Siliguri

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Siliguri is a city in Darjeeling district in the northern part of West Bengal, India.

Outskirts of Siliguri and the Darjeeling Hills beyond

Understand[edit]

Siliguri has a population of half a million, making it the third-largest city in West Bengal.

With massive developments in recent times, the city has grown from a small, sleepy town into one of the most important commercial hubs in north east India. Sprawling and boisterous, modern condominiums dominate the landscape on entering the city, followed by streets of market stalls that surround a core of up-scale shops and shopping malls. Due to its position as a shopping and business hub and a centre of learning, the city enjoys a sophistication and range of shopping usually only associated with the metro cities. Siliguri is also the only city in West Bengal other than Kolkata to have a commercial airport and, perhaps due to the high concentration of colleges, institutes and private schools, the city has the highest literacy rates in the state.

Siliguri is gateway to Darjeeling, Sikkim, Bhutan and the North East.

Get in[edit]

By train[edit]

  • Siliguri has three railway stations: New Jalpaiguri, Siliguri Junction and Siliguri Town. These stations connect Siliguri with different places across India. New Jalpaiguri is about a twenty to thirty minute ride from the city center. Now Siliguri Junction also has some long distance trains like Mahananda Express(up to New Delhi), Kanchankanya Express (up to Sealdah) etc.

By bus[edit]

Siliguri Bus Station is located across the street from the Sher-e-Punjab Hotel on Hill Cart Road (Tenzing Norgay Road).

  • There are regular buses to/from Kolkata. The well-known and comfortable Siliguri Rocket, run by the North Bengal State Transport Corporation (NBSTC), leaves Kolkata at 8 PM arriving Siliguri at 8 AM (₹245). Some private bus lines also ply the route. The 'Royal Cruiser' Volvo buses run by Gupta Travel (Tel: +91 353 251-3451) leaves Kolkata at 8 PM arriving Siliguri at 9 AM (₹745 AC/₹325 non-AC).
  • Under a joint understanding between Indian and Bangladeshi transport authority, there are regular bus services to/from Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh. BRTC (Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation) buses leave Dhaka everynight at 8 PM and reach India-Bangladesh border at Changrabanda post at early morning. These buses will not cross the border and the passengers have to clear customs, walk a few hundred yards to cross the border and board the waiting Indian buses for another three hour ride to Siliguri. The buses are air conditioned, very comfortable and depart on time. One way fare from Dhaka to Siliguri is between USD 20 to 25, depending on conversion rates.
  • There is a regular bus service from Phuentsholing in Bhutan and the Bhutanese border town of Jaigon. The bus from Phuentsholing heading towards Siliguri leaves at 7 am, 7:30 am, 8:15 am and 3 pm daily and takes approximately 4.5 hrs.

By plane[edit]

  • The closest major international airport is at Kolkata, approx 570 km south of Siliguri. The Bagdogra Airport is just 14 km from the heart of Siliguri and has links with most major Indian cities - Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Guwahati, while Druk Air operates flights from Bangkok twice a week (incoming in Sundays and Wednesdays, outgoing on Tuesdays and Saturdays). Flights on the Bangkok route begin or terminate in Paro, Bhutan. Taxis are available from the airport to Siliguri, as well as to Darjeeling and Gangtok, though these are expensive. Cheaper options are available from Siliguri bus station.

Get around[edit]

Siliguri Institute of Technology, showing a combination of traditional and modern architectural ideas

Moving in and around Siliguri is cheap. Cycle-rickshaws, auto-rickshaws, buses, taxis are easily available in almost every part of the city. Cycle-rickshaws can be hired to move around within the radius of 1-2 km. The fares are pretty nominal. To go about 5-10 km, one can hire/share auto-rickshaws. You just need to flag down one and when you leave you pay a fixed amount. Cars can be hired from several agencies. Kings Travels,dial-093319-39486/098304-28401

City landmarks[edit]

  •    New Jalpaiguri railway station.
  •    Siliguri Junction railway station.
  •    Siliguri Town railway station.

See[edit]

  •    Coronation Bridge (At Sevoke. This is about 23 km from the city on way to Gangtok/Kalimpong and Dooars on the National Highway 31.). One can see the turbulent Teesta roaring below.
  • DudhiaSiliguri-Mirik Highway. A picturesque tourist spot
  • Iskcon Temple. International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), also known as Hare Krishna Movement manages the ISCKON temple, Siliguri. The temple houses many beautiful idols of Advaita Acharya, Lord Narasimha, Lord Chaitanya and many more.
  •    Kalchakra MonasterySalugara. 15 - 20 minutes from Siliguri. The Kalchakra Monastery at Salugara was inaugurated by the Dalai Lama when he visited Salugara, a neighbourhood in Siliguri, for the Kalchakra ceremonies in 1996.
  •    Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary (At Sukna.). This is a wildlife sanctuary at the foothills of the Himalayas. One can hire a vehicle and enter the sanctuary at a minimal entry fee. Different types of wild animals are found here. However it is famous for its wild elephants and peacocks. However, the sanctuary is closed in the rainy seasons, i.e. 15th July to 15th September.
  •    Salugara MonasterySalugara (7 km from Siliguri towards Sevoke). A monastery in the Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. The compound includes a 100 foot stupa consecrated by the late Kalu Rinpoche.
  •    Science City (At Matigara.). The campus has a museum, a planetarium and an Interpretation Centre that displays various type of flora.
  • Sevoke Kali Mandir (At Sevoke.). This is around 20 kms from Siliguri, near the Coronation Bridge. This is a temple of goddess Kali, the goddess of destruction, and is considered very holy. People from far off places come here to pray and worship her.
  • Tea Gardens (At Dagapur / Sukna). Siliguri is at the heart of a tea growing area.

Do[edit]

A dazzling array of sacred objects on sale by a local vendor
  •    Basil Fun WorldFulbari. This is an amusement park located in the outskirts or Siliguri. However, one will have to hire a vehicle to go there because no public transport runs on that route.
  • Blue Mountain Club. A relaxing country-club with landscaped gardens. If you have a country club membership you can go to this club
  • Club Cabana. Siliguri's most popular disco.
  •    Kunchenjunga stadium. Matches, exhibitions and varied events.
  • Netaji Indoor Stadium. Exhibitions and varied events.
  •    Savin Kingdom. Dagapur (near Darjeeling More). An amusement park located among tea plantations.
  • Swimming. Viramma Club, Siliguri Club, Cinderella Club, Stadium Swimming Pool
  • Tea Estate Tours. Visit the serene and spacious tea farms located in and around the city.

Buy[edit]

Siliguri City Centre Mall

Basically, Silguri sells its wares on two streets - Hillcart Road and Sevoke Road. The former offers more traditional stores and is home to many of the city's hotels, while Sevoke offers more upscale shopping and is the center of the city's banking.

As the centre of a tea growing area, Siliguri is an excellent place to pick up some Darjeeling and other brands of the leaf.

Handicrafts[edit]

  • Fab India, Cosmos Mall, Sevoke Road - a large branch of the national chain that specializes in hand spun material and natural soaps and cosmetics.

Tea[edit]

  • ChiPan, Hill Cart Road (opposite Hill Cart Road Bus Station), Tel: 91 81458-99825 - Good selection of Darjeeling tea for retail and wholesale.

Malls[edit]

  • City Center, Uttarayon. A huge mall offering major brands and international chain eateries.
  • City Mall, Sevoke Road
  • Cosmos Mall, Sevoke Road. A large and up-scale mall.
  • Orbit Mall, check post, Sevoke Road. Includes an INOX movie theatre.

Street markets[edit]

  • Bidhan Market, Near Bidhan Stadium. The oldest and largest street market in Siliguri, Bidhan Market meanders along streets and alleys and is particularly bustling and appealing at night.
  • Hong Kong Market, Hill Cart Road. Specializes in imported goods - mostly from China, but also from other Asian countries such as Nepal, Thailand, etc. However, beware of duplicate items. Even items made in Delhi stamped with "Made in China" are being sold here. Keep in mind that the actual price of the item will be 1/2 or 1/3rd of the price the shopkeeper asks.
  • Nivedita Market
  • Seth Srilal Market. Buzzing market in the heart of the city, where you might get the best deals. Also famous for its momo gali.

Eat[edit]

  • Around the Corner, Patel Road By-Lane, Near Biswadeep cinema hall, Pradhan Nagar. Tel: 91 9593296761. Quality Italian, American and British Cuisine.
  • Badshah Biryani HutRishi Aurobindo Road 9641330010. Excellent Biriyani along with several other cuisines.
  • BedwinBidhan Market, Old Bus Stand +91 353 2534732. Known for its delicious Biryani.
  • Bhojohari Manna (Hotel Golden Moments), 143 Hill Cart Road. Bengali cuisine
  • The Cinderella Hotel3rd Mile, Sevok Road +91 353 2544130, 2547136. Amrapali - Vegetarian multi-cuisine restaurant, Recoil - Bar, Sizzler - discotheque for private parties, Patio - Roof-top restaurant-cum-bar.
  • HavelliHill Cart Road, Siliguri.. An excellent restaurant for fish and mutton items.
  • Hi Spirits Cafe and Pub, City Centre Mall. Tel:91353-2576105. Lebanese, Mexican and Chinese dishes cooked to a very high standard.
  • Indian Pagoda, Sevoke Road. Authentic Chinese cuisine.
  • Kalpana (Near Siliguri Town railway station). Bengali cuisine
  • Kalpatru Pice RestaurantRamkrishna Commercial Complex, Sevoke Road 91 353 2642893. Bengali cuisine
  • Momo GoliNear Margaret School, walking from Siliguri Bus Stand..
  • Monarch Restaurant10 Sevoke Rd +91 3532537312. Famous for Indian, Tandoori and Chinese dishes.
  • New Zaika Biryani HouseHill Cart Road 9434689708. Mughlai dishes
  • The Palms (Sinclairs),  +91 0353 2517674 / 2512675 / 2512440. 7.30 am to 11 pm. Also: O3 lounge bar, 5 to 10.30 pm.
  • RanjitHill Cart Road. South Indian cuisine plus others
  • RasoiSevoke Road. South Indian and Chinese cuisine
  • RasorajMahabirsthan.
  • Sharma SweetsMahabirsthan.
  • Tai WahSri Bhavan building, ground floor, Hill Cart Road (Opposite Century Park),  +91 353 2436132. Chinese cuisine.
  • VirammaViramma Resort, Dagapur..

Drink[edit]

Coffee

  • Barista, Bidhan Road (next to Hotel Dolly)
  • Cafe Coffee Day, Basement, Cosmos Mall, 2nd Mile Sevoke Road.
  • Cafe Coffee Day, Savin Plaza, Dagapur, Cinemax.
  • Cafe Coffee Day, Bidhan Market near Panitanki More
  • Cafe Coffee Day, near Khela Ghor More
  • Cuppa Jarva, 2nd Mile Sevoke Road. Tel: 91 353 254 5632. Cool independent coffee shop.

Alcohol

  • O3 in Sinclairs. Worth checking out for a nice evening drink and snacks.

Sleep[edit]

Budget[edit]

  •    Athithi Guest HouseHill Cart Road. A well maintained hotel at low rates with AC and non-AC rooms.
  • Dewan's Hotel (near New Jalpaiguri railway station),  +91 353 734-007. A simple hotel located just outside New Jalpaiguri (NJP) Station. After exiting station, turn into first alley on right (adjacent to the taxi parking lot). The hotel is at the end of the alley.
  • Hotel Ranjit44, Hill Cart Road, Mahanandapara +91 353 243 1680, 252 4053.
  •    Mainak Tourist LodgeHill Cart Road, Pradhan Nagar. +91 353 251-2859. Not as grand on the inside as on the out, but still good value. Standard: single - ₹340, double - ₹450, Deluxe: single - ₹525, double - ₹700..
  •    Nine Ten HotelNavin Sen Circle, Sevoke Road (near Gurdwara),  +91 353 2543539. Check-out: 12 noon. up to Rs. 1,000.

Mid-range[edit]

  •    Hotel Central Plaza +91 353 251-6119. Hill Cart Road, Pradham Nagar. Located about five minute taxi ride from main bus station. Clean and acceptable facilities. ₹650 non A/C to ₹3,500 for suite.
  •    Hotel Heritage +91 353 734-003. Hill Cart Road, Pradham Nagar. Conveniently located across from the city's main interstate bus station, Heritage is a well maintained and efficiently run hotel. ₹500 non A/C to ₹2,500 for suite.
  •    Hotel Manila +91 353 251-9342. Hill Cart Road, Pradham Nagar. Located next to Hotel Heritage. ₹600 non A/C to ₹2,400 for suite.

Splurge[edit]

  •    Barsana Hotel +91 353 257-1662-3. Khaprail Road, Matigara. A beautiful hotel with all the modern amenities. Very reasonable as per the infrastructure and facilities.
  • Club Montana VistaMatigara NH-31 +91 8420146591 / 8420020141. A modern and chic hotel located among landscaped gardens.
  •    Hotel Sinclairs +91 253 251-7674. Pradhan Nagar. A well maintained hotel with good facilities. Located about a five minute taxi ride from main bus station.
  • Hotel Vinayak35, Hill Cart Road (Near Punjab National Bank),  +91 353 2431130, 2433154.
  •    Saluja ResidencyHill Cart Road +91 353 2431682-2431683-2431701. Business Centre is complete with all modern facilities like secretarial services, fax, Internet, e-mail, photocopying. Non-AC- ₹750-1050, AC- ₹1500-1900, Suites- ₹3,600-4,900.
  • Summit MilestoneCheck Post, 2nd Mile, Sevoke Road (Opposite Bhakti Nagar Police Station),  +91 353 3040100. A lovely hotel with modern facilities and attentive and efficient staff.

Stay safe[edit]

Like most major Indian cities, Siliguri is prone to demonstrations, although these remain mostly peaceful. Otherwise Siliguri is one of the safest large cities in India, and assaults on tourists are unheard of. Even domestic violence figures are some of the lowest in the entire country.

Connect[edit]

There are a host of internet cafes in the lanes behind Hotel Heritage/Hotel Manila (across from the main bus station). There is also an internet cafe among the row of restaurants directly outside NJP Station. Web connections in Siliguri are fast and reliable.

Cope[edit]

There are several banks on Sevoke Road that offers foreign exchange and ATM service.

Go next[edit]

  • Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary - three-hour drive from Siliguri
  • Phuentsholing. The Bhutan Government buses depart for Phuentsholing at 7:30AM and 1:30PM everyday from directly across from the bus station (near Hotel Heritage) - tickets are available on the bus. There are more frequent Indian buses to the border town of Jaigaon.


Routes through Siliguri
DarjeelingKurseong  N Darjeeling Himalayan Railway icon.png S  Jalpaiguri


26.7265; 88.4152Map mag.png
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