No where in the world can Sunrise be as beautiful, enchanting and mesmerizing as on Tiger Hills, Just imagine the full moon fading in West, Golden sun glowing in the east and the Himalayan range unfolding in the North. It can only be Darjeeling where the nature unravels in all its glory.
Our one day sight seeing began @ 3.30 am with a journey from Darjeeling town past the historic railway station near the Ghum monastery. Winding past the ghat section roads we reached the hill view point. We were greeted by local women selling steaming coffee. The wind was chilling cold, we were decked with shawls and overcoats covering every pore on our body. At 4.30 the counters were selling tickets Super Delux, Delux, Economy view point tickets. We went for Delux fearing excess crowd in Super category and our guess was right. Being a Holi the moon was at its brightest best, the entire hills were lit as in floodlight sports event was in progress. The valley was howling with gushing wind and the valley of flowers was opening its arms to the rising Sun. The excitement in the air among the crowd with fully charged cameras clicking away to glory on trial basis. We were served hot tea in the waiting lounge and we took vantage position to view the Sun. At long last SUN emerges from a screen of golden bright red background like an emperor of the universe. How I wish the digital cameras could faithfully reproduce the universal spectacle, what we witnessed on 180 degree panaromic screen on the sky was mind blowing . The Himalayan range even though little hazy gave us the view of the Kanchanjunga mountain range.
We reluctantly moved away from this enchanting spot……………if I had a say in the package tour I would have stayed longer. At 6.45 we were the last to depart the Tiger Hill. Down the hill, we were taken to Ghum monastery which is 70 years old Buddhist legacy. There are number of shopkeepers who spread their wares on the railway track selling shawls and other cheap stuff on bargain price.
BATASIA WAR MEMORIAL : The garden is well manicured with a railway loop and war memorial honouring the Gorkha soldiers who laid their life defending the territory against enemy invasion since Independence. One of superhit movie of Rajesh Khanna Aradhana was shot on this location, with the song Mera sapno ki Rani …….
Tenzing Rock : Don t forget to try your hand at Rock climbing, it looks so easy and fills one with spirit of adventure and scaling heights cost Rs 20/- Generally this point is used by the defense personnel for their rock climbing practice session. The are able to ascend with a timer of 44 secs and photography is prohibited of the army practicing. On the other side civilians are allowed to climb with secure ropeway for fun sake.
Tibetian Refugee Self Help Centre : One gets to see photo exhibits, Crèche, Basket making, Weaving, Carpet making etc which are all Tibetian profession. A relic of the tibetian culture in terms of location has been maintained. There is a small Monastery with their roller type drums for prayer. The crèche for children is maintained on rotation
basis, where the elders work and their children are taken care by one housewife on rotation basis. Photo jour
Tea Garden tour : Drink one of the finest garden fresh tea @ Rs 3/- and if you like it buy it cost vary between 200 to 400 bucks per kg.
St Joseph School and Ropeway : The school building architecture is a fine specimen of British architecture. Ropeway has been discontinued due to accident.
Himalyan Mountaineering Institute : Tenzing Norkay who conquered the Mt Everest on May 29, 1953 was the first director of the HMI. This area is under security cover, and therefore one has to walk up leaving the vehicles parked on the road. The centre has finest collection of climbing gears and exhibition filled with photos and exhibits of equipments used for ascent of snow clad mountains. Training courses are conducted for upto 40 years old.
PADMAJA NAIDU ZOOLOGICAL PARK : Padmaja Naidu happens to be first governor of W.Bengal. The zoo houses Siberian tigers, Red Panda, Wolf, Snow Leopard, etc.
CHOWRASTA : This is an excellent evening picnic spot for people and visitors of Darjeeling, my accident we discovered since I went to purchase Guide book at Oxford book depot. Governors Bunglow is also located nearby.
DESHBANDU MUSEUM ; We found that the Museum was closed by 4 pm.
ROCK GARDEN : Skipped
RACE COURSE : Skipped
OBSERVATORY Hill : Skipped
Lloyd Botanical Garden : Skipped
Sidrapong Hydel Project : Skipped.
Buddhist Monasteries : 2 monastery skipped Bhutia, Makdhog only Ghum shown.
Japanese Peace Pagoda : Skipped.
Dhirdham Temple : Skipped.
Shrubbery Nightingale Park