Darjeeling is located in the state of West Bengal and is situated at an altitude of 2074 meters above sea level. This hill station is widely popular for its climate and scenic beauty. The aesthetic beauty and climate made this small hill city the “Queen of Hill Stations”. The nomenclature of this picturesque hill station came from “Dorje” meaning thunderbolt and “Ling” meaning land.
From the name, it is very much clear that its altitude allows the clouds to move so close to it that it is referred to as the land of thunderbolt. The climate is mild and temperate with rainy summers and chilly winters. The average temperature ranges from 13°C to 15°C. This climate, being perfect for the cultivation of tea, is blessed with beautiful tea estates. During the British period, the British people used to visit there to improve their health during the summer. That is why the weather here is considered the perfect holiday weather.
The best time to visit Darjeeling however largely depends on what your preferences are, as a traveler. Some visitors like the January chill, while others prefer to visit during peak summers to see the magnificence of the Kangchenjunga range.
Contribution of Geographic condition of Darjeeling behind its weather
The climate of Darjeeling is known to be a subtropical highland climate. Its close distance from the Bay of Bengal is responsible for its high humidity. This type of climate resembles the oceanic climate in lots of ways. Apart from the oceanic characteristic, altitude also plays a crucial role there behind this climate. As a result, the land is gifted with mild summer and cold winter followed by snowfall. Due to the disappearance of the southwest monsoon, the temperature gets comparatively high in the higher hilly regions. This results in a heavy monsoon there. With changes in altitude change in climate is observed here.
November to February (Winter)
If you’re a sucker for the winters, warm blankets, fuzzy socks, steaming mugs of tea, and a backyard bonfire to top it off, Darjeeling winters are for you. Temperatures fluctuate between 2°C to 5°C, often dropping as low as 0°C as well. If you can brave the chill, December to February is perfect for you to visit Darjeeling since the weather conditions are just about perfect, and rainfall is a rare occurrence.
If you’re planning to visit Darjeeling in December, try to plan your trip around late December, closer to Christmas and New Year. The atmosphere is cheery with festivities in the air, restaurants are decked up with bokeh lights making for the perfect background on your Instagram story. Grab a beer at Joey’s Pub, this country-style British pub will surely take you back in time. Grab a plate of momos complete with clear soup and the spicy chutney or gorge on some aloo dum at one of the makeshift stalls near the Mall Road.
The weather is bright and chilly all at once. Mornings and evenings are foggy with lesser visibility, but as the day progresses, chances are probably that the sun will shine bright on you. If you’re lucky enough, you may get to witness occasional snowfall in January. Pack wisely though, you may need plenty of thermal wear and jackets to keep yourself warm. Due to the slanting topography of the hills, water cannot stand there despite heavy rainfall. This type of topography is responsible for high tea production there.
March to May (Spring)
Spring in Darjeeling is beautiful, almost ethereal you would say. Winter has almost retreated, making way for warmer days. The temperature ranges between 15°C to 18°C, making this season highly popular among travelers. Expect accommodations and tourists’ hot spots to be booked, so it is advisable to make your bookings well in advance.
The landscape in and around Darjeeling transforms too; there is lush foliage all over contrasted by wildflowers carelessly growing here and there. If you farther up the mountains, be prepared to be greeted by tall pine trees and the vibrancy of blossoming rhododendrons.
Sightseeing in Darjeeling is perfect around this time; the sun feels warm and toasty on your skin. Visit the tea plantations, spend a calm morning exploring the area around the Ghoom Monastery, or catch a spectacular sunrise at Tiger Hill.
June to September (Summer/ Monsoon)
While June and July are technically the summer months in Darjeeling, they are prone to rainfall which ranges from high to moderate in amounts. Take a toy-train ride on the much famed Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, or spend a day at the Tibetan Refugee Centre. If the rain bothers you too much, stay indoors reading a book with a steaming cup of hot chocolate or authentic Darjeeling tea.
Do not let the weather deter your spirits for it is also common for the sun to show up occasionally and brighten up your day. It is advisable to pack umbrellas and raincoats if you’re visiting during this time.
Come late July to September, the rainfall gets heavier in the entirety of Darjeeling district. The region becomes prone to landslides so consult with your guide or the locals before venturing out all by yourself. However, regardless of the wet and gloomy weather, Darjeeling is a sheer beauty to experience during monsoons. Be it foggy streets or the sweeping mountain vistas right after a rain shower, the landscape is picturesque and has often inspired many artists.
October to November (Fall)
Right after the monsoon season, the weather gets better. There is a slight nip in the air, but one outer layer should do the trick. The temperature ranges from 10°C to 15°C, and the autumn breeze in the air is as refreshing as it can get.
This season comes right after Dussehra and Diwali so the air is still lingering with festivities. This is a good time to chat with the locals, know more about their culture and authenticity. The months of October and November are ideal to satiate your starved adventurous soul. Plan a trek to Sandakphu for a day or two, go visit the Singalila National Park or take a crash course for rock climbing at the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute. If you’ve not yet gotten an adequate dose of adrenaline, go river rafting in the white waters of the Teesta.
The reason behind the weather here being so popular among tourists
Every year just to get a happy retreat, people visit this hill station to get rid of the scorching summer heat. This is the major reason behind the development of the tourism industry over Darjeeling. During summer, the hill station offers moderate weather to the visitors. During Autumn it gets a bit cooler than the summertime. But it does not go extreme then usually. During the rest of the year, the tourists visit Darjeeling to get a unique taste of adventure. The weather adventure goes cozy and memorable. Let us have a tour of the Darjeeling weather.
Summer in Darjeeling is not as hot as the rest of India. The weather remains soothing and pleasant then. The maximum temperature during summer there is 25°C. This attracts tourists from all over Bengal and India. While the majority of the Indian states face a heavy heat flow during the tiresome summer, the breezy and cool summer in Darjeeling attracts a bunch of tourists each year.
When it is a hill station, Monsoon has to be charming and charismatic. Monsoon hits from July till August and is always the best time to visit if you like turbulent waterfalls, lush green mountains, and the beautiful cloudy sky. People who enjoy rain and drizzles must pay a visit to Darjeeling during the July-August span to make a memorable memoir of Monsoon in a Hill Station. The charming weather can rejuvenate a heart from within. The mist which enters the hotel rooms or homestays is forever a remembrance. A cup of coffee with some morning or evening snacks and drizzle, fogs, rain outside is not only cozy but also very close to monsoon lovers. The chance of visiting the hill station Darjeeling shall not be missed at all. This lovely, misty weather can bring back life.
Autumn is always such a delightful time in Darjeeling! The Autumn lasts from September to November and the natural view is eye-catching. The Yellow and Orange Maple leaves can leave people awestruck and mind-blown. The leaves in the mountain shoulders and on the roads are a delight to watch. Autumn generally is comfortable, but in Darjeeling, it is more than being comfortable. Tourists can expect light showers during the time and they will be a treat to Autumn Lovers. The yellow and orange hues all around with a hint of shower can be magical. So, for autumn lovers, the best time to visit Darjeeling is from September to November.
Hill Stations and winters are truly a great combination. The temperature drops a real low in Darjeeling during winters. It is not only mesmerizing but the snowfall makes it an even more memorable memory for the tourists. The sightseeing becomes quite a lot adventurous in Winter, the only way to enjoy it is by layering up for the chill. It is amazing to be in winters and more amazing the Christmas is celebrated along with it. So, it is a real Go-For thing for the winter lovers in Darjeeling.
Clear skies and clear mountain tops are always wonderful. So, it is Spring when the mountain tops are visible along with a clear sky. The freshness of the wind is as fresh as the cool water of waterfalls. Nothing can be compared with the freshness of the air the hill station possesses in the Spring.
The Environment and temperature in the Hill Station
Being a hill station, Darjeeling can give a hint of all the weather conditions at the same time. The summer morning can end up to a rainy evening. This is the real charm of the hill station. Unlike other areas, the weather map here is not so clear cut. It varies in respect to the south-west monsoon and the weather conditions of the agglomerated areas. The weather map of Darjeeling is itself a charm that brings happiness but it is advised to plan according to the weather map.
Let us provide a rough outline of the weather map:
The Onset Of Spring (March-April)
Spring is the short-lived one amongst all but is one of the best times the tourists and travelers make the best out of Darjeeling. The spring sky is fully visible and a lovely moment to visit Darjeeling. The temperature ranges from 9 degrees in the morning and 17 degrees at night.
The Commence of the Summer (May-July)
The summer starts in the month of May and is a beautiful time to visit Darjeeling. As the ongoing summer in the month of May, above in the hills, monsoon starts from June which again affects the summer. Hence the temperature ranges from a minimum of 11 degrees and a maximum it rises to 19 degrees.
Monsoon knocks the hill (July-September)
The weather overlaps here during this time. In June and July, an overlapping climate of summer and monsoon is observed here. Frequent showers are observed here this time. The full-fledged monsoon arrives in the place in the month of August and stays till the end of September at least. This time the sky is rarely seen due to clouds. Landslides are common in Monsoon. Few of the routes face blockages during the landslides. The humidity rises a lot during this time.
The Orange Autumn (October – November)
Darjeeling is a landscape of many colours. The colourful Darjeeling paints a beautiful sight. The orange and yellow maple leaves the hill station looking like a beautiful painting. Autumn remains free from shower until the monsoon unleashes its colour. The temperature ranges from 16 degrees in the day and steeps as low as 5 degrees during the night.
Winter has come (December-February)
You know winter has come when November ends. The skies are generally as clear as it is in the autumn. Winter lasts for three months. In the early morning, the temperature falls to sub-zero levels and heavy fog appears there. That is why people generally avoid going out in the morning until the sun rises.
This kind of weather attracts a lot of tourists who want to enjoy the spine-shivering cold. The picturesque view of the snow-capped mountains looks mesmerizing when the sun becomes bright. The Christmas and New Year celebration with vibrant colors in this near-zero temperature make this hill station a paradise for the tourists. Generally, in Darjeeling, the temperature remains sub-zero during this time but never goes below zero.
FAQs about Climate of Darjeeling
Darjeeling is not situated at as much high altitude as Sikkim. That is why this hill station generally does not experience snowfall that much. But fluctuations happen there. In 2018, the hill station witnessed snowfall after a long decade. It resulted from a hailstorm. But this is not something usually seen here.
Darjeeling, situated at such a high altitude along with an oceanic climate, it is very difficult to predict the weather there. Misty air, foggy weather, and rainfall are very common there. But while planning a trip, it is recommended to avoid the monsoon.
n the summer and monsoon months, a good amount of humidity can be observed there in the hill station. Due to its close distance from the Bay of Bengal, a humidity level of 82% to 90% can be observed here during these months. Rest of the year, the humidity becomes low comparatively. In the months of December to March, the least humidity is observed.
Darjeeling is the best summer retreat for mountain lovers. It will give you a life-long experience that can never be blurred. So, hurry up and pack your bags.