Darjeeling has always attracted not only tourists from all over the world but also peace seekers, nature lovers and solo travellers since the ancient ages. The sprawling tea gardens, untouched wilderness and a unique culture which thrives under the blessing of the mighty Kanchenjunga mountain ranges. Darjeeling remained away from the spotlight for holiday goers since it was not very well connected to the outside world. However, with improvement in infrastructure, Darjeeling is now giving tough competition to several other hill stations in North India.
Here is how you can also reach Darjeeling with ease:
The only major and commercial access to Darjeeling is through Siliguri, or NH 55, which is 77 kms long. This road is mostly used by everyone travelling on a road trip by car or bus. If you have reached Siliguri and are wondering how to make your way to Darjeeling then it is advisable for you to take a bus from the Tenzing Norgay bus stand in Siliguri.
There are several options for taking a smaller vehicle as well like cab and taxi service on sharing basis. If you have reached Siliguri by flight, then it will be easy for you to book yourself a cab or a taxi service to take you to Darjeeling.
In case you have reached Siliguri by train then there are taxis and cabs for hire on a prepaid basis from NJP railway station. If you are travelling by car, then there are 4 primary routes to choose from:
- Tindharia – Kurseong Road
- Dudhiya – Mirik Route
- Rohini Route
Train has to be one of the most sought after options for getting to Darjeeling. There is one Darjeeling Himalayan railway station which is located 88 kms away from New Jalpaiguri Railway Station. The other 2 closest railway stations to Darjeeling that also cater to different trains from all over India are Siliguri and New Jalpaiguri. These railway stations receive trains from places like Delhi, Kolkata, and Guwahati to name a few among other major Indian cities.
There is only one airport connecting Darjeeling with the rest of India. This airport is called Bagdogra airport which is situated 90 kms away from the main town of Darjeeling. This airport caters to flights from all over India and there are taxi and cab services also available to make connectivity even more comfortable.
Best Way to Reach Darjeeling
The best way is to first reach Bagdogra, NJP or Siliguri from your hometown or from any place you are travelling from. One reaching these places there are nauseous options to get to Darjeeling like shared taxis, cabs, buses and even the famous toy train service which is operated by Darjeeling Himalayan Railway.
Note: all pre-paid taxis, small or large are available at Bagdogra airport for Darjeeling. Helicopter service till Gangtok is also available.
There are couple of travel options to make your travel to Darjeeling affordable and convenient:
- Other than reaching Siliguri or New Jalpaiguri you can first reach Kolkata directly via bus, fight or whatever is comfortable to you. From Kolkata, you can easily get a Volvo service for Darjeeling which is just 76 kms away from NJP.
- If travelling to Darjeeling from Bhutan, Nepal or Bangladesh – it has become a common aspect among foreign travellers to combine their visit to Bhutan, Nepal or Bangladesh with a visit to Darjeeling as well. It does involve you clearing some visa formalities and immigration regulations.
How to Travel Within Darjeeling
Darjeeling is a hill station so you have to keep in mind that you will not get the kind of transportation service you get in other cities in flatter regions. The intercity travel within Darjeeling is all dependent on hired taxis. However, people mostly walk around to get anywhere in Darjeeling. If you get tired or if you are in dire need of transportation then two-wheelers are the best way to go. They are also widely used by the residents of Darjeeling.
An 8 km long ropeway called the Darjeeling ropeway also connects Darjeeling’s north point with Single. This ropeway was started in the year 1968 but was.