Darjeeling, an epitome of beauty and natural wonders, is a traveller’s envy. The enigmatic hill station in the state of West Bengal in India is a craze and fascination for globetrotters. Its charming weather captivates the tourists beckoning them to visit the place frequently. The article will provide you with a complete insight into the best time to visit Darjeeling. It will provide details on the places you can visit while being in Darjeeling along with its different weather conditions throughout the year.
Which is the best time to visit Darjeeling?
The best season to visit Darjeeling is during the summers between April and June. The weather in Darjeeling at this time of the year is pleasant and bright. The temperature ranges from a minimum of 11 degrees C to a maximum of 28 degrees C. You will be able to enjoy the sunrise at the Kanchenjunga mountain ranges of the Himalayas. There are no clouds with a clear blue sky, creating a magical atmosphere in the beautiful hill station.
Some tourists also prefer to visit the hill station during the winter to enjoy the snow-capped mountains and engage in winter sports activities. The winter months are between October and March. The one good factor is the weather in Darjeeling during the winter does not reach a negative, unlike many other hill stations in the world. The temperature ranges from a minimum of 2 degrees C to a maximum of 21 degrees C.
It is recommended to avoid the monsoons as there are chances of landslides and roadblocks. The weather in Darjeeling during the rainy season is humid with constant showers which pose travelling hazards for the tourists. Well, September is again the best time to visit Darjeeling as the rainfall reduces and you can enjoy the lush green beauty of the hills.
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To experience Darjeeling at its fullest, you must visit the hill station both during the winters and the summers or the spring. You can witness the different facades of nature’s beauty at the backdrop of the Himalayas.
Explore the plethora of things to do in Darjeeling
The footfall of travellers is maximum during the summer and spring season. It the best time to visit Darjeeling with delightful weather prevailing around. The sun rays are refreshing, accompanied by a soothing breeze. The hill slopes are carpeted with the tea and coffee gardens. The land and valleys blossom with the vibrant coloured mountain flowers, leaving a sweet fragrance in the air.
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Spectacular views of the Panoramic Landscape from Tiger Hill
The main attraction of Darjeeling is the sunrise at Tiger Hill. Tiger Hill is located in a place called Ghoom, at the height of 8500 meters above sea level. You will be amazed to see the golden rays of the sunlight cast a magical spell in the surrounding landscape. The snow-capped Himalayas sparkle and glitter with the reflection of the sun rays. You will enjoy watching the gigantic Kanchenjunga.
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Did you know?
Ghoom is the highest railway station in the Darjeeling district.
Kanchenjunga is the third highest mountain peak in the world
Reach the viewpoint as early as possible since it gets quite crowded as the time for the sunrise approaches. You can secure a good place for a perfect view.
Enjoy riding the Cable Car with family and friends
The cable car is a perfect option to experience the beauty of the hills in its vicinity. You must not miss out on this opportunity on your list of Darjeeling sightseeing places. The ride will traverse you through the beautiful Darjeeling tea garden, gushing waterfalls, deep gorges, the astonishing valleys, and the splendid Himalayan mountain slopes.
The Ropeway originates from Singamari, 3 km away from the centre of Darjeeling. Each cable car can carry six passengers. If you have an inclination for adventure, then you must not miss out on exploring the stunning beauty of Darjeeling in the cable car.
The cable car in Darjeeling is the first passenger ropeway in India.
If you want to enjoy the cable car ride, the best time to visit Darjeeling is during the summers and the spring season.
Feel the child in you as you board the Toy Train in Darjeeling
The toy train is one of the unique experiences to enjoy as you venture out on the enthralling Darjeeling sightseeing places. Conducted by the Himalayan Railway, it passes through a picturesque path from Siliguri to Darjeeling. You will adore the incredible beauty of the hills as the toy train meanders across the gorgeous valleys, lush green meadows, looming hill slopes and the tea gardens. The train encircling the hills presents a picture-postcard image echoing the environment with its horning sounds.
The toy train has been included in the list of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites in 1999
It first started its operation in the hills in 1881
A total count of 18 rides occurs each day
The first ride begins early at 7:40 AM and terminates at around 4:20 PM. The timing may vary depending on the weather conditions, especially during the winters and the monsoons.
If you want to experience the old authentic heritage, then opt for the steam-operated trains which cost about INR 1065 for a first-class seat. Else you can board the diesel operated train at INR 695 for a first-class seat.
It is best to book the tickets online at the IRCTC website of the Indian Railways. This will help to avoid the queues at the Indian Railways computerized reservation counters.
Enthral yourself within the tranquillity of Mirik Lake
Mirik Lake is one of the prominent Darjeeling sightseeing places. The serene crystal waters of the lake entangle the mind with ecstasy. The breathtaking view of the scenery around the lake is a treat to the eyes. Lined by the beautiful pine trees and the attractive gardens, it presents a divine and heavenly atmosphere to the tourists.
Things to do
Boating along the 1.25 km long lake
Relaxing and fishing in the waters
Horse riding for adventurous minds
A long walk amid the quiet and charming environment
If you want to immerse into the exotic beauty of Mirik Lake, then the best season to visit Darjeeling is during the summers or the spring season.
Rejuvenate your mind and soul at the Peace Pagoda
The Peace Pagoda in Darjeeling is symbolic of spreading peace and harmony among the people in the hills. It provides absolute relief from the stresses and anxieties of daily life. You will be transformed into a world of eternity while meditating or relaxing in its composed and peaceful environment.
The architectural beauty of the Pagoda represents the traditional Japanese style. It hosts four glittering golden-coloured Buddha statues. The carvings on the walls depict the life stories of Lord Buddha.
Acquaintance with Batasia Loop, an amazing architectural marvel in Darjeeling
The Batasia Loop was an innovative creation to ease the path of the toy train from the steep high station of Ghoom. There is almost a 1000 feet sharp descend from Ghoom station, difficult for a small toy train to pass through the narrow gauge. The loop was constructed with a large circular shape to ease out the gradient of the slope.
The word Batasia in English means space filled up with air. The loop serves as one of the important Darjeeling sightseeing places due to its natural attractions. It has a beautiful garden embellished with colourful flowers, plants, shrubs, and lush green grass. You can see the pristine mountain Rhododendron flowers, the Silver Firs, and the majestic tea plantations. There are seating arrangements for the tourists to sit and witness the magnificent views of the hills.
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Batasia Loop was made in 1919 as it was the key to the successful execution of the Darjeeling toy train services. Later in 1995, a War Memorial was created as a mark of respect to the Gorkha soldiers commemorating their sacrifice for the Independence of India. You can find the statue of a soldier and a Cenotaph at the place.
Did you know?
Batasia Loop is a significant creation of Indian engineers and architects. It is a vital innovation for the smooth operations of the toy train in Darjeeling.
Enjoy the Aromatic Tea at Darjeeling Tea Garden
Over 17,500 hectares of land are spread with the lush green tea gardens of the many tea estates in Darjeeling. Records say that approximately 80 tea plantations are adorning the mountain slopes of the hill stations. The famous among the tea estates is the Happy Valley Tea Estate. The estate permits tourists to enter into its premises and observe the procedures of tea making. There is a guided tour available in the estate to be acquainted with the entire tea producing process. You can even taste the different flavours of tea to soothe your taste buds. They sell different varieties of tea at their estate counters for the visitors.
The other prominent tea estates which you can visit in Darjeeling are the Glenburn, Chamong, Gomtee and Makaibari Tea Estates. They also sell their tea specialities for the tourists. Some tea estates also provide opportunities for tea plucking at their gardens. Darjeeling has a historical significance in tea cultivation for a whopping 200 years. It is phenomenal to observe the mountain slopes carpeted by many tea gardens transforming the hills into a dreamland.
The view of the tea plantations is at its peak best during the summers and the spring season. If you want to immerse into the pristine beauty of the lush green tea gardens, the best time to visit Darjeeling is in the summer and spring seasons.
Energize your adventurous mind by river rafting in Teesta
White water river rafting at the enormous River Teesta is one of the exciting activities to do in Darjeeling. Depending on your skill level and expertise, you can select from the different grades of the Rapids. The Grades vary from 1 to 4; however, the tough ones can only be attempted by professional rafters.
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The rafting is quite an attraction for any tourists visiting Darjeeling be it the locals, Indian or International visitors. There are packages available at varying price ranges for individuals as well as groups. If you are an adventure enthusiast, then you must try out this challenging activity on the rapidly flowing river.
An Off-season Visit to Darjeeling during the winters
For an ethereal experience of the snow-capped Himalayas and a feeling of cosiness within the blankets of cold, the best time to visit Darjeeling is during the winters. The mountain glaciers enhance the scintillating beauty of the place. The beauty unfolds with the fluffy snowy layers along the hill slopes. For adventure lovers, there are winter treks conducted to the monasteries situated at heights. It is indeed a hilarious experience to snuggle into the winter chill temperatures and indulge in the captivating view of the exhilarating scenery.
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Darjeeling hosts the Teesta Tea and Tourism Fest every year during the winter months of November and December. It is one of the popular festivals held in Darjeeling held amid the vivacious tea plantations. The air is filled with fun and enjoyment during the fest, enticing thousands of tourists into the tranquillity of the hill station. The visitors are entertained with music, dance, and songs native to the hills. Food and beverage stalls are set up in large numbers for the tourists to enjoy the local food delicacies, especially the momos, noodles, and the authentic tea from the hills.
How to reach Darjeeling?
The nearest airport is Bagdogra, situated at a distance of 95 km away from Darjeeling. There are many cabs available for hire from the airport to the city.
The nearest railway station is New Jalpaiguri, situated at a distance of 90 km from Darjeeling. You can hire a cab to reach the city.
Many people have a question on how to reach Darjeeling by road? Is it safe to drive a long-distance? Are the roads proper and how much hectic a journey would be? Well, the answer is, Darjeeling is well connected with the major cities of West Bengal. You can safely drive your vehicle to reach the hill station. The distance between Darjeeling and Kolkata, the capital city of West Bengal is 651 km with the travelling time being almost 14 hours. Kalimpong is closer to Darjeeling, at a distance of 51 km away. Tourists from Sikkim and Nepal can also reach the city by road, situated at a distance of 100 km and 310 km respectively.
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Among the many hill stations in India, Darjeeling with its exotic natural wonders treasures a special place. Its charismatic beauty is unparalleled, wooing the nature admirers and adventure lovers from all over the world. Its dazzling beauty enthrals the human mind and soothes the tiring soul.