Darjeeling, known as the Queen of Hill Stations, lies in the north of West Bengal, India. British territory from 1817 till India's independence in 1947, Darjeeling has many colonial style buildings. It rises 7000 feet above sea level, surrounded by the mighty peaks of the Himalayas. The entire town lies around the centrally located Mall. Darjeeling is world famous for its toy train, one of the few remaining steam powered trains in the world. The Tiger Hills, the highest peak in Darjeeling, offers a splendid view of the Kanchenjunga and Mt. Everest.
Tiger Hills, the highest point around Darjeeling area, rewards all those who drive 11 kilometers from Darjeeling over mountainous terrain with a view of the Kanchenjunga, the highest mountain peak in India. On a clear day, you may even see the Mt. Everest, the highest mountain peak in the world. The view of valleys and mountain ranges from this point is spellbinding. The steam powered toy train runs between Siliguri and Darjeeling. As it chugs through the green valleys, mountain passes, tea gardens and tunnels, you can see numerous springs and waterfalls.
The Mall has many shops and restaurants. Trekking paths branch out from this centrally located Mall. The Japanese peace pagoda has murals depicting scenes from the various reincarnations of the Bodhisattva. The Tenzing Norgay Himalayan Institute, dedicated to the Sherpa guide who became the first man to climb Mt. Everest along with Sir Edmund Hillary, is a mountain climbing training institute. The Padmaja Naidu Zoo is located next to the Tenzing Norgay Institute and houses animals ranging from Siberian Tigers to llamas. The Dhirdham Temple, its architecture influenced by Nepal's temples, is not very far from the Darjeeling Railway Station.
The small town of Ghoom, 2 kilometers from Darjeeling, has the highest railway stations in the world. The Senchal Lake is situated 10 kilometers away from town. Evergreen pine forests that lend freshness to the air surround this clear lake. The clear view of the mountains from the banks of this lake makes it a picnic lover's paradise. Mirik town lies 50 kilometers from Darjeeling, and has the picturesque Sumendu Lake that offers boating facilities.
There is a good road between Darjeeling and Siliguri, which is 80 kilometers way from Darjeeling. Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal, lies 665 kilometers away from Darjeeling.
The toy train connects Darjeeling to Siiguri and passes through some spectacular forests, mountain passes and tunnels. The New Jalpaiguri and Siliguri railway stations are well connected to Kolkata (West Bengal), New Delhi, Guwahati (Assam) and Mumbai (Maharashtra) through trains.
Bagdogra Airport in Siliguri is the nearest airport, with flights being run by many operators.
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