Ghum, also known as Ghoom is Darjeeling’s tourist delight. The small town is nestled at an altitude of 2225 m above sea level. The misty town enjoys breathtaking views of the Eastern Himalayas and is the highest point of Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. There are numerous attractions for tourist.
Ghum has been on the tourist map since the days of British Raj. Since the construction of the mountain railway, the hill town has witnessed visitors. Blessed by natural beauty and also treasure of numerous monasteries, the town is delightful.
Ghum is home to a number of Buddhist monasteries, a railway museum and several getaways to Tiger Hill and other places.
Yi Ga Choling Gompa is the region’s most famous monastery. It also goes by the name Ghoom Monastery. Built in 1850, it enshrines a 5m high statue of Coming Lord Buddha. Yellow sect of the Buddhists worship the site. It houses 300 beautifully bound Tibetan texts and wonderful old murals. 30 monks of the Gelugpa School reside here.
Sangak Choling Gompa also known as Dali Gompa is a must visit place for its vibrant frescoes. Inaugurated by the Dalai Lama in 1993, it is a learning institute of 300 Himalayan monks who study philosophy, literature, astronomy, meditation, dance and music.
Other Gompas of interest include the fortress-style Guru Sakya Gompa. The Samten Choling Gompa has the largest Buddha statue in West Bengal. The Ghum Hill is the highest point in the town. Offering spectacular views, the hill on a clear presents an incredible view of the Eastern Himalayas. The Tiger Hill is a short trek away. It is a beautiful place to view sunrise as the golden glory of the light is seen illuminating Mt Kanchendzonga and some say even Mt Everest.
The lovely Senchal Lake, a part of a wildlife sanctuary is also attractive.
The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Museum is right next to the Ghoom railway station. It has the oldest engine, the Baby Sivok in its premises. The museum also hosts a wide range of old artifacts of the railways along with rare pictures.