Darjeeling is the QUEEN OF HILL STATIONS and also the ‘Dream-land of the East’, famous for its natural beauty, clean fresh air, year round plesent weather and above all, tea estates and the famous Darjeeling Tea… A popular tourist destination, it is located in the Mahabharat Range or Lesser Himalaya. Darjeeling is one of the most magnificent hill resorts in the world. The crest of Kanchenjunga shining in the first dawn light truly supports the title.
Darjeeling tea is a tea from the Darjeeling district in West Bengal, India. It is available in black, green, white and oolong.
Traditionally, Darjeeling teas are classified as a type of black tea. However, the modern Darjeeling style employs a hard wither (35-40% remaining leaf weight after withering), which in turn causes an incomplete oxidation for many of the best teas of this designation, which technically makes them a form of oolong. Many Darjeeling teas also appear to be a blend of teas oxidized to levels of green, oolong, and black.
- First flush is harvested in mid-March following spring rains, and has a gentle, very light color, aroma, and mild astringency.
- In between is harvested between the two “flush” periods.
- Second flush is harvested in June and produces an amber, full bodied, muscatel-flavored cup.
- Monsoon or rains tea is harvested in the monsoon (or rainy season) between second flush and autumnal, is less withered, consequently more oxidized, and usually sold at lower prices. It is rarely exported, and often used in masala chai.
- Autumnal flush is harvested in the autumn after the rainy season, and has somewhat less delicate flavour and less spicy tones, but fuller body and darker colour.
Darjeeling is a part of the Eastern Himalayan zoo-geographic zone. Flora around Darjeeling comprises sal, oak, semi-evergreen, temperate and alpine forests. Dense evergreen forests of sal and oak lie around the town, where a wide variety of rare orchids are found.
Wildlife in the district is protected by the wildlife wing of the West Bengal Forest Department. The fauna found in Darjeeling includes several species of ducks, teals, plovers and gulls that pass Darjeeling while migrating to and from Tibet. Small mammals found in the region include civets, mongooses and badgers.
Darjeeling’s temperate climate has five seasons: summer, monsoon, winter, autumn and spring. The annual mean maximum temperature is 15.98 °C (60.76 °F) while the mean minimum temperature is 8.9 °C (48.0 °F),with monthly mean temperatures range from 5 to 17 °C (41 to 63 °F). The lowest temperature recorded was −5 °C (23 °F) on 11 February.
Tourist attractions in Darjeeling
- Natural History Museum
- Himalayan Mountaineering Institute
- The Lebong Race Track
- Tiger Hill
- Gymkhana Club
- Tibetan Refuge Centre
- Zoological Park
- Bhutia Busty Gompa
- Ghoom Monastery
Best time to visit Darjeeling
Darjeeling experiences a pleasant weather throughout the year but the ideal time to visit the hill station is from February to May and September to November. Its average temperature during winters varies between 2 to 10 degrees C and the maximum summer temperature can only go up to 15 degrees C. But the region receives heavy rainfall throughout the year.
Visitors are adviced to carry rain wear in all season and light woolen clothes in summer also.
How to reach Darjeeling
By Air : The nearest airport is Bagdogra Airport, 90km from Darjeeling.
By Rail : Nearest major stations are New Jalpaiguri and Siliguri.
By Road : Darjeeling is connected via all weather motorable road with Siliguri, Kalimpong, Gangtok.