Tucked away within the grounds of the zoo, this prestigious mountaineering institute was founded in 1954 and has provided training for some of India’s leading mountaineers. Within the complex is the fascinating Mountaineering Museum. It houses sundry details and memorabilia from the 1922 and 1924 Everest expeditions, which set off from Darjeeling, as well as more recent summit attempts. Look for the Carl Zeiss telescope presented by Adolf Hitler to the head of the Nepali Army.

Just beside the museum, near the spot where Tenzing Norgay was cremated, stands the Tenzing Statue. The intrepid Everest summiteer lived in Darjeeling for most of his life and was the director of the institute for many years.

The HMI also runs 28-day basic and advanced mountaineering courses from March to May and September to December.