Darjeeling is a popular Himalayan hill station located in the northern point of West Bengal. Situated on a height of 2,042 meters above sea level, the town offers some great panoramic views. Tourists can catch a glimpse of the snow-clad Kanchenjunga peak from Darjeeling. The region is also famous for the production of Darjeeling Tea. It is considered as one of the finest brews of tea in the world. The scenic beauty of Darjeeling is amplified by the little tea plantations growing on the hill slopes in the region. Set against the backdrop of Himalayas, Darjeeling is a little paradise nestled amidst floating clouds.
In spite of being a celebrated tourist destination, Darjeeling does not have a broad gauge railway station or an airport. The hill town is connected to New Jalpaiguri via a narrow gauge rail line, famously called the Toy Train. Tourists who want to visit Darjeeling must first reach New Jalpaiguri if they are coming by train, or the Bagdogra Airport if they are taking a flight journey.
New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling
New Jalpaiguri (NJP) is approximately 75 kilometers distance away from Darjeeling. Once you reach NJP town, tourists can choose between private or shared taxis, shared or reserved jeeps, and state bus or Volvo bus transport. The road journey from NJP to Darjeeling takes about 3 hours. The road is well maintained and tourists can enjoy a smooth ride. The twists and turns of the mountainous road provide mesmerizing views of the valleys.
The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway line, or the Toy Train, is another way to reach Darjeeling from the NJP station. This narrow gauge railway line is about 2 feet wide, and it covers a distance of 88 kilometers. The train ride’s elevation varies from about 328 feet at NJP to about 7,218 feet at Darjeeling. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway line is a UNESCO world heritage site. For many tourists, the Toy Train ride is a special highlight of their trip to Darjeeling. The complete journey takes almost 7 hours. The train passes though a picturesque route between the mountains where passengers are treated to some amazing views. It is advisable to book tickets for this train ride well in advance.
Bagdogra to Darjeeling
The Bagdogra Airport, officially known as the Tenzing Norgay International Airport, is located about 68 kilometers away from Darjeeling. It is the only way to reach Darjeeling if you are coming via flight. Once you reach the airport, private taxi rides are available here to take you to the hill station. The journey takes about 3 hours to reach your destination.
Where to stay at Darjeeling?
There are a lot many hotels and resorts in Darjeeling catering to the tourist population. Visitors can choose among five star hotels, modest guest houses, luxury resorts, or tea estate bungalows.
If you are interested in an authentic tea tourism experience, the Chamong Chiabari Mountain Retreat & Spa is the best place to stay in Darjeeling. This premium resort is built on a 120 year old tea estate. Guests can roam around the adjoining tea gardens, enjoy complimentary tea easting session, and even visit the tea factory. Chamong Chiabari makes your stay in Darjeeling a memorable experience.
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