Explore Kolkata & West Bengal
Jeeps and taxis packed with tourists leave from Clubside in Darjeeling around 4am each morning, careering 12km through Ghoom to catch the sunrise at TIGER HILL. This incredible viewpoint (2585m) on the eastern extremity of the Singalila Range provides a 360-degree Himalayan panorama, with the steamy plains bordering Bangladesh to the south, the Singalila ridge with Everest beyond to the west, Kanchenjunga and Sikkim to the north, and the Bhutan and Assam Himalayas trailing into the distance to the northeast. From left to right, the peaks include: Lhotse (which actually looks larger than Everest); Everest itself; Makalu; then, after a long gap, the rocky summit of Kang on the Sikkim–Nepal divide; the prow of Jannu in Nepal; Rathong; tent-like Kabru south and north; Talung; Kanchenjunga main, central and south; Pandim; Simvo; horned Narsing; and the fluted pyramid of Siniolchu. As the sun rises from the plains, it lights each one in turn; not yet obscured by the haze of the day, they are bathed in pastel hues.
In peak season, up to 150 Jeeps leave Darjeeling daily, transporting more than two thousand people to the viewpoint in good weather. A Jeep tour with brief stops at Ghoom, the Gurkha War Memorial and the Batasia Loop, organized with one of the operators around Clubside, will cost Rs800 per vehicle or around Rs80 per seat, less off-season. The viewing tower at Tiger Hill provides a warmer but often crowded space to see the sunrise from behind glass: it costs Rs40 for the “Super Deluxe” top floor (including coffee), Rs30 for the floor below, or Rs20 for the viewing platform in addition to the Rs10 vehicle fee. The energetic can opt to walk back from Tiger Hill visiting the gompas of Ghoom on the way.