Siliguri is a favourite centre for tourists to travel towards all the surrounding national and international travel destinations. Tons of professional travel agencies are operating their service for tourists to provide all types of facilities. Basically trips towards Darjeeling are best conducted from Siliguri because of availability of all travel related services and facilities like hotel booking, rental car, flight and train ticket booking, tour packages etc. With the betterment in tourism industry in the North Bengal, it is much easier these days to make a trip to Darjeeling without any worry.
Siliguri to Darjeeling Train
1.Toy-train from Siliguri to Darjeeling
There are bus, rental car, shared jeeps and train services towards Darjeeling from Siliguri. The toy-train service is run by Darjeeling Himalayan Railway between New Jalpaiguri Railway Station and Darjeeling Railway Station. The toy-like train is pulled by its steam or diesel engine on a 2 guauge narrow track and passes through some beautiful locations of through forests, small towns, hamlets and hills. Sukna, Rongtong, Tindharia, Gayabari, Mahanadi, Kurseong, Tung, Sonada, Ghum – all these places on its route looks amazing from the train.
Toy-train service is operated 8 times in a day between Darjeeling and Siliguri – four times up and four times down. Well, as for the ticket cost, Siliguri to Darjeeling train fare might vary on the type of engine. But as the steam engine runs very slow, it takes around 7 to 8 hours to complete a toy-train journey from Siliguri to Darjeeling. This is why most of the tourists, who want to save time, prefer to travel from Siliguri to Darjeeling by road.
2.Siliguri to Darjeeling Bus, Car & Jeep
Siliguri to Darjeeling distance is near about 65 km and the road goes ascending and descending through the hills. Different types of road-transports are available like bus, car and jeep services. Siliguri to Darjeeling bus booking can be easily done right from the main bus depot of Siliguri, i. e., Tenzing Norgay Bus Terminus. Both private and NBSTC bus from Siliguri to Darjeeling is available from here, which can make difference in the ticket price. Although bus fare from Siliguri to Darjeeling is usually around 150-200 INR per head, it’s better to inquire about it from the terminus office.
Undoubtedly, busses take more time than cars and jeeps. Shared jeeps are available right outside the terminus, and rental cars are available from professional car rental agencies of Siliguri. Tourists mostly prefer to take a hired car as it provides comfort and privacy to their tour and can be booked for the entire trip.
Siliguri to Darjeeling Route
There are typically three alternative routes to travel from Siliguri to Darjeeling by cars and other roadway transports.
A.Siliguri to Darjeeling via Kurseong
The shortest route to Darjeeling from Siliguri town is via Kurseong. Usually the journey starts from nearby the Siliguri main bus terminus or Siliguri Junction Railway Station. After reaching Darjeeling more you need to take right turn to Hillcart Road where you meet the toy-train track upto Sukna. Afterwards, head towards Simulbari Bazar by taking left turn through Sukna Military Station. A little ahead of the bazar or market, taking right turn from Rohini More will lead to Rohini Road, where you can experience temples, small markets and lots of eateries. Now you can notice the road goes uphill towards Kurseong, the weather starts becoming colder and clouds begin to accompany you. The road gets labelled from Kurseong to Ghum and while leaving Ghum towards Darjeeling, it goes downhill.
B.Siliguri to Darjeeling via Mirik
This route is similar to the previous one upto Rohini More, where you take the straight road though Simulbari-Garidhura Road to arrive at Garidhura. Afterwards, a beautiful site named Dudhia awaits you, where army shooting range can be witnessed. After crossing Dudhia Bridge, the road goes uphill through orange orchards towards Tingling Viewpoint. This viewpoint offers magnificent view of the Kurseong town and the surrounding valley and hills. There are some restaurant and bars where good food and only beer is available. Reach Mirik after that through some pine forests and go for boating in Sumendu Lake, ride a horse nearby and have some fresh fishes to eat. You mat halt for some time in Mirik and head towards Pashupati Market at the Indo-Nepal border. No visa or passport or identity document is needed to enter the market, you may walk or take a Nepal registered car, but cars with Indian number cannot access. While heading towards Sukhiya Pokhri, halt at Simana Viewpoint to observe Nepal, and take a left turn towards Jorepokhri. As the name depicts, there are two ponds that serve as water-reservoirs. Mt Kanchenjunga looks marvellous from here. The road of Jorepokhri again meets the main road after a while and arrives at Lepchajagat through Sukhiya Pokhri. There is a bungalow in Lepchajagat and Darjeeling is seen clearly from here. Now head towards Ghum, witness the second highest railway station in the world, continue the journey and take left turn to reach Darjeeling.
C.Siliguri to Darjeeling via Mongpoo
Tourists usually do not take this route as it takes more time to reach than the other tow. However, if you wish to visit the locations on the way, you will be satisfied with the natural beauty alongside the route. After starting from Siliguri Junction to Salugara Bazar via Darjeeling More and 2.5 Mile Checkpost, head towards Sevoke via Sevoke Military Station and Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary, where deer can be seen in the early morning. At a little distance after crossing the rail-line here, you can halt near Sevoke Kalibari to visit the temple and the Coronation Bridge. Keeping the bridge and accompanied by the Teesta River at the right side, go straight to Kalijhora. There is a dam in Kalijhora, named as Teesta NHPC Dam. Earlier it was a very popular picnic spot for the locals, but due to the building of the dam, it has lost its reputation. After reaching Lohapur from here, you can have delicious food in the eateries here, available in pretty good number. After having some food, reach Rambhi Bazar and buy some mushroom. From this place, the difficulty level of the road is much higher and hairpin bends starts. Taking the left turn meets steep uphill climbing towards Mongpoo through Sincona Plantation. There are many orange orchards in Mongpoo, even you can purchase some and taste the tasty and juicy oranges. The Kalimpong town and Mt Kanchenjunga are seen from here. Now, after leaving Mongpoo, you will meet the clouds and colder weather towards 3 Mile, and have to take the Darjeeling-Gangtok main road, known as Peshok Road. Take the left turn to Jorebunglow, where a natural water source provides water to a large part of the region. Darjeeling is seen at the right side of the road to Ghum, where you meet the toy-train track for the first time in this route. Take a right turn and here you are at Darjeeling..
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