Darjeeling - The queen of the Hill:
Darjeeling at elevation2134m. is located on a spur with houses hugging the hillside. Its verdant hills and valleys are steeped in color and are interspersed with vast stretches of lush green tea gardens. Presiding over all these is the 8586m. Mt. Kanchenjunga looming over the northern horizon, giving a magical aura the land. Darjeeling town, Kalimpong and Kurseong are the major centers. Heavily influenced by the British. The tot train is one of the most striking examples of Darjeeling's British Raj influence. Darjeeling provides the perfect ambiance of a hill resort with its mild climate and laid-back charm.
Sikkim - Land of Mystic splendor:
Situated between Nepal and Bhutan, Sikkim is an amazing place of hidden valleys, mystical monasteries, snow-fed lakes and a mountain setting covered with flowers and forests. Mt. Kanchenjunga, the third highest peak in the world at 8686m. dominates the landscape and is reversed as Sikkim's guardian deity. Gangtok at 1780m. is the capital of Sikkim, is a charming laid-back town straddling a ridge with houses spilling down the hillside. The places to visit are Enchey Monastery, a Tibetan Buddhist Lamasery, Institute of Tibetology which houses rare statues, manuscripts, ritual objects and thanka painting, D0-drul Chorten, an impressive stupa ringed by prayer wheels, Government institute of cottage industries for souvenirs and the exotic market of Lal Bazaar.
All foreigners intending to visit Sikkim must hold a valid Indian visa. Inner Line Permit for 15 days can be obtained along with visa from Indian missions aboard, or from Delhi, Calcutta, Siliguri, Gantok and Sikkim Tourism Offices at Darjeeling.
For both Sikkim and Darjeeling the nearest airport is Bagdogra in North Bengal with regular service between Delhi, Calcutta, and Guwahati. Bhadrapur and Biratnagar are the two nearest airports in Nepal. The closest railway stations are siliguri and new Jalapaiguri connecting with Calcutta, Delhi, Guwahati, Lucknow and other important cities of Inda.
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