Internationally renowned for its Tea industry and the heritage Toy Train, Darjeeling a small hill town nestled on the slopes of the Shivalik hills is a much popular destination of the country. Surrounded by emerald tea gardens, orchids, pine, and rhododendrons, this picturesque and harmonious hill town of Darjeeling will instantly make anyone fall in love with its plethora of amazing things to do, the natural grandeur, scenic vistas and the unique blend of indigenous traditions and modern sophistication.
Apart from the natural grandeur and trading aspects of Darjeeling, let us now take a look into some of its historical sightseeing places.
1. Bengal Natural History Museum:
Amongst various historical sightseeing places in Darjeeling, Bengal Natural History Museum is one greatly fancied by innumerable nature and wildlife lovers. The museum offers you a glimpse into the colorful world of its exotic plants and animal species.
Location: Chowk Bazaar, Darjeeling.
Significance: The Museum exhibits a unique collection of flora & fauna of the Himalayan region.
Opening hours: 9am to 5pm on all days of the week except on Thursdays and national holidays.
Entry fee: 10 INR
2. Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park:
Perched on a steep hill, Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park ranks as one of the famous Darjeeling sightseeing places. Popularly known as Darjeeling Zoo, it has a record of drawing more than 300,000 visitors annually. It is perhaps a good place for studying fauna of the Himalayan region.
Location: Jawahar Parbat, Darjeeling.
Significance: The largest zoo in the country internationally recognised for its conservation breeding programmes of highly endangered animal species. E.g.; Red Panda, Snow Leopard, Siberian tigers and many more.
Opening hours: Normally 8:30 am to 4:30 pm but timings change according to season and weather.
- 20 INR for Indian citizens
- 50 INR for foreigners
- 10 INR for camera
3. Dali Monastery:
Originally named as Druk Sangay Choeling Gompa, the Dali Monastery is a fine example of typical Tibetan architecture and Buddhist culture. The humming sound and holy chants resonating from the monastery renders a peaceful and spiritual ambiance for visitors who come to the place in seek of solitude.
Location: Dali, Darjeeling.
Significance: The monastery belongs to the Kragyupa Sects of Buddhism.
Opening hours: Open from early morning until evening.
4. Old Ghoom Monastery:
On your way to Darjeeling hill town, stop by the Ghoom station to pay a humble devout to the region`s oldest monastery, one which was constructed by Lama Sherab Gyantso in 1975. This is a must-see sightseeing place of Darjeeling which treats its visitors with excellent mountain views and serene atmosphere.
Location: Ghoom, Darjeeling.
Significance: One of the oldest Tibetan Buddhist monasteries which belongs to the Yellow Hat Sector Gelukpa.
Key attractions: The 15 feet high statue of Maitreya Buddha.
Opening hours: Early morning till evening.
5. Japanese Buddhist Temple & Peace Pagoda:
If you want to get a true sense of divine peace and contemplation, then you should definitely go and visit the Japanese Buddhist Temple & Peace Pagoda. It is perhaps the tallest structure standing in Darjeeling that was built in order to propagate peace and prosperity in the world.
Location: Jalpahar, Darjeeling.
Significance: Japanese Peace Pagoda is a religious historical monument built in traditional Japanese style which showcases the four avatars of Lord Buddha.
Opening hours: All days of the week from 4:30 am to 7 pm.
6. Batasia Loop:
Batasia Loop is another historically significant sightseeing place in Darjeeling which like no other place offers a panoramic 360-degree view of the enchanting hill town`s landscape. The interesting spiral loop and delightful floral garden make the place simply alluring.
Location: Hill Cart Road, Darjeeling.
Significance: Batasia Loop houses a war memorial which stands as a reminiscence of the Gorkha Martyrs of Darjeeling.
Opening hours: 5 am to 8 pm.
Entry fee: 10 INR
7. Himalayan Mountaineering Institute:
Regarded as an important sightseeing tourist place in Darjeeling, the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute homes a well-stocked museum comprising of several mountaineering artifacts, displays and also some personal gears of Sir Tenzing Norgay.
Location: Jawahar Parbat, Darjeeling.
Significance: Built to commemorate the success of Tenzing Norgay Sherpa, the first person to climb Mt. Everest.
Key attractions: Tenzing Rock, and the museum that showcases many mountaineering artifacts.
Opening hours: Daily from 9 am to 5 pm.
Entry fee: 40 INR and an additional charge of 10 INR for taking cameras inside.
8. Himalayan Tibet Museum:
Established in the year 2015, the Museum is a unit of a well known non-profitable organization in Darjeeling called Manjushree Centre of Tibetan Culture that has been focusing on the preservation of Tibetan culture and heritage.
Location: 12 Gandhi Road, Darjeeling.
Historical significance: The newest Tibetan museum in Darjeeling.
Opening hours: Open on all days except Wednesdays between 9:30 am to 5 pm (during summer) and 10 am to 4 pm (winter).
9. DHR Ghoom Museum:
Located at the Ghoom Station, DHR Ghoom Museum is one of the three museums established Darjeeling district to showcase the heritage of Toy Train of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. It owns some rare artifacts, photographs, and the oldest Toy Train Engine, ‘Baby Sivok.’
Location: Ghoom station, Ghoom, Darjeeling.
Significance: Founded in the year 2000 to showcase the heritage of Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Toy Train.
Opening hours: 10 am to 4 pm.
Entry fee: 20 INR