Day Trip to Ghum & Darjeeling

We decided to go to Ghum and Darjeeling on the last day of our short trip to Darjeeling district of West Bengal. We were staying in Takdah, so close to Darjeeling and can’t miss a visit there. Ghum is another attraction of this trip.

Ghum Railway Station

Ghum railway station of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) is the highest railway station in India. It is situated at an altitude of 2,258 metres (7,407 ft). Construction of the DHR, one of the most amazing places in India, started in 1879 and the railway track reached Ghum on 4 April 1881. On 5 December 1999, UNESCO declared the DHR a World Heritage Site.

Until 1878, the journey from Kolkata to Darjeeling took a week’s time. When Siliguri was put on the railway map of India the journey time reduced to two days. Thereafter, it became a 3–4 hours journey to Ghum by the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway.

Ghoom Museum

The station has an in-house museum that displays some magnificent relics. Situated beside the Ghum Railway Station, the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Museum emblazons the history of the iconic Himalayan railways over a period of two centuries. From tickets dating back to 1883, when a trip from Darjeeling to Ghum used to cost only 66 paise, to the implementation of the steam engine, everything is up for display.

As we reached the Ghum station museum, the rain started. It soon became torrential.

As the rain became light, we started walking towards the old Ghum monastery. As the rain got heavier, we took shelter in a shop and waited for the rain to slow down so we can continue our walk. We saw a DHR train coming from Darjeeling towards Ghum station.

There was no sign of the rain getting stopped and we were getting wet. We bought umbrellas for us so that we can walk in rain. Suddenly, it became like a hailstorm, and we had to take shelter at a shop until it receded.

Old Ghum Monastery

Slowly, we reached the Old Ghum Monastery enjoying some nice sceneries. Old Ghum Monastery is the popular name of Yiga Choeling. The monastery belongs to the Gelukpa or the Yellow Hat sect and is known for its 15 feet (4.6 m)-high statue of the Maitreya Buddha. The external structure of the building was established in 1850 by the Mongolian astrologer and monk Sokpo Sherab Gyatso, who was head of the monastery until 1905.

Maitreya Buddha

Maitreya is the Buddha of the future, who will be born to teach enlightenment in the next age. According to Mahayana teachings, a Buddha is first born as a bodhisattva, and then after many lifetimes, progresses on to Buddhahood. The historical Buddha was himself referred to as a bodhisattva before becoming the Buddha.

According to Buddhist tradition, Maitreya is a bodhisattva who is prophesied to appear on Earth, achieve complete Enlightenment, and teach the Dharma. According to scriptures, Maitreya’s teachings will be similar to those of Gautama Buddha. The arrival of Maitreya is prophesied to occur during an era when the teachings of Gautama Buddha have been forgotten by most of the terrestrial world. Maitreya is the earliest bodhisattva around whom a cult developed and is mentioned in scriptures from the 3rd century CE. He was accepted by all schools of Buddhism.

Batasia Loop

The DHR makes steep climbs through a number of reverses and loops promising an enthralling view. One of the most heart-stirring being the Batasia Loop between Ghum and Darjeeling. The Batasia Loop is a spiral track created to break the steep ascent in the route of the toy-train. Considered an engineering marvel, it was commissioned in 1919 and now holds a memorial to the Gorkha soldiers of Indian Army who were martyred in the Indian independence movement.

Batasia Loop attracts people for spectacular view of Mt. Kanchenjunga & other snowcapped Himalayan Peaks and watch the remarkable engineering marvel of Darjeeling Himalayan Railways where almost imperceptibly the railway line negotiates a circle and descends 1000 ft. in altitude. Due to cloud and rain, we could not see Mt. Kanchenjunga.


Darjeeling is a beautiful hill station at an elevation of 6,709 ft. When we reached the Chowrasta it was around 3:30 PM. We got delayed due to rains. The Chowrasta (Intersection where four roads meet) is a historical public square in Darjeeling. Located in the heart of the town it was the fashionable place of assembly for residents and visitors in the 18th century. Chowrasta is situated on the ridge of the Darjeeling hill range and is now a focal centre of tourist attraction and a popular spot for the residents and tourists to assemble, leisurely or just stroll in the tranquility that that part of the hill station offers.

On the far North of the square stands a good-sized golden concrete statue of Nepali poet Shri Bhanubhakta Acharya stood a brown granite plinth facing the open flat as if to watch over the souls who visit there. He is widely regarded as the first poet in the Nepali language, for which he was conferred with the title of “Aadikabi”: literally, “the first poet”. He is best known for translating the epic Ramayana from Sanskrit to Nepali for the first time.

We were hungry and wanted to have our lunch. Dad said that we would have our lunch at Glenarys. Glenarys is a famous bakery and café in Darjeeling. Glenarys is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike, who enjoy its cozy atmosphere and delicious food. Glenarys has been operating since 1885 and has maintained its quality and charm over the years.

We were tired and hungry. It was then 4 PM. We quickly placed an order for our lunch. In the meanwhile, Dad and I had Honeybee brandy while the ladies opted for Virgin Mojito. Thankfully, they served soon.

The food was delicious and awesome. The quantity was also good, and the price is also not expensive. When we walked out of Glenarys, it was already dark. The street was too crowded. We walked towards Keventers for having evening coffee. Dad told me it is the second-best joint after Glenarys. Unfortunately, it was 7 PM then and they closed down their restaurant. 😦

We then walked through the street.

We bought some of Darjeeling’s famous tea. Mom and T bought some souvenirs for family and friends. We returned to our homestay. Like all good things, our trip is over. We had a lovely family trip after a long time.

In the morning we left for Bagdogra airport on our return journey bidding farewell to the Lama family and Rose Villa. It was a wonderful trip to Takdah, Tinchuley, Triveni, Lamahatta, Ghum and Darjeeling, and I highly recommend them to anyone who wants to experience the beauty and diversity of India. They are truly gems of West Bengal that will leave you spellbound.

13 thoughts on “Day Trip to Ghum & Darjeeling

  1. Sanchita Ghosh

    Nice pics. It’s a pity that you could not see much of Darjeeling. Glenarys is a must-go for food. It’s sad that Keventers was closed. Overall, it was a great family trip. 👌👌

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It really was. Although we couldn’t cover everything we were satisfied with whatever we got. Afterall it was all about spending time with each other. And the expedition to the Ghum monastery in the rain was pretty wild. Loved it.


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