Darjeeling, also known as the Queen of the Himalayas, is renowned for its picturesque beauty. The mesmerizing landscapes of the snow-capped mountains, vibrant valleys, and vast tea estates never fail to trench the wanderlust. A ropeway journey over the beautiful hill station will give you a panoramic view of the Himalayan hill city.
The experience of watching a hill station of altitude 2042 meters from the ropeway will definitely be a lifetime achievement for a nature lover. Darjeeling is famous among the tourists for the aesthetic view of the snow-peaked Kanchenjunga. Also, tourists from all over the world come to Darjeeling every year to experience the famous toy train.
The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway has been declared as the world heritage site by UNESCO. The British colonial architectures along with the mesmerizing scenic beauty make the hill station heaven. Witnessing the panoramic view of Mt. Everest, Lhotse and Makalu will be a wonderful experience for nature lovers.
To attract more tourists to the Queen of the hill cities the ropeway was started in 1968 by the Forest Development Department. It is known to be the first cable car system in India. Also, Darjeeling ropeway is the greatest traveler ropeway system in Asia. There was another reason also behind starting of this ropeway system.
The tea gardens in Darjeeling used to be in such valleys that it was difficult to set up proper communication between the tea gardens. Initially, it was started to cater to the tea gardens. At that time the cable car system started with only one cable car. In the year 1988, it increased to 16 cable cars, each with a capacity of 6 persons. In October 2003, the ropeway got closed after the death of four tourists in a severe accident.
Later, a three-member committee formed by the state forest and public works department ministers in 2005 for an inspection. The committee was consisting of one PWD engineer and two professors from Kalyani Government Engineering College. They conducted a trial run and found the services to be unfit. Again, in February of 2012, the ropeway got reopened.
The famous ropeway of Darjeeling, situated at an elevation of 2134 meters is a 244 meters long bi-cable ropeway. Starting from Singamari, widely known as the north point of the hill city, it ends at Singla, on the bank of the Ramman river.
The river Ramman is a must-visit destination for nature lovers. Ramman is the stream establishing a connection between little Rangeet and the great Rangeet. To reach Singla Bazaar, an important hub of the hill city, it takes around 45 minutes. The cable car gives stops at Tukver, Burnesbeg, and Singla Tea Garden. Tukvar is famous for its picturesque natural beauty. The place offers the scenic beauty of North Tukver Tea Estate, nursery, timber, and bamboo forest to the visitors.
The place named Singla Bazaar is a very popular tourist spot. The tranquillity and spellbound beauty of the snow-capped mountain range from the tea estate inject joy and sonorous enthusiasm into the minds of the nature lovers.
The ropeway passes over dense rainforests, streams and waterfalls, valleys and mountains, and green tea gardens. Originating from the glacial elevation of Kabru, the Great Rangeet river meets the river Ramman and later streaming down it meets the river Little Rangeet. The little Rangeet river flows across the valley of Bajanbari.
Singla valley offers the aesthetic view of the two streams together. A lot of tourists visit the valley each year to experience the scenic beauty and to gather a lifetime achievement. Bijanbari valley is known for its vibrant flowers and panoramic view of the stream.
How to reach
To reach Darjeeling, there are many possible ways. The airport nearest to Darjeeling is Bagdogra and the nearest major railway station is New Jalpaiguri (NJP). If you take a cab, it takes around three hours to reach Darjeeling from both places. Other than this, shared taxis are available from New Jalpaiguri.
You may also get a bus also towards Darjeeling. The buses are available from the Siliguri bus stand, 8 kilometers away from New Jalpaiguri (NJP) railway station. Also, if you want to experience the scenic beauty of the Himalayas on the way to Darjeeling, a toy train will be a nice option for you. You may board on a toy train from New Jalpaiguri railway station. To experience this fascinating journey, a lot of tourists visit here from every corner of the world. But it is much time-consuming. It takes around seven hours to reach Darjeeling from NJP by toy train.
Darjeeling cable car station is situated at Singamari. It is 3 kilometers distant from the Chowk Bazaar area. Cabs and shared jeeps are available from there to reach the cable car station. It takes around 15 minutes if there is no traffic jam. But usually because of a huge traffic jam at the market place, it takes more time to reach there.
Fare and Charges
It costs 150 INR per person to ride on the cable car and experience the hill city from the Bird’s eye view.
Duration of the journey
Darjeeling ropeway is a two-way passenger carriage system. Through one cable, the carriage goes downhill and through the other one, the cable car goes uphill. For the downhill journey, it takes time of around 30 minutes, while for the uphill journey it takes only 45 minutes.
Best seasons for the ride
It is better to avoid a cable car ride in the seasons of monsoon and winter. The sky remains cloudy at that time. Also, thunderstorms take place during the rainy season. During summer and autumn, the weather remains totally fine. So, if you are planning for experiencing this adventurous cable car ride to watch the hill station from the Eagle’s eye, then it is highly recommended to do it during summer and autumn.
Things to do
The experience of Darjeeling ropeway will make you feel like you are in heaven. Also, it will be a lifetime experience for adventure lovers. The mesmerizing view of the vales of river Rangeet will create a moment when you will start feeling the closeness with nature and its mind soothing affectionate beauty.
The hill slopes, snow-capped peaks of Kanchenjunga, streams, and rivers, waterfalls, lush green valleys, and tea gardens will make you spellbound and you will experience the whole from a Bird’s eye view. The panoramic sky view of the tea gardens will make you feel like a kite. The moment of witnessing sunrise or sunset sitting in a moving cable car will be the most precious moment throughout your whole Darjeeling trip.
Darjeeling ropeway is something that should be included in the must-to-do list of an adventure lover. You will have an experience of witnessing nature, mountains, and valleys from the sky. Also, experiencing the Himalayan sky during sunrise and sunset will remain a gem experience in your life. So, hurry up and start packing for your next trip to the Queen of the Himalayas.