Thursday, November 11, 2010


Tiger Hill is a favorite early morning destination for holiday’s makers in Darjeeling. Join them at your peril. You will be jostling with loud tourists impatient to get their photographs taken against the backdrop of the Kanchenjunga Range.

It is much more civilized to walk up and reach by afternoon, catch the evening views and if time is not the factor stay the night and catch the early sunrise before the rush starts. If you have kids along, don’t worry just rent a pony from the stables at Chowrasta, put them astride and let them follow. The hike start from Chowrasta in Darjeeling (2,134m) going past the stables on the quite but wide Tenzing Norgay Jeep track, past the settlements of Toong Soon and Aloo Bari, with its old monastery. The greenery around Aloo Bari thickens and you enter a peaceful era away from the mad rush of Darjeeling. Along the route to Jorebungalow, you will pass a few small hamlets, inhabited by the Tamangs, Rais and Bhutias, who trace their roots to Tibet. Stop here for a meal of local food. Beside the ubiquitous momos, try the gun drunk with rice and the sel roti with dum aloo. In route there are many spots where you can just lie down in the bright sunlight and enjoy solitude, particularly Money Point, marked by a cheery little brook, 3km beyond the Mag Dhog Monastery. Just before you reach the dingy, damp town of Jorebungalow, there is a trail to the right, climbing up for about 2km. It ends at the Jalapahara Cantonment, a British Raj remnant and the ST Paul’s School. On returning from Tiger Hill, you can walk back to Darjeeling town via Jalapahara and catch lovely views of Kanchenjunga, the hills around Darjeeling even the far away Kurseong, Mirik and Sandakphu and the distant plains of Bengal. From Jorebunglow, you can hike up about a kilometer to visit the Jathe Rinpoche Monastery, associated with the Nyingmapa school of Buddhism or carry on to Tiger Hill. 

If you wish to see a sublime sunrise, camp overnight. There is abundant water and space in the grounds to the right of the welcome gate. Early next morning if you are lucky with the weather, hold your breath. You will see the most awesome sight of the sun gilding over the great Himalayan Range...

1 comment:

  1. Great post, man! Reminds me of my time in Egypt... All was good, but they had problems with skype, so I couldn't talk to my wife... Luckily, a friend of hers told her about some site called that offers cheap calls to Egypt... And they really are cheap! :) All you do is dial 087 1923 1923 for landlines and you can talk for as long as you like... :)