Traveller’s Guide to Darjeeling
I have closely been associated with the tourism industry and have contributed by writing guidebooks on both Sikkim and Darjeeling. Both my guide books published by Milestone, Sikkim, have been hugely successful. Shakti Himalayas use me as their VVIP guide and I enjoy accompanying tourists romping around Darjeeling Hills. This version of Traveller’s Guide to Darjeeling is an updated version of my guidebook.
The question of ‘where to spend one’s Holiday’ frequently presents many difficulties. Divergent views as to the type of resort to be chosen often exists in the best ordered of families. Many desire the tranquility of a resort of world charm and undisturbed natural beauty. This guide is offered as a sincere contribution to the solution of such a problem since Darjeeling has unanimously been described as the ‘Queen of Hill Stations’ and is unique in its versatility. Enjoying the distinction of being the most popular hill resort, the town is encircled with such infinite charm that to render an adequate description seems somewhat impossible.
For the tourists, fresh from the sights of other lands, Darjeeling comes not only as a delightful surprise but as a veritable relief from the hot and sultry weather of the plains. From the surroundings of this unrivalled mountainous town which stands at an average height of 7,000 feet above sea level, one sees the breath-taking beauty of the snow-covered peaks, the tips of which seem too silvery to be real, while on the slopes you get a dappled effect of vivid white and patches of grey.
Darjeeling is at once, both old and new. The cosmopolitan town itself has come a long way since its modest beginnings in 1835. The new includes modern amenities, first class hotels, comprehensive shopping malls, some of India’s most famous boarding -schools, cinema halls and the world’s smallest race-course. Yet a few miles out of the town one comes into contact with age old customs and ways of living – hand plowed, terraced, hill side fields, surrounded by gaily painted huts, hollowed out bamboo pipes for carrying water, and villages still utterly un-spoilt by the rush and materialism of the Twenty First Century.