Nehru Road in Darjeeling is probably the shortest road in the town; for a moderate walker it does not take more than ten minutes to cross this stretch on foot. However, if you are a keen shopper, you may take half a day to go through this length. Indeed, Nehru Road along with the Chowrasta Mall in Darjeeling is a shopper’s paradise. Along with few star hotels and restaurants this part of the town houses many big and small shops selling all those items that visitors to Darjeeling find so alluring.
Nehru Road - from Keventer’s to Chowrasta Mall
Keventer’s, the century old open air snack bar frequented by tourists and residents alike, is the place from where Nehru Road originates. In fact, this place is the junction of three very important roads. If you face Keventer’s, the road on your right will be the Nehru Road; it culminates into the Chowrasta Mall. On the left, you will have two roads; one is the continuation of the Nehru road and is known as the Gandhi Road. The other going down towards the Hill Cart Road is Laden La Road. However, we are here to discuss Nehru Road.
The Planters’ Club in Darjeeling
As we have already said, Nehru Road starts at Keventer’s. If you look up you will find the Darjeeling Club, popularly known as the Planters’, on your right. It is one of the primer clubs of Darjeeling and along with other facilities offers accommodation to the guests. However, we will walk straight towards the Mall, stopping to window shop on the way.
Goodricke’s House of Tea
Next to Kaventer’s is a small shop called Photo Services and Sales. In spite of its names, the store also keeps books as well as other gift items. However, if you are interested in heritage photo shop, you will have to wait till you reach Das Studio. Meanwhile, you will cross a Bata Shop and then a Goodricke outlet known as the House of Tea. The shop not only sells Darjeeling tea of different varieties, but if you are in mood for it, they also serve it hot and steaming. Did you know that Goodricke tea from their Castleton Tea Estate in Kurseong near Darjeeling once sold at the Kolkata auction for Rs. 13001/Kg.
Kurki House selling Nepali Kurki
Let us however walk on. Our next destination is Kurki House. This shop sells different types of kurkis and other knickknacks. It is located on the top of Radhaswami Stores, next to the House of Tea. Hasty Tasty, a popular vegetarian restaurant is another important land mark on this line. We will next stop to window shop at Darjeeling Photo Stores, which not only offers large laminated pictures of different Darjeeling scenes, but also books and cameras.
P. C. Baneerjee of 1900
Next we will pass by Weekender, Lilliput Bazar, Frank Ross Chemist Shop and Frank Ross Café to reach another vintage shop - P. C. Baneerjee. Established in 1900, this shop sells different varieties of spectacles, sunglasses and even hearing aids. Montecarlo Canteburry on its left has good variety of woolen products; but if I were you, I would hurry down to the next shop selling freshly baked cakes and breads. Yes, we have reached the Glenary’s.
The Glenary’s in Darjeeling
The Glenay’s was established in the Raj era. It is now divided into three distinct sections. It has its bakery in the ground floor, a restaurant in the first floor and The Buzz, one of the pubs and bars in Darjeeling, is located in the basement. All its sections are equally popular with tourists and residents.
Next to Glenary’s is another age old establishment. Das Studio is in the business of photography since 1927. It has a rare collection of pictures and all of them look sumptuous when laminated and framed. Kalimpong Art Gallery is another important shop in this line. Among other artworks, this shop sells appliquéd scenes on cloth that is so typical of Kalimpong. In between you will find a number of shops selling curios, jewelries and clothing.
Hotels on Nehru Road
Apart from shops, two well known hotels are located on this road; one is Hotel Shangri-La and the other is Hotel Pine Ridge. There is also the Pine Ridge Travel and a sports shop selling all kinds of sports item on this line. Moreover, you may find quite a few temporary stalls located on the other side of the road. It is no wonder people call Nehru Road the shopping hub of Darjeeling.