I went to Darjeeling last week and though I have been there often, I saw it this time with fresh eyes.
Darjeeling is said to function well thanks to the 4 T’s : Tea, Toy Train, Timber and Tourism. During my stay in Darjeeling, I drank about 5-6 cups of tea per day. It’s a good hydration for the body, and the tea is of such good quality, that it just beats any other drink available! I have a tiny regret I did not have the chance to visit any of the tea factories and educate myself better on tea production. I would have liked to understand the different grades of tea and what is all the business about first and second flush. For those curious about tea gardens in Darjeeling, well it’s a beautiful and almost a serene sight. During my trip, the weather was mostly misty and viewing of the Himalayas was quite impossible, but even so, the mists lent a mysterious quality to the air in Darjeeling.
The Toy Train In Darjeeling is a wonderful sight. Looming straight out from the colonial times, the ‘Darjeeling Himalayan Railway’ or the Toy Train is considered as part of UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a narrow gauge railway, and was built between 1879-1881, and it still runs today and everyday! 🙂 Inspite of the misty conditions in Darjeeling, the train was packed with tourists savouring the feel of being inside this heritage train. I have decided to have my trip on the very old-fashioned steam engine train someday later when I plan my vacations better keeping in mind the weather in Darjeeling!
Here’s a lovely oil painting I found of the train, which is hung inside of the gorgeous Windamere Hotel in Darjeeling, which is beautifully titles ‘Spirit of the Toy Train’ drawn by an artist named Martha Johnson.
Darjeeling has retained much of it’s quaint colonial charm which can be found on the old building structures, especially the schools which look lovely. This little town located on the northern-most tip of the state of West Bengal, is a popular tourist destination, and it also shares borders with it’s neighbouring country, Nepal. The local people are a big mix of Indian cultures, but the predominant language spoken is Nepali, and the original race of people to occupy Darjeeling have Mongolian features. Darjeeling has an elevation of 2,045 meters. I was struck by the beautiful flowers that grow here. And the local people, though they are simple and not rich, have a love for beautiful things, and they decorate their front porches with many beautiful pots of flowers. I leave you with some of the random lovely scenes of Darjeeling.
The ancient Town Library of Darjeeling:
Lovely orchids from the Botanical Garden, Darjeeling.
Inside of a lovely Buddhist Monastery.