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Siliguri Tourism And Travel Guide
18.4° C / 65° F
November to February
1 to 2 Days
Bagdogra (18 kms)
New Jalpaiguri Junction (9 kms)
With a population of half a million, Siliguri is one of the most important cities in North Bengal. Situated at the foothills of the Himalayas close to River Teesta, Siliguri is both a commercial hub and a stopover over for tourists travelling to different tourist destinations in the northern part of the states. With the only city after Kolkata to have an airport of its own, it helps Siliguri to connect with the rest of the country and has great road connectivity with the adjoining areas. Here is a snippet of travel guide to see Siliguri and enjoy its tourism.
How to Reach
The Bagdogra Airport located about 15 minutes from the city is the second airport the state has after Kolkata. There are flights operating between Bagdogra and Kolkata, Delhi and Bangalore and is used by tourists who are travelling to North Bengal. From the airport tourists can book a taxi to reach their desired destination in the city.
Siliguri boasts of two railway stations, the Siliguri Junction and the New Jalpaiguri Junction (NJP). The latter however is more popular and has more number of trains coming in. It is well connected with other parts of the state and particularly Kolkata. From the station the tourists can take taxis to reach their hotels or other places.
As an old developed city Siliguri enjoy road connectivity with most of the major areas of the state. It is very well connected to Kolkata by road and there are buses plying regularly between the two cities. There is a big bus terminus in Siliguri which has buses leaving for different destinations like Dooars, Darjeeling, Kalimpong etc.
Siliguri has a well developed local transportation system which makes travelling within the city comfortable and easy. Local buses are extremely popular for long distances while for travelling short distances people tend to rely more on autos, rickshaws and battery operated rickshaws. Rental cars are also available for travelling to other tourist destinations around Siliguri.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
Summer (April to June):
As Siliguri is located at the foothills of the Himalayas and not at a higher altitude, it experiences very hot summers. Temperatures continue to rise steadily and gets very humid and sultry. Most of the tourists that come across in the city during this time are those who are travelling to the hilly areas to escape the heat and are using Siliguri as a stopover.
Monsoon (August to October):
As monsoon sets in, people find the much needed respite from the hot humid summers. Temperature dip and the weather improve considerably. However, the city experiences quite a torrential rainfall and hence a visit to the city is not really recommended. Those planning to move further up are often stranded due to landslides which could prove risky.
Winter (November to January):
For those wanting to stay in the city and explore it, winter is the best time to visit. Temperatures fall considerably and continue to hover between 8°C and 25°C mark. Siliguri has a number of lovely tourist spots that can be visited and then onwards towards Darjeeling to catch a glimpse of the beautiful Kanchenjungha, paragliding in Kalimpong, trekking in Sandakphu or catch the wild animals in action in Dooars. A toy train ride from Siliguri to Darjeeling is highly recommended.
Things to Do
Taking a Safari:
For wildlife enthusiasts there is good news. There is the Bengal Safari park where jeep and elephant safaris are organized for the interest of tourists. The park houses a number of wild animals like leopards, tigers, elephants etc. It is a joy to spot them lazing around in the forest as the jeeps take the tourists quite deep inside. The peaceful and serene ambience provides much needed relief from the city life.
Taking a Himalayan Train Ride:
The 200 year old mountain railway in Darjeeling is one of the last surviving ones in the country. It was rightly declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It continues to ply regularly between Darjeeling and New Jalpaiguri offering a magnificent view of the surrounding landscape with mountains in the backdrop winding their way through the sprawling tea gardens. A train ride while in the city is a must.
Taking a Day’s Trip to Dudhia:
Dudhia is a beautiful picturesque hamlet on the banks of River Balason. Located a mere 25 km from Siliguri, this stunning place with amazing scenic beauty is a much visit spot. It is a popular destination for family picnics or overnight camping. Camping under the clear blue skies gazing at the stars is an amazing experience.
Exploring the Jewels of North Bengal:
Siliguri serves as a base, a stopover for tourists coming from Kolkata and elsewhere headed towards the northern parts of the state. North Bengal has some amazing natural beauty that is worth exploring and enjoying. These places are all located within close vicinity of Siliguri. A bus or car ride, a short train journey is all that you need to reach these destinations and roll in the lap of nature. Darjeeling, the Dooars, Kalimpong, Mirik are some of the best tourist destinations of West Bengal and Siliguri is the gateway to these places.
Eating in SIliguri
Siliguri experiences quite a mix of cultures which is manifested in their cuisine. Tourists get treated to the delicious Bengali cuisine with flavourful vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes, mouthwatering Chinese and Tibetan food as well. Siliguri has a sizeable Tibetan population which accounts for the amazing the thukpas and momos that you will find here. For the sweets lovers, there are numerous Bengali sweet shops selling amazing sweets. When in Siliguri there is no dearth of good food.
Shopping in Siliguri
SIliguri is a shopper’s paradise thanks to the famous Hong Kong Market. This is an old market in Hakim Para selling all kinds of imported good. You will find international brands selling apparels and electronic gadgets at extremely affordable prices. People come here to shop to their heart’s content. Electronic goods in particular are cheap. When you have had a long day of shopping drop into Haveli Restaurant in the area and treat yourself to some amazing Bengali and Chinese cuisine.