An early morning cab ride at 4:00 AM in the morning to Tiger-Hill in Ghoom to see the sunrise is one of the top things to do on your trip to Darjeeling. As famous as the sunrise is, it is just as elusive. Instead of giving in to the temptation of sunrise, we decided to take a day-trip that included the Tiger-hill trek and Ghoom monasteries.
How to reach the trek starting point in Ghoom?
We took a shared cab from the Ghoom taxi stand in Darjeeling to Jorbanglo. It cost us Rs. 20/person. Tell the cab driver to drop you at the junction where you can start your trek.
You walk on the road but not many vehicles go that way and the views are beautiful. Tall pine trees line the road on both sides. There are benches every few minutes for you to take a break and soak in the beauty.
It took us about an hour and a half to reach the Tiger hill. There is a temple complex after 15 minutes walk. You can replenish yourself with some food at the Prasad counter of the temple, however I am not sure if it is a daily feature. They served good food and hot tea for free.
I recommend that you start early in the morning because it became very misty by afternoon and mist hid all the view and it started drizzling.
Places to visit in Ghoom town
Ghoom is located at 2225 metres, at a higher altitude than Darjeeling. Ghoom has many monasteries, Batasia Loop(highest point on the Himalayan Railway) and a tiny rail museum(included with the toy train ride from Darjeeling to Ghoom) that the visitors can see. I couldn’t visit all the monasteries but I did visit Ying Choeling monastery, the oldest in the region.
Ying Choeling Monastery
We walked back to Jorbanghlo and visited the Ying Choeling Monastery in Ghoom. Built in 1850, it is the oldest monastery in the region. It belongs to the Gelugpa sect. A beautiful statue of the Maitreya Buddha adorns the prayer hall.
This memorial is a fitting tribute to the sacrifices made by the Gurkha soldiers, famous for their bravery. It is also the highest point of the Himalayan Railway. It is a beautiful place to visit and you can walk there. You can also visit it by the toy train as it stops here for a few minutes. You can read more about the toy train and my visit to Darjeeling in my post things to do in Darjeeling.