Sunday, 5 February 2012

How to Reach Goa

Goa's public transport largely consists of privately operated buses linking the major towns to rural areas. Government-run buses, maintained by the Kadamba Transport Corporation, links both major routes (like the Panjim–Margao route) and some remote parts of the state.

Goa has two rail lines—one run by the South Western Railway and the other by the Konkan Railway. The line run by the South Western Railway was built during the colonial era linking the port town of Vasco da Gama, Goa with Hubli, Karnataka via Margao. The Konkan Railway line, which was built during the 1990s, runs parallel to the coast connecting major cities on the western coast.

The Mormugao harbour near the city of Vasco handles mineral ore, petroleum, coal and international containers. Much of the shipments consist of minerals and ores from Goa's hinterland............

How to Reach Sikkim

Sikkim currently does not have any airports or railheads because of its rough terrain. However, the state's first airport is expected to be ready by 2011 in Pakyong, 30 km (19 mi) away from Gangtok. The airport will be capable of operating ATR aircraft.[56] Currently, the closest operational airport to Sikkim is Bagdogra Airport, near the town of Siliguri in West Bengal. The airport is about 124 km away from Gangtok. A regular helicopter service run by the Sikkim Helicopter Service connects Gangtok to Bagdogra; the flight is thirty minutes long, operates only once a day, and can carry 4 people. The Gangtok helipad is the only civilian helipad in the state.

The closest railway stations are Siliguri and New Jalpaiguri.
The New Sikkim Railway Project has been launched to connect the town of Rangpo in Sikkim with Sevoke. The project is expected to be complete by 2015.

In addition, the Ministry of Railways has recently proposed plans for railway lines linking Mirik to Ranipool.

National Highway 31A and National Highway 31 link Siliguri to Gangtok. Sikkim National Transport runs bus and truck services. Privately-run bus, tourist taxi and jeep services operate throughout Sikkim, and also connect it to Siliguri. A branch of the highway from Melli connects western Sikkim. Towns in southern and western Sikkim are connected to the hill stations of Kalimpong and Darjeeling in northern West Bengal. The state is furthermore connected to China by Nathu La............

Darjeeling Excursions

Named after the Buxa Fort, situated nearby, Buxa Tiger Project is one of the newest Tiger Projects in India. It was established during early 1980s. Later, in 1992, the Buxa Tiger Project was given the status of a National Park. Situated in the lap of the Sinchula Range, this park is spread over an area of 759 sq km. Apart from being the abode of Royal Bengal Tiger; it also serves as home to several other wild animals, like leopards, cats, spotted deer, barking deer elephants and even squirrels.

Spread over an area of about 200 sq km, Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the most popular sanctuaries in the Dooars Valley. This wildlife sanctuary is renowned for being the abode of the endangered one-horned rhinoceros species. Apart from the rhino, Royal Bengal Tigers, elephants, various types of deer, pigs, bison and different types of cats and squirrels can be seen here. You can also get to see several exotic varieties of birds in Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary.

Lava and Lolegaon
Lava and Lolegaon are two small, picturesque hamlets situated near Darjeeling. Situated at an altitude of 7200 and 5500 ft respectively, these hill stations are blessed with heavenly serenity and mesmerizing beauty. Enveloped in mist and clouds and covered with tall pine and oak trees, the place stuns you with its beauty. After a few km of trekking above the Lava and Lolegaon, you reach a place called Tiffin Dara, from where you get to see unforgettable vista of sunrays glittering amidst the milky white snow above Kanchenjunga.

Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary
Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary is about 30 km away from Darjeeling. It is spread over an area of about 2,220 sq km and serves as the abode of several endangered animal and bird species. Elephants are most prominently seen in this sanctuary.

The beautiful hill town of Kalimpong is situated approximately 56 km away from Darjeeling. It is perched at an elevation of 4,100 feet above the sea level. Apart from the gigantic mountains, lush greenery, natural streams and exotic flora-fauna, Kalimpong also offers many places of tourist interests. The Kali temple and Buddhist monastery situated here are certainly worth a visit.

Dooars Valley
Dooars Valley is an excursion that you must undertake, if you are in Darjeeling. Spread over an area of 130 km, this valley serves as the gateway to the hilly areas of Bengal and Bhutan. This valley houses several wildlife sanctuaries, including Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary, Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary, Gorumara National Park and Buxa National Park. If you are in Dooars Valley, do not miss visiting Buxa Fort, Malbazar and Teesta Barrage.

Approximately 30 km from Darjeeling, there is a beautiful hill town called Kurseong. Situated at an altitude of 4864 feet, this town offers enchanting views of Himalayan mountains, valleys, flora and fauna. If you are in Kurseong, you must visit Eagle Craig's point, Deer Park, Forest Museum, Bhangzang Salamander Lake, Bagora, Giddapahar Seti Mata Temple and Ambootia Temple.

Senchal Lake

Senchal Lake is about 10 km away from the main township of Darjeeling. Situated at an altitude of 8,160 feet, it is very close to the Tiger Hill. This lake, fed by a little mountainous spring, is the source of drinking water for entire Darjeeling area. It also serves as a popular picnic spot.

About 49 km from Darjeeling, Mirik is a beautiful hamlet, loved for its serene and peaceful environment. This place is famous for its Sumendu Lake. The popular ways to spend your leisure time here are boating and fishing. This place is also known for its beautiful orchards and beautiful tea gardens.

About 58 km from Darjeeling, Sandakphu is a trekker's paradise. It is the only place from where one can see four of the five highest peaks of the world, namely, Mt. Everest, Kanchenjunga, Makalu and Lhotse............


Sandakphu, situated at the edge of Singalila National Park, is the highest point of the Singalila Ridge. Perched at an altitude of 3636 meters, it also forms the highest peak in West Bengal. The peak houses a small hamlet, by the same name, which is quite popular amongst the tourists coming to Darjeeling. The town has a very scanty population and is guarded by the Indian army. Sandakfu offers awe-inspiring view of surrounding valleys and hills to its visitors, mainly owing to its strategic location.

Famous for its breath-taking beauty, Sandakphu boasts of magnificent sights of Mt Kanchenjunga as well as Mt Everest. The place is also known its lovely sunrises and sunsets. About 58 km from Darjeeling, it even serves as a wonderful location for trekking. Sandakphu offers tourists an opportunity to relish the incredible beauty of Eastern Himalayas. The place receives snowfall in late December to early February. Covered under the blanket of white snow, Sandakphu surely looks mesmerizing.

Though motorable means to reach Sandakfu are available, a ten hour trek from Maneybhanjan is a much more interesting way to reach the place. The trek trails up, through forests of rhododendron, giant magnolias, spruce and other trees of sub-alpine vegetation. There are also more than 600 varieties of orchids available here. In Sandakphu, the temperature varies between -20°C in winter and 15°C in summer. The best time to visit the place is between March and October, when weather is extremely pleasing............


Mirik is a beautiful hamlet, nestled amidst the eastern Himalayas, in Darjeeling. The place offers abundant natural beauty, a salubrious weather and serene atmosphere to the tourists. Located at an elevation of about 4904 feet, this place is about 55 km from Siliguri and 50 km from Darjeeling. The beautiful forests of pine, cardamom and oranges, along with the wild flowers, adorn the lanscape of Mirik. Blooming apple orchards and flowering tea gardens are the other major attractions in Mirik. It is an excellent picnic spot and offers pleasant sight seeing opportunities as well. The natural beauty of Mirik is enough to enliven one with spiritual and natural energy.

Mirik is basically known for its Sumendu Lake. Located in the heart of this small hamlet, it is a manmade lake, amidst the forest ridge. This lake is embellished by a flower garden and a floating fountain. The magnificent vista of Mt. Kanchenjunga and other Himalayan peaks, forming the backdrop of the lake, is indeed unforgettable. The beautiful garden, on one side of the lake, and pine trees, on the other, are connected by an arch-shaped bridge, named 'Indreni Pul', which means the "Rainbow Bridge". A 3.5-km-long road around the lake is best if you love taking silent walks, appreciating the beauty of nature. Apart from boating on 'Shikaras', you can also opt for fishing or a pony ride here............

Kurseong, West Bengal

Located at an altitude of 4864 ft, Kurseong is a beautiful hamlet in Darjeeling district of West Bengal. The serenity, cleanliness and beauty of this place, away from the hush bush of commercialized hill stations, are indeed very refreshing. Away from the crowd of seasonal tourists, this place offers you a calm and peaceful holiday. Kurseong is basically known for its premium tea gardens, which include Castleton, Makaibarie, Ambotia and Goomtee. The tea from these gardens is exported to foreign countries and sold at very high price. Taking a silent walk in the scenic lanes of Kurseong is indeed a mesmerizing experience. March to May and August to October are the best times to visit this place.

The name Kurseong has been derived from the word "Kharsang", meaning "Land of the White Orchids", in the Lepcha language. As its name suggests, plenty of white orchids can be seen in this town. Kurseong was annexed to the British Empire in 1835. However, its development as a tourist destination began in 1880s only. Due to its clean atmosphere and salubrious weather, this place was considered to be the perfect destination for sick to recuperate. Till date, the economy of this place largely depends on tourism sector. Kurseong, despite being a small city, is the seat of several reputed educational institutions. St. Mary's School, St. Helen's School for Girls, Victoria Boy's School and Himali Boarding School are the most renowned schools in the town.

of the most famous vantage points in Kurseong, Eagles Craig offers you some unforgettable view of hills and plains. Then, there is the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, connected to Kurseong in 1880. Here, the train runs on level with the street and interestingly, you can shop without actually leaving your seat. The experience of the toy train ride around this city is unforgettable. The journey, enveloped in mist and fog, will be surprisingly pleasing for you. As the fog and cloud disappear, you will be dazzled by the sight of one of the world's largest peaks - Mt. Kanchenjunga. In Kurseong, the beauty of hills, tea gardens, natural springs and old British buildings will keep you preoccupied. It would be the best destination whether you are planning a honeymoon or a leisure break.

Places to See:

Ambhotia Shiva Temple
Around 5 km from the main township of Kurseong is a famous Shiv Temple, situated within Ambotia Tea Estate. A very famous temple, it is visited by people from neighbor countries, like Bhutan, Myanmar and Nepal, as well.

Giddapahar Mandir
About 2 km away from Kurseong, there is Giddhapahar Mandir, one of the most revered temples in the hills. It has Lord Shiva as its presiding deity and serves as the venue of a grand fair, held here on Mahashivratri.

Jagdish Mandir
Jagdish Mandir is 300-years-old temple, situated on the Bank Road that falls on on the way to Eagle's craig. The presiding deity of the temple is Lord Jagannath, form of Lord Vishnu.

St. Paul's Church

St. Paul's Church is one of the oldest churches in Kurseong, located on Hill Cart Road, Near St. Joshephs School.

Buddisht Gomphas in Montieviot and Dowhill Road
The Buddisht monasteries in Montieviot and Dowhill Road are surely worth a visit on a trip to Kurseong. Serving as museums in themselves, these monasteries will help you learn a lot about Buddhist culture.

Eagle's Craig
Eagle's Craig is a famous vantage point in Kurseong. Here, one can get to see mesmerizing views of the surrounding mountains, hills, hamlets and slopes. Eagle's craig also houses the water reservoir for the entire Kurseong. The area boasts of a cafeteria, a watch tower and a flower garden.

Tea Gardens
Kurseong is the home to one of the finest varieties of Darjeeling Tea. While in the town, you must make sure to visit Castleton, Makaibari and Ambootia Tea Estates.

Deer Park 
Deer Park is located in the Dow Hill area of Kurseong. As you can assume, it is named so because of the abundance of deer found in this park. It comes under the jurisdiction of the State Forest Department.

Khola Waterfalls
There are beautiful water falls and springs in Kurseong, known as 'Kholas' amongst the localities. You can visit the beautiful Darey Khola and Hussain Khola, when in Kurseong............

Toy Train

A ride in the Toy Train of Darjeeling is one of the things-to-do that you must not miss if you have planned a trip to West Bengal. The train, officially named 'Darjeeling Himalayan Railway', is basically a two feet narrow-gauge line. It is maintained by Indian Railways and runs between New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling. Since 1999, the train has been included in the category of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites. In 2005, UNESCO also added the Nilgiri Mountain Railways, as an extension to the original inscription.

The 86-km long 'Darjeeling Himalayan Railway' was built in between 1879 and 1881. It is still powered by a steam engine. Despite facing natural calamities, such as an earthquake in 1897 and a major cyclone in 1899, the train continued enhancing its capability, accessibility and popularity. During World War II, the Toy Train played the critical role of transferring military personnel and supplying goods, from Siliguri to Darjeeling and Ghoom. After Independence, it became a part of Northeast Frontier Railway zone of Indian Railways. In 1962, a 6 km line from Siliguri was added to the route of the Toy Train, to extend it to New Jalpaiguri (NJP) and meet the new broad gauge line there.

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway connects Siliguri with the hill station of Darjeeling, in West Bengal. On its route, it passes through many awe-inspiring sites. One of them is Ghoom, where it ascends to a height of 7400 feet. The journey in Darjeeling's Toy Train, enveloped by mist and fog, will please you no end. As the fog and cloud disappear, you will be dazzled to see the mighty view of one of the world's largest peak - Mt. Kanchenjunga. Apart from that, the beauty of hills, tea gardens, natural springs and forests will keep you preoccupied throughout your journey in the Toy Train............

Llyod Botanical Garden

Lloyd's Botanical Garden is a 'one of its kinds' botanical garden in the Darjeeling city of West Bengal. Spread in about 40 acres of land, this botanical garden boasts of housing several endangered and exotic species of fauna. Established in 1878, it was intended to be a distant annexe of the Calcutta Botanical Garden. The basic motive of Lloyd's Botanical Garden is to preserve the native floral species of Darjeeling Himalayan hill region, Sikkim and its neighboring regions. It is also a home to several exotic varieties of flora.

The numerous varieties of flora in Lloyd's Botanical Garden are a naturalist's delight. Anyone who is in love with nature and greenery is certain to fall in love with this place. Its collection boasts of alpine plants, arum lilies, geraniums, spectacular azaleas, tree ferns and conifers from Europe, apart from hawthorn, blackberry, broom, horse, chestnut, ash, birch and lilac from China and Japan. The cryptomerias, plums, cherries, magnolias and maples weeping willows and deodars from Africa and Bulbon plants and cypress from America are other attractive varieties here.

You can also get to see silver wattle, black wattle, silver oak, blue gum and eucalyptus trees in this botanical garden. The Cacti and Succulents section here is strikingly noticeable, with about 150 species on display. The Orchadium, housing 2500 plants - with 50 rare varieties, is another section in the garden that you must visit. Inside the greenhouse, in this botanical garden, the begonias blooms are arranged in a pleasing manner, like an attractive mosaic of multi-colored splendor. Lloyd's Botanical Garden is a worthwhile experience for those who take interest in botany and are in love with nature............

Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park

Located below Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, on the slopes of Jawahar Parbhat, Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park of Darjeeling is a 'one of its kinds' park in the entire West Bengal. It is situated at an elevation of 2133.5 meter and spread over an area of 44 hectares. Established on August 14, 1958, this zoo is one of the major tourist attractions in Darjeeling. It attracts more than 300,000 visitors every year. Popularly known as Darjeeling Zoo, it falls under the supervision of Department of Education of the West Bengal Government

Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park is meant for studying and preserving Himalayan fauna. This zoo specially focuses on breeding animals adapted to alpine conditions. It has been successfully involved in the captive breeding of many critically endangered Himalayan species, like Snow leopard, Himalayan Wolf and Red Panda. This zoo also serves as the home for other Himalayan species, like Gorals (mountain goat), Siberian tigers and many endangered and exotic species of birds. It also serves as the core for Central Zoo Authority of India's Red Panda Project............

Himalayan Mountaineering Institute

Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI) was established in Darjeeling, as a step to organize the growing craze in the filed of mountaineering, after the ascent of Tenzing Norgay on Mt. Everest. This institute was founded in 1954, at the personal initiative of Pt Jawahar Lal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India. Tthe institute was initially located at Roy Villa, on Lebong Cart Road. It was shifted to current location, on the western spur of Jawahar Parbat, in 1958 and today, it stands perched at an altitude of 6,800 ft. The first principal of this institute was Late Major N.D. Jayal and its first Director for Field Training was the legendary mountaineer, Tenzing Norgay.

In the first 50 years of its existence, HMI imparted training to more than 24,000 students, including around 1000 students from foreign countries. The training imparted at this institute is not aimed at producing ace athletes or gladiators. Rather, the sole aim of Himalayan Mountaineering Institute is to produce a disciplined and good human being, with a broad perspective towards life. The institute also tries to inculcate the values of ecological protection, love for nature, care for flora & fauna and respect for cultural diversity. HMI became the first institute to break the myth that woman could not sustain in activities like mountaineering, when it started a special batch for women, in 1961.

Himalayan Mountaineering Institute offers 16 different courses to students, to choose from, which also includes the 'Basic Mountaineering Course for Beginners'. The courses are conducted during the months of January, February, April, May, November and December every year. The admission is strictly done on a 'first cum first serve' basis. Other than courses for normal and physically fit candidates, there are special courses and batches for physically challenged candidates as well. The students of many renowned schools, based in different parts of India, also come here for vacation training in adventure courses.

Apart from the training institute, HMI also owns the oldest mountaineering museum of the country. This mountaineering museum, established in 1957, serves as a centre for research on mountaineering activity for the trainees and research scholars. It has a wonderful collection of paintings, sculpture, photographs, scripts, autographs, books and mountaineering equipment of famous mountaineers. The museum has two sections - The Main Museum and Everest Museum. The Everest section gives the chronological records of discovery of Everest and the attempts to undertaken to climb it. The institute and the museum are major attraction spots for tourists in Darjeeling............

Bengal Natural History Museum

There are numerous wildlife sanctuaries and botanical gardens in Darjeeling, which offer a glimpse into the colorful world of its flora and fauna. Bengal Natural History Museum in Darjeeling is one of them. Established in 1903, it provides visitors with a wonderful view of rich flora and fauna of the hill resort and its surrounding areas. This museum interestingly depicts the archeological proofs of the natural world and the evolution process of natural environment. It is the perfect place for naturalists, as it provides them a rendezvous with numerous exotic varieties of plants and animals.

Bengal Natural History Museum offers you an acquaintance with about 4300 specimens of Himalayan fauna, including a number of fauna indigenous to Bengal and Darjeeling. The popular sections at the museum include the blocks of fish, insects, birds, bird eggs, reptiles, butterflies and herbariums. The estuarine crocodile, a rare variety of crocodile, which is held responsible for the loss of many human lives in Asia, is also housed here. This place will be greatly liked by all those who love greenery and wildlife. Except for Thursdays, this museum is open for visitors throughout the week............

Tea Gardens

Darjeeling tea is internationally renowned for its floral fragrance, astringent features and musky spiciness. It is considered to be the one of finest qualities of black tea grown anywhere in the world. Unlike other Indian teas, which are produced mainly from the large-sized Assamese leaves, Darjeeling tea is processed from the small-leaved Chinese variety of 'Camellia Sinensis' plant. Just as authority of Champagne production solely lies with the Champagne district of France, Darjeeling tea is indigenous to Darjeeling, West Bengal.

The tea plantation in Darjeeling started around 1852, when it was a thinly populated city. The first commercial tea gardens planted by the British, in the hill resort, included Tukvar, Steinthal and Aloobari tea estates. The seeds used at that time were produced in Government nurseries and the labor was imported from Nepal. By about 1866, Darjeeling had 39 tea gardens and an annual production of 21,000 kg of tea. At present, Touzi section deals with the control & supervision of all the tea gardens in the Darjeeling district.

In the present times, Darjeeling officially owns 144 tea gardens, which are spread over an area of 74843.82 acres. Some of the most popular tea gardens include Arya, Chamong, Glenburn, Lingia, Castleton, Jungpana, Makaibari, Margaret's Hope and Risheehat. The current annual production of Darjeeling tea gardens is 10 million kg of tea. It has been legally administered that that tea produced in the 144 defined tea gardens in Darjeeling district of West Bengal can only be sold as 'Darjeeling Tea'............

Buddhist Monasteries

Dali Monastery
Druk Thubten Sangag Choling, or Dali Monastery, was founded by Kyabje Thuksey Rinpoche, a disciple of Drukchen Tenzin Khenrab Gelek Wangpo, the great monk of Drukpa Kargyud Lineage. The sole aim of this monastery is to safeguard the Buddhist religion and Tibetan culture. In 1993, at the inauguration of the monastery's new building, Dalai Lama - His Holy Highness - gave three days religious preaching there.

Bhutia Busty Monastery
Bhutia Busty belongs to the Red Sect of Buddhist Lamas. It is located at a distance of about 5 kilometers from Chowrasta. This monastery was earlier located on the 'Observatory Hill', before it was force out by the Nepalese, in the 19th century, and was reconstructed on the present site. In 1934, this monastery was destroyed once again, this time by an earthquake. It was the late king of Sikkim who helped reconstruct this monastery again.

Shakya Monastery
Situated about eight km from the major township of Darjeeling, in a place called Ghoom, there is a very old monastery called Guru Shakya Monastery. It is said to have been built around 1915. It is a historic and very important monastery of the Shakya Order.

Yiga-Choling Buddhist Monastery
Yiga-Choling Buddhist Monastery is located in Ghoom, about 8 km away from the major township of Darjeeling. Perched at an elevation of about 8,000 ft, it belongs to the Yellow Sect of Buddhism, which worships 'Maitreya Buddha'. This monastery was constructed by Lama Sherab Gyantso, in the year 1975.

Makdhog Monastery
'Makdhog' means 'warding off war'. Makdhog monastery was named so because it was built somewhere around World War I. The sole aim of this monastery is to safeguard the distinct social, cultural and ethnic identity of the Yolmowa community (a small cultural group originally a native of northeastern and later settled in Darjeeling). Makdhog Monastery was built by Sri Sangay Lama, a highly respected religious leader of the Yolmowas sect............

Japanese Peace Pagoda

Japanese Peace Pagoda is one of the most popular attractions in the Darjeeling city of West Bengal. It is one of those Peace Pagodas (Buddhist stupas) in the world that have been established with the aim of creating a special niche for enlightening people from all religions, creeds and origins, to come together and work for world peace. It was build under the supervision of a Buddhist Monk, Nichidatsu Fujii, who was also the founder and preceptor of Nipponzan Myohoji, a Buddhist order for word peace.

The foundation stone of the Japanese Peace Pagoda in Darjeeling was laid down by Fujii himself, on 3rd November 1972. However, this Pagoda was inaugurated after his death, in 1992, by his senior most disciples. Nichidatsu Fujii, popularly known as Fujii Guruji, was also a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi. Perturbed by the tragedy that followed the dropping of atom bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in 1945, Nichidatsu Fujii pledged to teach the world the importance of non-violence, goodwill and harmony.

Japanese Peace Pagoda of Darjeeling comes across as one of Fujii's efforts to teach world a lesson of spirituality and peace. It was designed by Dr M Ohka of Japan. This pagoda, which is 28.5 meters long and 23 meters in diameter, still stands as a sacred symbol of harmony and brotherhood, inspiring the entire world. The only motive of this sacred testament is to establish unity, harmony and goodwill amongst people belonging to different sects of society. Whenever you happen to visit Darjeeling, make sure to pay a visit to this 'peace monument'............

Dhirdham Temple

The beautiful city of Darjeeling is also known for its cultural diversity. People of almost all religions live here, amidst peace and harmony. Hinduism is the most popularly followed religion, followed by Buddhism. The hill resort is full of several Buddhist monasteries and Hindu shrines. Dhirdham Temple is one of the most popular Hindu temples in Darjeeling. Located besides the Darjeeling railway station, the temple has Lord Shiva as its presiding deity

Dhirdham Temple is regarded as one of the most sought-after tourist attractions in this city. The temple was built in the year 1939, making it one of the oldest Hindu shrines in the city of Darjeeling. It was constructed by Rai Saheb Purna Bahadur Pradhan. The temple has been designed by a Gorkha architect, named Beg Raj Sakya, who was inspired by the architecture of the Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu, Nepal.

The roof of Dhirdham Temple shows influences by the Tibetan style of architecture. There is an idol of Lord Shiva outside the premises of the main temple. It depicts the third eye of Lord Shiva, along with His five different facial expressions, representing Him in different moods. The idol is known as "Pancha Bakram Tri Netram"............

War Memorial

The War Memorial stands as a reminiscence of the Gurkha martyrs of Darjeeling, who sacrificed their lives for their country in the wars and operations that have taken place since independence. In 1976, Manish Gupta, the then Deputy Commissioner of Darjeeling, took the initiative to construct a War Memorial, to pay homage to the 76 brave sons of Darjeeling who gave the supreme sacrifice of their life, for the cause of their nation.

After Gupta's initiative, a committee was formed and Batasia was selected as the site of the War Memorial. On 22nd March 1995, the War Memorial of West Bengal was inaugurated and opened for public. The memorial comprises of a holy elevated oval platform, 37’ x 24’, with a 9-feet high bronze statue and a 30 feet high triangular cenotaph, made of granite. The Roll of Honor has been engraved on an octagonal stand, of about 3 feet.

Photography is not allowed on the sanctified mound in the War Memorial. One can also see this memorial while on the famous Darjeeling Toy Train, as it goes around this place, on a circular path. The entry fee for this sacred testament is merely Rs. 5. War Memorial should be on your must-visit list on a trip to Darjeeling, to pay homage to those brave hearts of this beautiful land who laid down their life for the safety and security of their fellow Indians............

Tiger Hill

Tiger Hill is the top-most point of Ghoom, the highest railway station of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (Toy Train). Situated at a distance of about 11 km from the major township of Darjeeling, Tiger Hill is perched at an elevation of 8,500 ft and forms one of the highest hills in its immediate surroundings. It can be reached from Darjeeling either by a jeep or by foot, through Chowrasta, Alubari and Jore Bungla.

Tiger Hill is popular for the magnificent vista of sunrise that it offers. The sight of sparkling view of golden sunrays, falling over the snow-clad Himalayan ranges, is surely mesmerizing. It is one of the most popular vantage points in Darjeeling. From here, you can get to see world's third highest peak, 'the Kanchenjunga' very clearly. On a clear day, the sight of the peak is sure to make you fall in love with the place.

If you are exceptionally lucky, you can also get to see the highest peak of the world - 'Mount Everest', which is 107 km from this place, peeping out through two other peaks standing by its side. On a clear day, this place also offers some awe-inspiring views of the surrounding mountains, cities, rivers and valleys............

How to Reach Darjeeling

The nearest airport to Darjeeling is the Bagdogra Airport, which is about 90 km from this place. It is connected to Kolkata and Delhi by daily flights. This airport also receives direct flight from Guwahati and Patna. From here onwards, one has to hire private cabs or taxis for reaching the hill resort.

The nearest railhead from Darjeeling comprises of the New Jalpaiguri Railway Station. It is connected to Delhi by Guwahati Rajdhani and to Kolkata by Darjeeling Mail. Except for monsoon, a toy train runs from New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling in all seasons. You can also hire a taxi or bus for covering the distance.

In case you prefer to travel by road, you can board the ‘rocket’ buses, ITDC deluxe or AC buses from Dharamtala in Kolkata until Siliguri. From Siliguri you can either take a Trekker or hire a Maruti Van to Darjeeling, depending upon your budget............

Bodhgaya Excursions


25 km away from Patna is Sonepur better known for its big fair of cattle in the month of November. People from all across the India come here along with their cattle to sell or buy. The place has a temple of Hariharnath and dip at the confluence of Ganga and Gandak has great religious relevance. 

Located at the distance of 102 km from Patna, Rajgir happened to be the capital of Magadha state before the establishment of Patliputra or Patna. Rajgir is a well-known pilgrimage destination of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism. Some major tourist destinations in Rajgir are the Swarna Gufa, Griddhakuta Parvat, hot springs, and the Vishwa Shanti Stupa. 

Barabar Caves

The caves located 57 Kms from Gaya are some earliest carved out Buddhist caves. The interior of these caves is chiseled to a wonderful polish. Excellency of the carvings can be imagined by looking at these cave carves. The third century carved these caves are example of skills of the Indian mason. 


The temple dedicated to Sun God is called Deo here in Gaya. The temple is located at the distance of 20 kilometers from Gaya. On the occasion of Chhath thousands of devotees gather here for a glimpse of the deity. 


The place is famous for the caves where Buddha had meditated for some time. It was in these caves that he concluded that the ultimate knowledge can not be attained through mortification of the flesh. These caves are 12 kms from the main town of Bodh Gaya


Located 112 km away from Patna Gaya is a Hindu pilgrimage center. The place houses the Vishnupad (Vishnu footprints) Temple, built by Rani Ahilya Bai of Indore in the 18th century. 

Locate 90 km away from Patna, Nalanda is an important heritage site. The ruins of Nalanda University are major attractions which are evidence of the greatest centers of Buddhist learning in ancient times. Hiuen Tsang Memorial Hall, the Surya Mandir, the Nalanda museum, and the Nav Nalanda Vihar are other major tourist attractions of Nalanda............

Mahabodhi Temple

The fifty meter high Mahabodhi Temple was built during the rule of the Guptas in the 5th century. This temple is considered among the oldest in Indian sub-continent temples. The temple is jewel of architectural superiority and expertise. The Mahabodhi Temple Complex is one of the four holy sites related to the life of the Lord Buddha, and particularly to the attainment of Enlightenment. The temple is located near the spot where Gautama Siddhartha had attained enlightenment. 

The first construction at Mahabodhi Temple was done by the Buddhist king Ashoka. The temple got its grandeur and splendid architecture during the Gupta period. The Mahabodhi Temple is considered as one of the earliest Buddhist temples built entirely in brick, still standing in India. The temple architecture is presentations of the architectural genius of the Indian people in constructing fully developed brick temples in that era. 

The Mahabodhi Temple, one of the few surviving examples of early brick structures in India, has had significant influence in the development of architecture over the centuries. The sculpted stone balustrades are an outstanding early example of sculptural reliefs in stone. The temple is evidence of the history of Buddhism. Starting from the first erection of the shrine by Ashoka in third century BC and ending in sixth century AD, the temple gives clear picture of its developments in different phases. 

The architectural beauty of temple is extraordinary. The four towers on the corners rise elegantly, escorting the main tower to an extent. Encircled on all four sides by stone railings, Mahabodhi Temple bears railings of two types, equally in style and material. The older railings are made from sandstone and trace their origin around 150 BC. Dating back to Gupta period, the other railings are erected from unpolished coarse granite............

How to Reach Bodh Gaya

A good railway network connects Bodh Gaya with other major cities of India. A whole range of trains is available to reach Bodh Gaya. Gaya is the nearest railhead to Bodh Gaya at the distance of 17 kilometers. Besides ordinary trains, Indian Railway has introduced a Bodh Gaya special ‘Buddha Parikrama Express’ specifically meant to cater Buddhist spiritual tourists. The train links all the important places relevant to Buddhists. 

Besides a good network or railway tracks, Bodh Gaya is well connected by roads to various cities of India. The main bus stand is near Sujata Bridge on the bank of Falgu River on the northeastern edge of the town. Gaya is the nearest transport hub which is connected with Grand Trunk Road and from where you can catch direct busses to reach Patna, Nalanda, Rajgir and Varanasi. Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation also runs buses from Patna- Bodhgaya route twice a day. 

Gaya is the nearest airport from Bodh Gaya. It is located at a distance of 17 kilometers. Various domestic airlines operate from Gaya to other metro cities of India. You can also land at Patna and board taxis and buses to reach Bodh Gaya which is around 135 kilometers from Patna............
Backlinks to my website?