Top 5 Things to do in the Queen of Hills, Darjeeling

Darjeeling Areal View
Darjeeling, known as the Queen of the Hills, welcomes you in plush greenery covering deep valleys, colonial architecture, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, tea estates and above all tranquility. The beautiful hill station in the state of West Bengal provides you a breathtaking view of natural beauty. There are many sights that a tourist could visit, but the top 5 things we would suggest are-

Tiger Hills

Watching sun rise may seem an ordinary affair for us, but the place from which it is beholden transforms the experience altogether. Tiger Hills, 11 km south of Darjeeling is such a place where you can have a wonderful view of the rising sun in the backdrop of the great Himalayan ranges that will hold you spell bound. You can have a grand view of the Himalayan horizon stretched across 256 KMs including Everest, Lhotse and Makalu and Khangchendzonga.

Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park

Established in 1958, it is located near the Himalayan Mountaineering institute and is the largest high altitude zoo in India. It houses India’s only Siberian tiger. All of the animals are well looked after by dedicated keepers and the enclosures allow them to roam freely in an environment that mimics their natural habitat. The zoo includes an off-display breeding center for snow leopards and red pandas. In addition to these species, the zoo is breeding the Himalayan tahr, blue sheep, Himalayan monal, grey peacock pheasant, Himalayan salamander, blood pheasant and satyr tragopan. The zoo is famous for its conservation breeding programmes of the red panda,

Japanese Peace Pagoda

Sitting on a hillside at the end of AJC Bose Rd, this gleaming white pagoda is one of more than 70 pagodas built around the world by the Japanese Buddhist Nipponzan Myohoji organisation. During the drumming puja (prayers) sessions, visitors are offered a hand drum and encouraged to join in the rituals. Getting here involves a pleasant, gentle 30-minute walk from Clubside junction along Gandhi and AJC Bose Rds, past the curiously named Institute of Astroparticle Physics and Space Science.

Trek at Sandakphu

The trek to Sandakphu starts from a small village called Manebhanjang, inhabited by Buddhist Sherpas. From there, it takes eight or nine days to finish the entire trek route, but the initial panoramic view filled with the colors of magnolias, rhododendrons, primulas and silver fir forest recovering from fire, not to mention the close-ups of the entire Himalayan Belt, stays enduringly in one’s mind. Four of the world’s five highest peaks – Everest, Kanchenjunga, Makalu and Lhotse – are all visible on this trek. No wonder the Sandakphu Trek is called the ‘paradise of trekkers.

Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI)

Himalayan Mountaineering Institute
The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI Darjeeling) was established in Darjeeling on November 4, 1954 to encourage mountaineering as an organized sport in India. The first ascent of Mount Everest in 1953 by Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary sparked a keen interest in establishing mountaineering as a well-respected endeavor for people in the region. With the impetus provided by the first prime minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, HMI was established in Darjeeling. HMI regularly conducts adventure, basic and advanced mountaineering courses.

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