Darjeeling

DarjeelingDarjeeling the dream land of the East, it has been a popular hill station since the British period. The tourist flow to this place has been increasing day by day. Due to the proximity with three international borders, this place is strategically very important.

The toy train coming from Siliguri is some thing which is liked by the elders and the children equally. The real fun in coming to Darjeeling is on the toy train. It takes six to seven hours to cover a distance of 82 kms and the slow speed gives you enough time to watch and appreciate the beauty which nature has provided it. This train passes through the Forests, waterfalls, over deep valleys and through the mountains and tunnels.

The town of Darjeeling can be reached by the 50 miles (80 km) long Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (nicknamed the "Toy Train") from Siliguri, or by the Hill Cart Road (National Highway 55) that follows the railway line. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is a 60 cm (2 ft) narrow-gauge railway. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999, becoming only the second railway in the world to have this honour.[8] Regular bus services and hired vehicles connect Darjeeling with Siliguri and the neighbouring towns of Kurseong, Kalimpong and Gangtok.

Four wheel drives, including Land Rovers, are the most popular means of transport, as they can easily navigate the steep slopes in the region. However, road and railway communications often get disrupted in the monsoons due to landslides. The nearest airport is in Bagdogra near Siliguri, located about 93 km (58 miles) from Darjeeling. Indian Airlines, Jet Airways and Air Deccan are the three major carriers that connect the area to Delhi, Calcutta and Guwahati. The closest major railway station is in New Jalpaiguri, which is connected with almost all major cities of the country. Within the town, people usually traverse by walking. Residents also use bicycle, two-wheelers and hired taxis for travelling short distances.

Darjeeling's temperate climate has five distinct seasons: spring, summer, autumn, winter, and the monsoons. Summers (lasting from May to June) are mild, with maximum temperatures rarely crossing 25 °C (77 °F). The monsoon season from June to September is characterised by intense torrential rains often causing landslides that block Darjeeling's land access to the rest of the country. In winter temperature averages 5-7 °C (41-44 °F).

Occasionally the temperatures drop below freezing; snowfalls are rare. During the monsoon and winter seasons, Darjeeling is often shrouded in mist and fog. The annual mean temperature is 12 °C (53 °F); monthly mean temperatures range from 5-17 °C (41-62 °F). The highest temperature ever recorded in the district was 26.7 °C (80.1 °F) on 23 August 1957; the lowest-ever temperature recorded was -5 °C (23 °F) on 11 February 1905.[20] The average annual precipitation is 281.8 cm (110.9 in), with the highest incidence occurring in July (75.3 cm or 29.6 in).