The Old Cemetery
Tourists in general do not include the Old Cemetery in Darjeeling in their itinerary. However, if one is interested in the history of the place and love everything heritage, he/she will surely want to visit this old memorial park, which has been accorded the status of ‘National Importance’ by the Kolkata Chapter of Archeological Survey of India. Located on the lower strata of the town, this cemetery is the resting place of those who made Darjeeling what it is today.
Although we have to admit that the cemetery could have been better maintained, what is left is worth a visit. In most cases, the inscriptions have become hazy, while some of the gravestones have actually broken down and the protective railings around them are missing. Yet, when we look around to see centuries old gravestones lying in the backdrop of lush green tea estates and the mighty Kanchenjunga, we are transformed to another world, another era.
Whoever chose this site as the final resting place of the departed chose it well. Located on Lebong Cart road, the cemetery is more or less 1.5 Km from the centre of the town. It overlooks the lush green tea estates below and from the upper section, one can also have an overview of part of the Darjeeling town. The Kanchenjunga too is clearly visible on a clear day.
How to Reach:
Bagdogra, 90 K.M. (via NH 110) away from Darjeeling, is the nearest airport connected by flights from major cities like Kolkata, Delhi and Guwahati.
Apart from Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Station (88 K.M. from New Jalpaiguri Railway Station) the two closest railway stations are Siliguri and New Jalpaiguri. These railway stations have direct railway connections with Kolkata, Delhi, Guwahati, and other major cities of India.
The major access to Darjeeling by road is via Siliguri, 77 K.M. (via NH 55), which is connected to all the major cities of India. Bus service is available from Tenzing Norgay Bus Stand, Siliguri. Smaller vehicles are also available on seat-sharing/ hire from airport, railway station, motor syndicates / police motor stand. Facility of Pre-paid taxi stand from NJP Railway station & Bagdogra airport can also be availed. The four routes that one can opt from Siliguri to reach Darjeeling are: i) Tindharia – Kurseong route ii) Dudhiya – Mirik route iii) Rohini route iv) Pankhabari