Darjeeling, Queen of the Himalayas, is a mesmerizing hill station towering the glorious Khangchendzonga and home to a population of diverse cultures and some fascinating flora and fauna to observe. The city with the colonial-era architecture, Buddhist monasteries, a 140-year-old Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, and beautiful emerald-green tea plantations will art a great vacation and provide you with endless opportunities to experience new things. And it is on our top list to visit Darjeeling in winter season.
Best Time To Visit Darjeeling
Darjeeling during winter turns the hill station into a double delightful destination. Darjeeling temperature in winter is bearable and pleasant, least crowded and most scenic just about the right place for chill lover. The best part about the Darjeeling during winter is that you can enjoy both the city with no winter snow in December and the city with winter snow in January. Many tourist attractions are open in December and there are lesser chances of snowfall.
How To Reach Darjeeling
By Air: The nearest airport to Darjeeling is 95 km away in Bagdogra. There are some direct flights from major Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Guwahati, and Kolkata to Darjeeling.
By Road: You can either take a bus or drive to Darjeeling from towns like Bagdogra, Kalimpong, and Gangtok. Darjeeling is also connected with the city Kolkata which is 651 km away.
By Train: The nearest railway station to Darjeeling is New Jalpaiguri which connects the city with all the major parts of India.
Why Visit Darjeeling In Winter 2019
Here’s what all you can do in Darjeeling in the winter season to make the most of the snowy season in this charming town up in the hills.
1. Be A Part Of Darjeeling’s Festivals
There are two major festivals which take part in Darjeeling in winter, The Teesta Tea & Tourism Festival, during which the landscapes of Darjeeling transform into a large multi-colored fair selling different types of tea gardens. And the Darjeeling Orange Festival, where many villagers from over 50 villages participate in this festival offering fresh produce from their gardens.
2. Gaze At The Breathtaking Sunrise And Sunset From Tiger Hill
It is ideal to visit the Tiger Hill in the early morning when the first rays sun kisses the Mt Kanchenjunga and give it a golden color, illuminating it in gorgeous colors, the view is simply spectacular. Hiking is one of the best things to do in Darjeeling in winter. Make sure you get there at 3 AM in the morning to grab the best place for your view, since this place gets very crowded by 4 AM.
3. Set Out For A Trekking Expedition
Darjeeling is one of the most popular areas to trek in where you can get a view of four of the highest peaks in the world. The temperature of Darjeeling in winter is very pleasant and is just about the right one for a walk so it is optimal if you spend some time walking or trekking around Darjeeling, it will leave you with a positive lasting impression of this natural dreamland.
4. Indulge On Some Local Cuisines
There are several North-Eastern dishes to try out when you’re in Darjeeling, and we’re not talking about just momos and thukpa. From North Indian, Nepali, to Tibetan food, this place is a delight for foodies from across the world. You can enjoy some delicious food like the famous Sael Roti that is available at almost every street joint in every nook and corner of this charming town. The street food here is the perfect snack for beating the cold weather in Darjeeling in winter.
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5. Ride The Toy Train
The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway was built between 1879 and 1881 and for a comprehensive Darjeeling sightseeing tour, you must take this ride. It will give you an experience of the breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding snow-capped hills, the lush green tea plantations, and the quaint valleys. And the delightful ride around the Batasia Loop that will make you feel like you’re riding in a roller coaster in an amusement park, but in the company of some awesome surroundings!
6. Discover The Buddhist Monasteries
Zang Dhok Palri Phodang or the Lava Monastery is one of the most beautiful and popular monasteries in Darjeeling. The Lava Monastery houses many rare scriptures that were brought into India after the invasion of Tibet in 1959. The monastery also offers some beautiful architecture; serene surroundings and magnificent views make it a must-see attraction.
Suggested Read: 10 Darjeeling Travel Tips To Make Your Trip Hassle-Free And Fun
7. Ride The Thrilling Darjeeling Ropeway
The best way to witness the panoramic views of Darjeeling with your family or friends is through taking the Darjeeling Ropeway. This 45-minute cable car ride takes you up at an altitude of 7,000 ft over this attractive retreat. this is among the best ways to witness the snowy landscapes and ice-covered peaks of Darjeeling in winter when it has turned into a winter wonderland.
8. Go River Rafting In The Teesta River
For adrenaline junkies, you should go rafting in the Teesta River. The mesmerizing view of the thick forests, the sloppy mountains, the various birds’ species, and fish in the water, combined with the excitement of rafting will give you an unforgettable experience. Do make sure you keep a tab on the weather forecast and ask your tour operator if it’s a good idea to go river rafting before you actually end up in the water.
9. Visit The Happy Valley Tea Estate
Darjeeling is famous all over the world for its delicious tea, which comes from Darjeeling’s vivid green tea plantations. The city’s second oldest tea estate is open for visitors to have a serene walk at. During the experience a guide will walk you through the tea factory, explaining the whole tea production cycle and the different varieties of tea. At the end of the tour, you can sample tea and you can buy some from which was produced in the estate.
10. Meet The Endangered Himalayan Wolf
Located in the famous town of Darjeeling, the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park is one of the top things to visit in Darjeeling in winter. The wildlife is one of the best destinations for families and kids. At the Zoological Park, you can see the endangered Himalayan wolf, the snow leopards, Tibetan Wolves, Clouded leopards, Red Panda, and more.
The secret of the North Eastern Himalayas can be explored with a leisurely holiday in Darjeeling in winter when you’re visiting with your favorite travel companions. So, while you’re planning your list of destinations to visit in Darjeeling, don’t forget to keep this list with you to ensure you spend a memorable time on this beautiful hill station.
Frequently Asked Questions About Darjeeling In Winter
A. Yes, Darjeeling is an amazing place for winter lovers. The temperature varies from 2.5°C to 11.2°C. For snow lovers, January is the best time to Darjeeling.
A. April to June is considered as an ideal time to visit Darjeeling. People who wish to see the snowfall should visit Darjeeling in October and winter months. However, the attractions in the higher altitudes are not accessible during heavy snowfall.
A. Darjeeling is famous for its toy train, tea gardens and the panoramic views of Mt. Kanchenjunga. In fact, the toy train of Darjeeling has been declared a UN heritage. The lush greenery of tea plantations and salubrious weather make it a nice place for tourists to visit.
A. Darjeeling has not one but many beautiful attractions in its kitty which makes sightseeing an interesting affair. Tiger Hill, Singalila National Park, Batasia Loop, Observatory Hill, are some of the places to visit in Darjeeling.
A. Snowfall is not very common in Gangtok town. However, one can witness snowfall in places like Tsomgo lake and Nathula Pass Places in higher altitudes have higher chances of snowfall.
A. Yes, it usually remains open in December, depending upon the snowfall. There is a high probability that the roads remain closed due to heavy snowfall. November and March are better months to plan a visit.
A. Yes, it is completely safe to visit Darjeeling in December. You can visit Mirik ,Takdah, Tinchuley, Lamahatta, Kurseong, Sukhia & many other places in Darjeeling.
A. The average temperature in Gangtok in December is around 4°C. Snowfall is not so common in Gangtok town, however, routes to high altitude places like Nathula Pass and Tsomgo Lake may get closed due to heavy snowfall. Tourists tend to avoid Gangtok in monsoon and winter.
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