Activities

Darjeeling is considered to be the “Queen of the Hills” in India. The place is remarkable for its panoramic beauty and is an ideal destination for the tourist to be in harmony with the nature. The tour to Darjeeling provides a wide variety of activities from leisurely walk to the more grueling activities such as trekking, river rafting and other adventurous sports. Please find below some of the activities which can be done in Darjeeling.

White Water Rafting in Teesta, Darjeeling

If you have a little sense of adventure, then don't miss out on this one. White water rafting is easy to organize with your Darjeeling trip. The rafting on the river Teesta is an amazing experience where the foaming river flows down a valley with forested banks and mountains on both sides. The many birds, fishes, flora & fauna combined with the rafting excitement can become a memorable experience for life. Experience is not required for rafting. Paragliding in Darjeeling

This aero sport is now increasingly getting popular in Darjeeling both with tourists and locals. After all who doesn't want to fly like a bird? Additionally by watching the lovely mountain landscapes, tiny houses & mountain villages, Kanchenjunga snow peaks and even the Everest from the sky. Like experiencing the paradise? Try paragliding in Darjeeling. It can be done by anyone, even if you do not have any experience. Tandem paragliding can be conducted where a guide will accompany you and control the whole flight.

Hot Air Balloon

So what if you are bit scared to paraglide, there is another great way to view Darjeeling and the Himalayan snow peaks from the sky, and it's the magnificent Hot Air Balloon!! You will be sitting in a basket carrier under the canopy of a huge brightly colored parachute and gradually lifted in the air, safely. Don't worry, the parachute will be tied to the ground with ropes and there will be a guide accompanying you. The balloon is filled with hot air from a burner fitted to it. As it rises to 300-ft above the ground, the feeling and the view around is awesome, and will remain as an unforgettable experience.

Trekking in Darjeeling

Who hasn't heard about the famous treks to Sandakphu and Phalut? Both are in Singalilla range and part of Darjeeling district, and offer awesome experience that very few other treks in the world can match. Where else in the world can you see four out of the five highest peaks of the word in one stretch of snow? Where else can you find hundreds of different varieties of orchids and many other flowering plants like rhododendrons, magnolia and spruce in full bloom? It's all here in Darjeeling. All you need to do is to make up your mind just for a soft trek and give yourself few days of your time in the heaven.

Jeep Safari to Sandakphu and Phalut

Well if you can't trek or don't have the time to do so, you can still experience the beauty by taking a jeep safari to Sandakphu and onward to Phalut. You can either take a packaged tour from an operator in Darjeeling (this is the easiest) or organize it yourself by taking a Jeep or Land Rover from Maneybhanjan and complete the round trip in just two days.

Jeep Safari to Singalila National Park

If you love mountain forests, Singalila National Park is the place to go. Located at a high altitude along the way to Sandakphu, the park is a paradise for those who love to see some amazing Himalayan animals like Red Panda, Pangolins, Yellow Throated Martens and lot more. And of course its home to many magnificent plantations and flowering plants like silver firs, oaks, ferns, rhododendrons, orchids, magnolias, primula etc. And a great bonus is that the park is located close to Tumling from where the sight of the Kanchenjunga snow peak is just awesome.

Madananda Wildlife Sanctuary

2 1/2 hours drive from Darjeeling this is a sprawling forest area and a sanctuary spanning across some 158 square km. Regular jeep safaris are available from the Sukna gate. You can see some amazing animals including Royal Bengal Tigers (if lucky), leopards, elephants, barking deer etc in their natural habitats. Apart from wide range of plantations, the sanctuary is also a bird watchers paradise. You can even take elephant rides here through the forests.

Other Adventure Sports & Activities

There are several other adventure activities and sports that are popular in Darjeeling. Here are some of them and how to go about experiencing them:

Rock Climbing <

Darjeeling has several rock sites where rock or sport climbing takes place. Tenzing Rock is one such popular place for rock climbing. This is where Tenzing Norgay (the first Everest climber) also practiced rock climbing. Many tourists try it out and get a feel of the time when Tenzing used to come here. Lessons are also offered at all skill levels including to novices.

Motor Bike Tours and Rentals

If you want to see Darjeeling and surrounding areas on a motor bike, there are two options. Either you can take a guided organized tour or take a motor bike on rent. You will get motorbikes like Royal Enfield in good condition. There are plenty of amazing terrain to explore in and around Darjeeling including tea gardens, villages, mountain landscapes and sanctuaries. Take a leisure ride at your own pace, have a map (given by the operator) or just get lost, stop at any place you want and have a cup of tea while chatting with a local ... the opportunities are plenty.

Mountain Bike Tours and Rentals

Like motor bikes, you can also rent a mountain bike or take part in a guided tour which can be customized for you or your group. You get excellent quality mountain bikes in Darjeeling like the Trek, Conandale etc.
  • Sikkim

    Sikkim is picturesque and verdant with clean crisp air, deep blue mountain lakes, gorgeous Buddhist monasteries and hillsides ablaze with rhododendrons against a backdrop of snow-clad mountains. If you are looking for exciting trekking routes in a picturesque terrain, or a quiet communion with the mountains, there are few places in India that would match the Himalayan state of Sikkim. This tiny state of Sikkim, bigger only than Goa and Delhi and India’s least populated, lies tucked in between Nepal and Bhutan in India’s eastern region.


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  • History

    The original inhabitants of Sikkim are the Lepchas. In the 13th century, their chief, Thekong Tek, signed a treaty of blood brotherhood with the Tibetan prince Khye-Bumsa. Following this, the Bhutias came from Tibet in the 14th century and inhabited parts of the land while the Lepchas continued their peaceful lives centred on their villages. In 1642, Phuntsog Namgyal, a sixth generation descendant of Khye-Bumsa was consecrated as the ‘Chogyal’ (King) by three revered ‘lamas’ (priests) and a ‘hidden kingdom in the clouds’ was born.


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  • Geography

    Sikkim is broadly divided into four districts.

    The east district with capital city of Gangtok is the hub of all administrative activity. The famous Rumtek Monastery, the Dharma Chakra Centre and the seat of his Holiness Gyalwa Karmapa, all are located here. Other places of interest include the Tsomgo Lake and the Nathula Pass.

    A most beautiful district, the North District is an abundance of the natural splendor and Alpine scenery. During spring time, the meadows are alive with exotic wild flowers that cover the valley in charming hues. The hot springs and tribal customs & culture here are very attractive.


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  • People

    The first known people of Sikkim were the Lepchas. The Lepchas were the original people of Sikkim before the Bhutias and Nepalis. Originally the inhabitants of Sikkim these people mostly lived on agriculture of paddy, oranges and cardamom. Although, the earliest Lepcha settlers believed and worshipped spirits of mountains, forests and rivers, later they adopted Buddhism and Christianity.


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  • Religion

    The Nepalese community, which represents over two-thirds of the population, follows Hinduism. The Lepchas continue to practise their traditional beliefs. Their beliefs centre around spirits and the "shamans" who cure illnesses and preside over ceremonies during birth, marriage and death. The Bhutias practise Buddhism and were responsible for converting the Lepchas to Mahayana Buddhism.
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  • Art & Culture

    Sikkim is famous for its "mask dances" performed by lamas (monks) in the gompa (temple) courtyard to celebrate religious festivals. Costumed lamas wearing gaily-painted masks, ceremonial swords and sparkling jewels leap and swing to the sound of resounding drums, trumpeting horns and religious chanting.

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  • Flora & Fauna

    Sikkim, in addition with its mountains and lakes, has acquired its maximum splendor owing to its loaded flora and fauna. Located in a natural spot of the lower Himalayas, Sikkim is one amongst the three eco-regions of India. Sikkim has acquired a small portion in the domain of India, yet the state boasts of a rich variety of plants and animals. Perhaps, the main reason could be the weather that remains favorable for the vegetation. Due to the altitudinal shift, Sikkim possesses an extensive range of plants and foliage, providing a great place to explore for a naturalist.


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  • Entry to Sikkim

    By Air

    Sikkim is not directly served by air. The closest airport is at Bagdogra, in the state of West Bengal. The 124 km drive to Gangtok takes 5 hours and is facilitated by numerous taxis, shared jeeps and hired cars with chauffeurs.

    A helicopter service between Gangtok - Bagdogra – Gangtok is also available. The flight from Bagdogra 30 minutes to reach Gangtok. Sikkim Tourism Development Corporation (+91-3592-222634) operates this service daily at 11:00 AM from Gangtok to Bagdogra and at 2:00 PM from Bagdogra to Gangtok, so it would be best to check with them regarding operation.

    By Rail

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  • Visa & Immigration

    Beside Indian visa, foreigners must obtain Inner Line Permit (ILP) to visit Sikkim. These can be obtained from all Indian Missions, Sikkim Tourism Offices at New Delhi, Kolkata, District Magistrates Office of Darjeeling, Siliguri, and Rangpo on the strength of an Indian Visa. The 30 days duration Permit is issued on the spot without any delay provided photocopies of the passport and visa along with two pass port photos of the applicants are made available. The permissible duration of the stay for foreign tourists is 30 days initially.


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  • Festivals

    Religious festivals in Sikkim are famous for "mask dances" performed by lamas (monks) in the gompa (temple) courtyard to celebrate religious festivals. Costumed lamas wearing gaily-painted masks, ceremonial swords and sparkling jewels leap and swing to the sound of resounding drums, trumpeting horns and religious chanting.

    Saga Dawa is a very auspicious day for the Mahayana Buddhists. On this day people go to monasteries to offer butter lamps and worship. A huge procession of monks goes around Gangtok with the Buddhist Holy Scriptures.


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  • Activities

    Beside comfort tours there are many outdoor activities in Sikkim ranging from hang gliding, kayaking and canoeing to mountain biking, rafting and trekking.

    Tours: There are plenty of extraordinary places to see in Sikkim. Most of them are nature’s marvels; some of them are remote and esoteric Tibeto-Buddhist Monasteries. Dzongri is the region for treks. Gangtok is the capital city that now retains very few of its traditional Sikkimese elements. It is a modern hill station with every amenity you may possibly want. Although people visit to savour the marvelous temperate weather, the Buddhist past of the city also has tremendous appeal.


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  • Weather

    The climate of Sikkim is temperate, with fairly heavy rainfall in most parts of the state during the monsoons (June to September). The average rainfall is 125 cm. In summer, the temperature rises to 28 degree Celsius and falls to a minimum of 13 degree Celsius. In winter the maximum temperature is 18 degree Celsius and the minimum temperature is 7 degree Celsius.


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  • Clothing

    There is nothing special about how to dress in Sikkim, yet one is expected to dress in a decent manner to avoid unwanted attention.

    Being located in hilly region, the climate of Sikkim is uncertain; sudden drizzles make the climate bitterly cold. So, one should pack enough warm clothes to face the spell of chilly winds. In the region of towns and monasteries, women are advised not to wear short and skimpy clothes. Men should be dressed in full pants and full-sleeved shirts. Throughout the season of autumn and early spring, warm pullovers or jackets are required in mornings and evenings.


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  • Darjeeling

    Darjeeling, the Queen of Hills, is a world famous tourist destination in the state of West Bengal, India. Nestled among the lower Himalayas, it is known for its raw and captivating natural beauty and excellent quality of tea it produces; Darjeeling tea is aptly titled as the ‘champagne of tea’ for its exquisite flavor and taste. It is also famous for the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is lovingly called the ‘Toy-Train’ – a favorite among tourists.

    Darjeeling is the headquarters of the district consisting of five sub-divisions: Darjeeling town, Siliguri, Kurseong, Kalimpong and Islampur. Darjeeling in the past was under the rule of the erstwhile kingdom of Sikkim, which was leased to the British East India Company and was converted into a beautiful hill station and became a favorite among holiday makers. Darjeeling is a name of Tibetan origin, which means the “Land of the Thunderbolt”.

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  • Geography

    The town and hill station of Darjeeling lies in northern West Bengal, India. Darjeeling district lies between 26° 31' and 27° 13' north latitude and between 87° 59' and 88° 53' east longitude. With an area of 1,200 sq. miles, the district is shaped like an irregular triangle, the southern region, the base, comprises the Terrai, a marshy low-lying area at an average height of 100 m above sea level; the apex is formed by the Phalut ridge where Nepal meets India. The eastern frontier lies along the rivers Tista and Rangeet, beyond is Rishi-La and Bhutan.
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  • History

    Darjeeling formed a part of dominions of the Raja of Sikkim, who had been engaged in an unsuccessful warfare against the Gorkhas. From 1780 the Gorkhas constantly made inroads into Sikkim and by the beginning of 19th Century, they had overrun Sikkim as far eastward as the Teesta and had conquered and annexed the Terai. E.C.Dozey in his ‘Darjeeling Past and Present’ writes, “Prior to the year 1816, the whole of the territory known as British Sikkim belonged to Nepal, which won it by conquest."
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  • People

    The original inhabitants of the Darjeeling Hills were Lepchas or Rongpa (the ravine folks) as they prefer themselves to be known as. Though their origin is obscure, they are decidedly Mongolian in feature. The Khampas, another branch of the Lepchas, are warrior-like and dashing. The Khampas are recent immigrants from Tibet. The greater bulk of the people in the Hills are Gorkhas. They are industrious and enterprising as a race and speak various dialects. The short Mongolian type Nepalese, the Gorkhas, renowned for their military prowess the world over, and the first to be decorated with the coveted Victoria Cross, finds jobs and security both in the British and Indian armies. They carry the traditional weapon, the Khukri-a curved ornamental knife. Among the population are also the Sherpas. They are well known for their courage, stamina and surefootedness and for their immeasurable contributions to Mountaineering. Also much in evidence in the Hills is the Bhutias and they are divided into Tibetan, Bhutan, Dharma and Sikkimese Bhutias and a greater bulk of Bengalee from Siliguri subdivision.
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  • Art & Craft

    The culture of the hill people of Darjeeling are uniquely expressed in the exquisite and inimitable artistic handicrafts of the district and their traditional colorful designs, which show marked resemblance to the art of neighboring Tibet, Nepal, Sikkim and Bhutan. Among the artistic crafts, ornaments, trinkets and handlooms are worth mentioning. There is also fine craftsmanship in wood-work and bamboo fret work. While the principal utility products are blankets, woolen knitted garments and woven fabrics, the artistic products are hand-bags, wall panels, fire-screens, folding partitions, Bhutan paintings, cotton shoulder-bags etc. Beautiful curios are made at Darjeeling and Kalimpong on copper plates studded with red and blue stones with engravings of replicas of deities. Wonderful Tankas with paintings depicting the life of Lord Buddha are also available. Woolen carpets are made in a combination of shades in vegetable and synthetic dyes. Bhutia chaddars can be found in beautiful textures. Decorative Nepali khukris are made in Ghum. Bedroom slippers and rope-sole shoes, jackets, hats, hanzu coats made from handloom cloth and masks are among the many items which attract tourists and curio collectors.
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  • Flora & Fauna

    The forests in and around Darjeeling have delightful flora and fauna. It is a plant lover’s paradise. Four thousand species of flowering plants, three hundred varieties of ferns, including tree fern and countless types of flowerless plants, mosses, algae, fungi, birches, and of course, the prize orchids, wild and cultivated. There are oaks, chestnuts, cherry, maple, birch, alder-all fine and large trees of excellent growth. In the upper hills areas and the alpine zone are the magnolias, buck-landias, pyrus and conifers such as webb, Himalayan firs, English yews, Sikkim spruces, larch, which is the only deciduous conifer, weeping tsuga brunoniana and junipers lvy is common.

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  • Religion

    In Darjeeling Hindus and Buddhists form the religious majority, with notable Muslim and Christian minorities. Darjeeling is full of temples and monasteries where you can enjoy a peaceful moment in the company of deities, as well as churches, gurudwaras and mosques.
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  • Entry to Darjeeling

    Darjeeling, the quaint little town is located in the cozy and inviting lap of Mt. Kanchan Junga. It is a picturesque town studded with inviting natural beauty, exciting tourist places and amazing sightseeing attractions that engulf the heart of every single visitor with delightful memories. Darjeeling is visited by thousands and hundreds of tourist all the year round and so there is an easy and comfortable means of transportation facilities. Reaching Darjeeling is very easy but still tourists and travelers always have the doubt about how to reach Darjeeling. So below the brief description about how to reach Darjeeling by the means of transportations are mentioned below:

    By Air

    Reaching Darjeeling by means of air is one of the convenient and easy methods. Bagdogra is the nearest airport located at the distance of around 90 km from Darjeeling. From here regular taxis and cabs runs that make the accessibility much easier and comfortable.

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  • Visa & Immigration

    Foreigners require an Inner Line Permit (ILP) in addition to normal Indian visa to enter Sikkim and can visit Gangtok, Rumtek, Phodang and Pemayangtse. No permit is required to enter & stay in Darjeeling & other parts of North Bengal including Kalimpomg. The permit can be obtained in Darjeeling after arrival. Foreigners are permitted to visit Sikkim only with a valid passport.
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  • Festivals

    Owing to the diversity of the population of Darjeeling, some festival or the other is celebrated almost every month. Most of the Hindu and Tibetan festivals follow the lunar calendar and so the date of the festival does not fall on the exact date the next year. February: Lhoshar

    The Tibetans and the Sherpas most impressively observe this festival by organizing folk songs and dances. Tibetans mark their new year on this day. Religious observations are held and Buddhist monks offer prayer across monasteries.

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  • Activities

    Darjeeling is considered to be the “Queen of the Hills” in India. The place is remarkable for its panoramic beauty and is an ideal destination for the tourist to be in harmony with the nature. The tour to Darjeeling provides a wide variety of activities from leisurely walk to the more grueling activities such as trekking, river rafting and other adventurous sports. Please find below some of the activities which can be done in Darjeeling.

    White Water Rafting in Teesta, Darjeeling


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  • Weather

    Darjeeling has a moderate climate with all five distinct seasons in a year. The best season to visit the place is from September to June, take woolen clothes in winters.

    Winters (December to January) have a cool climate within the average range of 5 °C to 7 °C. Minimum temperature this season can be freezing –2 °C. Snowfalls are not common during winters.
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  • Clothing

    Being located in hilly region, the climate of Darjeeling is uncertain. Without considering any weather, drizzle comes and makes the climate bitterly cold. So, one should pack enough warm clothes to face the spell of chilly winds. In the region of towns and monasteries, women are advised not to wear short and skimpy clothes. Men should be dressed in full pants and full-sleeved shirts. Throughout the season of autumn and early spring, warm pullovers or jackets are required in mornings and evenings.
    Read More