Posted by: Brad Beaman | October 30, 2007

Darjeeling and Kursong

 Darjeeling in West Bengal, India is known as the “Queen of the Hills.” Darjeeling’s temperate climate led to its development as a hill station during the British Raj to escape the heat. Darjeeling gets its name from the Tibetan words Dorje (“thunderbolt”) and ling (“place”), translating to “The land of the thunderbolt.”

Darjeeling is internationally famous for its tea. The Darjeeling tea plantations date back to the mid 1800s. The distinctive hybrids of black tea and fermenting techniques are considered the best in the world and that is why Darjeeling tea is nicknamed “The Champagne of Teas.”

Darjeeling is a three or four hour mountainous drive from the Bagdogra Airport (IXB). I would not recommend taking the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (toy train) to get to Darjeeling. You can take the toy train joy ride at Darjeeling but the famous toy train will take you 9 hours which is too much of a good thing.

Do stop at Kurseong another wonderful hill station on your way to Darjeeling.

Kurseong is on the way to Darjeeling the “Queen of the Hills,” but Kurseong is itself one of the great hill stations of India. Especially with the newly openedChocrane Place Kurseong should not be passed by on the way to Darjeeling.

I found out about the Cochrane place by sitting next to the owner, Mr. Arora on my flight from Calcutta to Bagdogra. He pointed out the Jet Airways feature on the place and I was hooked. The Arora family bought the cottage of barrister, Percy John Cochrane and made this Colonial style hotel. Our family of five stayed in the Kinchinjunga suite and found it very comfortable and the view fantastic. We ate most of our meals in the room to spare some of the guests (including a renowned Bengali singer making a movie at Cochrane) of eating with a toddler. The room had a wonderful panoramic view of the tea estates, hills and even the Kanchenjunga, the world’s third highest peak.

The evening hill walk through the forest area was really a great family experience which included the deer park.

Kangchenjunga translated means “The Five Treasures of Snows” is the third highest mountain in the world at 8,586 metres (28,169 feet) after. It is located on Nepal’s eastern border with the state of Sikkim in India.

The Batasia war memorial dedicated in 1995 was constructed in memory of gorkha soldiers of Darjeeling hills who laid down their lives for the country in all wars and operations since Indian independence. The toy train goes around the memorial making a circular path to gain height here.

The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is more famously known as the “Toy Train.” It has been named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was built between 1879 and 1881 and is 86 km long. It is still to this day powered by a steam engine.

The railway line is considered an engineering masterpiece. The train begins is Sliguri at 100 meters and ends in Darjeeling at 2200 meters.



  1. i love darjeeling and love you kursong ….m also love d girl who help me..

  2. quee of d hills,lov it.

  3. i like dargling….in dargling a rope is famous attractive place..and the one most thing is dargling weather…..very sexy weather….

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