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Batasia Loop

Batasia Loop is one of India’s inspiring engineering architectural feats. Lying en-route while travelling by the Darjeeling Toy Train or walking back from the Tiger Hill, the loop is vital in the mountain railway network and is a beautiful landmark in the state. Enjoy the breathtaking panorama of Darjeeling from all angles, the majestic Mt Kanchendzonga and the scenic beauty of Eastern Himalayas. It was constructed to make a 1000 foot fall from the high Ghoom station navigable for toy train.

History

Batasia Loop was commissioned in 1919 because it was an engineering requirement for the toy train to be able to handle the steep gradient. Just after Ghoom (the highest railway station) there is a sharp fall as the toy train moves towards Darjeeling. There was no way a narrow gauge toy train could navigate the drastic fall of about 100 feet to the gradient of the slope was reduced by a loop. A large circular area was built for the loop to make the slope gentle.

Attractions

Batasia means airy space. The Loop serves a vital purpose for the toy train but is also an attraction in itself. The loop goes around a garden. The mountain garden is beautified with fresh green grass, seasonal and perennial flowers and shrubs. Enjoy the smells and sights of beautiful flowers like Rhododendrons, Silver Firs, rare Gingko biloba and even tea plants. There are seating areas where one can view the train chugging down the slope. Located right in the centre of the gardens is a War Memorial dedicated to the Gorkha Soldiers. The place was opened in the year 1995 to commemorate the valour and courage of these soldiers who lost their lives in struggles post Indian independence. The Cenotaph and the statue of a soldier here is particularly notable. It is a serene location with incredible views.