Time Traveler

Whether you're looking at them from Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan or China, the Himalayas are always an uplifting sight: the world's highest mountain range has all 50 of the planet's tallest peaks, and most of the top 100.

But to my eyes, the finest vantage point lies near the northern Indian hill station of Darjeeling. The ridge of Sandakphu is the only place on earth from which you can see four of the five tallest mountains: 8,848-m Everest, 8,586-m Kangchenjunga (pictured), 8,511-m Lhotse and 8,463-m Makalu. (K-2, the second tallest at 8,611 m, is over the western...