Darjeeling: The perfect destinations for a wellness retreat

Travel for wellbeing: Head to Darjeeling for a soulful trip

Tiger hill in Darjeeling offers a heavenly experience of the mighty Himalayas and Happy Valley Tea Estate brings you back to the ground with a sensational aroma. You don’t want to miss visiting these when in Darjeeling, travellers!

“Kasto Majja Hai Lelaima, Ramailo O Kali Odhali” is the familiar tune that comes to my mind whenever I hear the word Darjeeling. This is why I jumped at the prospect of visiting a hill station with bright sunshine layered with green tea plantations over a steep ridge. Darjeeling is truly the definition of beauty and fun.

The Nepalese words of this song from an Indian movie ‘Parineeta’ depicts the beauty of Darjeeling and answers why I always longed to visit such a majestic hill station. Further, this song was shot on a toy train hauled by a steam engine of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway and to be on it would be an experience of a life time. While the natural glory and vastness of the Himalayas have always captivated me, being in Darjeeling atop this train would mean joy and happiness, with my heart chugging along the slopes of wilderness.

Darjeeling is famous for its colonial era architecture, Buddhist monasteries and the heritage toy train but interestingly, Tiger Hill and Happy Valley Tea Estate are long time people favourites and not without reason.

The Mighty Hill

I was thrilled like a child to see the mightiest mountains in the world. Early in the morning, I prepared to ride a jeep and reach Tiger Hill much before the sunrise, reason being I did not want to miss watching the snow-capped mountains get kissed by the first rays of the sun. The breath taking view of  Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the world and Mount Kanchenjunga, the third tallest in one single view was an exhilarating experience. The panoramic view of these mountains inspire one to attempt a summit, even the amateur mountaineers. The sun glazed glaciers at once elevated my happiness beyond imagination. I was stunned to the core after seeing this incredible landscape and scenery.

Once inundated with tigers, this hill had captured the imagination of the British who aptly named it Tiger Hill. To most Indians, this climb up and a view of the Himalayas is a matter of great pride. The sun lit mountains is a sight to behold and is an awe-inspiring experience, one for keeps. The rapidly changing colours of the snow peaks as the sun rays fall upon the mighty Himalayas, adds to this enthralling experience of a life time.

Valley of Happiness

I was actually elated to visit the Happy Valley Tea Estate, the world’s highest tea plantation and production factory. This remarkable tea estate is Darjeeling’s second oldest tea estate, established in 1854, much before India’s first Independence struggle against the British. I was fortunate enough to visit this place in a month between March and May, which is the golden period for harvesting tea leaves and its eventual processing. In today’s modern world full of machines, this tea estate is a treat to watch for its hand rolled production of tea and incredibly old tea bushes, ranging from 80 years to even 150 years old. 

The old world charm of this majestic estate is sure to fill your heart with nature’s best gift to humanity, the pure aroma of organic tea.

I could see the clouds up close, standing on top of a 2,100 meters high hill, completely laden with green tea plantations spread over 440 acres of land. The clear blue sky on a bright sunny day with the Himalayas in the backdrop offered a majestic view of the tea processing plant tucked between the lush green slopes. 

This estate produces the world famous Darjeeling tea, one of the finest teas with highly aromatic fruity and floral flavours. I breathed deeply, immediately feeling refreshed and energised. No wonder, the place is called happy. 

This tea estate is not just one of the oldest but also a major contributor in making Darjeeling the tea capital of the world. Being at a walking distance from the Darjeeling town makes Happy Valley Tea Estate a perfect place to connect with nature while sightseeing, making it a priority on anyone’s travel list with an aim to enhance wellbeing.

Tiger Hill and Happy Valley Tea Estate in Darjeeling are sure to fill your heart with excitement and enrich your soul with an aroma that nothing on this earth compares to. These wonderful spots offer a glimpse of life at a fascinating height and then at a wondrous ground level respectively. To me, it is the epitome of wellbeing, treating and celebrating moments of high and lows with equal ease and poise.




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