Although we always mention the delicate view of the sunrise from Tiger Hill and so here we refer to the view of Kanchenjunga with the snow-capped eastern Himalayan peaks, we have easily mentioned the peaks of Tiger Hill. The fact that the snow peaks are a rapidly changing color peak because the sun strikes is an incredible sight, but Tiger Hill is even more great otherwise.

It’s a destination in itself, not just a great view at sunrise. This is a region where you can immerse yourself in the beauty of the Himalayas at any time of the day.

I even went to Tiger Hill to experience the sunrise over and over again, I came there so many times during the day and enjoyed it to the fullest. But you want to travel there in the right season so that every peak is visible and there is no fog or mist around.

Tiger Hill is found 11kms (6.8 miles) from Darjeeling town and above Ghum. It's the very best point in Darjeeling hills at an altitude of 8482 feet (or 2590 meters). The only season to determine the dazzling snow-covered peaks because the sun rises is between Mid October to December. March to April is additionally an honest time.

For sunrise you need to start by 3:30 am so you can arrive by 4.15 am. In winter, you will start at around 4:15 in the morning. Some of the taxi drivers will insist that you start earlier. There is a reason. When you arrive the top, especially in the height season, there will be extended rows of cars. so many tourists come here every day to watch the sunrise during the high season. As a result, your car will have to rise quite a bit as your vehicle can be parked at the very bottom.

And if the Observatory Tower and thus the open viewing terrace next to that get packed by the time you reach, then you'll likely need to watch the sunrise standing on a meadow little below the summit.

Remember, Darjeeling's weather can change anytime. The fog and thus the mist play a mystical game here all the time. They're going, beginning with nothingness, and put a white blanket all around. You can't predict that.

Watching the weather and thus the sky from Darjeeling Town is almost no indication of how the weather might be at Tiger Hill. Cloud and fog during this area lie at various levels of the mountains; sometimes they'll be above you, other times, you will be above them. So nobody can guarantee a perfect sunrise view from Tiger Hill or, for that matter, from anywhere in Darjeeling.

Many a times tourists see the sun after rising quite a bit in the sky and there is no need to determine at once that it rose above the horizon and spread its multi-colored rhyme on the snow-apple horns. So, be prepared to enjoy the ical magic game of sunrise as the character offers you.

Now that your expectations are set, I start the journey and take you to Tiger Hill with my own eyes. From the city of Darjeeling, when you head to Capitol Hill Cart Road to sleep, there is a narrow road that is appropriately staged after Jhum station (about 1.5 km). It is often a steep Senchal Road that leads to the best of Tiger Hill.

As soon as you start driving upwards you will soon see Ghom Jorbanglo Degree College on the right. You will then arrive at an abandoned toll booth. It was set up a few thousand years ago to create an entry fee requirement. 200 / - per car. what ever, the taxi union resisted the move, and in the end, the initiative fell into disrepair even after the booth was built and tickets were printed.

As you approach along the steep incline, a natural tree-lined hedge runs up along the right, unfortunately blocking some a neighborhood of the view. On your left is that the cliff that rises sharply. The Tiger Hill area is now an area of a nature reserve maintained by the GTA (Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, erstwhile DGHC). 

However, as you drive along, you'd probably not see many signs of maintenance. On several occasions, I found the roads weren't repaired for years. With the battering of torrential rains and harsh weather once a year, you'll imagine what could even be the road conditions here, having had no repairs over numerous years. But the opinions around and the pleasures thus compensate for everything.

Update on May 2016: 

The dirt road on Tiger Hill has finally been repaired. How long will it take to see?

After a few minutes leter , if you look to your left, you find a touching ad it often comes from where many tourists see the sunrise when there is too much crowd. In the height season the cars stand here from top to bottom.

There should be a tourist lodge here. You'll still see a chimney-like structure on the left that belonged to the abandoned tourist lodge. It was built during British days as a VIP guest house when many eminent personalities came and watched the sunrise. It had been later converted into a tourist lodge and was called the Dak Bungalow. In 1988 during a commotion within the Capitol Hill area, the lodge was burnt and destroyed. It's lying abandoned since then. 

As you walk along, there is probably a place on the right side of the " road from where you will get a view of Senchal Lake below which is a sanctuary element. It is better to look at you if you want to go to your left. You can combine a day picnic as you approach and you will see a temple on the left and another temple on the right.

One on the left is Durga Devi (known as Shinchel Singh Devi Dham), and one on the right is that of Lord Shankar. Upon your return, you will spend a short time here in the short temple environment and ring the hanging bell before starting your festivities in Capitol Hilltown.

Soon, you will see one more toll booth as you proceed towards the very good side of Tiger Hill. This is often where an entrance fee is charged for attending the conference. If you want to see the sunrise from the observation tower, you also need to buy a ticket.

You can enjoy the sunrise from the viewing area around the Observatory Tower for free. In winter, it often freezes outside, but the view is smoother and better. The tower is closed during the day after early morning visitors leave.

Within minutes you'll reach the Observatory Tower. And you're on top of Darjeeling. From here, you will get an almost 360-degree view of the Darjeeling area, including that of the entire Eastern Himalayan range. If you look towards the north, you will see the landscape of Darjeeling Town. And within the background is that the stunning snowy area. 

The peaks begin to rise just before sunrise. The glittering snow peaks of Kanchenjunga require your eyes, which are the perfect best of the world's third highest mountain at 28,169 feet (or 8,586 meters).

On the clear day, if the fog doesn’t play bad, you’ll see the world’s highest peak, Everest, at 29,029 feet (8,848 meters), which is about 225 kilometers away, and Mount Makalu at 27,769 feet (8,464 meters). About 135 km away is the Chamol Hari mountain in Tibet, which is claimed to be the most beautiful peak in the world. The sun then rises above the horizon, a short distance east of the summit.

What else! When you see this wonderful and nature play on the horizon at sunrise, local vendors offer you hot tea in plastic cups.

UPDATE JANUARY 2019: At sunrise the Observatory Tower seems to have been running for quite some time. A replacement multi-storey observation deck is rising. So expect lots of building materials to be scattered around.

On the way back down to Batasia Loop. Just outside, locals soon accepted stalls in the early hours of the morning, selling hot samosas (quite stuffed and fried) for tourists returning from Tiger Hill. You’ll be hungry right now, and the samosas or singers are just great for continuing the day’s treatment. However, many tourists, especially those from Kolkata who realize it, keep it as a 'must' in their day schedule.

Tiger Hill Open Hour, Fees and Benefits

Every day, from early morning until sunset.

Update: 15th September, 2019, Tiger Hill revised the entry fee to Rs. 50 per person.

Depending on how many ticket rates there are in the observation tower. Rock Bottom Level Ticket Rates Rs. 20 / - per person, Rs. 30 / - per initial floor and thus the upper floor with the best view which has comfortable seats is Rs. 40 / -. There are also rows of chairs arranged on opposite sides. Keep in mind that rates will only change with the index and over time.

Also toilet facilities are available at the Observatory Tower, authorities have done very little to take care of them and keep them clean. This is often the case even though Ton wants to use the toilet in the morning. On several occasions, I found the toilets so dirty and unclean that they were virtually unusable

Best time to travel to Tiger Hill 

Many tourists cannot experience a perfect sunrise view over the Tiger Hill and Kanchenjunga range with clear skies ... thanks for the wrong time of year. It is best to avoid rain (June-mid-September) if there is frequent rain and thus the sky is cloudy. The good time is from October to November and from March to May when clear clouds are most likely. During the winter months (i.e. December to February) fog or mist can block visibility but with some luck you can still feel a great sunrise.

How to reach Tiger Hill

Tiger Hill is 11 kilometers (6.8 miles) from Darjeeling Town and Jhum. After Jhum station, you have to go down the road on the narrow road on the right. It will take estimate 40 to 50 minutes to reach the top by car from Darjeeling city.

You can either reserved cab or take a shared jeep that leaves the taxi stand just below Nehru Road (near Coventry) next to the club. Available during the tourist season).

A reserved small tab will cost around Rs.500. 1,200 for Tiger Hill visits (rent update: January 2020). On the way back you will also see Batasia Loop and Samten Choling (Jhum) Monastery, which are located on the same road, and thus the crew will agree to short stops at these two additional points.

Note that standard 3-point tour packages offered by taxi drivers and tour operators include Tiger Hill, Batasia Loop and Samten Choling Monastery (a.k.a Jhum Monastery).

The opening hours of the Batasia Loop have been changed to 5am (from 10am) so that you can see the Batasia Loop on your on way from Tiger Hill.

new update: Effective September 15, 2019, there is a daily limit of up to 600 people allowed to travel to Tiger Hill. Previously, there were no restrictions that resulted in a significant number of vehicles traveling to Tiger Hill every morning, creating traffic jams and lots of jams because parking on Tiger Hill was limited. Taxi owners / drivers are issued daily coupons at Tiger Hill on a first-come, first-served basis. Self-driving rental cars (like zoom cars) are not allowed on Tiger Hill.