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Darjeeling

Once a possession of the Himalayan kingdom of Sikkim, Darjeeling was annexed in 1849 by the British, who soon introduced tea plants to the area, jump-starting the industry that would make Darjeeling famous. Today, it has pockets that are as pleasant as when it was the hill station of choice for the British government escaping Calcutta summers.

In addition to its tea, which sometimes grows on precipitous hillsides, Darjeeling is also well-known for the Toy Train, a narrow-gauge railway formally known as the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), and beautiful summer estates once home to the British colonial elite. Because of its location, Darjeeling is populated by a variety of hill tribes and Himalayan peoples, among them Nepalese Gurkhas, Tibetans, Anglo-Indians, and Sherpas.

Once a possession of the Himalayan kingdom of Sikkim, Darjeeling was annexed in 1849 by the British, who soon introduced tea plants to the area, jump-starting the industry that would make Darjeeling famous. Today, it has pockets that are as pleasant as when it was the hill station of choice for the British government escaping Calcutta summers.

In addition to its tea, which sometimes grows on precipitous hillsides, Darjeeling is also well-known for the Toy Train, a narrow-gauge railway formally known as the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), and beautiful summer estates once home to the British colonial elite. Because of its location, Darjeeling is populated by a variety of hill tribes and Himalayan peoples, among them Nepalese Gurkhas, Tibetans, Anglo-Indians, and Sherpas.

EXPERIENCES

EXPERIENCES

Badamtam Forest

Drive through the Simbong Forest to the River Rung Dung and into the Badamtam Forest. Walk along the forest path, following the River Rungeet. On the way, your guide will help you identify the birds, butterflies, occasional animals, and the rich plant life to be found in the forest.

Ghoom Monastery

Have a private tour of the Ghoom Monastery, built in 1875 by Lama Sherab Gyatso. On occasion, Remote Lands can arrange for visitors to have tea with senior resident monks, who can offer a special blessing. There are several hand-written Buddhist manuscripts here, which were compiled in volumes, carefully wrapped in cloth and stacked beside the main altar. The structure itself is a fine example of Himalayan architecture, with its exquisitely colored exterior and slanted roofs.

Glenburn Tea Estate

Tour the tea plantations at Glenburn Tea Estate, which will include a walk through the neat rows of tea, a tour of the factory and lunch. You will be met by a tea expert and manager of the property, who will assist you with selecting a special blend of tea tailored to your personal tastes.

Hayden Hall

Visit Hayden Hall, a non-profit organization that has been helping families break the cycle of poverty since its founding in 1969. Hayden Hall focuses on empowering women to achieve self-sufficiency through a variety of methods, from vocational training to providing small savings and loan plans.

Manjitar Suspension Footbridge

Cross the Manjitar Suspension Footbridge, which spans the River Rungeet into the old royal kingdom of Sikkim. This impressive structure was built by the British in 1902 after the original cane bridge was washed away by the floods of 1899. Measuring about 200 feet (61 meters) across and at least 100 feet (30 meters) above the river, crossing this footbridge is an adventure in itself.

Manjitar Village

Cross the bridge into Sikkim and wander around Manjitar Village, stop for a cup of tea in one of the village dhaabas (tea shops), and visit the local Shiv Temple.

Tibetan Refugee Self-Help Center

Stop at the Tibetan Refugee Self-Help Center, which was established in 1959, and meet the Tibetan people as they go about their business of knitting sweaters, woollens and other interesting crafts.

Toy Train

Take a ride on the charming Toy Train, so-called because it is the world’s narrowest gauge railway at only two feet wide. A UNESCO World Heritage Site built in 1881, the Toy Train travels to the world’s highest train station at 7,400 feet (2,256 meters) and is one of the world’s most curious railway wonders.

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TRAVELOGUES

TRAVELOGUES

A Nature Lover’s Guide to Meghalaya

A Nature Lover’s Guide to Meghalaya

Author : Zinara Rathnayake
Despite all the press and nature documentaries, Meghalaya remains somewhat isolated. For the nature lover who wants to see humankind living in harmony with nature, this wettest place on Earth is a good start.
Read More
Making Gods: Exploring Calcutta’s Kumartuli District

Making Gods: Exploring Calcutta’s Kumartuli District

Author : Annapurna Mellor
Annapurna Mellor travels to Kumartuli district Calcutta, a place where they make gods from scratch. From straw to the finished product, this journey takes us to the genesis of India's spiritual sculptures.
Read More

WHY CHOOSE US

WHY CHOOSE US

Couple from Texas - Aman Jet Expedition, October 2016
“ We have used some of the top rated travel specialists all over the world and, without question, Catherine Heald and Remote Lands are at the very top of the list! ”
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2017 Top Travel Specialists We Trust
2017 Top Travel Specialists We Trust
  by Conde Nast Traveler
Going with the Knowing
Going with the Knowing
  by LA Times

FEATURED JOURNEYS

FEATURED JOURNEYS

Aman Private Jet Expedition

Aman Private Jet Expedition

China - Bhutan - India - Sri Lanka
October 12-28, 2019
Aman Private Jet Expedition Across China

Aman Private Jet Expedition Across China

BEIJING - XI'AN - HANGZHOU - CHENGDU - LIJIANG - ZHANGJIAJIE - SHANGHAI
September 8-20, 2019
Aman Private Jet Expedition

Aman Private Jet Expedition

China - Bhutan - India - Sri Lanka
October 7-23, 2018
Aman Global Private Jet Expedition

Aman Global Private Jet Expedition

Japan - China - Vietnam - Thailand - Bhutan - India - Greece - Montenegro - Italy
April 15 - May 6, 2019
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