The himalaya is a mountain range in Asia, separating the Indian subcontinent from the Tibetan Plateau.

By extension, it is also the name of the massive mountain system, which includes the Himalaya proper, the Karakoram, the Hindu Kush, and a host of minor ranges extending from the Pamir Knot. Together, the Himalayan mountain system is the planet’s highest and home to all fourteen of the world’s highest peaks, the Eight-thousanders, including Mount Everest. To comprehend the enormous scale of Himalayan peaks, consider that Aconcagua, in the Andes, is the highest peak outside the Himalaya at 22,841 feet (6,962 m), while the Himalayan mountain system is home to over thirty peaks exceeding 25,000 feet (7,620 m). Etymologically Himalaya means, “abode of snow” in Sanskrit (from hima “snow”, and alaya “abode”). The correct name for the range is Himalaya, though the plural Himalayas is often used. The Himalayan triangle of Darjeeling, Gangtok and Kalimpong are some of the most wonderful travelspots to visit in this part of the world. Darjeeling is blessed with captivating views of the Eastern Himalayas and has the best hill station in India. It faces the highest mountain in India – the Mount Kanchenjunga. This area has the perfect climate at 2123 metres and is surrounded on all sides with unique neighbours Sikkim Nepal and Bhutan. It is famous for its tea gardens and friendly mixed cultural people.

Kali pong: “King’s minister’s strong hold”, a Bhutanese word. It is also called Kalimpong in the local dialect meaning “black spur”. As per the Lepchas Kalimpong, which means “Ridge where we play”. It is said that the local tribesman used to organise field sports while not engaged in agricultural pursuit. Situated at an altitude of 1250 metres, it enjoys a temperate climate throughout the year. Although somewhat secluded and tucked away in the corner under the big Darjeeling umbrella. Kalimpong offers a quiet and relaxed holiday against the backdrop of the mighty Kanchenjunga range. The journey from Darjeeling to Kalimpong is a beautiful experience. The road drops from Ghoom at 7407 feet to Teesta Bazar at 700 feet, a distance of about twelve kilometres and passes through lush green forests and many tea gardens. One can see from the viewpoint or “lovers meet” the confluence of the rivers Teesta and the Rangeet.

Gangtok Sikkim is a Land of mystic and splendour. Sikkim offers the magical feel of a Himalayan fairytale land. It is an amazing place of hidden valleys, mystical monasteries, snow-fed lakes and a mountain setting covered with flowers and forests. This former Kingdom is the home to the three major population groups-Lepcha,Bhutia and Nepali -providing a varied and colourful composite of cultures. Mount Kanchenjunga, the third highest peak in the world at 8,586 metres dominates the landscape and is revered as the guardian deity of Sikkim. Sikkim is a state of India tucked away in the Himalaya across Nepal’s eastern frontier. It is crammed in between Tibet to the north, Bhutan to the east and Darjeeling to the south.

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Written by: Derek Miller