May 13, 2020
India is such a beautiful country with a rich and varied landscape, that it becomes quite a task to pick just one spot to visit for a vacation. But you are planning a trip this year, and you need to pick the best location that fits your budget and expectations. If you want to travel to a hill station, then there are many options to choose from. We recommend Darjeeling. The following sections explain why.
We can list plenty of good reasons to visit Darjeeling. In the interests of brevity, we list just these following reasons:
* It is truly cosmopolitan:- The historical and cultural makeup of Darjeeling are such that the society here is completely cosmopolitan. Every person is allowed a free hand to practice their faith in the way they wish. This line of thinking reflects in the way the local residents approach tourists in their daily interactions, too. You will not feel unwelcome or like an outsider when you visit Darjeeling. There are several ethnic and linguistic groups here, such as the Gurkhas, Bhutias, Bengalis, Khampas, Newars and Lepchas. Together, they make for a cosmopolitan and free culture that you will like and enjoy.
* You are allowed to be yourself:- Not for Darjeeling the restrictive society of other places in India. Here, you are allowed to wear what you like and be out in mixed company, no questions asked. You will not be subjected to needless staring and pointing, and the people keep a respectful distance at all times.
* The wildlife and natural beauty are superb:- Visiting this area is important if you like flora and fauna, because Darjeeling has enough and more of both. Since it is part of the Himalayan zoo-geographic zone, there are several old and rare species of trees here. The most common ones are sal, alpine groves and oak trees. Meanwhile, there is a profusion of orchids at most places. You can visit the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park and the Lloyd Botanical Garden to see more rare species of plants. Then there are the dense forests that you can walk through, spotting smaller animals and birds along the way. Look out for mongoose, badgers and Indian civets on your way.
* You can enjoy a refreshing cup of tea anywhere you go:- Darjeeling is the epicentre of all things tea in India. Since tea is cultivated locally here, you can enjoy authentic tea at the plantations, or buy boxes of tea bags and tea leaves to take back home. The hybrid and black teas of Darjeeling are quite famous, and they are in demand all over the world. The original tea here makes for a special gift for your loved ones. Be sure to haggle if you are buying tea in the bazaars. The prices are fixed at the tea plantations.
* The colour everywhere:- Though the landscape becomes stark in the winter, if that’s when you are visiting, your eyes will be charmed by the little pops of colour you see elsewhere. Darjeeling’s houses are pretty enough to be in a painting! They are often brightly coloured and embellished with natural creeper plants, if not a luxuriant lawn and backyard. You will love exploring the quiet residential areas and taking in the sights.
Often, deciding about the best time to visit Darjeeling, or any other place, is quite subjective. It all depends on what you expect from your vacation, if you like milling with other tourists or want a quieter spot, if you don’t mind paying extra for ‘tourist’ season rates at hotels and restaurants, and so on. But knowing the best time to visit Darjeeling will help you plan your itinerary better, and also pack properly for the trip.
Here is our roundup of the best time to visit Darjeeling as per seasons:
* Summer: The summer months in this hill station span from the month of March to June. This is often considered the best time to visit Darjeeling, because the day time temperatures rise as high as 28⁰C in May, making it a pleasant climate for sightseeing. The possibility of daytime mists and fogs is also lower in the summer, thereby improving visibility. You and your loved ones will love exploring the place since the days are longer, so you can stay out more as well. Do note that this is peak tourist season in this hill station, so book your Darjeeling resort and other essentials well in time before your departure.
* Monsoon: The monsoon season is quite intense in these parts. Being at a higher elevation, Darjeeling experiences cold and misty rainfall in heavy bursts. It is not recommended that you go sightseeing or driving far during this time, because the roads become quite slick. Since this is not considered the best time to visit Darjeeling, there are not many tourists around and hence, not many tour guides as well. You don’t want to be caught in a sudden downpour with no transport options in sight, so take stock of the day’s weather on suitable apps before venturing out.
* Winter: Though the winter is bitterly cold in these parts, especially in the months between December and February, there are many who prefer to visit this hill station during this time. This is the best time to visit Darjeeling if you revel in cold temperatures and snowy locales. The hills and mountain ranges are powdered with snow during this time, so the place looks white and beautiful. The upside is that you will get the best deals on tickets and accommodation in Darjeeling during this time. But do steer clear of this spot in the winter if you suffer from arthritis, rheumatism or any bone-related aches and pains, because the cold will exacerbate your condition.
Now that you have got some information on the best time to visit Darjeeling, you can start planning your flights, and also your accommodation. Do a check of the seasons and how to reach Darjeeling via air, road or railway.
Whichever season you visit in, it is always better to carry warm clothing to Darjeeling. The evenings and nights can get quite chilly, and you don’t want to be caught without your winter wear. Be sure to pack warm woollen clothing like sweaters, beanies, thermal innerwear and wool socks. Also pack a warm jacket and a sun hat.
The air is often dry and the sunlight is stark in Darjeeling. You will require moisturiser to keep your skin supple and hydrated. Also stock up on sunscreen lotion with an SPF of 30 or above, and keep reapplying it every few hours when you are outdoors.
Darjeeling tourism guides will help you plan your route to the hill station better, as also your itinerary. There are many wonderful places to visit in Darjeeling, so plan well. Confirm your bookings with the resort before you leave, and ask them to send transport to pick you and your family from the airport or railway station.
This gorgeous hill station is extremely safe for tourists. The area sees scores of tourists almost all year round, and more so in the summer months between March and June. The local residents are friendly and warm, and there are hardly any instances of harassment. Women also feel quite safe here, whether they are travelling alone, or with their partners, or with their group of friends.
However, it helps to keep yourself safe from minor antisocial elements like pickpockets. Do not leave your drink unattended in the bar or pub if you are out in the evening, and do not be overfriendly with strangers you meet on the trip. Women travelling alone are advised not to invite other tourists they met outside back to their rooms.
Darjeeling is quite clean and the local residents pride themselves on maintaining high levels of hygiene in public places. There are strict fines if you are found littering in any way. Make sure to respect all rules and customs, particularly when visiting places of worship. Dressing modestly helps when visiting temples or monasteries – this means wearing full clothing and even covering your head.
Do not take unsolicited photographs of local residents or their homes, and keep your camera away in places of worship. Certain areas like museums and temples allow photography in certain areas only.
Now that your Darjeeling holiday is on track to becoming a reality, it is time to pick the right resort to stay in. We recommend the Club Mahindra Darjeeling Resort in West Bengal.
This premium resort property is located opposite a sprawling tea estate, with magnificent views of the surrounding mountain ranges from every room. The 4-star resort is located away from the noise of the markets and tourists milling about there. Wake up to the sights of Kanchenjunga mountains, sip on tea in the balcony and proceed to the on-site restaurant for a sumptuous breakfast. If you would rather like to mill about the property, you can explore to your heart’s content and even visit the nearby tea estates. This resort promises the best rooms, warm service, recreation for you and the young ones, and the most enjoyable stay.
Q: Is there snowfall in Darjeeling?
Snowfall is not seen every year in Darjeeling, but it does occur when the temperature drops to below 0⁰C in the peak winter months of December and January. Be sure to pack your warm clothing because the winter is often quite severe here, with or without snowfall.
Q: Is it safe to visit Darjeeling?
It is absolutely safe to visit Darjeeling. The local residents are friendly and helpful, and the crime rate here is quite low.
Q: Is it good to visit Darjeeling in February?
Darjeeling is best visited in the summer months between March and June. February is still in the grip of winter, though the cold temperatures begin to ease and rise a little towards the middle of the month of February.
Q: When is the best time to visit Darjeeling?
In our opinion, the best time to visit Darjeeling is during the summer months, between March and June. You will love the pleasant climate, and there is lots to see, do, shop and eat during this time. This is considered the peak tourist season, so all cafes and restaurants are also open till late.
Q: How many days are enough for Darjeeling?
About four days should be enough to see Darjeeling in full. Do ensure that your itinerary includes all the important landmarks.
About Mahindra Holidays
Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Limited (MHRIL), India’s leading player in the leisure hospitality industry, offers quality family holidays as also stated by Club Mahindra Membership Reviews, primarily through vacation ownership memberships. While Club Mahindra is the flagship brand offering Club Mahindra Membership, the other brands offered by the company are –Club Mahindra Resorts Fundays and Svaastha Spa. As on Mar 31, 2019, MHRIL has 61+ resorts across India and abroad and its subsidiary, Holiday Club Resorts Oy, Finland, a leading vacation ownership company in Europe has 33 resorts across Finland, Sweden and Spain. Visit us at www.clubmahindra.com
Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Ltd. (MHRIL), a part of Leisure and Hospitality sector of the Mahindra Group, offers quality family holidays primarily through vacation ownership memberships and brings to the industry values such as reliability, trust and customer satisfaction. Started in 1996, the company's flagship brand ‘Club Mahindra’, today has over 250,000 members , who can holiday at 100+ resorts in India and abroad.