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India » Darjeeling

Darjeeling Train

Darjeeling: "the place of the Thunderbolt"

The world renowned hill resort of Darjeeling is a welcome respite for many Indians during the hot summer months. Situated at 2,134 m above sea level, it is stones throw away from Nepal's Eastern border. Darjeeling was acquired by the British from the Raja of Sikkim as a gift around a hundred and fifty years ago, it was developed into a rest and recreational center for British troops. Today the town retains many of the legacies of the British Government.

Treks in the Darjeeling region are generally moderate and mainly based in the Singalila range of hills which provide some splendid views of the Himalayas including Everest, Kanchenjunga and Makalu, High pasture dominates in an area bequeathed with Rhododendrons and a vast assortment of plants and wildlife especially in Springtime, making this an ideal time for nature lovers to explore the area. Over six hundred species of orchids and about two hundred types of rhododendron flourish. .

The Toy Train:

By the late 1800s, Darjeeling had gained in importance as a hill station but the only means of transportingtion goods to and from the town was by bullock cart using the famous Hill Cart Road which began on the plains at Siliguri. An agent of the East Bengal Railway, Franklyn Prestage came up with the plan for a narrow gauge rail link between Siliguri and Darjeeling. Construction started in 1879 and the first train pulled by one of these ‘gutsy’ little steam engines and three coaches puffed into Darjeeling on 4th July, 1881.

Nicknamed ‘Toy Trains’ they have been making daily journeys for over a century. The journey takes around 8 hours - the trip is more of an experience rather than the quickest way of transport nowadays to reach Darjeeling....Famous for its Tea Gardens ‘Darjeeling’ and ‘excellent tea’ have become synonymous with tea drinkers the world over.

Kalimpong - "The Governor’s Fort"

As the Lepchas ,the aboriginal people of the region called it. Kalimpong nestles in Himalayan West Bengal at a modest altitude of 1,250 m. enjoying a moderate climate. Forming a close knit triangle with its more illustrious ‘neighbors’, Darjeeling and Gangtok, Kalimpong is an excellent spot for a restful and quiet holiday. Kalimpong has a number of houses, which speak of the town’s heritage and gracious living in earlier decades of this century when it was the main trading post between Tibet and British India. Today it is a flourishing floriculture center as the climate has proved to be extremely conducive.

  • North India
  • Sikkim
  • Darjeeling
  • Ladakh
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