Places of Interest
The Chowrastha Mall
Whatever the season, the best place to start is Chowrasta. Or stop, for that matter, because the inviting benches that ring the wide promenade offer perhaps the finest opportunity in India to simply sit down and watch life go by. Beside you on the benches will be plenty of other visitors from out of town. Chowrasta is also a stop for many locals on a morning or evening walk while a popular hangout for schoolchildren on their lunchbreak or lingering after the final bell and before the walk home. From stately Tibetan matrons who survey with a proprietorial eye to retiring retired gentlemen who slowly peruse their newspapers, Chowrasta can give you a glimpse of much of Darjeeling . Chowrasta is the assembly point for the Tibetans' ponies that offer visitors the chance to make a slow, and decidedly unadventurous, horseback tour of various sights along a well-plodded circuit.
The hilltop above Darjeeling main bazaar from where one can view into the horizon north, east and west. It is also the site of the Buddhist shrine, Dorje Ling. However, with the overwhelming Hindu population in the area, it's presiding deity is now Lord Shiva though the original Buddhist shrine still remains. Devotees throng the hill all the year round.
Himalayan Mountaineering Institute
Established after the conquest of Everest by Hillary and Tenzing, the HMI is a mountaineering school and has a fine museum with historical climbing archives.
Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park
The only center in India for the captive breeding of Snow Leopards, the Himalayan Zoological Park houses a wide variety of animals and birds some of which are Siberian tigers, Himalayan black bears, Red Pandas and the Llama of the Andes .
Tibetan Refugee Self Help Center
The Tibetan Refugee Self Help Center was established in 1959 for the rehabilitation of the Tibetan refugees. It is a major center for production of excellent Tibetan crafts such as carpets and woodcarvings.
Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum has a fine collection of Himalayan mammals, reptiles, birds, insects and butterflies of the region.
Lloyd Botanical Garden
The Lloyd Botanical Garden , is named after William Lloyd who donated the site in 1878. A fine collection of alpine flora including many species of orchids can be seen there.
Situated below the railway station is the Dhirdham Temple . It is a replica of the famous Pashupatinath Temple of Kathmandu and was erected by Dhir Shamsher Rana of Nepal .
Batasia Loop and War Memorial
Take a 'Joyride' on the Toy Train from Darjeeling to Ghoom - a short roundtrip journey no more than 15 kilometres and enroute the train halts at the Batasia Loop where you can enjoy a scenic view of Darjeeling against a backdrop of the mountains. The War Memorial, built around a garden above the perimeters of the loop is dedicated to the brave Gorkha soldiers who laid down their lives for the motherland.
Yiga Choling Monastery
Fifteen images of the Maitreya Buddha lie reposed inside the Yiga Choling Monastery in Ghoom.
Besides forest reserves and tiny pockets of farmland, tea gardens occupy the major tracts of arable land in hills of Darjeeling district. During the picking and processing seasons, sightseeing in Darjeeling will include a tea garden visit.
Thirteen kilometers from Darjeeling at an altitude of around 2,500 meters is Tiger Hill from where one can get a dramatic view of the sunrise across the Himalayan panorama. Peaks visible from Tiger Hill include Mt. Everest , Khanchendzonga, Jannu and Kabru.
Rock Garden and Ganga Maya Park
Rock garden as the name suggests, is a garden fully made out of rock. It is a marvel of present day architecture. Situated at a distance of about approximately 12 kilometers away from Darjeeling town and winding its way through the narrow and enthralling hilly terrain, it is a place worth a visit. Ganga Maya park situated 2 kilometers away from rock garden has a small lake at its helm, with boating facilities where one can enjoy the serene cool atmosphere of the place.