Barbotey Rock Garden or Darjeeling Rock Garden is located on a valley deep below Darjeeling is a scenically blessed place. Rock Garden is one place in Darjeeling to witness the perfect blend between nature and human being. The terraced garden built on the base of a water fall creates an excellent sight which has allured many nature lovers visiting Darjeeling towards Barbotey Rock Garden. Barbotey Rock Garden is situated at a distance of 10 km from Darjeeling. Being located in a gorge the downhill journey towards Rock Garden from Darjeeling is an added charm which can be quite scary yet adventurous for the first timer. The hair pin bends can be petrifying while the scenario of lofty mountains sketched with alpine forest is the saving grace throughout the road trip towards Rock Garden. The first sight of water cascading down the valley has a mesmerizing effect. Below the terraced garden of Rock Garden is another park called Gangamaya where traveller can enjoy the view of luxuriant tea gardens sprawled across the valley while boating in a clam lake. The sound of waterfall creates a serene ambiance while the view of cascading water leaves the bystander into a state of trance. The scenic beauty and tranquil ambiance of Rock Garden has made it a must visit destination of Darjeeling.
At an altitude of 8,497 ft above Ghoom is Tiger hill which is become a must visit destination to witness worlds one of the best sunrise. Tiger hill is located at a distance of 11km from Darjeeling. Tiger hill is famous amongst the travellers for offering the panoramic view of Mt .Kanchenjungha, Mt. Makalu and as well as on perfect clear day Mt. Everest the world’s highest mountain peak. To witness the sun slowly rise above the horizon to reveal the glittering peak of Kanchenjungha range while glazing it with a changing red to orange hue can be an everlasting memory which can be seen from Tiger hill. Tourists have travelled towards Darjeeling from around the globe to experience the astounding feel of witnessing the sunrise from Tiger hill. Tiger hill with its alluring vista of Kanchenjunga and dense forested area of alpine trees has become a must visit place while travelling to Darjeeling.
Senchal Lake is located at an altitude of 8,160 ft in between Ghum and Tiger hill on a hill top. This lake comes under Senchal wildlife sanctuary and is the main source of water supply for Darjeeling town also worth visiting.
Situated at an altitude of 7,407 ft Ghum also spelled Ghoom is 6 km far from Darjeeling. The highest altitude railway station in India is Ghum railway station and Ghum is also the 14th highest railway station of the world. Ghum Museum is situated just beside the Ghum station is a must visit place especially for railway enthusiastic. The oldest DHR loco ‘Baby Sivok’ is displayed over here apart from that old railway artefacts and rare pictures. Tourists can enjoy the joy ride from Darjeeling to Ghum and vice versa. Ghoom Monastery also known as Yiga Choeling Gompa is situated just below the Ghum railway station. It is an age old monastery of the Gelug sect of Tibetan Buddhism constructed in 1850. The monastery enshrines a 15 ft high image of Maitreya Buddha. On the road towards Mirik a huge detached rock (100 ft high) is situated which is known as Ghum rock. The mesmerising landscape of Balason valley over the rolling hills will surely mesmerise travellers.
Batasia loop Located in between Darjeeling and Ghoom is a spiral railway track to negotiate a fall of 140 ft. From here a 360 degree view of Darjeeling’s landscape always mesmerise visitors. Breathtaking view of Eastern Himalayan snow-capped ranges including Mt. Kanchenjungha will surely astound you for a while. Amidst the well manicured garden of Batasia lays the War Memorial of brave Gorkha soldiers who died after the battle of Independence. The awe-inspiring beauty and serenity of Batasia Loop never ceases to amaze the travellers visiting Darjeeling.
17 km from Darjeeling town and 16 km from Kurseong a beautiful town Sonada is situated. Sonada was one of the first places where Tibetan Refugees settled down after being exiled from Tibet. The magnificent Tibetan Monastery is a residency for young Tibetan Scholars and a Government aided school for Tibetans is also open for students from other communities. At an altitude of 6,143ft Sonada offers mesmerising views of virid valleys and mountains. In and around Sonada tourists can visit Samdrup Dorje Choeling Monastery, Gorato Nalichor Intek Cider’s is a pilgrim centre, Sani Mandir and Chatakpur Eco village which is just few kilometres from Sonada.
Kurseong means the place of white orchids. Situated at an altitude of 4860ft Kurseong is a small town located 33km away from Darjeeling is sprawled with lovely tea gardens along the mountain slopes, forests with many different flora & fauna. Because of its lower elevation, Kurseong enjoys milder and very healthy climate throughout the year. There are many view points, tea estates, temples & churches, museums, as well as famous historic schools that were setup during the British colonial days. Among the places of tourist’s interest are Eagle’s Craig, which is famous for its watchtower and well maintained hill top garden, Giddapahar View Point and the Makaibari and Ambootia tea estates. These estates conduct a paid tour which shows you how the tea leaves are processed and let you know the history behind the established of the tea estate and you can also take part in tea-tasting session. Kurseong has many heritage churches made in British Era like St. Paul's church, St. Andrew's church or St. Mary's Hill church. For all the nature lover and history buff there is place for you too Forest Museum Dowhill where one can learn about the flora and fauna of that area, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Museum consist of the furniture used by the Netaji to articles, letters and artefacts.
Rongtong situated at an altitude of 1404 ft and approximately 60 km from Darjeeling by Hill cart road is small serene hamlet amidst the virid nature located at only 17s km by toy train from Siliguri Jn and only a 7 km from Sukna. This place is quite often visited by the people residing in the plains and also by the tourists who aim to visit Darjeeling. The one and only reason to visit Rongtong is its beauty. Mother Nature showered all of her blessings to this place with green forest, rolling tea gardens and mighty Himalaya. Rongtong is paradise for both serious bird watchers as well as shutter happy travellers. Rongtong can be visited any time of the year. In autumn the forest trees are covered with golden and brown leaf which looks simply magical. Soft breeze making the leaves fall on the railway line beside the road makes it more pictorial. If anyone is searching for different shades of green then the search is over just pay a visit to Rongtong during monsoon. There is a rundown park in Rongtong which you may bypass but the sunset from that park is simply awe-inspired.
Located at a distance of 66 km from Darjeeling and very close to Siliguri Rohini is a tourist spot enriched with spectacular scenic beauty. The beauty of the roads and its surrounding is also mind blowing. Today Rohini allure tourists with its beautiful natural environment. GTA or Gorkha territorial administration has built a new tourist resort near Rohini bungalow. For Nature lovers nearby forests might also be interesting. Wildlife lovers can take a short trek through the dense forests of Lama Gompa to experience a real adventure. This is one of the oldest Teak plantations in the region and the hill has a distinctive gray look due to the uniqueness of its vegetation. Dudhia on the bank of Balason River, a popular picnic spot, is only 15 min drive from here. The Baman Pokhari forest is also nearby, where you can go for a short trek to explore. The Hilltop of Rohini provides a mesmerising view of the hills and the valleys.
Another most interesting place to visit while staying at Kolakham is seeing the mesmerising Changey fall. Shimmering and falling, breaking into a thousand shards of spray, Changey Falls is the highest altitude fall in North Bengal and it has added charm to the beautiful hamlet nearby. The journey toward Changey Falls is full of ups and downs since the road is not well maintained but the view during your journey can compensate for the rough road. To reach Changey falls from last motorable spot it is a 900 ft walk where the gust of water is falling from 400 ft high. Enjoy the natural music of dancing fall amidst raw nature.
Neora Valley National Park is the land of elegant Red Panda and Royal Bengal Tiger in the pristine undisturbed natural habitat with rugged inaccessible hilly terrain is one of the last tracts of virgin wilderness in the country. Neora sustains a unique ecosystem with tropical, sub-tropical, sub-temperate, and temperate vegetative system still harbours a wealth of flora and fauna. This forested land on a hilly terrain of Kalimpong district was declared National Park in 1986. Covering an area of 88sq km, Neora Valley National Park is located at 3 hours journey from Kalimpong. It stretches in the north up to an altitude of 10,499 ft and the highest point of this park is Rechela Pass, where it forms a boundary with Sikkim in the North and Bhutan in the North East. The altitude at its southern limit is as low as 600 ft and the forest of Jalpaiguri forms its southern boundary connecting it with Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary and the Gorumara National Park. Due to its altitudinal variation various species of birds make the park a paradise for the bird watchers. Nature has bestowed Neora Valley with a broad medley of butterflies, which provide a grand feast to the eyes with their ingrained splendour. The rich flora and fauna of Neora Valley National Park make it a paradise for nature and wildlife photography.
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