Himalayan Mountaineering Institute


Within the zoo precinct, the prestigious HMI was founded in 1954 and has provided training for some of India’s leading mountaineers. Its fascinating Mountaineering Museum exhibits evocative memorabilia from the 1922 and 1924 Everest expeditions, which set off from Darjeeling, as well as more-recent summit attempts – including the successful 1953 climb. Just outside the museum are Tenzing Norgay's samadhi (cremation spot) and a Tenzing statue. The intrepid Everest summiteer was a director and adviser at the institute for many years.

An odd curiosity of the museum is the Carl Zeiss telescope presented by Adolf Hitler to the head of the Nepali Army.

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

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Darjeeling attractions

2. Rangit Valley Ropeway

0.21 MILES

The scenic Rangit Valley cable car was out of action at research time due to maintenance and an administrative/legal hiatus. Ask at your accommodation…

3. Happy Valley Tea Estate

0.59 MILES

This 1854 estate on the northwest edge of town is a good place to learn about tea, especially when plucking and processing are in progress (March to…

4. Tibetan Refugee Self-Help Centre


Established in 1959, this refugee centre includes a Tibetan Buddhist temple, workshops producing carpets, woodcarvings, wool and woollen items, plus a…

5. Lloyd Botanic Garden

1.09 MILES

These half-hidden gardens contain an impressive collection of Himalayan plants, most famously orchids and rhododendrons. Follow the signs down Loch Nagar…

6. Observatory Hill

1.14 MILES

The hill rising above Chowrasta is home to several much-visited temples, approached through a flurry of colourful prayer flags and hanging bells. The main…

7. Bhutia Busty Gompa

1.14 MILES

This temple originally stood on Observatory Hill, but was rebuilt in its present location in the 19th century. It houses fine murals depicting the life of…