Darjeeling is famous for its tea, but the town has much more to offer. It is home to several mountains and ranges, from Tiger Hill in the northeast corner of Darjeeling to the Sikkim Range in the southwest. The town also has a rich history that dates back nearly 200 years.
“Tiger Hill”, “kantajong” or “kantachoung”, a hill station in the Darjeeling district of West Bengal, India is situated on a ridge between the Chowrasta and the Ghoom Monastery overlooking Darjeeling town. The name Tiger Hill got derived from a sighting of the wounded tigress. The place overlooking the town of Darjeeling is one of the most famous tourist spots in Darjeeling, attracting thousands of tourists every year.
One of the best ways to enjoy the spectacular views of Darjeeling is to go on a “Cable Car Ride” at Tiger Hill. Here one can see a scenic view of the town, tea gardens and a huge range of snow-capped peaks such as Kangchenjunga, Kanchenchunga II and Jannu. This cable car ride is open from 22 October to 15 April every year.
The famous Gurkha Gorkha War memorial monument named “Victory Gate” was built by the British army at Tiger Hill in memory of soldiers who died in World War I.
Sunrise At Tiger Hill
Sunrise at Tiger Hill is a unique experience. It is situated in the East District of Darjeeling, West Bengal, India. The sunrise and sunset at Tiger Hill are considered one of the finest in the world.
The best time to go to Tiger Hill is early morning or late evening when huge round rays of sun fall on the clouds and peaks. From here you can view the entire town of Darjeeling and Kanchenjunga Range, Kangchenjunga snow-capped mountain range (the third highest peak in the world). The earlier sunrise point was open for the public but now it has been restricted as per instructions from the Indian Air Force station.
Things To Do At Tiger Hill
Watching sunrise and Sunset
Firstly go up to the top of the hill. Sit on a chair or rock facing east. A panoramic view of Darjeeling, Sikkim and Himalayas will be seen from here. Afterwards, slowly turn around and look at the sun slowly rise above waterfalls and Ghoom Monastery. The beautiful daily light will cover all the peaks, routes and chowks that you can see in the Kanchenjunga range. The light will gradually intensify with streaks and clouds moving across the sky. The colours in the sky are spectacular at this time like blue, pink, purple and red which is amazing to watch.
Tiger Hill Museum
After watching spectacular sunrise or sunset at Tiger Hills, one can visit the Tiger Hill museum also. It has a collection of various information regarding the Himalayan and Kanchenjunga Range. The gallery of this museum consists of photographs and postcards that are very interesting to see. This museum is well furnished with images of ranges and peaks, enthralling views from Kanchenjunga Range, British army cemeteries, Darjeeling town and aerial shots of Darjeeling airport. The photographs in this gallery are taken by different photographers like Min Bahadur Bamba, D P Singh etc.
Tiger Hill Cafe
Tiger Hill Cafe is a very famous café in Darjeeling. It is situated at the bottom of Tiger Hill at 600m above sea level. Although, this cafe doesn’t have spectacular views like Tiger Hill food here is delicious and very cheap than other cafes/hotels in Darjeeling. It can feed almost 100 people at a time. The food here is mainly Traditional Indian & Chinese cuisine which includes various kinds of pizzas, burgers, fried rice etc. Every dish has a different taste and is best for tourists that want to enjoy different flavours and also for those who love to eat delicious food.
Kanchenjunga Base Camp
This is the best place to see sunrise or sunset at Tiger Hill. It is a famous trekking place in the Darjeeling district of West Bengal. The peak on which it is situated is Kanchenjunga – from here you can see the beauty of snow-capped peaks such as Kanchenjunga, Kangchenjunga and Jannu. This base camp can be accessed by a route that starts from town after taking a jeepney ride for about 20 minutes from Darjeeling railway station.
Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park
This is also the best tourist spot in Darjeeling. It is located at a high altitude of about 900m and is about 4 km away from the town. Similarly, this place has a collection of various animals like Himalayan black bears, monkeys, red pandas, deer’s, Himalayan Tahr etc. This Zoological Park also has a restaurant where you can have food while enjoying its beautiful scenic beauty.
There are around 25 tea gardens in and around Darjeeling. But one can enjoy the beautiful tea gardens by visiting this place. The Tea Gardens are located at heights ranging from 2600m to 4900m above sea level. Furthermore, the visiting Timings are From 8 AM to 4 PM. And it is open on all days of the year including weekends and holidays. This tourist spot also has a picnic ground, adventure park, children’s play area, restaurant etc. The place is good for family picnics, outings or just enjoying nature.
Best Time To Visit Tiger Hill
The best time to visit Tiger Hill is from October to April. Climbing up the hill needs a lot of energy and strength, therefore, it is not recommended for young children or elderly people.
The weather is also so cold in this season especially at night, one should take warm clothes and comfortable shoes. Moreover, from April to October, one can enjoy the scenic beauty of Tiger Hills from any place in Darjeeling.
How To Reach Tiger hill
The nearest Airport from Tiger Hill is Bagdogra Airport which is about 75 km away from Darjeeling Town. The nearest railway station from Tiger Hill is New Jalpaiguri which is at a distance of approx 25 km. It is also well connect by railways with many cities like New Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati etc. It could also be reached using local cabs/taxi services available in Darjeeling town.
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