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Darjeeling hill town is located at the northern part of West Bengal at an altitude of 6,710 ft. There is no airport or a regular broad gauge railway station in Darjeeling town itself. If you are visiting from other parts of India, you will first need to reach either New Jalpaiguri railway station, Bagdogra airport or Siliguri town, and then approach Darjeeling. There is no other way.

While Siliguri is the main town close to Darjeeling, New Jalpaiguri (NJP) is the twin town of Siliguri and is the nearest major railway junction, and Bagdogra is where the nearest airport is located. All these three townships are located at the lower plains of Darjeeling.

Options to reach Darjeeling

Once you reach Bagdogra, NJP or Siliguri, you can make your onward travel to Darjeeling. And depending on the place you arrive, you will get ample transport options for Darjeeling, including private & shared taxis, buses and even the famous toy train operated by Darjeeling Himalayan Railway.

NOTE: Only taxis are available at Bagdogra airport for Darjeeling.

Here are your options for reaching Darjeeling from other parts of India.

(1) Take a train up to NJP (New Jalpaiguri). Darjeeling is only 88kms from here. You will get ample taxis and shared jeeps from NJP to reach Darjeeling in about 3 hours. Few long distance trains pass through Siliguri as well. You will also get plenty of shared jeeps, taxis and buses at Siliguri (takes about 2.5 hours to Darjeeling). You can even take a toy train ride from either NJP or Siliguri through scenic mountain route that takes about 7 hours to reach Darjeeling. The toy train track runs parallel and next to the Hill Cart Road for most part. Check Toy Train Service for schedule and running status.

(2) Fly down to the nearest airport Bagdogra which is 94 kms from Darjeeling town and take a private taxi. Shared taxis and buses are not available here. It takes little over 3 hours to reach Darjeeling from Bagdogra airport.

(3) There are regular buses including Rocket and Volvo services between Kolkata (Calcutta) and Siliguri Main Bus Terminal (known as Tenzing Norgay Bus Terminus located on Hill Cart Road). From Siliguri main bus terminal area, you will get buses, shared Jeeps and private taxis for Darjeeling. Distance between Siliguri and Darjeeling is 80kms.

(4) Reaching Darjeeling from Bhutan, Nepal & Bangladesh: Many tourists particularly foreigners combine a visit to Bhutan, Nepal or Bangladesh with that of Darjeeling. Often the Nationals of these countries also visit Darjeeling and Kurseong for admitting or meeting their children who study in boarding schools here. Reaching Darjeeling from such places may be cumbersome unless you are familiar with the routes and transports.

Visit Neighboring Countries to Darjeeling to know about the approaches and transport options available to reach Darjeeling from Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan. The link will also let you know about the basic immigration & visa formalities that are required to cross the borders.

Bulk of the tourists come to Darjeeling from Kolkata because of location proximity. Other than many short flights, even trains from Kolkata are quite convenient and take about 12 hours to reach NJP. Some trains like Darjeeling Mail offers a convenient overnight journey. There are also regular flights and buses from Kolkata.

Following section will give you details about all transport modes to reach Darjeeling from various places in India as well as journey details.

1) Kolkata to NJP/Siliguri & then Darjeeling: You can avail trains, flights or buses to get to NJP/Siliguri and the proceed to Darjeeling by local taxi or bus. Some prefer to take their own private vehicles all the way from Kolkata to Darjeeling. Visit the above link to get details of how to reach NJP or Siliguri from Kolkata, and onward road routes and transports to Darjeeling.

2) Trains to Darjeeling: Although Darjeeling itself doesn't have a long distance railway station, but there are many trains from various parts of India passing through NJP and Siliguri which are the two cities closest to Darjeeling. Here you will know about such trains that you can avail to reach Darjeeling.

3) Flights to Darjeeling: Know about the flight services to get to Bagdogra (which is the nearest airport for Darjeeling) from places like Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad etc

4) New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling: The onward transport options available from NJP to reach Darjeeling including private and shared taxis, buses, shared jeeps and even the narrow gauge Toy Train of Darjeeling Himalayan Railways.

5) Siliguri to Darjeeling: Siliguri is a twin city located close to NJP and also offers many convenient transport options for Darjeeling. Many tourists prefer to go down to Siliguri and then take a transport for Darjeeling. Siliguri itself has two small railway stations - Siliguri Town and Siliguri Junction. Siliguri Town is only 5kms from NJP. Siliguri Junction is further 3kms away and this is where most of the public transports like bus, private taxi, shared jeeps are available for Darjeeling. It takes about 3 hours to reach Darjeeling from Siliguri.

6) Bagdogra to Darjeeling: The road route and the journey from Bagdogra airport all the way up to Darjeeling. By taxi, it takes about 3 hours along the main hill cart road (NH-55) or via the Rohini route, unless you take stopovers. NOTE: Toy train to Darjeeling is available from NJP or Siliguri (which are about 30-minute by taxi from Bagdogra airport). Unlike Gangtok, there is no public Helicopter service from Bagdogra (or for that matter any place) to Darjeeling.

7) Bagdogra Airport: All that you can expect once you land in Bagdogra including airport facilities and onward transportation to Darjeeling & other places.

Transport fares to Darjeeling

State transport buses are available from Siliguri bus terminal on Hill Cart road. Pre-paid taxis are available at both Bagdogra airport and NJP station. Shared taxis (usually vehicles like Jeeps/Sumos etc) are available at NJP station and Siliguri stand. Toy Train can be availed from NJP or Siliguri stations to reach Darjeeling or an intermediate town like Kurseong. Visit Fares to Darjeeling to know about bus, taxi, shared jeep and toy train fares from NJP/ Siliguri/ Bagdogra up to Darjeeling.

Roads To Darjeeling
From the NJP railway station, Siliguri or the Bagdogra airport, there are actually several roads to reach Darjeeling. Hill Cart Road (NH-55) is the main route to Darjeeling from the lower plains, and all other routes eventually meet Hill Cart Road at various points up the hill. If a section of the main route is closed due to repair work, land slide etc, an alternative route is taken to bypass that section.

Kurseong and Mirik are two other popular tourist destination in Darjeeling hills other than Darjeelig town itself. But these two places are on two different routes. While Kurseong station and the taxi stand are on the main Hill Cart Road, Mirik is on a scenic alternative route that passes through lovely tea gardens.

Check out Roads To Darjeeling to know about the roads that lead to Darjeeling from various points in the lower plains, directions, distances, landmarks on the way and lot more.

There is an alternative scenic route to go to Mirik from Bagdogra or NJP and then onward to Darjeeling. This route goes through several rolling tea gardens. It's a longer route and takes about 4.5 hours to reach Darjeeling. Visit Route to Darjeeling via Mirik to know all about this route and what you can expect to see along the way.