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It is not known as the 'queen of hills' for nothing. Darjeeling, the sleepy town in the eastern state of West Bengal is the epitome of mountainous beauty. Nestled among the rolling mountains with the glistening Mt. Kanchenjunga towering over the azure sky, Darjeeling is the perfect getaway for the honeymooning couple seeking to be in harmony with nature.
Darjeeling has a moderate climate with all the distinct seasons in a year. Summers are mild with temperatures never crossing the 25°C mark while the winter season sees temperature in the range of 5°C-7°C, with sometimes getting as low as -2°C. The monsoons and autumn months see a beautiful Darjeeling with torrential rains, sometimes even causing roadblocks. But the best season to visit Darjeeling is the spring season when scenic beauty is in full bloom during the period.
Kanchenjunga, the world's third highest mountain takes the lead amongst all the other wonders of the place. While you may view the mighty mountains from the Observatory Hills, it is best advised to opt for an extensive trekking and camping session. Hardships are a given but the first-hand experience of viewing the Kanchenjunga is going to remain etched in your memories forever. If you want to see the magic of Mother Nature, you cannot miss out on Darjeeling's famous tourist spot Tiger Hill. Located about 11 km from Darjeeling, getting a view of Mount Everest, K2 and Kanchenjunga from the Tiger Hill is a sight to behold. Wake up at early and head to Tiger Hill at about 4 in the morning. As the sun rises, see the mountains changing color... Breathtaking is the word.
No points for guessing what is Darjeeling famous for. Of course, its tea! While scores of tea plantations greet you everywhere, a visit to the Badamtan Tea Estate, located across the Rangit river, should feature in your travel itinerary. Walk around the estate, sipping in the fresh aromas and sweet flavors and purchase a handful of first flush tea. While in Badamtam, pay obeisance to the 14 foot high statue of Buddha of Badamtam. Unlike the usual closed-eye position, this statue has Buddha's eyes wide open as if looking up to the gods above, having attained enlightenment. Complete your romantic adventure by riding the Darjeeling Toy Train, which has been making the rounds since 1881.
How to get there
The nearest airport is Bagdogra, near Siliguri which is 96 km from Darjeeling. New Jalpaiguri near Siliguri is the nearest railway station connecting Darjeeling to the major cities of the country. The Darjeeling Toy Train, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, also starts from the NJP station.
The alluring Darjeeling has its arms open. Time to pack your bags and relish its freshness.
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