Darjeeling is a hill station in the Lesser Himalaya and is an autonomous region within the state of West Bengal.
The town was primarily developed by the British in the mid-19th century as a military base. Tea plantation was extensively carried out as the elevation was ideal. The region was controlled partly by Sikkim and Nepal at the time. Later the British captured the entire area, and developed it as a hill station.
After independence, the hilly regions of Darjeeling mainly consisted of Nepalis, who demanded a separate state and recognition of their language. The latter demand was later acceded to. Due to further agitation, Darjeeling was declared an autonomous region, ruled by a hill council.
Darjeeling: The Hill Station with Natural Beauty and the Honeymoon and Outdoor Adventure destination
At an elevation of over 6000 feet, Darjeeling is one of the most scenic hill stations one can find in India.
Apart from the hills and valleys, Darjeeling has several evergreen forests, and beautiful flowers including some rare orchid varieties. Needless to say, it is home to many parks and gardens where tourists go to spend time with Nature.
Several bird species and small mammals are also found here, in addition to wildlife like the on-horned rhino, tiger, elephant and leopard.
Considering these factors it is not surprise that it is a preferred honeymoon destination.
Trekking, mountain biking are popular activities here, and the summer brings enthusiasts from all over India.
Darjeeling retains its old world charm, with its brick Chimneys, Church spires and miniature railway. Nepali and Bengali are the main languages. Apart from Dashain, Diwali and Christmas, local festivals like Darjeeling Carnival, Tibetan New Year and so on, are celebrated with fervour.
Momos, (steamed dumplings), and thukpa (noodle soup) are delicacies of the region.
Tea and Tourism keeps the wheels of Darjeeling’s economy turning. Steps are being taken to preserve the ecology that is being threatened by increasing population. A conservation Centre for Red Pandas is under way.
Climate and Best Time to Visit
The weather ranges from pleasant to chilly and visitors go to Darjeeling at all times, though April-June and September-December are most preferred.