List 18 of tourist places to visit in Darjeeling and Gangtok in December

From the British colonists to wanderlusts, from elderly to the adventure junkies, from peace-seekers to the culture freaks, Darjeeling has remained the ideal destination for every kind of traveler. Since its inception, Darjeeling has impressed the British colonists due to its charm and the ideal weather.  From the establishment of a British sanatorium to the Toy-Train, from constructing of heritage bungalows to the world’s finest tea cultivation on those quaint slopes, Darjeeling evolved as one of the beautiful hill stations. Today, the Queen may be independent of the colonial bondage, but it still retains the colonial charm blended with the misty Himalayan aura, that will bind anyone under its spell.

If you want to discover more of the Darjeeling India points of interest, then ditch the rest and venture in Darjeeling trip, be it solo or with friends, or with your family. So, here is the list of top 18 Darjeeling  and Gangtok points of interest.

Gangtok on contrary is the serene capital city of India’s first organic state Sikkim. Snuggled in the lap of the Himalayas, Gangtok is peace seekers haven, shoppers’ paradise, foodie’s hotspot, and the quest of the wanderlust. The exquisite destination is the cultural hub of the multiracial. It caters to the search of the history and culture enthusiasts from the oldest monasteries, historical ruins, festivals, etc. Those who are on a quest for an element of an adrenaline rush can indulge in the offbeat Himalayas trekking, hiking, camping, etc. Local tour operators in Gangtok provide the excellent car rental services, helps you find the best hotels in Gangtok and even the budget Gangtok tour packages where your every need is catered.

How is the weather in Darjeeling and Sikkim in December?

Darjeeling and Sikkim usually experience winter in December, with the average temperature fluctuating from 4 degree Celsius to 10 degree Celsius. The higher elevation experiences the extreme cold with the temperature dropping negative.

Places to visit in Darjeeling in December

1. Tiger Hill- the charming sunrise of the Himalayas

Tiger Hill- the charming sunrise of the Himalayas

Location: 11 km from the main town (1 hour 20 minutes drive)

Elevation: 2, 590 meters

Things to do: Witness the colossal view of the Kanchenjunga peaks and the Himalayan ranges to immerse in the golden hues of the sun. During the day, you can hike in the region, indulge in bird watching, and even plan a picnic.

Tips: start early as 3:00 am – 3:30 am in the morning so that you can reach thee by 4:15, the ideal time to witness the sunrise. Besides, starting early will ward off the inconvenience of parking problems and securing the best spot to witness the sunrise.

2. Chowrasta & Darjeeling Mall- The rustic ambiance blended in colonial charm

Chowrasta & Darjeeling Mall

Location: In the heart of Darjeeling town

Elevation: 2, 043 meters

Things to do: Chowrasta and Darjeeling Mall is the best Darjeeling tourist point where you’d love to hang out in the lap of nature. If you’re a shopaholic, you can indulge in shopping, you can choose from a diverse array of souvenirs, traditional garments, paintings, semi-precious jewelry, etc.  Savor the tongue tingling cuisines, sip the freshly plucked brewed Darjeeling tea, immerse in the jaw-dropping view of Himalayan ranges, etc.

Tips: Chowrasta and Mall remain 24 hours a day with 24 hours police vigilance, but we recommend not staying out around at night, as the shops get closed by 8 pm and the town sleeps early as 9 pm.

3. Rock Garden & Ganga Maya Park- feel at peace with nature

Rock Garden & Ganga Maya Park

Location: 10 km from the main town

Elevation: 2, 042 meters

Things to do: Marvel at the allure and charm of the Himalayas. As you drive ahead, get mesmerized by the stunning Darjeeling tourist point,

the valley of greens with the cloud-kissed azure skies.  Indulge in photography on the way.  On reaching the Park, get fascinated by the tranquil ambiance amid nature, marvel at the brilliantly cut stones at Rock Garden. Find your peace while watching the serene waterfalls plunging down with absolute consistency. Appreciate the beauty of the Himalayan flowers at its full bloom.

Tips: The Park opens from 10 am in the morning to till 4 pm. If you’re looking for peace and seclusion, then it is an ideal place for you. You can hire a cab to reach there, ensure that you have your battery fully charged as you cannot resist yourself from taking out the camera.

4. Japanese Temple and Peace Pagoda- acknowledge the notion of the world peace

Japanese Temple and Peace Pagoda

Location: 10 minutes drive from the main town

Elevation:  2, 046 meters

Things to do: Spend some time in the peaceful ambiance and devote your time in praying for attaining the inner peace.  Witness the jaw-dropping views of the Darjeeling sightseeing points, quaint slopes, and Himalayas. Observe the various avatars of Buddha at Peace Pagoda, get stunned by the tranquility and peace imbued atmosphere of Pagoda and the Japanese architectural skills.

Tips: Japanese Temple and Peace Pagoda are the two major sacred pilgrimage sites for the Buddhists. Thus, dress modestly. Do not photograph the places where you’re not allowed to. Take off your shoes where necessary.

5. Batasia Loop- spectacular airy space with spiral loops

Batasia Loop- spectacular airy space with spiral loops

Location: 5 km away from the town

Elevation: 2. 045 meters

Things to do: You can take a joy ride on Toy-Train from Darjeeling to Ghoom, the train stops at Batasia for a couple of minutes. If not the ride, you can simply take pictures. Spend your time enjoying the breathtaking views of the Himalaya ranges against the clear blue sky.  Visit the war memorial build within the Batasia Loop; get mesmerized by the exotic and rare Himalayan faunas in the perfectly maintained garden nearby.

Tips: Don’t forget to take your camera. Also, don’t forget to wear warm clothes. There is an entry fee of INR. 10. The loop opens from 5 am in the morning till 8 pm every day.

6. Observatory Hill and Mahakal Temple- a pilgrimage site and Darjeeling point of interest

Observatory Hill and Mahakal Temple

Location: 10 to 15 minutes uphill

Elevation:  2, 046 meters

Things to do: It is a major pilgrimage site for Hindus. Once you hike up to the temple witness the 3 gold plated idols of Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwar.  Get enchanted by Darjeeling India points of interest,

Jaw-dropping views of Mount Kanchenjunga and her sister peaks.

Tips: Dress modestly. Don’t forget to take your camera. Take off your shoes if you’re asked to so.

7. Tenzing and Gombu Rock- For the love of adventure

Tenzing and Gombu Rock- For the love of adventure

Location: 20 minutes drive from Darjeeling

Elevation: 2, 045 meters

Things to do: This is a memorial to Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Nawang Gombu; this is a pilgrimage for the Mountaineers. Pay a visit and witness the equipment used by the legendary Sherpa for excelling the toughest and the tallest peak in the world.

Tips: If you love adventure, indulge in the rock climbing training given by the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute.  To get a bit more insight about the legendary mountaineers and the Himalayas, visit and spend some time in the museum.

8. Love Road- venture in a perfect walk to remember with your spouse

Love Road

Location: A 3km stretch encircling the Birch Hill

Elevation: 2, 045 meters

Things to do: Escape the hassle and chaos of the hectic cities, and indulge in the most amazing walk of your life with your significant other. If not so, you can saunter all alone or with the ones you’re traveling with. Immerse in the tranquil and the peaceful ambiance, enjoy the greenery around you. For the birdwatchers, watch the exotic and rare Himalayan birds chirping in the green realm.

Tips: Please don’t forget to carry your camera as the place is really stunning, and you may carry some snacks if you’d love to munch along the way.

9. Happy Valley Tea Estate- the Mecca of golden beverage

Happy Valley Tea Estate

Location: 2.5 km from the main town

Elevation:  2, 045 meters

Things to do: Indulge in a full day Darjeeling sightseeing points and explore the luxuriant tea gardens.  Get a thorough insight into the tea cultivation, tea plucking, and processing in the factories. If you wish, learn how to pluck tea leaves from the tea garden workers.  Explore the factories, and if you love tea, get yourself and for your tea loves the freshly produced tea leaves, plucked and produced in the Tea Estate.

Tips: Start early, carry snacks, drinks, and camera of course.

10. Senchal Wildlife Sanctuary and Senchal Lake- Oldest but paradise for wildlife lovers

Senchal Wildlife Sanctuary and Senchal Lake

Location: 11 km from the main town

Elevation:  2, 600 meters

Things to do: Established in 1915, it is the oldest Wildlife Sanctuaries in India. Explore the vast sprawling region that is the home to the exotic Himalayan flora and faunas, like barking deer, leopard, Himalayan black bear, wild pig, jungle cat, Himalayan flying squirrel, common rhesus monkey, Assam macaque, etc.

Tips: Remember, the Wildlife Sanctuary is closed during monsoon, as it is the breeding season.  You need to obtain special permits for the Forest Department to get accessibility to the Sanctuary.

11. Shrubbery Nightingale Park- Escape the hassle and escape the town

Shrubbery Nightingale Park

Location: 10 minutes walk from the main town

Elevation:  2, 045 meters

Things to do: Saunter amid the vast stretched park that is perfectly maintained and manicured.  Enjoy the peaceful ambiance, and immerse and relax in the peaceful, cool Himalayan air, witness the exotic birds hopping on the branches, watch the exotic flowers bloom in its ultimate charm at this Darjeeling viewpoint.

Tips: Carry a camera. Note that there is an entry fee of INR 10.

12. St. Andrew’s Church- witness the charm of the colonial era

St. Andrew’s Church- witness

Location: Nearby the Mall

Elevation: 2, 045 meters

Things to do: Spend some time in the peaceful ambiance; fall in love with the architectural grandeur of the colonial era. Get mesmerized by the brilliantly inlaid brass plaques and marble tablets of the then Lt. General Llyod and Charlotte Countess Canning.

Tips: Immerse in the peaceful ambiance, do not forget to click pictures of the architectural grandeur that is built in the 18th century.

13. Bhutia Busty Monastery- discover more about Nyingma Sect

Bhutia Busty Monastery

Location: 1.5 km from the main town

Elevation:  2, 042 meters

Things to do: Witness a large collection of murals, the oldest Buddhist scripts, including “the Book of the Dead”. Get mesmerized by the ancient architectural craftsmanship of the Buddhists in the monastery structures and style.

Tips: It is one of the crucial Buddhist pilgrimage sites so, pay attention to your attire; do click the pictures where you’re prohibited to.

14. Dirdham Temple- the replica of the Pashupati Temple

Dirdham Temple

Location: Just below Darjeeling Railway Station

Elevation: 2, 045 meters

Things to do: It is one of the major Darjeeling tourist point

& Hindu Pilgrimage sites; it was established by the king of Nepal.  Learn more about the Hindu Mythology and about the third eye of Shiva. Devotees of Shiva can devote their time to invoking Shiva and other deities.

Tips:  Cameras are not allowed inside, but you can take pictures outside the temple.

Places to visit in Gangtok in December

15. Nathula Pass- the stunning historical silk route and an international border post

Nathula Pass

Location: 54 km from the main city

Elevation: 4, 310 meters

Things to do: The historical silk route and the border post between India and China is a well known for its scenic appeal. On a clear day, enjoy the breathtaking view of the Chumbi Valley in Tibet (now China), on a way to Nathula, enjoy the scenic drive on the highest motor-able passes, marvel at the alpine faunas, mountain lakes etc.

Tips: Wear warm clothes and thick socks and good shoes; carry snacks because there are no eateries except a small cafeteria run by the Indian army. Wear goggles to prevent the sore eye due to the sun rays reflected by the snow (particularly in winter). Wear snow boots to resist the slippery snow-covered surface. If you love snow, venture in Gangtok tour in December.

 16. Banjhakri Falls- recreational park and stunning falls

Banjhakri Falls

Location: 7 km from the main city

Height: plummets from 100 feet

Things to do: Banjhakri Falls is the recreational, energy park, and the weekend gateway of the locals and tourists. You can spend some time enjoying the scenic appeal, or you can spend time picnicking.

Tips: Avoid visiting the park in monsoons, as the heavy rainfall will cause inconvenience, and monsoon is considered as the offseason due to the excess downpour.

17. Namgyal Institute of Tibetology- tracing the essence of Buddhism,

Namgyal Institute of Tibetology

Location: 2 km from the main city

Elevation: 1, 600 meters

Things to do: Established with the Tibetan architectural style, it is one of best Tibetan institutions in the world for learning Tibetan culture and languages. Its foundation stone was aid by 14th Dalai Lama in 1957. Explore and devote some of your time to get a clear insight into the culture of the Tibetans and the teachings of Buddha.

Tips: Dress modestly, do not click pictures if it is prohibited, take off your shoes whenever asked to.

18. Tsomgo Lake- the mysterious and the sacred Lake

Tsomgo Lake- the mysterious and the sacred Lake

Location: 40 km from the main city

Elevation: 3, 5 53 meters

Things to do: Drive on the highest motorable passes, indulge in landscape photography, buy souvenirs, try some authentic foods, indulge in Yak safari, etc.

Tips; Wear warm clothes both in summer and in winter, because there is always snow in winter. Remember, most of the high altitudinal regions’ in Sikkim need permits. Carry your ID proof Xerox and passport size photos. Your local tour operator in Gangtok will help you with permit obtaining procedures.

So, want to escape the cities? Pack your bags and say hello to the Darjeeling Gangtok vacation.  Have a happy vacation in the realm of golden beverages.