the Bhutias. Bells ring in the midst of fluttering flags, which are used to pray in the shrine. Monkeys are seen in plenty at the Observatory Hill.
The Observatory Hill
Observatory Hill is a hill near Chowrasta square, or The Mall as it is popularly known, in Darjeeling, West Bengal, India. Magnificent views of snow-clad peaks, including Mount Kanchenjunga, are visible from the Observatory Hill. The Bhutia Busty monastery was originally located here. Now the hill has the temple of Mahakal. Two important arteries of the town, Nehru Road and Bhanubhakta Sarani, meet at Chowrasta. Chowrasta and the Mall around Observatory Hill are the main centres of tourist attraction in Darjeeling. They spread on hill slopes at an altitude of 2,134 metres (7,000 feet). In clear weather, one can see Mount Kanchenjungha and twelve other peaks, all above 20,000 feet.The view is clear during October to November. At other times of the year, it is a matter of luck, with clouds engulfing the entire area and some portions of the view available at opportune moments.
In spite of the high tourist flow, The Mall is the cleanest area in Darjeeling. Apart from the mountain views, tourists flock to the Chowrasta for pony rides (mostly by children) and collecting souvenirs. There are benches for tourists to sit and enjoy the "show". Vehicles are not allowed in The Mall, except for a small stretch near Raj Bhavan.
The place is full with locals and tourists throughout the day. There are several family owned shops here since British days selling Tea, Souvenir, paintings or handicrafts. You may buy Darjeeling souvenirs from many of these shops.
Darjeeling Gymkhana Club Darjeeling Gymkhana Club Ltd. was established in the year 1909 and occupies an important place in the tourism map of Darjeeling,”Queen of Hills.” One of the most well equipped Clubs of the region with facilities of Indoor and Outdoor games; it is prominently located above the Mall Road next to Raj Bhawan. At present, it has membership strength of around 400 permanent members and 49 special members (mainly 1st Class Gazetted Officers). The club also offers temporary membership to the tourists.
St. Andrew's ChurchSt. Andrew's Church is an English Church and a burial ground for the small community of Darjeeling Christians. It was started in 1840 by then British East India Company as the final resting home for their officers and soldiers. One of the most famous graves here ,belongs to an extraordinary Hungarian, Alexander Csoma de Koros, a philologist who mastered the Tibetan language, compiled a dictionary of it and went on to serve as the librarian of Calcutta's Asiatic Society. In 1842, he died in Darjeeling en route to Lhasa.Every year a high ranking Hungarian official travels to Darjeeling to lay wreathe on his grave along with Indian Government. One tier up, a white pillar marks the final resting place of George William Aylmer Lloyd, who died in Darjeeling in 1865 at the age of 76. It too is well kept although if anyone has come to pay their respects recently, they've left behind no indication of it. This place is must visit for nostalgic tourists
Passenger Ropeway –
At North Point, about 3 km from town, this is India's first passenger ropeway. The 5-km long ropeway connects Darjeeling with Singla Bazaar on the Rangiit River at the bottom of the valley.
Ava Art Gallery
Situated about 4 km from the Market Square and on the National Highway, Ava Art Gallery was established in 1965 by the Late Bhopal Rao Sett and Ava Devi. It is the only Art Gallery of its kind in the Hills. A collection of 60 pieces of art work in water, oil and thread paintings are displayed in the Gallery.
The Raj Bhawan was earlier the property of the Maharajah of Coochbehar and the present 'Shrubbery Park' was the 'courtyard' of Sir Thomas Tartan's bungalow which was called 'The Shrubbery'. This bungalow had been constructed in 1879; however it was destroyed in the earthquake of 1934
Raj Bhawan is the summer residence of the Governor of West Bengal. The fantastically developed mansion with perfect manicured lawns, lush gardens, surrounding forests and British Bungalows overlooks the Darjeeling Lebong spur and commands a magnificent close-up view of the snow capped KANCHAJUNGHA Range. Being a high security zone, visitors are no longer allowed to venture inside its precinct, a walk around it through the dense forest is however, most charming. Visitors can experience the entire Sikkim-Jorethang crest unhindered
On the way down to Bhutia Busty, via the C.R. Das Road, and a few minutes’ walk from the Chowrasta is Step Aside, the house in which the great Indian patriot Deshbandhu Chittranjan Das passed away on June the 16th, 1925. On the first floor are preserved a few articles of his personal use. The ground floor is a maternity clinic named after him, for the poor of the town. No entrance fees of any kind are charged. However, visitors are not allowed into the inner sanctum of the house.
Tibetan Refugee Self-Help Centre
"Our way may be hard and long one, but I believe that the truth and faith must ultimately prevail".- His Holiness the Dalai Lama. After His Holiness escaped from Tibet, thousands of Tibetan refugees came to reside in India. Darjeeling too became a home away from home for the Tibetans in exile. To rehabilitate the community a ten-member committee was formed in Darjeeling to organize a rehabilitation centre which was known as "Tibetan Refugee Self-Help Centre". The centre was established on October 1, 1959 and the residents of the centre are today known for their handicrafts. The centre makes excellent carpets, woolen goods, woodwork, etc, which are famous across the globe.
The rock is just beyond St. Joseph’s School this large rock is used by the HMI to train mountaineers.
Lal Kothi was the summer palace of the Maharaja of Coohbehar. It is an interesting building with a panoramic view of the surrounding Himalayas.
Unpretentiously, the Lebong Race Course boasts of being the smallest and the highest racetrack in the world. The race course is currently closed although there are plans to reopen it.
SHURBBERY PARK/ NIGHT INGALE PARK
SHURBBERY PARK is also known as NIGHT INGALE PARK. It is about 2-5 kms from Darjeeling Railway Station and walk able from the Chowrasta. It is a beautiful park with a package of cultural program performed daily during the tourist season and its opening time is 4.00 p.m. and closing time is 8.00 p.m. The park has recently been extensively re-developed, and now comprises of a giant Statue of Lord Shiva, a temple, and provisions for live-interactive entertainment. The best time to visit the park is in the evenings. Entrance fee is charged and nominal charges for photography may also be required to be made by the visitor. You may think alternative of Tiger-hill to see the sunlight magic on Kanchenjunga from this Park. Good spot for photographers. This place is not very crowded and you can enjoy your photography from here. Nice landscape is visible from this park.
SENT PAULS SCHOOL, NORTH POINT COLLAGE, BURDWAN MAHARAJA’S PALACE, VICTORIA FALLS are the other famous attractions of this fascinating destination.
(ii) DARJEELING TOWN SURROUNDING SECTOR:-
It is true that the DARJEELING town itself has plenty of Tourist Attraction and they are not only popular but sum thing more than that. It is really immetirial that how many times you are visiting the points rather at every visit you will have sum new experence and huge satisfaction. As we are SIMANACHARIYA TOURS AND TRAVELS and the word 'SIMANACHARIYA' means beyond limit (destination) we allways try to locate sum not so popular but spectacular spots for our guests to offer them to visit beyond common travel destination. In this course we would suggest the other nearby attractions of DARJEELING TOWN which might be not that highly rated but in every means are not short in any means rather their quietness makes them even more enjoyable than the crowded spots of the DARJEELING TOWN.
Senchal Lake –
About 13 km from the town, this lake near Tiger Hill is appreciated for its scenic splendor. It’s a popular picnic spot, has a 9-hole golf course with a clubhouse and a tourist lodge.
Aloobari GOMPA –
This is a good place to go for some sightseeing and shopping as the monks here sell Tibetan and Sikkimese religious accessories. About 3 km from the city centre.
Altitude 244 metres or 800 ft. (approx.). This attractive picnic spot near Rangeet River has been earmarked by the Department of Tourism, DGHC for a water sports complex.
Singalila National Park, (west of Darjeeling, adjacent to Nepalese border)
Singalila is a trekking destination in the far northwest corner of West Bengal state. Kanchenjunga, the world's 3rd highest peak, is visible for much of the trek, to the north, on the Nepalese border with Sikkim. Usually the park is accessed from Maneybhanjang, approx. one hour, or 30 km. west of Darjeeling.
TUKVAR TEA ESTATE
It’s a beautiful place with a small waterfall. This place has got verities of flowers landscaped in the rocks. Females can also get dressed in the local dress and take pictures. As the name suggests it is a garden fully made out of Rock. It is a marvel of present day architecture. It is just about 12km away from the town.
Ganga Maya Park
It is just about 12km away from the Rock Garden
The Chunnu summer falls, locally known as the Ganga Maya park are situated about 14 km from Darjeeling. The road drops down steeply to the park and garden, which is a popular picnic spot with tourists. There is a small waterfall and stream running through the park, and a small lake with boating facilities.
Tukvar Tea estate is about 7km from Darjeeling town. Here you will see the colourful tea –workers who still pluck the leaves by hand in the traditional way against the spectacular backdrop of the tea plantations & the mountains. You will also be able to see the manufacturing process (subject to opening hours) and sample some of the garden’s produce.
Garg World Amusement Park:
Situated at a distance of about 4 km. On Gandhi Road it is a new amusement park with a variety of attractions.
Druk Thupten Sangag Choling Monastery(Dali Monastery)
This monastery is situated at Dali, about 4 kms away from Darjeeling town. This is one of the most famous monasteries belonging to the Kargyupa sect. The pioneer of this monastery was Thuksay Rimpoche, who died in 1983 and his incarnate is reported to have been born in 1986 at Ladakh. This monastery is the headquarters of Drukchen Rimpoche XII, the supreme head of the Kargyupa lineage
Tashi Dargyalingh Monastery or the Tamang Ghumba
The Tamangs are a sub community of the Gorkha/Nepali and mostly belongs to the Nyingmapa sect. Established in 1926 this is one of the oldest monasteries of the community
Woollen carpets, cotton shoulder bags, table mats, hand knitted pure woollen sweaters and caps are available for sale at reasonable prices. The items are woven by the local ladies.
LOVE ROAD or LOVERS ROAD
This road is always been hidden from the common tourists and obviously attract your attraction if you are a lover. From here you can watch nature of your own free from heavy crowd and of many houses and people. The mind blowing view of nature from here is just magnificent. This road can be reached via singamari from mall.
Tashi Dargyalingh Monastery or the Tamang Ghumba
The Tamangs are a sub community of the Gorkha/Nepali and mostly belongs to the Nyingmapa sect. Established in 1926 this is one of the oldest monasteries of the community.
21 km. from Darjeeling by road (jeep able), it is a magnificent picnic spot.
38 km. from Darjeeling by road (motor able), Situated at an altitude of 762 metres or 2500 ft. This beautiful picnic spot is near the Little Rangeet river.
On the way from Mirik to Darjeeling lays a town of untouched natural beauty called Jorapokhri. It is situated only 16 kms from Darjeeling. The presence of a couple of lakes in this area gave rise to the name of this place Jorpokhri. (JOR-means a lake, POKHRI means lakes). The lakes are the main attraction in this place.In and around the lake one can notice the Himalayan Salamander, a highly endanagered species of the reptile family. Jorpokhri is close to the Indo-Nepal border and tourists can go for a day visit to the Nepal's Pasupati market nearby.
15km form Darjeeling. Lepchajagat, bascially a Lepcha Village, is situated at Sukhipokhri near Darjeeling on the Ghoom-Mirik road. Located on hill slope covered with rhododendron and oaks a forest bungalow offers a magnificent view of Kanchenjunga snow ranges over the forested hills and is the only accommodation available in the area. A nice peaceful location and is ideal for honeymooners. The bungalow has 6 well-appointed rooms and provides excellent food. It is an ideal place to explore the tranquillity of unknown Darjeeling hills. The town of Darjeeling is visible from this place and an illuminated Darjeeling in the night makes for a beautiful view from the bungalow.One can also see the sunrise over Kanchenjunga from his room at the bungalow.
Pashupati is a market town on the Nepal border, on the way from Darjeeling to MIRIK. It is a great place to pick up a bargain from the wide selection of imported goods such as electronics and cameras, and many other items.
PHALUT & SANDAKPHU
A week's smallest-trip of Phalut and Sandakphu will get one within reach of the high peaks. For the onlooker it affords a more spectacular panorama than at Tiger Hill. Giant flowering Rhododendron trees, a pointillism of reds pinks and whites Dwarfs comprise of the en route trail. On attaining heights of over 3,048m, one is surrounded by skeletal trees devoid of leaves and branches, which are especially eerie when the clouds roll in and envelop the area. These are quiet Himalayan village at an altitude of 3636 Mts, the peak of the Singalila range - Sandakphu probably offers the best views of Mt. KanchenDZONGa and Mt Everest.
Tinchule is a mountain village near Darjeeling. It is a relatively new tourist destination attracting off-beat eco-tourists.
Tinchule was started as an eco-tourism initiative with active support from WWF during the 1990’s. As part of the initiative home stay as well as other sustainable projects such as organic farming was started.The major attraction of Tinchule is the calm and peaceful surrounding; you may go for a walk amidst the pine and oak trees which are in abundance in the area. There is hardly any traffic on the road and you may spend the entire day just roaming in the countryside blissfully; heedless of your city woes. The Sunrise point is an excellent place to view sunrise in the morning. Also this hill top provides fantastic view of the East Himalayan mountain range. The Gumbadara view point provides a very wide view of the river Teesta from above.From Tinchule one can visit nearby tourist destination. Takdah cantonment and Rangli-Rangliot tea garden is just a few minutes drive from here. The area is full of Tea gardens producing some of the best tea in the world. Some of the famous tea gardens around here include Namring Tea Estate, Rangli-Rangliot Tea Estate, Gayle Bhanjan Tea Estate, and Teesta Valley Tea Estate.
(iii) KURSEONG TOWN AND SURROUNDINGS SECTOR:-
The tiny hill station of KURSEONG is in the beautiful Himalayan valleys of West Bengal. It is a great stopover for those looking for a quiet alternative to the jostling crowds of Darjeeling. KURSEONG – its name derived from the Lepcha word kurson-rip means the Dawn’s Pole Star. The quiet town is an up and coming tourist destination and this is an ideal place to relax and unwind from the hectic pace of urban life. KURSEONG was gifted this to the British by The chogyal-the ruler of Sikkim in 1835. Owing to its salubrious climate, in the 1880''s KURSEONG was then turned into a sanatorium of sorts where the Britishers would send their sick people to recuperate before coming down into the plains again. Though KURSEONG, a lesser known destination on the tourist map but When you travel to KURSEONG you will experience a peaceful fairytale holiday and chances are that you will discover how time stands still in this beautiful little hill station. KURSEONG is a quiet township between Siliguri and Darjeeling at an altitude of 1458 m. Noted for its secluded charm and Eagle's Crag, KURSEONG offers a spectacular view of the unspoilt plains below. It is surrounded by famous tea gardens, producing some of the finest Darjeeling tea in the world. The rich flora of KURSEONG town is so fascinatin that it has aptly been described as a 'Botanists' Paradise'. KURSEONG offers opportunities for trekking to the surrounding areas. The most popular one day trekking route is from KURSEONG to MIRIK via Namsu and Balasun River.
KURSEONG is also affectionately called as the Land of the White Orchid, it is redolent with the fragrance of this delicate blossom. When you travel to KURSEONG you will experience a peaceful fairytale holiday and chances are that you will discover how time stands still in this beautiful little hill station. The main tourist attractions of KURSEONG are:-
Eagle’s Craig view point –
This view point is located near the town seemingly perched on a cliff. One can have a sweeping view of the surrounding mountain, hill, hamlets and slopes from here. It has a cafeteria, a watch tower and a flower garden; this place also houses the water reservoir for the entire town of KURSEONG. The place also has a concrete altar built in the park with a khukri on top called shahid smarak; it was built by the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council to pay tribute to the lives that were lost in the agitation of 1988. From here you will get a magnificent view of the plains of Siliguri dotted with bright lights in the distance at night.
It is an Obseratory that gives you a breathtaking view of the rolling hills and green valley’s. Once a summer home of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, it is today an almost ruined building. Plans are underway to convert the interesting Kothi into the Netaji Memorial Museum.
The forest museum is also located in Dow Hill and is overseen by the forest department. You will get to know the types of animals that inhabited the forest area here in the past when you visit the museum.
Giddapahar view point:
Giddapahar view point in Giddapahar, a few kilometers from KURSEONG, provides a great view of the mountains and is a great place for clicking photographs.
Giddapahar Seti Mata Temple –
This temple is carved out of an ancient rock and is dedicated to Goddess Durga. A sacred place of the Hindus.
Ambootia Temple –
This temple is located within the Ambootia Tea Estate area. It has an old temple thronged by many devotees
Dowhill's Girls School:
Dowhill's Girls School Provides a glimpse of the British era with its architecture and elegance. This school is well known for its beautiful location surrounded by pine trees and the quality of education it provides.
Victoria Boy's School:
This school was also created by the British and still maintains its Victorian looks and fame.
The grotto houses the statue of Virgin Mary and is located in a beautiful surrounding that takes you to another place and time. It is a peaceful place and peace is what you feel when you are there. Devotees light candles and pray to God here; it is also frequented by young couples because it offers seclusion.
Deer Park –
The Deer Park in Dow hill area comes under the jurisdiction of the state forest department. It was named such because large numbers of Dears were found in the area before the menace of deforestation and poaching arrived. If you are lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the animal trying to attract your attention by coming out of the wilderness. Venturing inside the forest is prohibited.
St. Mary’s Hill
The St Mary’s Hill is located around 4 km from the KURSEONG Railway Station. It is a scenic natural area covered with lush green forests all around and the way leading to it is equally enthralling. Amidst the greenery is the Eastern Forest Rangers' College (EFRC) which was the erstwhile site of St. Mary's seminary.
There is a statue of Jesus and Mary here and tourists come here to view this. St. Mary’s Hill also has a beautiful church of St. John and this has been recently built. The church is appreciated for its architectural beauty as much as it is liked is for its scenic locate.The KURSEONG town is also the home to many temples and some of them are Gidapahar Durga Mata Mandir, and Jadgish Mandir. The Jagdish Temple is a 300 year old building and it has been dedicated to Lord Jaganath. There are a few Buddhist Temples that can be around the town as well and these are worth visiting. The Buddhist GOMPAs at Downhill Road and at Montieviot are the main ones
Bhangzang Salamander Lake:
It is located 14 km from KURSEONG. In the past, it used to be a favourite place for the British and people from the neighboring towns used to hang out here frequently. A relatively unknown getaway among the tourist destinations in Darjeeling brought to you by nature beyond. It is a beautiful green-tinged lake that shelters the rarest and most endangered species of salamanders a species under threat of extinction.
You can also visit one of the various waterfalls that are located around the town. The Kholas Waterfall is a popular place and this is a good picnic spot.
KURSEONG can also be termed as the TEA POINT of INDIA. The almost famous Tea Gardeen of DARJEELING is situated here.Along Pankhabari Rd;
Pankhabari Road the graveyard at St Andrews has poignant reminders of the tea-planter era, while the organic Makaibari Tea Estates welcomes visitors to its aromatic factory.
Guru Rabindra Nath Tagore and the great composer Atul Prasad Sen got inspiration for some of their famous works around KURSEONG.
Along with KURSEONG MIRIK is another famous tourist attraction of this sector and its becoming popular day by day not only among the Bengali or Indian traveller but among the international traveller also. The road that connects Darjeeling to MIRIK through Peshoke is a real treat for the nature lovers.
MIRIK is a upcoming popular tourist spot located in the hills of Darjeeling district in West Bengal. Situated at an elevation of 1495 m, the name of this place is derived from the word Mir-Yok, which is a Lepcha word that means ‘a place burnt by fire’. There are several tea gardens and orchards in the region of MIRIK, which is also the biggest producer of oranges in West Bengal.
MIRIK is nestled in the forest hills near the Nepal border, halfway between Siliguri and Darjeeling, is this low-profile hill station and honeymoon destination. MIRIK is surrounded by an undulating carpet of tea estates, orange orchards, cardamom plantations and forests of tall, dark Japanese cedars. It is a quiet retreat that remains off most visitors’ radars. Some of MIRIK’s higher hilltops offer wonderful views of morning’s first light striking KhangchenDZONGa (8598m). MIRIK is one of the unspoilt hill stations surrounded by terraced tea estates and sweet smelling spice plantations. MIRIK is just the perfect spot for honeymoon and for the awesome travel destination for people who are looking for a place to relax after their strenuous work life. The natural beauty of MIRIK is enhanced by orange orchards, cardamom plantations and tea estates. Enthralled view of the mighty Kanchenjunga is another attraction. All the wild flowers, enticing lakes and lush forests of Cryptomaria Japanica trees make MIRIK a paradise on earth and the Kanchenjunga as a backdrop adds incredible beauty to the whole scenery.
It can firmly be assured that MIRIK LAKE will certainly attract any traveller’s attraction. MIRIK LAKE is also known as SUMENDU LAKE. Sumendu Lake is an artificial manmade lake that has forested ridges on all sides, with garden on one side and pine trees on the other side. Both sides are connected with an arched footbridge called Indreni Pull (Rainbow Bridge) and a road stretching about 3.5 km encircles the lake. This road provides a view of Mount Kanchenjunga. There are facilities for boating on shikaras in the lake.
MIRIK is surrounded by some of the best tea estates of the world and the region is famous for its numerous orange orchards and cardamom plantations.
Apart from these, the nurseries of MIRIK house a good collection of orchids although there number is not quite large. MIRIK monastery is a highly sacred place for the Buddhists of the region.
It can easily be said MIRIK LAKE or SUMENDU LAKE is the main tourist attraction of MIRIK; But besides MIRIK LAKE there are many other tourist spots are waiting for the travellers to explore such as:-
Kawlay Dara View point –
One can get a sweeping view of the plains as well as the snow capped mountains from this viewpoint. The sunrise and sunset from here is a visual delight. The viewpoint is about 30 minutes walk from the tourist hub.
Helipad & Swiss Cottage –
The hilltop helipad offers a panoramic view of Mirik and the Samendu Lake.
The small temple of Singha Devi situated under dense foliage of the 'dhupi' forest just on the west bank of the river and is considered very holy by the local. Just on the other side of the Lake there are temples of Hanuman, Shiva and Kali Mata which can also be visited.
Rameetay Dara, an ideal place for watching breathtaking sunset and the sunrise.
Deosi Dara is another interesting point in Mirik. This is one of the vintage point of MIRIK.
The Kawlay Dara View Point is a popular sunset and sunrise point where a clear view of the snow capped mountain ranges can be seen.
Rai Dhap has a small lake and is also an ideal picnic spot.
Bokar Ngedon Chokhor Ling Monastery
The Bokar Ngedon Chokhor Ling Monastery is a major Buddhist centre of the region and serves as a home for around 500 monks. The monastery is renowned for practising the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha.
Krishnanagar is on the southern most part of the lake have very attractive scenic view.
Bokar GOMPA is just few km from MIRIK. It is said as home of the Mahayana monks
Thurbo Tea Garden and Factory
The Thurbo Tea Garden and Factory is visited by many travellers for viewing the production process of tea.
The other attractions of MIRIK are Tibetan Buddhist Monastery, Donbosco Church, Mirik Bazaar Shopping Centre, Tamang Buddhist Monastery, Homedara Siva Mandir, Orchid Nursery & Cardamom firm, Thurbo Tea Garden & Factory, Mirik Busty Orange Garden, Rajdhap, Don Bosco Church, Balasun River,