Has the stunning visuals of the rolling hills and majestic peaks of the Kanchenjunga on the internet enthralled you? Or was it the famous heritage structures, the much talked about good food, the genial weather, and the myriad trekking routes? Indeed, Darjeeling can be the ideal vacation spot for mountain lovers. You can take a morning stroll on Mall Road enjoying the glimpse of Kanchenjunga and if you happen to be there in the spring, enjoying the red rhododendrons that follow you all around this route. Soak in the laid-back atmosphere which acts as a salve to your nerves, tired from the bustle of city life. The Chowrastha, which is the meeting point of Mall road hosts numerous souvenir shops selling quaint trinkets to take to your loved ones. This is not all, there is Nightingale Park which houses beautiful plants, the Zoo where the rare but extremely cute Red Pandas thrive, and the Batasia Loop around which the merry Toy Train takes a loop.
If it has and you have set the ball rolling for your vacation to the aptly called “Queen of Hills” Darjeeling but need that little bit of extra guidance to run the last mile, then you have come to the right place. Keep reading to know how to get there in the easiest way possible.
Transportation options to get to Darjeeling:
The airport closest to Darjeeling is the domestic airport of Bagdogra which is around 10 km away from Siliguri, the nearest big town to Darjeeling. There are direct flights from Delhi to Bagdogra but no direct flight to Darjeeling and if you are arriving by flight, then Bagdogra is the last stop. From this airport, you need to take a taxi to Siliguri and from there on, to Darjeeling. However, direct cabs to Darjeeling for hire can be easily found as well.
The New Jalpaiguri Junction railway station (NJP) is also located in Siliguri and is the closest railway station connected to the rest of India. There are direct trains that run from Delhi Railway Station to the NJP station. Therefore, those arriving by train can get down here and take a taxi to Darjeeling which is available most of the time.
Siliguri, which is the biggest town close to Darjeeling, is well connected due to the numerous taxis that ply between the two towns every day. Since Siliguri is the town that provides the last-mile connectivity to Darjeeling as the last halt for trains and airports, taxis are the only way to get to Darjeeling. You will find taxis in Darjeeling More and Junction at all times during the day. You can hire them but you also find shared taxis which are cheaper. Often during peak season, finding taxis is hard though not impossible.
Few things to keep in mind:
- The distance between Siliguri and Darjeeling is around 62 km which takes up to 2 hours and 30 minutes by taxi. You get hired cabs that take you directly to your hotel in Darjeeling both from the Bagdogra Airport as well as the NJP railway station.
- There are multiple routes to Darjeeling. The most common route is via Kurseong which is the shortest route and is taken by all the shared cabs. Getting to Kurseong too, has multiple routes, each equally scenic. Again the most common one is the Rohini route which is mesmerising. As you climb higher and the air gets cooler, the visuals of the hills before you become larger and more magnificent.
- Another route is via Pankhabari which is beautiful as well. You can opt for this route if you are on a hired cab and take it either while getting to Darjeeling or returning from it.
- The main town of Darjeeling, where famous attractions like Mall Road, famed eateries like Glenaries and Keventer’s, Padmaja Himayalan Zoological Park, Shrubbery Park, Batasia Loop, and the clock tower are located is different from several off-beat locations that are further away from this town. Shared and hired cabs both can be found in Darjeeling as well as Siliguri.
- Taxi services like Ola and Uber do not work in Darjeeling and most of the taxis for hire or sharing are found at designated taxi stands only. Furthermore, their use is limited in Siliguri as well and is not entirely dependable.
Darjeeling as an ultimate holiday destination is all set to take you on a refreshing journey of soothing visions of green and verdant hills and the invigorating smell of the tea gardens that invite you for a cup. So hop onto the next flight or train and let the lifelong love affair with the mountains begin.
There are plenty of things to see, do and experience while there are also a great number of hotels in Darjeeling that cater to all types of travellers. Treebo Hotels also has many beautiful properties in Darjeeling that you can check out for your lodging needs. Indeed, Treebo has 800+ properties in over 100 cities that cater to budget travellers and provide guests with free WiFi, complimentary breakfast, and thoroughly sanitizes rooms.