48 Hours in Darjeeling, West Bengal, India
Located in the Indian state of West Bengal, Darjeeling is a picturesque hill station that is popularly known as the ‘Queen of the Hills’. Nestled amidst the Eastern Himalayas, Darjeeling is known for its cool climate, scenic beauty, and tea plantations. Here’s how to make the most of your 48 hours in Darjeeling.
Day 1: Morning
Start your day with a visit to Tiger Hill, one of the highest points in Darjeeling. The hill offers stunning views of the sunrise over the Kanchenjunga mountain range. Head to the top early in the morning to catch the sunrise. Don’t forget to carry a warm jacket and cap, as it can get quite chilly.
Day 1: Afternoon
After breakfast, spend some time exploring the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, also known as the ‘Toy Train’. Take a ride on the narrow-gauge train from Darjeeling to Ghum, and enjoy the scenic beauty of the tea plantations, valleys, and hills. The train ride is a great way to experience the beauty of Darjeeling.
Day 1: Evening
In the evening, explore the bustling streets of Darjeeling and indulge in some shopping. You can find a variety of items like Tibetan carpets, handicrafts, tea, and woolen items like shawls and sweaters. Don’t forget to try some of the local delicacies like momos and thukpa.
Day 2: Morning
Start your day with a visit to the Darjeeling Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, which was established in 1954 to promote mountaineering as a sport in India. The institute has a museum that exhibits a collection of mountaineering equipment, photographs, and documents related to mountaineering in the Himalayas.
Day 2: Afternoon
After lunch, head to the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park, which is home to several endangered species like snow leopards, red pandas, and Himalayan black bears. The zoo also has a breeding program for the endangered red panda. You can also visit the adjacent Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and the Tibetan Refugee Self-Help Centre.
Day 2: Evening
End your trip with a visit to the Happy Valley Tea Estate, which is one of the oldest tea plantations in Darjeeling. You can take a guided tour of the tea estate and learn about the process of tea production. You can also sample different types of tea.
With these suggestions, you’re sure to have an unforgettable 48 hours in Darjeeling.