A must see, the temple is made out of mirrored glass. Thousands upon thousands of pieces of mirrored glass inset into the walls - if you have ever been to the Amber Palace in Jaipur.
Off Ras Dinendra St and down Badr Das Temple Rd
A fascinating little museum, not to be missed when visiting Kolkata. It covers everything from 1930s anti-British terror gangs (and a good selection of homemade wooden bombs), Dacoitism in the city and some rather gruesome modern murders.
113, Acharya Prafulla Chandra Road
Kolkata - 700 009
Kalimpong is about two-three hours by shared jeep from Darjeeling. Worth a trip (even if only for the views on route).
If you go to KP's Motor Stand & in Himalaya Travels ask for Gobinda Dradhan, he will take you on a (set fare) tour of the local sights - magnificent viewpoints and Dr Graham's home.
Best of all, Gobinda takes his time, does not hussle you into visiting shops and is very knowledgeable about the area.
Avoid either arriving, departing or simply moving out of your hotel during Holi... (Indian spring festival)
The local lads gather in the streets and have water fights - with coloured water and western tourists are a prime target.
The papers were full of warnings about the chemicals used in the colouring (I wrote off a pair of trousers and T-shirt) They contain some pretty nasty chemicals that can cause skin complaints.
All the taxis and rickshaws (if you can find one) will charge three times the normal rate as "danger and damage" money.
Sit tight (it's only one day) and watch the mayhem from a balcony or rooftop!
I've used the fixed fare taxi system (a shared minibus) every time I have visited Budapest - ask for the return fare. They will come and collect you from your hotel and take you back to the airport.
NB: you have to ring 24 hrs before and confirm collection.
If you fancy a overnight trip from Darjeeling, you can get to Kurseong in 90 minutes by shared jeep (about 50 pence each way).
Kurseong has spectactular views of the Himalayan foothills and the plains of north-east India. However, one place not to be missed (even if only for the trip along the mountain ridge to get there) is the organic Makaibari Tea Estate (by shared jeep or taxi from Kurseong Train Station).
I was taken on a personal tour of the factory (and tea tasting session) with Mr SK Banerjee, the owner of the estate.
Mr Banarjee is extremely knowledgeable and entertaining on the subject of tea and believe me, after 90 minutes or so, you will never want to drink teabag tea ever again.
Not in Lonely Planet (why?).
Cheap, very safe (staffed reception and safe boxes), clean with hot water 24/7 hotel in downtown Delhi.
Check out the eaterie opposite the hotel for a veg Thali for less than a pound.
Only hassle is taxi drivers may be reluctant to come to the Main Bazaar, Pahar Gange (very narrow and crowded streets). Make sure you tell them that it's in PG and print off the map for directions - the last three times I have been to PG the taxi driver managed to get lost...).
If you are sick of the heat, dust and general aggravation that accompany travelling around India; or if this is your first trip and you fancy somewhere which is a gentle introduction to the sub-continent, then Darjeeling is the place to be.
May I reccommend Hotel Dekeling as the place to stay.
It's centrally located (10 minutes' walk from the toy train station and five minutes from Chowrasta). Clean, hot water 24/7 and run by the wonderful Mr and Mrs Norbu, who guarantee a warm family welcome.
What I particularly liked about it was:
Whilst I had booked in advance, I turned up a day early. The staff bent over backwards to sort out an alternative room for me. Whilst it was in the attic and had a shared bathroom, the price they gave me meant I could stay as twice as long as I planned.
They don't hustle you, come knocking on your door every five minutes looking for tips or try to sell you overpriced trips (which plenty of other top price hotels will do).
I wanted to go to Ghoom for the day. The staff gave me detailed instructions on how to get a shared jeep, how much I should pay , where to find the temple and how to get back to DJ again.
In all, a half day out cost me 25 pence.
There is a common area complete with books you can borrow and a stove. Great for just relaxing.
Topping it all, on the street level there is the attached cafe (Devakas) which serves delicous Tibetan food - cooked fresh in front of you.
I would suggest booking well in advance, it's pretty popular and was full during my stay.
A rather wonderful family-run guest house, two minutes from the Assi ghats.
Clean and comfortable rooms (some with a balcony), hot water on demand and fresh home-cooked food.
Very, very friendly staff who will make you most welcome. Dr V.N Tripathi offers (advanced and beginners) yoga, meditation and Ayurveda lessons to guests.
I read the recommendations on the website and can vouch for them!
Send your feedback or queries to email@example.com