Darjeeling - tea country

What to see in Darjeeling, the Tea Country – Part II

Darjeeling -Tea Country Part II

Darjeeling, the romance of this lovely place had seeped into our blood streams and we woke up asking for more on our second day in this Himalayan hill station, which was once a retreat of the Colonial British Raj.

If you have not read the Part I of this series, please check it out here – What to see in Darjeeling, the Tea Country – Part I :

What to see in Darjeeling, the Tea Country – Part I

Darjeeling – Tea Country Part II –  Day-2

Our day started with a lovely breakfast at the hotel.

Activity/Attraction 5

Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park

We were not too keen on a visit to the Zoological Park, but went ahead nonetheless and did not regret the decision at all. The park stretches over 67 acres of land and at an average elevation of 7,000 feet is the largest high altitude zoo in India. It is very well maintained and no stone is left unturned to ensure that the birds and animals get as natural setting as possible. The animals in the park include the Snow Leopard, Red Panda, Asiatic Black Bear among others.

The birds housed in the park include the Himalayan Monal Pheasant, Grey Peacock Pheasant and Lady Amherst among others.

The wide expanse of the park provides a great ambiance for a family picnic and is also a great place to have a leisurely stroll.

TIP Nice place to take your kids to, remember the attraction is closed on Thursdays.

Darjeeling - tea country
Asiatic Black Bear at the Padmaja Naidu Zoological Park, Darjeeling

Activity/Attraction 6

Himalayan Mountaineering Institute

The institute is located within the premises of the Padmaja Naidu Zoological Park itself. The institute was established in 1954 to encourage mountaineering, Tenzing Norgay was the first Director of Field Training for the institute. There is a very fascinating Mountaineering Museum housed inside the institute’s campus where on display are the various memorabilia associated with various Everest expeditions. Of particular interest to us were the various items used by Tenzing on his historic climb to the summit of Mt. Everest.

There is a statue of Tenzing Norgay situated very near the spot where he was cremated and there stands a memorial to this brave heart of whom the world is proud of.

Darjeeling - tea country
Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Darjeeling


Darjeeling - tea country
Tenzing Norgay statue in the Himalayan Mountaineering Insitute, Darjeeling

Activity/Attraction 7

Tenzing Rock

This is a huge natural rock formation that has been named after Tenzing Norgay, one side of the rock has a reasonably graded surface while the other side of the cliff is almost vertical. The rock is used by the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute for training purposes. One can try one’s hand at climbing this rock for a nominal fee of INR 50, by using ropes, the climb is safe and can afford a thrilling experience. The place provides ample photo opportunities as well. We also had a steaming cup of aromatic Darjeeling tea at one of the many small outlets that dot this place.

Darjeeling - tea country
Tenzing Rock, Darjeeling

Activity/Attraction 8

Tea Gardens of Darjeeling

India is the second largest producer of tea in the world and has a long history of tea culture, in fact the first documented use of tea is found in the Ramayana(750-500 BCE). Darjeeling along with Assam are the main tea gardens of the country.

When in Darjeeling you can never be far from a tea garden, but our friend Budesh assured us he would take us to a big tea estate where we could take photographs as well as buy some tea freshly packed which would be reasonably priced. So off we went to experience closely the beauty of this aromatic shrubs.

Darjeeling - Tea Country
Tea gardens

We stepped away from the roadside and walked down an incline and what we saw left us breathless. We saw layers upon layers of tea shrubs sloping down in front of us and women folk in colorful dresses gently and nimbly picking the leaves and dropping them into cane bags hoisted on their shoulders like a backpack.

Darjeeling - Tea Country
Tea gardens

We spent a lot of time simply luxuriating in the cool breeze and feasting our eyes on the wonderful spectacle before us. But alas it was time to move, but not before we had tasted cups of freshly brewed tea which was like manna from heaven from a small makeshift shop on the edge of the tea estate. The shop also sold processed tea at very reasonable rates, we bought some of that to take home and relive this wonderful experience whenever we had a cup of the wonder brew.

Activity/Attraction 9

Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre

This self help centre was started in 1959, following the turbulence in Tibet which resulted in the dramatic escape of the Dalai Lama and the influx of refugees to this region. The centre manufactures Tibetan handicrafts which are sold in a shop in the premises. There is a monastery which has a very peaceful ambiance and you also can get some great views from this place. You can also have a look at the people working on different tasks in the manufacture of handicrafts.

Darjeeling - Tea Country
Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre


Darjeeling - Tea Country
Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre

Activity/Attraction 10


It was evening as we walked along the picturesque Mall road in Darjeeling, there was a nip in the air and we drew our jackets closer. We strolled leisurely taking in the sights, smells and sounds of the place, knowing that we would be bidding adieu to this enchanting place next morning. As we mad our way towards Chowrasta we passed some heritage hotels and shops which have been there for ages, one such vintage place is Glenary’s which is a Cafe where you can get some awesome cakes, pastries and other snacks.

Chowrasta which literally translates into Four roads, is like a city square or centre, with a huge open space with benches, where one can sit and enjoy the evening breeze. We found children playing freely in the space under the watchful eyes of their parents relaxing on the benches. We also had some awesome views of the Kanchenjunga mountain ranges from here.

Darjeeling - tea country
Chowrasta, Darjeeling


Darjeeling - tea country
Glenary’s, Darjeeling


It was soon dark and we headed back to our hotel silently lost in the wonderful memories of these two days we had spent in Darjeeling and vowed to ourselves that we would be back one day to more leisurely savor the experiences that this land of tea gardens had to offer.

We found Darjeeling to be one of the most romantic destinations that we had visited. There was so much to share about this beautiful, romantic place that we had to split and write Darjeeling – Part I and Darjeeling – Part II.

Watch our short video on Darjeeling. Please watch in HD on full-screen:

video watch

We then continued onwards to Pelling, Ravangla, Nathula. Which is the most romantic destination which you have experienced?

Did you like our series Darjeeling – Part I and  Darjeeling – Part II? Do share your experiences with us through your comments.

What to see in Darjeeling, the Tea Country – Part II

What to see in Darjeeling, the Tea Country – Part II

69 thoughts on “What to see in Darjeeling, the Tea Country – Part II

  1. Definitely can’t miss the tea gardens in Darjeeling! Although now I know I shouldn’t give the Tenzing Rock a miss either. I didn’t expect Darjeeling to be romantic but its lovely to know that it is. Glad you had a good time 🙂

  2. What an incredible place! I really don’t know much about this part of the world at all so it’s great to have some insight. It would be very interesting to visit the tea gardens and Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre.

  3. Thank you for sharing your adventure. I’ve never heard of these places, but I think I would enjoy all of the activities you mentioned. I love visiting wildlife reserves and I drink a lot of tea, so seeing where it comes from would be interesting!!

  4. There truly is an impressive amount of things to see in Darjeeling 🙂 The tea gardens look stunning, and it’s good to see that Tenzing, a man often overshadowed by Hilary (at least in the West anyway) get his due recognition. Seeing his equipment used to climb Everest must have been fascinating!

    1. You said it. There is so much to see in Darjeeling. We kept staring at the gear, shoes etc. used by Tenzing and could not imagine how he managed to climb at that time!

  5. I’d heard of the tea but not the place. Your post was so interestng. So cool tht they’ve done so much to honor and remember Tenzing Norgay. I also enjoyed your description of the square where children played under watchful eye of their parents; that reminded me of the many plazas I’ve come across in Europe. I wish we had better “gathering places” like that where I’m from.

    1. I am so happy you found the article interesting. 🙂 Thank you Tami. The museum has so many items that Tenzing had used while climbing the Mt. Everest. We were spell bound looking at them. Given the fact that now we have latest technology and there is so much support available now compared to those times!

  6. I had no idea there was so much to do in Darjeeling (outside of tea of course!) and how beautiful it is! Will have to take a peek at part one as well 🙂

  7. Going around the tea estate seems like it would be a very relaxing time. The views look amazing plus you got to sample some good tea along the way as well!

    1. You are absolutely right. It is an amazing experience to see tea estate all around you and standing there, sipping the tea is an awesome experience! 🙂

  8. So many interesting places to see and do. My favorite would probably be the Tea Gardens. I love tea and like you would have bought some to take home with me to. The rock climbing looked a little scary, but that’s because I am afraid of heights 🙂

    1. There are lots of interesting and beautiful places to see in Darjeeling. Yes, we did buy tea for ourselves and our friends and family. 🙂 Rock climbing is with the harness and there is a person to help all the way so it was great.

  9. When you mentioned zoological park I was like “nah! I’ll skip it!” but after reading this I probably wouldn’t! Would love to see a snow leopard and the fact that it’s the largest high altitude zoo. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a high-altitude zoo before. 🙂

  10. So many things to do! I underestimated this post before reading it but after seeing all those options, what an amazing place to visit. There’s something for everyone – culture, adventure, history…name it. The tea gardens of course are beautiful.

  11. It’s amazing how the tea fields throughout Asia all look kind of similar, but still manage to leave you breathless! I’m glad you got to visit the Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre as well. I remember when I was in China the Tibetans were treated really, really poorly, and that was only in 2009. What a marvelous adventure!

  12. Missed out on the Tibetan Refugee centre during our stay in Darjeeling as it raining heavily and transportation was not easy. Loved reading the post Sandy and Vijay, brought back all the beautiful memories from our visit.

  13. Absolutely beautiful! I never really heard of someone visiting Darjeeling but have always drank its tea so now I can understand this place a little better. Thank you for that!

  14. The tea gardens look so very beautiful! I am learning so much from my fellow travel bloggers on all the amazing places I must visit. Thx for sharing this post about Darjeeling.

  15. Really cool place. I’m a huge tea lover so I need to check that place out. There is no way you can send me some tea? 😉 Kidding. I just love tea so much! I’m a huge animal lover so I always try to avoid animal parks. I don’t like the fact that they are held in captivity. Hope you had a great time.

  16. Very cool! Like Mar, I would have never considered Darjeeling to be such a romantic destination but it really does seem lovely 🙂 At the refugee self-help centre, are the handicrafts sold in the shop made by refugees, or do the profits from the shop go back towards helping refugees? Just curious!

  17. Just the word Darjeeling makes me think of tea, exotic tea plantations, beautiful nature and lovely scenery. The zoological park looks really interesting also since they have a range of rare species.

  18. So cool!I visited Darjeeling a few times when I was a kid..loved the place! would be nice to revisit it sometime. I remember rock climbing and the tea gardens and for some reason, remember strolling into a bookstore when I was 8 and buying this adorable book about animals…

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