LIVE LIKE A LOCAL
BY NATASCHA SHAH
DARJEELING EXPLORED LIKE A TRAVELLER, NOT A TOURIST
Darjeeling surely is a touristy place, with plentiful of options that make for great Instagram moments but the real charm lies in doing what the locals do. Here is how:
Every hill station comes with one and it is usually the most commercial and busy part of the city/town. However the one in Darjeeling proves to be a walk back in time, with the streets exuding an old world charm. It further goes down into a circle around the hill and makes for a spectacular site!
This is where the locals chill! A place where people meet, connect or simply while away time. It also is wi-fi enabled!
This eatery offers scrumptious sausages and fried eggs and the best bacon in town. There is a small alfresco area as well, bang in the middle of a spectacular view. Hill Cart Rd, Chauk Bazaar, Darjeeling.
Glenary’s Bakery and Cafe
To satisfy your sweet tooth try the liquor chocolates at Glenary’s, the place has a computer enabled area to browse the web as well. The pastries and cakes are also worth a try. Nehru Road, Darjeeling, 0354 225 4122
All those who know of the great Nepalese mountaineer Tenzing Norgay will want to check his house out and maybe get a photograph clicked outside it. There is also the Tenzing Norgay rock, which one may climb through the Himalayam Mountaineering Institute.
The only touristy thing we recommend is tea shopping: Darjeeling tea is famous world-over and to come here and not buy it would be a sad mistake! However, you must keep in mind that the prices here are exorbitant. Instead of the fancy shops in the upper town, head to the local ones in the small town and bargain.
The toy train takes you through the streets of Darjeeling to Ghum, which also is the world’s highest railway station. The whistle and the steam engine make a romantic picture!
Beer at Joey’s
What could be a better way to end the day, than with a beer at a homely and cosy pub called Joey. Like the man himself, this place exudes a retro charm.
Bhola’s Aloo Dum
This local specialty is a must try! It is basically MIMI (their version of Wai Wai) eaten raw with potato curry. Bhola, near Turnbell School serves the best!
Try the Taipo
A Tibetan dish, Taipo is like a huge dim sum, with thick cover, stuffed with beef, with a boiled egg in the centre. Chok Restaurant in Fancy Market should be your first preference.
The two-hour queue was totally worth the breathtaking views of the mist slowly parting to give way to vast tea estates, dense forests and some beautiful houses.
Duration: 45 min
board from: Singamari
timings: 10 am to 4 pm
Price: INR 150 per person (subjected to
GLENBURN TEA ESTATE
Darjeeling post, Darjeeling, West Bengal 734101, tel: 033 2288 5630
Price: Starts at INR 26,500 onwards per
room for two persons
8(664), Hill Cart Road,Kakjhora, Darjeeling, West Bengal
Price: INR 3000 to 4500
How to reach: Take a flight to Bagdogra Airport in Siliguri, West Bengal and then a cab to Darjeeling. The car ride will be take 4-5 hours and will cost anywhere between INR 3000-4000 (one way).
The nearest railway station to Darjeeling is New Jalpaiguri which connects the city with all the major parts of the country. There are a number of trains from cities like Kolkata, Delhi, Guwahati, Chennai, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Bhubaneshwar and Kochi. People can hire private cabs from the station to reach Darjeeling.