Darjeeling Parks & Gardens
There are many lovely parks and garden areas in Darjeeling some of which are natural, the others have been carved out of the open hill slopes. Many offer grand views of the snow capped peaks of Eastern Himalayan mountain range and the town's wonderful landscape.
There are also some great lakes and water areas, confluence of rivers, sanctuaries and forest areas that are ideal for experiencing Darjeeling's unique flora and fauna.
Here is our selection of the best of such gardens and park areas.
Also known as the Lloyd's Botanical Garden of Darjeeling, it is a sprawling landscaped garden spread over 40 acres of area on an open slope. It has grand collections of indigenous Himalayan plantations, Orchids, Cacti and other exotic collections from across the world that are laid out over three sections. The garden is located at a short distance from the Chowk Bazaar. If you are fond of flora and like to enjoy a peaceful time looking at the greenery, this is the place to go.
About 10 minutes walk from the Chowrasta Mall you will reach this lovely park. It's well known for hosting daily local cultural programs in the evenings during the high season. During the day time the park offers a great place for relaxation with sweeping views of the snow peaks on one side including that of Kanchenjunga.
Known as the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park, this Zoo is unique and houses many animals of high altitude that you can rarely see anywhere else in the world. The zoo specializes in conservation programs of many endangered species like the Red Panda, Snow Leopard, Tibetan Wolf and others. It's located at the Jawahar Parvat in the same complex as the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute. So you should plan to visit both the attractions together.
It's rare to find such wonderful water area in the hills. If you are planning for a day's picnic, Senchal lake surrounded by pines, oaks and mountains on all sides offers a wonderful scenic settings. The lake is part of the Senchal wildlife Sanctuary that has many different kinds of Himalayan animals and colorful birds in their natural habitat. Senchal lake is located close to Tiger Hill, approached via Ghoom and Jorebunglow, and is about 11kms from Darjeeling town
Watching the Great Rangeet that originates from the glaciers of Mount Kabru and finally meeting the Teesta that comes all the way from North Sikkim, is an awesome experience. If you are a nature lover and want to experience a confluence of two rivers that form a mighty torrent, and that too in a terrain which is surrounded by mountains in all sides forming a lovely valley at the base, then this one can not be missed. It's worth travelling a few miles only to watch this view.
Located close to Ghoom, this is where the Toy Train of Darjeeling Himalayan Railways makes a complete loop around a wonderful circular garden that spans across an area of about 50,000 square feet. There are many flowering plants here. A section which is called Eco Garden, showcases flora that are unique to this part of the world. On a clear day, you will get a magnificent views of the snow peaks from Batasia Loop including that of Kanchenjunga. There are restaurants and eateries around to further complement your trip.
About 10kms drive from the Darjeeling Town and down a steep narrow road, you will reach the beautiful Rock Garden. It has a waterfalls coming all the way down from the top while the terraced gardens with many different flowers are carved out of the rocks and cliffs at various levels. 3kms down the same road and on a valley is another park area known as the Ganga Maya Park. It has a lovely narrow stream flowing through it over a bed of rocks and having wonderful flower gardens all around.
Don't miss out on a great experience of walking through the jade green tea gardens spread along the hill slopes of Darjeeling. You can also see how tea is processed. Happy Valley Tea Estate, located some 3km (1.8 miles) from the town center can provide you with that opportunity. Established originally in 1854 by a British, this tea estate spans across more than 270 acres (or 110 hectares) of area. Most of the tea bushes here are nearly 100 years old.
These two are massive natural rock formations located on Lebong Road of Darjeeling, at a distance of about 20 minutes by car. One is named after Tenzing Norgay, the famous sherpa who accompanied Sir Edmund Hillary to the summit of Everest in May 1953. The other one located opposite to it is named after Nawang Gombu, who was the first to climb Everest twice. Both these men were from Darjeeling. And both these rocks are used today by the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute for training on Rock Climbing. Tenzing himself used to practice on the one named after him.
A nature's romantic setting can't go much further than this. The Love Road, also known as the Lovers Road, is a 3km long walkway cut out along the side of the hills with wonderful views of the mountains and plantations all around. The road is so named because it's a favorite to the romantic couples of Darjeeling. You can access the road as you walk down from the Mall and go towards the Singamari ropeway station.
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