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A Beautiful Path To Darjeeling
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The hill town of Darjeeling is located at the northern part West Bengal, at an altitude of 6710 ft. Darjeeling itself doesn’t have a regular broad gauge railway station or an airport. New Jalpaiguri is the major railway junction, while Bagdogra is the nearest airport. If you are not very sure about how to reach your next holiday destination, here are some tips for you:
1. Take a train to New Jalpaiguri (NJP). Darjeeling lies 88km from here. There are ample taxis and shared jeeps that will take you to Darjeeling within 3.5 hours via the main highway, known as the Hill Cart Road. You may also take a train to Siliguri Junction station as well. From there too you will get plenty of buses, taxis and shared jeeps to reach Darjeeling. If you are ready for a 7.5 hour ride, you may take the toy train ride from NJP or Siliguri and reach Darjeeling exploring the scenic mountain route amidst the green tea plantations.
2. There are bus services from Kolkata to Siliguri. From Siliguri take shared jeeps or taxis. Shared jeeps may not be very comfortable as they take in too many people in one ride.
3. Fly down to Bagdogra. From there take a taxi or rented car to cover the 94 km distance between Bagdogra and Darjeeling. The distance will be covered at around 3.5 hours.
Darjeeling tea, known worldwide for its distinct flavour, is one of the main contributors to the town’s economy and also to tourism. The beauty of the quaint town is enhanced by endless mountain slopes of green tea plantations.
The population of the place is very diverse, inhabiting people of different communities like Tibetans, Chinese, Gorkhas, Bengalis, Anglo Indians, Biharis and many indigenous ethnic groups. The languid lifestyle of the inhabitants adds to attracting tourists.
The diversity of the locals had quite an influence on the cuisine of the city. Darjeeling is famous for its Tibetan noodles, known as thukpa, and steamed dumplings with vegetarian or non- vegetarian fillings, called momos. The diverse demography also leads to the celebration of diverse festivals feted by different communities inhabiting here.
Darjeeling is also famous for its bakeries that serve a variety of breads and freshly baked biscuits. Visitors try the delicacies and even pack extra to take back home. If you are looking for more tourist hotspots, head on to the Chowrasta and Mall Road to buy Tibetan woollens, jewellery, local handicrafts, tea and jewellery at reasonable rates.
Some travel tips:
If you are planning for trekking, rock climbing, hang gliding, mountaineering and other adventure sports, pack proper sports attire with comfortable shoes.
Carry woollen cloth, socks, jackets, caps, mufflers and gloves. For summers carry light woollens.
If visiting in the peak season, book hotels well in advance.
If you are an NRI, carry Visas and passport with you all the time as government officials may ask for checking and verification.
It is better to avoid the monsoon season.
Carry binoculars and good quality camera.
Bring candles and torch as power cut is quite frequent.
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