Draped over a steep mountain ridge, surrounded by tea plantations and backed by a splendid Himalayan panorama, the archetypal hill station of Darjeeling is rightly West Bengal’s premier drawcard. When you aren’t gazing at Khangchendzonga (8598m), you can explore colonial mansions and churches, Buddhist and Hindu temples, botanical gardens and a zoo for Himalayan fauna. The steep narrow streets are crowded with colourful souvenir and handicraft shops, and a good steaming brew and excellent Indian and Tibetan fare are never far away. For the adventurous there are superb treks which trace ancient trade routes and provide magnificent viewpoints.
Most tourists visit after the monsoon (October and November) and during spring (mid-March to the end of May) when skies are dry, panoramas are clear and temperatures are pleasant.
Best places to stay in Darjeeling
Trekking in the Indian Himalaya travel guide
Our expert author, trekking the Indian Himalaya since 1970, will be your guide to some of the world's most awesome trekking. Whether you are an experienced trekker or a first-timer, you're sure to find the ultimate trekking experience here.
Eyes bigger than your stomach
Bring a hearty appetite, roomy trousers, and a camera to these delicious destinations, where the presentation of food has become a spectacle in itself. 1.
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This is the Eastern Himalaya - Darjeeling & Sikkim chapter from Lonely Planet's Trekking in the Indian Himalaya guidebook.
Darjeeling destination guides
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If you have ever balked at the notion of a long Indian road trip with small children – but nevertheless longed to get back to the good old days of the open Asian overland trails - the Rajdhani Express train from Delhi to Darjeeling might be just the easy, family-friendly adventure you are seeking.
Sikkim Bhutan Trek
A spectacular trek in Sikkim combined with a cultural odyssey in Bhutan
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A superb journey to the heart of Darjeeling, Sikkim and Bhutan
India with children
Sound daunting? It needn't be - with these tips, you'll be whisking them round temples before they can say 'But why?' We decided to explore Northern India with our three-, two-, and one-year-old toddlers in tow: 10 hot days in Delhi and Agra, followed by a fortnight heading up to Darjeeling and then on to Sikkim (by train and b.