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For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni
For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni 

Things to do in India

Climb the Himalayas on a toy train

On a clear day you can see panoramas of the Nepal and Tibet border …

By Kabir Chettri
Tour Guide in Darjeeling

We start from Darjeeling station on a track to Ghoom, once the highest railway station in Asia. You ascend the mountain in a small steam train operated on a narrow track that’s been running for over 150 years. The train carries you slowly through the lush greenery via the scenic Batasia loop – batasia meaning “where the wind blows.” On a clear day, the views are astounding, with panoramas of the Nepal and Tibet border as well as the Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world. The train stops so you can take pictures and learn how the antiquated engines run. You can also visit a war memorial dedicated to the brave Gurkha soldiers who sacrificed their lives in wars following India’s independence.

After an hour you reach Ghoom Monastery, one of the oldest monasteries in Darjeeling initially used to shelter wandering monks. Today it’s still in full working order and beautifully decorated with a very important 15-foot statue of the prophesied Buddha, Maitreya Buddha. Buddhism here includes a mix of Hinduism which is interesting to learn as you explore. The colourful architecture is Tibetan in style with icons and fluttering prayer flags overlooking the sloping forested hills. It’s a lovely way to soak up the serenity before returning on the toy train back down the mountain.

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Alfred & Kabir Chettri

Kabir was born and bred in Darjeeling. After completing his education in his hometown, he has since been working as a tour guide for the last 22 years. Travelling is a passion of his. For him the best bits are meeting different people from around the world and exploring the Himalayas which never gets old. Every day brings a new challenge but that’s what he finds exciting.