Darjeeling is a hill station in West Bengal that was relatively undiscovered until Calcutta became the administrative capital of the British Raj. Since its cool weather offered a welcoming break from the humid climate that grips the rest of West Bengal & peninsular India, Darjeeling became popular. British officials and Indian elites spent their summers in newly erected resorts and bungalows in the scenic valleys. Jason Campbell planted some Chinese tea seeds in his backyard and hence started the legacy of the Champagne of Teas, which would sweep global recognition for its highly flavorful leaves.
Today, even after the British left, a large part of their influence is starkly visible in the architecture of Darjeeling, its roads, schools and sightseeing locations. The sweeping gray roofs, the vintage Himalayan rail engines, English breakfast in hotels with buttered scones and tea, and English interiors. Yet Darjeeling very much celebrates its own unique identity. Inhabited by multiple cultures, Darjeeling is a melting pot of diversity. Watch the locals celebrate both Christmas & Deepawali with equal zeal.
An ideal way to explore Darjeeling is by taking a leisurely stroll to the Chowrasta during new year when the avenue gets filled with a merry-making vibe. The locals sell you piping hot dumplings and children ride the pony through bustling streets. The smell of buttered corn wafts through the air as youngsters admire the view of the Kanchenjunga seated in lined-up benches.