Darjeeling also known as the 'Queen of the Hills' is a town situated at an altitude of 6710 ft. in the Indian state of West Bengal. In recent times, under immense pressure from Tea and Tourism industry, dense greenery of the hills is replaced by tea gardens and concrete structures. Seen below is the track of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway- a World Heritage Site which leads up to the Chowrasta Square- an open promenade popularly known as The Mall.
Pressure from tourism is such that the locals are feeling the burden of it. Seen here is a local street vendor carrying the load heading towards Chowrasta to put up his makeshift shop.
In last couple of decades, demand from tourism sector has resulted in big malls and luxurious hotels coming up in the hills. Such commercialisation has affected the locals in a huge way. Seen here is a woman waiting for customers to drop by.
Chowrasta is an open area near the top of the Darjeeling surrounded by shops and restaurants. Tourists both local and visitors gather here to enjoy the view of the Mount Kanchengjunga (cover image), the world’s third highest peak at a height of 28,169 ft.
For locals though Chowrasta means more than just a tourist spot. For them it is a socialising place where they relish the cool breeze of the hills religiously.
Gang of Four
"The one land that all men desire to see, and having seen once-by even a glimpse would not give that glimpse for the shows of the rest of the world combined" - Mark Twain
"Truly, the magnificence of Darjeeling is such that one is allured as a bee to the nectar" - Swami Vivekananda
"The best way to travel through such a beautiful land was on foot" - Mahatma Gandhi
Face to Face
"It is the most enjoyable day I have spent on earth" - Mark Twain after his trip by the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Toy Train