Darjeeling is a small town located in the Indian State of West Bengal. The formidable Himalayan range with a picturesque view of the magnificent Kanchenjunga (The Third highest mountain peak in the world) is a sight to behold, and attracts travellers and explorers from the world over. Darjeeling is a sparsely populated town dominated by indigenous ethnic groups such as the Bhutias, Lepchas, and Sherpas. It is also known for its tea estates and fine Darjeeling tea that’s exported all over the globe. The town has a colonial charm that is evident in the architecture as well as the social culture here.
The town has always been a tourists’ delight and has a large influx of backpackers and explorers visiting the area in search of different trekking routes and adventure sports. Darjeeling is easily accessible by road and sufficiently connected by flights and trains. There is something of interest here for every kind of traveller taking the trip to this eastern hill station. Finding the perfect abode that caters to your specific travel needs and style can be time consuming and tricky. To overcome this hurdle, here’s a little guide to where you can find the perfect accommodation.
The hill station is dotted with a number of boutique stays, giving travellers a unique yet memorable lodging experience through remarkable hospitality and personalised service.
Boutique stays can be easily found in Darjeeling, with a number of them located in areas such as Chowrasta Mall, Limbugaon, Lebong, Hill Cart Road, H.D Lama Road, and Jalapahar. Rooms are available at reasonable rates starting from INR 2400. The properties are well-maintained and provide adequate comfort.
The peak tourist season is from March to May, and between October and November. The Mall or Chowrasta is a popular tourist spot in Darjeeling, lined with eateries and heritage shops selling local goods and souvenirs. It is the social hub of the town where people come to spend their leisure time and shop. Chowrasta has some of the most comfortable and reasonably priced boutique stays. Limbugaon and Lebong are two other places very close to The Mall and Chauk Bazar, respectively, which host popular and age-old eateries, bakeries, and pubs in Darjeeling.
Trekkers and backpackers
Those seeking a bit of adventure can opt for boutique stays in Jalapahar, located at a higher altitude than the mall, where one can indulge in adventure sports like paragliding. Trekkers and backpackers can pay a visit to Tiger Hill to enjoy a picturesque view of the Kanchenjunga and Mount Everest. For a more wholesome experience of trekking and backpacking around the Himalayas, one can opt for the trek to Sandakpu along the Singalila ridge, from where you can witness four out of the five highest peaks in the world—the Everest, Kanchenjunga, Lhotse, and Makalu.
There are a host of multi-cuisine restaurants in Darjeeling in Chauk Bazar and The Mall, catering to the varied palates of tourists from all around the world. There are some famous eateries dating back to colonial times, which include Glenary’s Restaurant Bar, and Glenary’s Bakery and Café. Also, the breakfast served at Keventer’s is a must try!
A ride on the age-old toy trains of Darjeeling is a fun and enthralling experience for people of all ages. A mesmerising experience for all tea lovers is a visit to the tea estates—soaking in the aroma, enjoying the fresh produce of the tea gardens—the tea experience doesn’t get better than this! All those seeking the calm and serenity of the mountains can visit the Yiga Choeling Monastery and The Japanese Peace Pagoda, a couple of great spots for some quiet time and introspection.