States of India
Silliguri the crowded, sprawling, noisy place is the departure point for visits to Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Sikkim and the North-East states. Siliguri is the major trade centre for the north-east and eastern Nepal; a real boom town, it's packed with trucks and buses and not a pleasant place to stay for a moment more than necessary. New Jalpaiguri (known as NJP), the main railway junction, is eight km south of Silliguri, though there's effectively no break in the urban sprawl between the two places.
Orientation & Information :
The towns of Siliguri and New Jalpaiguri comprise essentially just one north-south main road - Tenzing Norgay Rd. It's about four km from New Jalpaiguri railway station to Siliguri Town railway station, and a further four km from there on to Siliguri Junction railway station, behind the Tenzing Norgay Central bus terminal. You can catch the toy train (if it's running ) from any of these railway stations. Bagdogra, 12km west of Siliguri is the airport serving this northern region.
The WestBengl Tourist Office is up a flight of stairs on Tenzing Norgay Rd, on the south side of the river. Here, it's possible to book accommodation in the Jaldhapara Wildlife Sanctuary. There are tourist counters at the airport and railway stations.
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.
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.
Air : Bagdogra airport is 12 km west of Siliguri. Jet Airways and Indian Airlines have five flights a week between Bagdogra and Kolkata or New Delhi, and four a week to Guwahati. Not all the flights to Delhi are direct, some backtrack to Guwahati first. Skyline NPEC also has three flights a week to Kolkata.
Rail : Lots of train runs from different part of country. The Darjeeling mail is available from Sealdah(Kolkata). The North East Express is the latest train to Delhi.
Road : The fastest and most comfortable way of getting around the hills is by share jeep.There are a number of taxi stands where you can get share jeeps to destinations in the WB hills, and to Sikkim, including one on Sevoke Rd, and one outside Tenzing Norgay Terminal.