In all likelihood, Siliguri figures in your travel itinerary as no more than an indispensable stepping-stone. But even before you've rolled into the New Jalpaiguri station, your appetite's been whetted by the endless fresh green that's been slipping past your barred window. You can hardly wait to get to Eastern India's hills (or, as is often the case, eastern Nepal's plains). Darjeeling, Kurseong, Kalimpong, Gangtok, and the mist and mystery of the northeastern States......cool, calm, quaint places in otherwise chaotic India, beckon. But horror! Before the jewels beyond, lie the hurdles of a crowded platform and worse, the arterial Hill Cart Road's hurtling traffic ? bovine-kind, machine-kind and humankind!
It may not be the most alluring of tourist destinations but Siliguri is not even pretending to be one. West Bengal's second city is unabashedly an industrial centre, an indispensable railhead, a city that's on the move, and a city that caters to its floating population of travellers with darn good accommodation, restaurants and cakes!
SHOPPING: The best buy in Siliguri is loose tea, available almost everywhere. With the Nepal and Bhutan borders being near, a certain amount of smuggled goods are also available. All the better markets/shops are located on either Hill Cart Road or Sevoke Road. Excellent cane furniture is available.
With rising demand from locals and visitors, all the upmarket goods with international labels are now available in Siliguri.
This adventurous journey takes us through the Himalayan cultures of Sikkim India, Bhutan and Tibet. After a relaxing adjustment in beautiful Darjeeling, we will experience the colorful and sacred tsechus (festivals) of Bhutan. For those who wish to continue on with us, we then visit the ancient temples of Tibet.
Jaldapara : 124 km from Siliguri via New Teesta Bridge (Jalpaiguri), it is a wildlife sanctuary which houses rhions, bisons, barking deer and wild elephant.
Jaldhaka : 87 km, by the side of jaldhaka river on the Bhutan border, is a scenic picnic spot.
Gourmara : 87km, is a compact wildlife sanctuary. There is a Forest Rest House here.
Cooch-Behar : 104km, is capital of the erstwhile state of the same name, and has parks, palaces and temples. The palace here has been recently restored.
Mahananda Weir : 18 km, is a picnic spot inside the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary.
Kalijhora : 27 km, is a picnic spot by the side of the Teesta river. It is ideal for fishing.
Tea plantations in Siliguri
Kalimpong and Siliguri
Attractions and Places to Visit in Siliguri
Nature Interpretation Centre: Mahananda Wild Life Sancturay Nature is presented as an exhibition. Entry permit for Mahananda weir, Sukna are issued.
Mahananda Weir wild life Sanctuary, Sukna: 18 kms form Siliguri, a place, deep inside forest & nature a good picnic spot.
Madhuban Park: A park, developed by Indian Army, is an excellent picnic spot. Umrao Singh Boat Club, Sukna: Umrao Singh Boat Club, Sukna, a Boat Club, developed by Indian Army. Different size & shapes of boats are available for tourists.
Passing through Tea Gardens: The whole of sightseeing trip pass through tea gardens. If you are interested, you can tea processing also.
Visit to Salugara Monastery: His eminence Kalu Rinpoche constructed a one hundred foot stupa, which contains five types of relics and is an object of veneration which will bring liberation to any one who sees it.
Visit to Kalchakra Monastery: Kalchakra was 1 st time organised in Salugara in December 96. Teesta view Point, Sevoke: The Teesta river is the life line of the Sikkim and Darjeeling Himalayas. Bird watching is possible.
Kali Mandir: Kali Mandir, a Hindu Temple near Sevoke, an abode of the living goddess Kali. The famous Kali Mandir is frequented by newly wedded couples seeking the blessing of the Goddess Kali for an happy married life.
Monkey Point: Before reaching Coronation Bridge, you will run into groups of friendly monkeys. These monkeys can be hand -fed bread, bananas or tid-bits.
Coronation Bridge: Between Salugara & Kalijhora is the Sevoka Bridge, built in 1930, a relic of British Excellence in design & architecture. While crossing the bridge on foot cut out the nature adds colour to pleasure.
Hong Kong Market: For purchase of foreign goods. For people, who cannot go to Dhulabari, Nepal, this is a market of great charm - a large variety of imported goods are available at reasonable prices. The prices are cheaper by 30% in comparison to Calcutta and 40% in comparison to Delhi and Bombay.
Consumer Goods Market: Seth Srilal Market and Hill Cart Road have some big consumer goods shops, which stock large varieties of mercantile. The people of North Bengal, Sikkim, Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh regularly visit Siliguri for Purchasing. Prices are competitive and bargaining is negligible.
Railway Exhibition: For seeing Steam Engines of narrow gauge 'c' Class, a relic of British Raj, Siliguri JN is to be visited.
Art Gallery: Regular art exhibitions are bing held in Siliguri. The most important and regular site of Art Exhibition is Dina Bandhu Manch.
ISKCON Hare Krishna Mandir:A temple dedicated to Lord Krishna. The ISKCON CENTRE in Siliguri is being labelled as the biggest Krishna Centre in the whole of the North East. Lord Krishna had gone into hiding in the jungles of Baikunthapur with Rukmini at one time so Siliguri was the first choice of Iskon for making this biggest Krishna Centre in the Northeast.
How to Reach Siliguri
By Flight : The closest Indian Airport is at Bagdogra ,124 km from Gangtok, where scheduled flights operates to and fro from Kolkata, Delhi, Guwahati.
By Rail : The closest Railhead is at New Jalpaiguri which is around 148 km away from Gangtok. It is connected to Kolkata(Calcutta), New Delhi, Guwahati and other major Indian cities. From the station you can hire and reserve a taxi and came to Gangtok. That will cost you around Rs.1500/-. Or you can come in a pejo( jeep) on sharing basis. That will cost you Rs.120/- per person.
By Road : Gangtok is at a distance of 110 km from Siliguri and will take 4 hours from Siliguri to reach Gangtok . Gangtok is connected by road with Darjeeling (4 hrs), and with Bhutan, Phuntsholing (6 hrs).