Kanchenjunga at Tiger Hill, Darjeeling - a celebration to share
Near Darjeeling is a short and otherwise unremarkable hill. It is possible to walk up to the summit or hire a jeep to get there. Some even spend the night on or near this elevated place, so as to catch the early morning sunrays on Khanjenjunga.
Tiger Hill offers a spectacular view of Kanchenjunga, that third highest summit on earth and peoples from far and near assemble to witness the sun strike, not just that lofty summit, but also the dawn awakening of the Himalayas. Due to the elevation of Kanchenjunga
and the curvature of the earth, the sun touches here before lighting the lower Himalaya summits to the east. Residents of the area had long held this belief of first light to be true for thousands of years before the first man stood on the summit of Kanchenjunga(actually
six metres below the summit in deference to local sentiments) and realized it was true.
Therefore, you have a magic place and a magic moment and an experience best shared. The dawn at Tiger Hill takes on a carnival atmosphere. There are men banging drums and those playing pipes. First, the cold wind stirs chill air and the many prayer flags begin
to flutter then the crowd grows almost silent before the moment. Till then the darkness of 4 am is broken by cries of "Coffee" for those braving the chill. The rising sun tips the summit with gold then blushes rose, the day has begun. Manmade music rises
again as those around begin to dance, chant and worship. There are smiles on all the faces and the cold morning long forgotten.