Sports in Darjeeling
Darjeeling, located in the lap of eastern Himalaya, has very little flat land. Consequently, all round growth of usual sports such as football and cricket could not take place here. Instead we find, people here are more attracted towards adventure sports such as trekking, rock climbing etc.
Adventure Sports in Darjeeling
The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, established in 1954 under the guidance of Late Jawahar Lal Nehru, has provided the impetus required for the growth of this kind of sports. Indeed, thanks to their endeavor, mountaineering, trekking as well as rock climbing has not only become an organized sport now, but these have also been able to generate employment for the youths of this region.
Other than the HMI, Tenzing Norgay Climbing Club is another institute, which has made worthwhile contribution in this field. It was started in 1997 by Jamling Tenzing Norgay, son of legendary climber Tenzing Norgay, to attract the children of the poorer families to mountaineering and its allied branches.
Football in DarjeelingAt the same time, it has to be admitted if any sport has been able to attract universal adoration, it is soccer. Until 2011, Nehru Gold Cup was a yearly event in Darjeeling. However, because of political turmoil, it could not be held for last few years. The good news is that the event is going to be revived very soon. However, here too the town lacks the basic infrastructure. Apart from the Gorkha Football Stadium in Lebong, there are few other public playing fields in Darjeeling.
Gorkha Football Stadium, located about nine Km from the heart of the town is said to be one of the highest football stadium in the world. Earlier it was simply known as Public Play Ground. When Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council gained control over the stadium, it was renamed as Gorkha Football Stadium. Now, it is under the control of Sports Authority of India.
Tennis in DarjeelingTennis is another game played in Darjeeling. However, it is yet to attract the attention of the mass. Some elite clubs such as Darjeeling Gymkhana Club offer facilities for such games. The Gymkhana Club has three tennis courts and tries to promote the game among the talented youngsters of the town. Open Invitational Tennis Championship is a regular event here.
Golf in DarjeelingDarjeeling also has a nine-hole golf course. It is however, located a little away from the town near Senchal Lake in Ghum. It is said to be one of the highest golf courses in the world.
Horse Racing in Darjeeling
Horse Racing was once a favorite sport here. It was held in Lebong Race Course, just few kilo meters away from the center of the town. It is also said to be the highest and the smallest race course in the world. Another unique feature is that it is possibly the only anti-clockwise race course in the world. This is mainly because there is no space for clockwise run. However, of late the events have been discontinued. The good news is that, there is a chance that the races will be resumed very soon.