should never tour Darjeeling in May
What is the major tourist attraction in Darjeeling? Some would say the view of Kandchenzunga, known more colloquially as Kanchenjunga, from the Tiger Hill. Some would say the various points including Rock Garden, Batasia Loop, and the Zoo. Well the truth is this and much more. The most pleasing thing that you would see in Darjeeling is a clear view of Kanchenjunga from just about anywhere. The best views can be had from ones located at the Mal Road and this is why they are so pricey. What is the other attraction of Darjeeling? It is the cold weather that provides such a welcome break from the hot and sweaty climes here down in the plains.
The question is- Would you get these during May? The answer is probably not. The first thing that you should know is the best time to see the peak of Kanchenjunga in Darjeeling is from October/November to March/April. This is the period when it either rains little or does not rain at all. For the remainder of the year, you will either see a lot of clouds in the sky that will block your view of the majestic peaks and constant rain in various proportions that just won’t allow you to go out and take in the sights and sounds of this majestic location.
Not much cold
To your horror you may be reminded of a warm Kolkata afternoon in Darjeeling if the sun shines in its fullest glory. You may have to let go off your additional protective equipments like monkey caps, gloves, mufflers and just being in a half sleeve sweater or a hoodie will be good enough. Yes, a lot of Bengali tourists – who make up the lion’s share of tourists over here – do wear these even in May. In fact, if you are not bathing in the morning then there is a good chance that you will feel warm under those blankets at night as well. A light bath and a good rinse thereafter are thus advisable.
Rush of tourists
May is also the time when a lot of Bengalis avail holidays and most of them like to come to Darjeeling for various reasons. The whole place assumes the shape of a big fair and the tranquility and serenity – such integral aspects of Queen of Hills – becomes violated like anything. For people who wish for some peace and quiet, it is a major turnoff. You also need to keep in mind the factor of landslides owing to rain.
So, where should you go?
You must be wondering after reading all this is that where can you go to hills at this time. You can always try out offbeat venues like Jorpokhri – you can stay at the Salamander Resort over there – and Lepcha Jagat to name a few. Kalimpong and Kurseong are good destinations as well. While it is true that these places do not compare to Darjeeling in terms of amenities you do get some peace and cool weather – since not many people come here – even in May. Jorpokhri is easily the best among these.