India is a land of great diversity and geographical and cultural attractions for tourist from all over the country and around the world. Out of its myriad hill stations, Darjeeling comes ahead as the jewel of the North East and the most popular hill station in West Bengal as well as this part of the country. The splendid Himalayan town offers an impeccable combination of nature’s splendor with tranquil ambience and amazing weather. And there is a lot more to know about the place too.
Here are 10 interesting facts about Darjeeling, West Bengal:
#1. The name Darjeeling comes from Tibetan words Dorje and Ling. While Dorje implies thunderbolt, ling stands for the place where the thunderbolt is there, giving the town its very distinctive name.
#2. The town was developed by the British during the mid 19th century period. They found it a feasible site to set up a health resort and sanatorium for the British soldiers. Darjeeling was officially declared as the summer capital of Bengal Presidency in 1864.
#3. The gorgeous hill station lies at an altitude of 6700 feet, nestled in the Himalayas. The Mount Everest as well as the Kanchenjunga Peak, are clearly visible from here on the clear days, which makes it a big attraction for the tourists.
#4. Darjeeling is world famous for its tea, which has a distinctive aroma and flavor that makes it recognizable. This is attributed to the unique climatic conditions of the place. Tea cultivation was started here as early as 1841.
#5. Another interesting fact about Darjeeling, which makes it really famous is that the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is the first slope traveler track and also one of the most remarkable ones too. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has one of the few steam locomotives in operation.
#6. Tourism is one of the main industries of this beautiful hill station and it has been pulling crowds from as early as 1860. In fact, it is the sole destination in the eastern part of the country which attracts hefty foreign tourism.
#7. Darjeeling has diverse religion and culture, with Hinduism, Christianity and Buddhism being the main religions practiced here and communities like Bengalis, Marwaris, Chinese, Anglo Indian and Tibetans living together in harmony. Traditions and festivals of diverse communities are celebrated in the city.
#8. It is one of those places in the country where the sex ratio is higher than the national average. It stands at 1017 females per 1000 males, in comparison of the national figure of 933 females per 1000 males.
#9. The commonly spoken languages in the area are English, Hindi, Bengali and Nepali, with Bengali being the official language.
#10. Another interesting fact about the city of Darjeeling is that it is home to several reputed British style public schools, which attract students from all parts of the country and even overseas.
In addition to being a place of great interest, there are a large number of tourist attractions in Darjeeling and its surrounding areas. This is one of the reasons of the flourishing tourism industry here.