Ghoom, a small hilly locality in the Darjeeling Himalayan hill region of West Bengal, India, is a place steeped in historical charm and natural beauty. Known for being the home to the highest railway station in India, Ghoom is also a trove of cultural heritage and stunning landscapes, making it an intriguing destination for travelers.
Ghoom Railway Station: A Nostalgic Ride
The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, famously known as the Toy Train, is a significant attraction in Ghoom. As the train chugs along the winding tracks, it takes passengers through some of the most picturesque landscapes in the region. The Ghoom railway station, standing at an elevation of 2,225 meters, is the highest railway station in India and offers a unique experience with its quaint colonial-era architecture.
Ghoom Monastery: A Spiritual Retreat
One of the major highlights of Ghoom is the Yiga Choeling Monastery, popularly known as Ghoom Monastery. Built-in 1875, it is one of the oldest Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in Darjeeling. The monastery houses a 15-foot-high statue of Maitreya Buddha and several ancient Tibetan manuscripts. Its peaceful environment provides a serene space for introspection and meditation.
Batasia Loop: A Marvel of Engineering
The Batasia Loop, located close to Ghoom, is a spiral railway created to lower the gradient of ascent of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. The loop offers panoramic views of Darjeeling, with the majestic Kanchenjunga range as the backdrop. The loop also houses a war memorial, built to honor the Gorkha soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the country.
Natural Beauty: Breathtaking Landscapes
Situated amidst lush green tea gardens and surrounded by snow-capped Himalayan ranges, Ghoom offers breathtaking views and tranquil settings. A walk through the rolling tea estates, watching the sun rise over the mountains, or simply enjoying the cool, misty weather, Ghoom provides a perfect setting to connect with nature’s bounty.
Local Delights: Exploring the Cuisine
Ghoom offers a delightful culinary journey with its variety of local dishes. From the local version of momos and thukpa to the traditional Nepali and Tibetan cuisine, the food in Ghoom is a gastronomic delight. The local tea, sourced from the nearby gardens, is a must-try for all visitors.
Ghoom, with its rich heritage, scenic beauty, and unique attractions, is a charming destination that provides a memorable experience. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a nature lover, a spiritual seeker, or a foodie, Ghoom has something to offer for everyone. So, take a ride on the Toy Train, enjoy the serenity of the monastery, savor the local cuisine, and lose yourself in the mesmerizing beauty of this Himalayan hamlet.