Siliguri – The Stepping Stone to the Mountains

Siliguri

Siliguri, view from Air view more. Photo By Sayantani

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If there is any city that can be named as the Gateway to North-East India, then it has to be Siliguri. It is situated in the Siliguri and Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling districts of northeastern India. Siliguri is the third-largest city of the state. It is also known as the twin city of Jalpaiguri. Siliguri is the focal point linking North Bengal to the rest of the State and is popularly known as The Gateway of Northeastern India and is famous for the three T’s – Tea, Timber, and Tourism.

It is situated at a distance of 560 km’s from Kolkata, in case you are traveling from Kolkata. The airport of Siliguri is mainly used as a camp for tourists who are going to visit Siliguri, Darjeeling, Sikkim, Bhutan, or Nepal. Siliguri Tourism has seen an inundation after becoming commercially important. 

There are two or more wildlife parks that you can visit during your stay at Siliguri. You can get a glimpse of exotic animals and even a Royal Bengal Tiger. These parks are spread over 300 hectares each. Besides animals, you will also get to enjoy the sight of beautiful flora and fauna. You surely do not want to miss the sight of these beauties as they only grow in these soils. 

If you have excess time during the trip, you can even visit Mirik. It is just 50 kilometers away from Siliguri. This place is known for its natural beauty. You can even enjoy some fun activities here. All over Siliguri is a must-visit place; you cannot afford to miss the beauty it has to offer you.

Top Attractions in Siliguri

Siliguri is a beautiful place for you to explore. There are plenty of sites that can leave you awestruck—the city is situated at the foot of the Himalayas. You will be able to enjoy the view of green hills from your window. 

Here are some of the places that you need to visit while you are in Siliguri – 

1. Mahananda Weir Wildlife Sanctuary 

Mahananda Weir Wildlife Sanctuary
Mahananda Weir Wildlife Sanctuary, Siliguri

This is your chance to fulfill your dream of going on an adventure. You can walk through this wildlife forest and enjoy animals as they mind their own business. This is one of the best things that Siliguri Tourism has to offer you. You can take on a jungle safari to explore the wilderness of the sanctuary. This place is located on Sevoke Road. You might have to pay an entry fee for your vehicle. Teesta and Mahanadi flow from the east and west side of the sanctuary, respectively. This gives you a mesmerizing view of the rivers. 

2. Chilapata Forest 

Chilapata Forest
Chilapata Forest 

Siliguri tourism is mostly famous for its multiple sanctuary, forest, and national parks. Chilapata forest offers you a jungle safari as well. This place is situated by the river Torsha that offers you an amazing view. Most of the tourist visit this place for its astonishing wildlife. You can go for a jeep safari in this forest. You can get to see elephants, Indian bison, rhino, and many other animals here. There is also a bungalow which you can book if you want to stay. This place is open 24 hours. 

3. Hong Kong Market 

Hong Kong Market, Siliguri
Hong Kong Market, Siliguri

This is a paradise for all the shopaholics. This place is situated in Hakim Para, Siliguri. This place is open from 9 am to 9.30 pm. This is the place if you are looking to shop for international brands. From apparel to accessories, you can get it all here. You can even get a variety of electronic stuff from this market. Most of these goods are imported from China. You can even enjoy Chinese cuisine in the nearby restaurants. You can get all this stuff at an affordable rate.

4. Banglabandha Zero Point 

Banglabandha Zero Point
Banglabandha Zero Point

Ever visited an inland port? Well, now you can. Banglabandha Zero Point is an inland port which is situated at the Indo-Bangladesh border. This is where all the export and import of goods are conducted from one country to the other. This place has a stature of the digit ‘0’, which gives it the name Zero Point; you can click pictures here. As this place acts as a conjunction of the two countries, it is of great interest.

5. Surya Sen Park

Surya Sen Park
Surya Sen Park

Tired of roaming around and exploring places? Come to this place with your family or friends for a picnic. This park offers you greenery that you might miss while you go back to the hustle-bustle of your city. It is a recreational center that offers amazing activities for people of all age groups. This place is surrounded by wellspring that adds to the glamour of the park. This park features a statue of Surya Sen just at its center. It is open from 1 pm to 7 pm, and the entry fee is 5 INR.

6. Seth Srilal Market 

Yet other shoppers paradise in Siliguri. This place is a famous market which is situated in the center of the city. This is the oldest market of the place. From locals to tourists, this place is a favorite of all. Bring out the fashionista in you, as this place has to offer you glamour outfits and accessories. You might get these at an affordable rate. If you feel hungry, this market can offer you amazing momos. This market is open from 9 am to 9.30 pm. 

7. Coronation Bridge

Coronation Bridge
Coronation Bridge. Photo by PP Yoonus

Being at a distance of 20 km from the city of Siliguri serves as one of the famous tourist spots. This bridge is also known as the Sevoke bridge or Lohapul as it is made of steel. It is known as Coronation Bridge as it marks the Coronation of King George V. this bridge is a true example of British architecture. The bridge is built over the river Teesta. You can witness the natural beauty of the place once you visit here. 

8. Salugara Monastery 

Salugara Monastery, Siliguri
Salugara Monastery, Siliguri

This place is situated at a distance of 6 km from Siliguri. The monastery was built by the followers of the Dalai Lama and Tibetan Buddhist Monks. The 100 feet high stupa is what the monastery is famous for. Kalu Rinpoche, a Tibetan Lama, constructed this stupa. You can get a glimpse of five different kinds of Buddhist relics. This place is also known as the Great International Tashi Gomang Stupa.  

9. Iskcon Mandir 

Iskcon Mandir, Siligur
Iskcon Mandir, Siliguri

For all devotees of Lord Krishna, the Iskcon Mandir is a must-visit temple. It is one of the largest Iskcon temples within the state, and the temple is open to everyone who wants to offer their prayers to Lord Krishna. If you want to spend a day within the premise, the temple has boarding arrangements for visitors like you. Whether you are a vegetarian or not, you will find the vegetarian dish served at the Govind Restaurant to be extremely healthy yet super delicious! 

10. Sepoy Dhura Tea Garden

Your Siliguri tourism will not be complete without strolling through a tea garden and tasting a cup of fresh chai! If you are a nature lover, you will love walking through this green plantation while taking in the view of the mountain ranges all around. This is a great choice for a short driveway from the shore and the sound of the city.  If you are visiting the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary, do not forget to visit this place as it is only a few kilometers away from the Sanctuary. 

11. Dudhia 

Located near the banks of the river Balason river, this little hamlet is conveniently tucked in between Mirik and Siliguri. It’s a convenient location that allows you to visit Mirik as well as the surrounding tea gardens in the area. This popular picnic spot for families. During winter, the place tends to get very crowded because of the low water levels, but if you are planning to avoid the crowds, your best would be to visit the place during a weekday! 

12. North Bengal Science Center 

Siliguri has something for everyone, even for science geeks! The North Bengal Science Center is the perfect solution when you want to learn science in a fun way. The center welcomes both youngs and adults and has 3D theatre, lively science shows, a digital planetarium, and dioramas to entertain individuals of all ages. The place is located at the NH 31 highway, Matigarahat. 

13. Savin Kingdom

Did you have enough of the nature walks and monasteries and temples? Do you want to have some fun? Well, Saving Kingdom is waiting for you to walk in through its gate and indulge in some pool action! The amusement park has been built like a castle, so if you want to take your kids to some fun castle party, you know where to go! Apart from the water park, there is also the main park, which houses thousands of exciting rides for the thrill that you have been seeking all along! 

14. Kanchenjunga Stadium

Are you a diehard cricket fan, and you cannot miss out on a game even when you are on tour? Well, Siliguri’s Kanchenjunga Stadium offers you the chance to watch a game of cricket or a football game if you fancy football, with other 45000 thousand eager fans like you! Since Ranji trophy matches are often played here, if you catch one, consider yourself lucky! 

Best time to visit Siliguri

Siliguri possesses a humid subtropical climate and has three discernible seasons, Summer, Monsoon, and Winter, with a mild touch of Spring and Autumn.

Spring (March)

Siliguri experiences a brief spring in the month of March, with temperatures varying between 14⁰C to 25⁰C

Summer (April to June)

Owing to its low altitude, Siliguri experiences very warm and humid Summers with temperatures ranging between 21⁰C to 38⁰C but it is still considerably cooler than the cities in the Central and Southern parts of West Bengal

Monsoon (July to September)

Monsoon in Siliguri brings torrential rains, a much-needed respite from the heat of summer, and with it the high possibility of landslides which can be dangerous. Temperatures vary between 25⁰C to 31⁰C and this is the best time to experience the lush tea gardens

Autumn (October to November)

Autumn lasts till the middle of November and is a pleasant time to visit Siliguri with mostly clear sunny skies and temperatures ranging between 15⁰C to 31⁰C 

Winter (November to February)

The longest season of the year, it is also the best time to visit Siliguri with clear blue skies and temperatures varying between 24⁰C to 8⁰C making it perfect for outdoor activities. Like visiting the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary which is about 8km away from the city

The best time to Visit Siliguri is between November and February, when the pleasant weather conditions allow you to explore the city to its fullest. Monsoon is the best season for visiting the nearby tea estates but is otherwise not advisable due to the danger of landslides in this earthquake prone area. However, it is a nexus of tourist activity all year round.  Since it is the only city in North Bengal with a railway station as well as an airport, it is the common layover point for anyone traveling to other nearby hill stations.

How to reach Siliguri

Siliguri is well connected to almost all parts of the country with two railway heads, an international airport, and an excellent road network connecting it to major cities as well as other North-Eastern regions of India. Here are the different ways you can reach Siliguri.

By Air

The Bagdogra Airport which is about 15 minutes away from the city center, is an international airport with numerous flights to and from all major Indian cities as well as Paro and Bangkok. It also has regular helicopter services to Gangtok in Sikkim. Taxis are easily available from the airport to any chosen destination within or around Siliguri 

By Rail

There are two major stations serving Siliguri, the Siliguri Junction and the New Jalpaiguri (NJP) Junction railway Station with the NJP junction being the biggest railway station of North-East India. While the Siliguri Junction mostly has trains running between local routes, the NJP Junction is connected to almost all Indian cities like Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Guwahati, and Bihar among many others, and is a halting point for 154 trains and has 16 trains originating from it every day. Siliguri is about 20-30 minutes away from the NJP Junction and can be reached by hiring easily available cabs from outside the station  

By Road

Siliguri is well connected to neighboring states via a well-developed network of roadways. The Tenzing Norgay Bus Terminus on Hill Cart Road, about 8km away from the NJP Junction Railway Station, has regular buses plying at frequent intervals between Siliguri and Kolkata, Patna and Guwahati to name a few. There are several State-run as well as Private buses available that commute between different states as well as locally to other cities around Siliguri. In Addition to these, regular overnight buses from Dhaka (Bangladesh) as well as Bhutan are also available  

Siliguri is a transportation hub and has excellent connectivity to almost all regions in India through several means of transportation and is easily accessible via air, rail as well as the road from anywhere in the country. Its proximity to the capital city of Kolkata which is only 600km away makes it an ideal and easy to reach travel destination for locals as well as travelers from all over India. Moreover, its central location helps it serve as a base for tourists traveling to other parts of Northern Bengal.    




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