Ghum also spelt Ghoom is a small hilly locality in the Darjeeling Himalayan hill region of West Bengal, India. Ghum railway station of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is the highest railway station in India. It is situated at an altitude of 2,258 metres (7,407 ft). The place is the home of the Ghum Monastery and the Batasia Loop, a bend of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway.
Ghum is the meeting point of several roads. The Hill Cart Road from Siliguri to Darjeeling runs through the town. It is 6 km from Darjeeling. It is 24 km from Kurseong via Sonada. Kalimpong is about 45 km away via Lopchu. Another road leads to Mongpu and then on to the Kalimpong-Siliguri road. There is a road to Kurseong via Dow Hill. Sukhiapokhri, almost on the India-Nepal border, is 11 km on the road to Mirik.
Darjeeling hills has a high concentration of Indian Army servicemen and ex-servicemen. Since independence in 1947, seventy-six brave soldiers of the Darjeeling area have laid down their lives for their motherland. In 1976, Manish Gupta, then Deputy Commissioner of Darjeeling took the initiative to build a War Memorial and a committee was formed. In 1984, Batasia was selected as the site of the War Memorial. In 1991, Subhas Ghising, Chairman of Darjeeling Gorkha Autonomous Hill Council, agreed to finance the construction of the War Memorial.
The War Memorial consists of a sanctified raised oval platform, 37’ x 24’, with a 9 feet (2.7 m) high bronze statue and a 30 feet (9.1 m) high triangular granite cenotaph, on a 3 feet (0.91 m) octagonal base, with the Roll of honour engraved on it. The bronze statue was sculptured by Gautam Pal of Krishnanagar.
Yi Gha Choling Gompa, is more popular as Ghum Monastery. It is located below Hill Cart road and Ghum.railway station. It enshrines an image of the Maitreya Buddha. This monastery built in 1875 belongs to the Yellow sect of the Buddhists who worship a 15 feet (4.6 m) statue of the ‘Coming Buddha’. There are three other gompas in Ghum - Samten Choeling, the Sakyachoeling, and the Phin.