Overview - Darjeeling Hills
The name Darjeeling is almost synonymous with “Tea” as Scotch is with “Whisky”. Tea growing dates back almost 170 years when a British civil surgeon Dr.Archibald Campbell successfully planted seeds in his own garden, the rest, as they say, is history and today, most employment and economic dependence stems from this advent. Its produce is sold throughout the world.
Darjeeling is now a bustling hill station city in the northern part of West Bengal and a major tourism hub for adventure, leisure and of course spending time staying within the tea plantations away from the main town, where, one can learn about the art of tea cultivation.
Grand Himalayan views of the Kangchenjunga Mountain range can be seen from Darjeeling and is one of the most spectacular sights in the world. Here lies the Kanchendzonga Biosphere Reserve which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The forests here are semi-evergreen temperate forests, Sal & Bamboo forests, Alluvial plains(Dooars) and leading up to Oak & Alpine forests at higher altitudes; all of which are hotspots for biodiversity and the regions is one of the most important ecological areas of India.
Lava & Neora Valley National Park
Close to the Bhutanese border, Neora Valley is a pristine stretch of forest ranging from altitude of 1600 m to 3000m above sea-level through which the Neora river flows. A paradise, there are around 200 bird species recorded here with sightings of spectacular species. It as been declared an IBA(Important Bird Area of the world).
Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary & Latpanchar
The North-east of India has several wonders, of which the beautiful Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary is one of them. Located at the foothills of the Himalayas, the Rivers of the Mahananda & Teesta surround this sanctuary and create a heavenly ecosystem which is teeming with bird life and other flora and fauna.
Situated at an altitude of 800m to 1500m above sea level, one witnesses varying habitats of the Doaars (alluvial plains), Broadleaf Forests, Riverine Forest as well as Montane forest.
Best Time to Visit Darjeeling Hills
- Best time is from November till the end of Mid-May.
- An ideal time to visit is between Mid-March to mid-May: Blooming of the Rhododendron and the 40 species of Orchids which are found in this magical place.
- Anytime from November to the mid-May is a good time to visit Darjeeling.
Highlight Species - Darjeeling Hills
Walking Safaris : There are walking trails all over, and it is the only way to navigate through the hilly terrain. However, a vehicle remains with you till the last motorable point.
How to reach Darjeeling Hills
By Air : The nearest air head is Bagdogra Airport at a distance of 87 kms from the Darjeeling. Bagdogra is well connected with major cities in India, like New Delhi, Mumbai, Guwahati and even Kolkata.
By Train : The nearest Railway Station is New Jalpaiguri Station, which is 83 km and takes around 04 hour drive from Darjeeling. The city is well connected with all the key birding areas of Sikkim.
By Road : Darjeeling, is well connected to all the nearby cities.
- Distance from Gangtok to Darjeeling is around 115 km takes about 4 hours
- Distance from Siliguri to Darjeeling is approximately 77 km takes around 4 hours