The recorded history of the town starts from the early 19th century when the colonial administration under the British Raj set up a sanatorium and a military depot in the region. Subsequently, extensive tea plantations were established in the region and tea growers developed hybrids of black tea and created new fermentation techniques. The resultant distinctive Darjeeling tea is internationally recognised and ranks among the most popular black teas in the world. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway connects the town with the plains and has some of the few steam locomotives still in service in India.
Darjeeling has several British-style public schools, which attract pupils from all over India and a few neighbouring countries. The varied culture of the town reflects its diverse demographic milieu comprising Lepcha, Khampa, Gorkha, Newar, Sherpa, Bhutia, Bengali and other mainland Indian ethno-linguistic groups.
Perhaps one of the most picturesque train routes in all of Darjeeling, the Batasia Loop is a lush green toy train pathway that is meant to minimise the elevation of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway.
Tiger Hill is most famous for its splendid sights of sunrise from where you can see the peaks of Kanchenjunga illuminate before the sun is seen at lower elevations.
The name of the place derives from the words ‘tin’ and ‘chula’, which translates as ‘three ovens’ because the trio of hills constituting the hill station resemble mud ovens.
Sandakphu Peak (11,941 Feet) is the highest peak in West Bengal. The highest peak of Singalila Ridge in Darjeeling district, almost near the border of Nepal, it is located very close to Singalila National Park.
The Rock Garden or the Barbotey Garden as its commonly known, is located a little far from the city around ~10 km away. The benches in the garden are made by cutting rocks at different levels.
The Peace Pagoda, one of the 70 odd such structures built under the guidance of Japanese monk Nichidatsu Fujii, is worth a visit during the daily pujas.