My 4D/3N Darjeeling Trip Experience
My 4D/3N Darjeeling Trip Experience

My 4D/3N Darjeeling Trip Experience

June’s summer heat has been unbearable in Kolkata. So I decided to make a quick trip to Darjeeling with my friends, the “queen of hills”. We decided to stay 4 days and 3 nights to make the most of the trip. In this blog, I will discuss how we arranged everything for the Darjeeling trip, from booking tickets, hotels, and cars, to the places we visited.

Darjeeling district lies in the northernmost part of West Bengal at an altitude of  2,045 metres (6,709 ft) from sea level. It is mainly known for its tea, and Toy Train (a heritage declared by UNESCO), but it has many tourist spots. When we say Darjeeling, we are talking about the main hill station within this district.

Darjeeling is connected by trains from every part of India through New Jalpaiguri and Siliguri stations. You can even fly to Bagdogra and take a cab/train. We took the Uttar Banga Express from Sealdah (7.40 pm) and reached there within 7 hours. Please check ticket availability before making any plans. There are other trains from the Sealdah and Howrah stations.

  • Kanchan Kanya Express (8.35 pm)
  • Darjeeling Mail (10.05 pm)
  • Padatik Express (11.20 pm)
  • Teesta Torsa Express (3 pm)
  • Vande Bharat Express

You can also take AC and non-AC buses from Esplanade/ Dharmatola. Once you reach NJP, book a cab to take you to the Tenzing Norge bus stand. You can take a bus to Darjeeling (fare Rs 105, takes 3-4 hours). You can also take cabs (through the sharing system or reserving it) from NJP or the Siliguri bus stand.

Darjeeling Trip

In the sharing system, you must pay around Rs 250-300/ person. For booking (Rs 2500-3000) for 4-seaters and 7-seaters respectively. There are two routes between Darjeeling and NJP, through Kurseong (75km) and Mirik (95 km). We chose to go via Mirik (because we had the time), but you can go via Kurseong. You can travel through the Mirik route on your return journey and vice versa. If you arrive at Siliguri in the early morning, you book a hotel there for a short duration.

We have decided to book a hotel room after reaching the central point of Darjeeling, Maal. Many tourists choose this option, but you can make a booking, especially during peak season. However, always proceed with caution while booking these rooms.

Ask hotel managers to show all room amenities through a video call and ask them to mention the room number in the bill. If you are new or a solo traveller, try to look for a budget-friendly hotel near Maal. If not, you can stay in hotels near Darjeeling railway station (15 minutes walking distance from Maal).

The best time to visit Darjeeling is March to May and October to December. If you are coming for the first time, we suggest skipping monsoon season. However, we loved the experience as we did not face heavy downpours.

We had our breakfast at the Siliguri bus stop. On the way to Darjeeling, we visited these areas:

  • Dudhiya
  • Tinling View Point
  • Lepchajagat
  • Poshupati Market
  • Simana View Point
  • Gopaldhara tea estate
  • Jorpakhari

This took around 4.5 hours, we reached our hotel, freshened up, and had lunch. Then we left for an iconic Toy Train ride from the Darjeeling Railway Station. This is also known as Joy ride, a 16km ride between Darjeeling and Ghum Station (India’s highest railway station.) You have to see the timings before making any decision. The fare is Rs 1000 (for diesel engine) or Rs 1500 (for steam engine)).

After returning, we decided to spend our time in the Maal and visited the local attractions, Maal market, Glanerys, Keventers, Mahakal Mandir, etc. We also booked a cab for the next day to see the sunrise at Tiger Hill (3 AM).

You can book cabs by asking the hotel owner, or from the cab area near Clock Tower/ Keventers. If you are adventurous, you can also book bikes for self-rides (additional oil fare is taken).

We started early at 3 AM for a trip to Tiger Hill, Kanchenjungha. If you are lucky, you will see a beautiful sunrise. It’s one of the top activities in Darjeeling, so don’t miss it. From there, we travelled to Ghum Monastery and Museum (we requested Dali Monastery too) and Batasia Loop. You will see many beautiful flowers and try on local clothes for a photoshoot. Then we reached our hotel for breakfast and it’s back to touring.

Darjeeling Diaries

We reached the Japanese Temple and Peace Pagoda, Darjeeling Zoo (India’s largest high-altitude zoo), and HMI (Himalayan Mountaineering Institute). From there, we visited Tenzing Rock, we tried rock climbing here. Then we went to Rangeet and Happy Valley Tea Garden (and bought tea here). We tried the ropeway and visited the North Point School (Barfi was shot here).

Our first destination was Kanchanjengha View Point, which is 500 km away from Darjeeling Maal. Then our cab driver took us to Rock Garden and Ganga Maiya Park. The road is in poor condition and might take time, so plan wisely.

It was time to return, so we chose to return via Dowhill, which provides a panoramic view of Darjeeling and Kurseong. We booked the Shatabdi Express that day, as tickets to Vande Bharat Express were unavailable (on both days). The train ride to Kolkata was a pleasant experience.

Darjeeling is affordable our expenditure per head was 8k, including accommodation, food, and camping. If you are a solo traveller, you can stay at the Tenzing Norgey Youth Hostel (for Rs 250/ per head/ day) dormitory. Hotels near Maal are costly (1000-1500/per head/ day), but you can find good hotels there. if not, you can move near the railway station.

  • Book your car in advance for every day’s trip
  • Please take your ID proofs (more than one)
  • Carry cash with you
  • Try to bargain and avoid malicious agents
  • Bring warm clothes and umbrellas

Leaving Darjeeling feels like leaving a dream. The breathtaking views of the Himalayas, the charm of the Toy Train, and the aroma of fresh tea leaves will linger in my memory. The serene beauty, friendly locals, and tranquil vibe have left me refreshed and yearning to return. Darjeeling’s unique allure has woven a tapestry of unforgettable moments, making me cherish every moment spent in this enchanting hill town.

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About Aritri Raha

I love to explore destinations and capture the memories and history through my pen/ keyboard.

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