Darjeeling in Pictures

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By: leelefever on April 1, 2006 - 9:38pm

We had so many expectations about Darjeeling- a cool mountain town inhabited by Tibetan and Nepalese people with awesome scenery and even better tea.  Our expectations were partially fulfilled.

I was most looking forward to the scenery- the Mount Kanchenjunga
range of the Himalayas specifically.  In this respect, we were a bit disappointed. We did see it for a bit one morning, but for the rest of the time, the town was shrouded in a mist/fog, obscuring any view.  Apparently this is the norm except April/May and October/November.

We did enjoy the daily life aspects of the town. The people were very friendly and it was MUCH less of a hassle than Delhi or Mumbai. Here are some photos to tell the story.

One ofthe most famous things in Darjeeling is the "toy train" on the Darjeeling Himilayan Railway- a train that runs on a narrow gauge track (about 2 feet wide) that has been designated a World Heritage Monument by UNESCO. 

 There seemed to be school kids everywhere, all in their very neat uniforms, complete with vests, ties and even sport coats. Here are a couple of small ones on their way home.


 Tibetan prayer flags are also very pervasive in the area, being that Darjeeling has a high population of Tibetan refugees.  Here is Sachi at the monastary on Observation Hill.

We found the people od Darjeeling to be the most friendly and curious that we've met in India.  The Tibetans have a very soft and peaceful manner that is in sharp contrast to the touts in Dehli.  Here is a nice couple we met- though I'm not sure about their ethnicity.

India is filled with contrasts. The Lloyd Botanical Garden is one of the most beautiful, peaceful and quiet places in the town- a nice place to get away. Yet, each grove of trees is surrounded by rusty, tangled, barbed-wire.  The wire's don't even encircle- they just block. We were left wondering about the reasoning.

 We had experienced enough squalor inthe cities and hoped that Darjeeling would be different. It was less polluted, but unfortunately, still pretty sickening for us Seattleites. 


 But in the end, it was worth the trip to Darjeeling. I want to go back sometime in better health and do a multi-day trek into the woods.

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