Friday, 15 February 2013

Destination India


West Bengal (PART-III)

Darjeeling (2)





Chowrasta became famous for being the centre of heart and activity in Darjeeling. Attractive and active, Chowrasta can be found located in the middle of this lovely hill resort. Surrounded by an exciting range of people, shops and items for sale, there is most definitely something to appeal to everyone’s unique interests.
You’ll find the most majestic and rare handicrafts, varying from statues of brass, local handmade jewellery, tribal pieces, woolen clothes and sweaters, and even traditional, ancient weaponry, preserved pristinely over the centuries! You simply can’t leave the Chowrasta without a few fabulous purchases that you are guaranteed to treasure for years to come, reminding you of the colourful atmosphere of Darjeeling’s culture.

Observatory Hill

Sunrise seen from the Observatory Hill

A prime and strategic point that gives more than 180-degree uninterrupted view of the Kanchenjunga Mountain range right from the heart of Darjeeling city atop a hill near Chowrasta is the Observatory Hill also called ‘Makal-Babu-ko-Than’. The mountain ranges are visible from several parts of the city but only in part. The Observatory Hill provides views of the mountain range in its entirety. It gives you perspective, scale and a magnificent composition of the entire Kanchenjunga mountainscape plus 12 other 20,000 feet high peaks in the horizon.
As the Observatory Tower is perched on the top and the edge of a hill, it offers views of the evergreen and dense terraced valley below. The sight of the snow-capped mountain tips of the third highest Mountain in the world – the Kanchenjunga that evolves in light pink hues from the dawn and turns pale yellow within minutes to a pulsating orange in an hour from dawn is an awesome sight and should be on top of your list of itinerary in Darjeeling.

The Observatory Tower shares the hill with a Mahakal Temple – one of the many manifestations of Lord Shiva. Surprisingly, the Alter of this Temple is shared by both a Hindu Priest and a Buddhist and both Hindus and Buddhists visit the Temple with great reverence before they head out to the Observatory Hill. Hence the Observatory Hill is also called the Holy Hill which is the seamless blend of two different faiths – with Temple bells ringing amidst fluttering multi coloured Tibetan Prayer Flags – the synthesis evokes happiness and peace to all those who visit.

Toy Train



The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is a beloved attraction in Darjeeling, joyfully ridden by local people and drawing the attention of others the world. The Toy Train is the ultimate and dynamic sign of this city, one that many people are affectionate about.
It offers a new approach to traveling with its relaxing yet spellbinding trip through the Himalayas. The mysteriousness is sure to keep you on the edge of your comfortable seat. The enthralling views outside the large windows have brought the small Toy Train to its large fame.
The name originates from its size, as a narrow, two feet gauge – and one of the most notorious of its kind. It contains many adorable features, yet is also described as extremely romantic and cozy. This miniature train is sure to take you on a gigantic ride!
The Toy Train is recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Celebrate its ecologically friendly means of transportation: by riding the locomotive, you’re supporting the natural steam methods of fuel, and protecting Darjeeling’s pristine and glorious appearance. The charming Toy Train is guaranteed win over your heart.

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