Darjeeling is indeed the queen of hills with the beautiful Kanchenjunga forming the crown atop her head. Every morning at the break of the dawn, the crowning ceremony takes place as the first ray of the sun touches the peak. And the only place which gives you the opportunity to experience this celestial morning ritual is Tiger Hill.
I decided to start my trip with Tiger Hills. Being a photographer, it was not only important for me to view the sunrise but capture some shots of the colossal hills while they get crowned. Since I wanted to find a good place to get the right angle for my camera, I decided to reach there before it gets crowded. Invariably, I had to reach leave my warm and cozy hotel bed at the wee hours of 2:30 AM in the morning.
Located 11 km from Darjeeling town, Tiger hill happens to be the highest point with an altitude of 8482 feet. It takes about 45 minutes to reach the venue. Needless to say, when I reached the place, it was still dark. Not one had arrived till then. I got ample scope to survey the place and find an ideal place for getting the perfect shots.
As the crowd started gathering, it was a sight in itself. It was as if crowd was appearing for some tournament. I thought, it would not be advisable to leave post. It stuck to the place and enjoyed the conversation of my co-viewers. Everybody was eagerly waiting for the sun rise. The kids were getting impatient as the parents tried to persuade them to be quiet and stand still. As the time for the sun rise came closer, the excitement and impatience grew.
Finally the moment of truth arrived as the first ray of the sun touched the tip of the hill. All the tourists cried aloud in excitement with the first sparkle on the horizon. Then gradually the light spread all over playing a myriad of hues on the mountain top and further spread the light all over the place declaring the beginning of a new day. It was a spectacular view that words cannot explain. I checked my camera. Yes, a job well done. I have managed to capture beautiful shots of the sun rise at Tiger Hill.