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How To Reach Gangtok
Gangtok is a city that lies at the end of beautiful winding paths, up amidst lush green hills. As you travel uphill you notice the temperature and the vegetation changing to a cool coniferous zone. The winding roads are the only route available to reach the city of Gangtok, but you can travel by air or rail to a reasonable distance before you embark on the road trip.
It may interest you to know, that there are helicopter services available from Bagdogra to Gangtok! The ride is only about 20 minutes long and offers a spectacular view, but the schedule often depends on the weather and the number of passengers.
The nearest airport to Gangtok is the one in Bagdogra, West Bengal. It is about 124 kilometers away from the city. There are regular flights to all major cities in India including New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Pune, Bangalore, etc. From here you can avail prepaid cabs or use the bus services. If you are lucky you can also use the helicopter service by the Sikkim Government.
The nearest rail-head is the New Jalpaiguri Railway Station at a distance of 117 kilometers. This station is an important hub that connects the rest of India with the North Eastern States, so you will find regular trains to this station. From here, you can avail cabs or bus services to get to Gangtok.
There are roads from Bagdogra, New Jalpaiguri, and Siliguri to Gangtok; all of them join at some point with the NH31A. The route is known for its magnificent view of the Teesta River that flows along the road for a majority of the way. It is very common for tourists to plan a trip to Gangtok if they are visiting Darjeeling. The roads connecting the two cities are only four hours apart and can make for a delightful ride.
Getting Around in Gangtok
You can hire prepaid taxis from the airport and the railway station to reach Gangtok. One thing to keep in mind is that most of the NH31A lies in the state of West Bengal and the taxis you take may be registered there. These taxis stop at Deorali, 2 kilometers away from Gangtok as they are not allowed into the city.
You will find a number of shared jeeps whose prices range from 150 to 200 rupees, which is an inexpensive option if you are traveling alone. There are also a number of buses, from high-end Deluxe AC to the ordinary ones that travel from Siliguri to Deorali.
From Deorali you can hire local taxis. Once in Gangtok, like most Himalayan cities, you will find most traveling by foot. Some use private vehicles and hired taxis too.