When you get only 2-4 day holiday, Hill stations are best place to spend that time. After visiting many hill station in west & north, my next destination was east. Darjeeling, a hill station in Sikkim is indeed a delight on hill.
Darjeeling for many people will be just like another hill station. Small roads, small market, very few sightseeing but despite all these things, what makes Darjeeling special is view from the hill and weather. Since Darjeeling is close to Nepal, you can see Kanchanjanga Mountain from almost any part of the city. This is applicable only when there is no fog covering the beautiful mountains. Unfortunately when I visited the city, it was beginning of monsoon season. The entire city and surrounding was covered with fog and occasional monsoon brought the cold weather.
Another scenic sight in Darjeeling is that of tea estate. The entire hill and surrounding is covered with tea plantation. Even small places are used in tea plantation. The Darjeeling Tea gets it’s unique taste because it is planted in hilly area with the unpredictable weather. Darjeeling tea is generally a Green Tea or Black Tea. A walk to tea estate will fill your senses with fresh fragrance of tea plants. The estate are well planned and perfectly monitored. If you are lucky, you will also get the sight of workers who are working in tea estate. There is a technique through which they pick the tea plants which are further processed to get the aromatic Darjeeling Tea. The entire process is worth witnessing and if you get chance don’t forget to try your hands on plucking the tea.
Apart from tea estates, there are few another must visit places in Darjeeling. For religious people, there is Peace Pagoda, Dhoom Monastry in Dhoom which is 15-20 minute distance from Darjeeling and Japanese Temple near Peace Pagoda. For animal lovers, there is Padma Naidu Zoology Park. The park has many variety of deer but best thing are Red Panda. They are the cuter animal I have ever seen.
There are many small cities/town near Darjeeling or on the way to Darjeeling which are also worth visiting. One of which I liked and obviously visited is Mirik. Mirik comes near the Nepal boarder. On the way from Darjeeling to Mirik, one can visit Pashupanti Market. Visitors get one day visa to enter Nepal and shop in Pashupanti market. The road towards Mirik is also indeed scenic. Mirik is again a town on a hill. The famous place in Mirik is Mirik Lake and a Monastery. The long trees in the forest near Mirik lake gives the feeling of Bollywood song sequence where hero & heroin are dancing around the tree with the beautiful backdrop of lake and mountains. For small kids, there is horse ride between the lake & forest.
Darjeeling has everything from mountains, cold weather, scenic views to animal park! It is a place for all types of tourist, whether you are honeymooners, family or explorer.. It has it all!