Chowrastha in Nepali means a place where four roads meet. The promenade is also popularly known as the “Mall”. Situated on the upper ridge of the town Chowrastha truly reflects the charm of this hill station. One will invariably find local relaxing on the benches, gossiping and lazing around the square. A walk around the Mall road provides you a panoramic view of the glistening Kanchenjunga towering over the rolling mountains. The roads leading to Chowrastha are dotted with glittering shops filled with the famous Darjeeling tea, curio shops offering local handicrafts, information centres, studios, cafes and restaurants and also an arena for pony rides.
Also Know to the locals as the "Holy Hill", it is just a few minutes walk from Chowrasta and is situated on the highest ridge of the town. The Mahakal temple atop the hill is a revered place for the locals and visitors will be surprised to find a hindu priest and a Buddhist monk sharing a common altar.
Dhirdham temple is modelled on the lines of the famous Pashupatinath temple of Kathmandu and was built in 1939. It is a mere two minutes walk from the Darjeeling Railway Station.
Japanese Temple and The Peace Pagoda
The Nipponzon Myohoji Buddhist Temple, was set up in 1972. The Peace Pagoda provides the perfect place to rediscover the serenity in your life and a stunning view of the hills.
This monastery is situated at Dali, about 4 kms away from Darjeeling town. This is one of the most famous monasteries belonging to the Kargyupa sect. The pioneer of this monastery was Thuksay Rimpoche, who died in 1983 and his incarnate is reported to have been born in 1986 at Ladakh. This monastery is theheadquarters of Drukchen Rimpoche, XII, the supreme head of the Kagyupd lineage.
Built in 1875 by Lama Sherab Gyatso, this ancient monastery is said to have been blessed by the renowned Tomo Geshe Rimpoche of Tibet. The specialty of this monastery is that it contains the statue of the 'Future Coming Buddha' known as Maitreye Buddha. The Monastery has also preserved some of the rare handwritten Buddhist manuscripts. You could visit the monastery on your return journey to Darjeeling from Tiger Hill.
Note: One can visit Tiger Hill, Batasia Loop and the monasteries at Dali and Ghoom, as a single package.
Tashi Dargyalingh Monastery or the Tamang Ghumba
The Tamangs are a sub community of the Gorkha / Nepali and mostly belongs to the Nyingmapa sect. Established in 1926 this is one of the oldest monasteries of the community.
The Mag - Dhog Yolmowa Buddhist Monastery (Aloobari Monastery)
Situated on the Old Military Road commonly known as the Aloobari road, the Mag-Dhog Yolmowa Buddhist Monastery was founded by its, Ven. Sangay Lama, the head priest who originally hailed from Nepal. The construction of the monastery, coincided with the beginning of the First World War in 1914. The monastery was therefore name Mag-Dhog or warding off the war and is dedicated to the cause of world peace. The statues of Lord Buddha depicting different forms and the statue of Padma Sambhava at this religious place is stunning. The paintings on the wall are said to be done with the help of herbs and are an amazing work of art. Other interesting features of the monastery are the valuable ancient scriptures lying inside the monastery
The park has been recently renovated by the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council and is now a major attraction in town. One can also witness different cultural programmes organised by the DGHC, Department of Culture and Information every evening . The park is situated close to the PNHZP but tourists are advised to visit the park during the evening.
Himalayan Mountaineering Institute
The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute was set up following the successful ascent of Mount Everest- the highest peak in the work by the local hero Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Sir Edumund Hillary on 28 May 1953. The oldest mountaineering institute in the country carries out various mountaineering courses every year. Apart from Tenzing, legendary mountaineers like Nawang Gombu (the
first man to climb Everest twice) and Lattoo Dorjee Sherpa have helped build the reputation of this pioneering institute. The institute is presently under the purview of the Minstry of Defence, Government of India and its museum is worth a visit. For further details visit: www.hmidarjeeling.com
Tibetan Refugee Self-Help Centre
"Our way may be hard and long one, but I believe that the truth and faith must ultimately prevail". -- His Holiness the Dalai Lama. After his Holiness escaped from Tibet, thousands of Tibetan refugees came to reside in India. Darjeeling too became a home away from home for the Tibetans in exile. le. To rehabilitate the community a ten-member committee was formed in Darjeeling to organize a rehabilitation centre which was known "Tibetan Refugee Self-Help Center". The centre was established on October 1, 1959 and the residents of the centre are today known for their handicrafts. The centre makes excellent carpets, woolen goods, woodwork etc which are famous across the globe.
Note: While visiting the centre one can also stop by Tenzing and Gombu rock to watch the HMI students perfecting the art of rock climbing.
Thongsha Gumpa -Of Bhutanese origin and one of the oldest monasteries in the region.
Zong Dong Palri Fo-Brang Monastery-Situated at Durpin Dara
Tharpa Choling Monastery-Situated at Tirpai Hill.
Gauripur House- Rabindra Nath Tagore first recited his poem Janmadin live on All India Radio from this place.