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New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling

 
New Jalpaiguri or NJP is a major railway junction located about 88kms south of Darjeeling. Many long distance trains terminate or pass through this station. So if you are planning to visit Darjeeling by train, this is where you are likely to get off. 
 
However, the twin city known as Siliguri is only few kilometers away. There are some trains that pass through that station as well. Once in NJP, there are several options to get to Darjeeling including taxi, shared jeep, bus, Darjeeling Himalayan Railway operated Toy Train etc. The taxis take about 3.5 hours to reach Darjeeling. The buses are a bit slower. But the toy train which is hauled by diesel engine, takes over 7 hours and leaves at a fixed time in the morning. 
 
New Jalpaiguri Railway Station Entrance 
NJP Railway Station 
 
There are actually several roads to approach Darjeeling from New Jalpaiguri. Hill Cart Road is the main road and is generally maintained very well. This is a national highway (NH-55) and most commonly used by the local drivers. Road via Rohini is quite scenic and meets the National Highway at Kurseong. The road via Pankhabari is very narrow and winding but quite shorter compared to the others. One of the most scenic routes is the Route via Mirik with lovely views of tea gardens, but it's a longer route. 
 
 
 
Recently, large number of stalls have come up just outside the NJP railway station. So if you plan to have your breakfast or lunch before heading for Darjeeling, there are ample options right here. Otherwise, you can take a rickshaw or a taxi to Siliguri town some 5-kms away, and ask the driver to take you to a proper restaurant. There are plenty of better and more hygienic eateries available in Siliguri town. 
 
Now you are all set to head for Darjeeling. Visit Roads To Darjeeling to know about all the road routes, directions, attractions and villages on the way to Darjeeling. 
 
 
 
New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling by Taxi 
If you plan to take a taxi from the NJP station, there will be hundreds of them just outside the station. The taxis are usually small cars or vans. You get larger vehicles like Sumo, Tavera etc as well. Remember that the local drivers always try their opportunistic chances and there is always a scope for bargaining if you are taking a full taxi. The rates usually increase during the high tourist season and the scope of bargaining reduces during such time because of higher demand. 
 
Stalls outside NJP Station 
 
 
However for a reserved taxi, I would always recommend that you take a pre-paid taxi. There is a pre-paid taxi booth (a small kiosk) located opposite to the station entrance and near the taxi stand. Here the rates are fixed and the taxis will be far more reliable. You will be given a slip against a full fare advance payment. Once you reach Darjeeling, you only need to hand over the slip to the driver, and that's it. The pre-paid counter at NJP station usually opens at 7am in the morning and closes by 7pm. 
 
Prepaid Taxi Booth outside NJP Station 
 
 
If you reach NJP late at night, you may still find a few taxi drivers outside offering a drop to Darjeeling or other places. And they will of course charge lot more. While taxis do ply on the main roads to Darjeeling at late nights, but watch out for the fog. It can get extremely risky if fog hinders visibility which is often the case at night. So unless absolutely necessary, avoid driving at night and plan in advance to stay back for the night at Siliguri (a twin city only 5kms from NJP). 
 
Visit Transport Fares to know about the reserved taxi fares. 
 
Note that the taxis usually drop you only at the Darjeeling town center, i.e. either at the Clubside Taxi Stand (across Gandhi Road Police Point) or Chowk Bazaar Taxi Stand at the lower level. From here you will either need to take a local cab or a porter to the hotel unless you decide to walk. 
 
However, on request some taxi drivers do agree to drop you at the hotel and sometimes at a nominal extra charge which you pay directly by cash. Note that in Darjeeling, there are some pedestrian only zones where vehicles are not allowed like the area around Chowrasta Mall. If your hotel is located in such area, you need to from the nearest taxi stand (you will get porters to carry your luggage though). 
 
 
 
New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling by shared taxi or jeep 
Usually there are plenty of shared taxis available outside the NJP station. The shared taxis are usually jeeps and take two persons in front next to the driver, four in the back seat and four others at the rear seat. So they won't start unless they have a minimum of 8-10 passengers. While the shared jeep is convenient, fast and cheap, one constraint is you can not carry too much of heavy luggage. All the bags and suitcases are carried free of charge on the roof without any additional charge. 
 
If you want a little more comfort, you can book both the seats in front or a row of seats at the back by paying for those extra seats. Then the driver won't let other passengers occupy the seats you reserved even if they go empty. Sometimes, you may get shared taxis in form of smaller vehicles like Maruti Vans as well. 
 
If you for some reason don't get a shared jeep or a taxi from NJP station, another option is to take an auto or a cycle rickshaw to the Siliguri main bus stand known as the Tenzing Norgay Central Bus Terminus. It is about 8kms away. From here you will get plenty of shared jeeps leaving for Darjeeling. The jeeps have a small board in front of them with the destination written on it. The system of seat sharing is followed here as well. Visit Transport Fares to know about the shared jeep fares. 
 
New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling by bus 
You won't get a bus directly from New Jalpaiguri station. You will need to come to the Tenzing Norgay Central Bus Terminus at Siliguri located on the Hill Cart Road. It's only about 8kms away. You can take a taxi, auto rickshaw or a cycle rickshaw to reach there comfortably. From here you will get plenty of state run and private buses for Darjeeling that leave frequently. Check out Siliguri to Darjeeling for more details and options of reaching Darjeeling once you come to Siliguri. 
 
New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling by Toy Train 
There is a toy train which is run by Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. It starts from the NJP station and goes all the way to Darjeeling. The narrow gauge track climbs uphill and passes via the highest altitude railway station in Asia known as Ghoom. The toy train which is part of UNESCO World Heritage Site, was introduced during the British colonial days in 1800s and is still operational. Until recently, the train was hauled by steam engine and took over 10 hours to reach Darjeeling. Nowadays, it is hauled by a diesel engine and takes about 7 hours. 
 
Visit Toy Train Rides & Services and check out the section under Regular DHR Toy Train services to know about the toy train, its timing and how to book the tickets. 
 
 
 
The toy train goes through a scenic route offering breathtaking views of the mountains and valleys. You will also experience the village life. The narrow gauge track has several zigzags and loops on the way to negotiate steep gradients. Visit Toy Train Route to know about the journey and all the stations it passes through. 
 
Related Articles 
 
1) Visit Bus/Taxi/Toy Train Fares For Darjeeling to know about fares for buses, private & shared taxis, shared jeeps and toy train etc from NJP/ Siliguri/ Bagdogra and up to Darjeeling. 
 
2) Visit How to reach Darjeeling for complete information on reaching Darjeeling from various places in India and neighboring countries. 
 
Visitors' Reviews/Comments 
 
Ranabir Deb (March 2014) 
Hi Raj, we are planning to visit Darjeeling on 14th Mar 2014. We shall be reaching NJP by 7:00 am approx, and we shall be taking the 3:00 pm train from Kurseong for Darjeeling (tickets already booked from irctc site). Can you please guide us how to reach Kurseong from NJP and whether we would be able to reach Kurseong by that time from NJP (from 8 am to 2 pm). How is the condition of the road to Kurseong (from NJP) now-a-days? Thanks & regards, 
 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com), March 2014 
Hi, NJP to Kurseong takes about 1hr 45 minutes by taxi. Take a pre-paid taxi or a shared Jeep from NJP station. They should take the road via Rohini, which has been newly repaired... it's in good condition now.  
 
Asha (March 2014) 
I would like to know about the frequency of the shared jeeps from NJP station to Pelling and Darjeeling to Pelling. Where is this taxi stand situated in Darjeeling.Are these direct jeeps to Pelling? When does the last jeep start from Darjeeling. Also what is the journey time to Pelling from Darjeeling and Njp. 
 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com), March 2014 
NJP to Pelling takes about 6 hours via Jorthang (located about midway). You will get shared Jeeps from Siliguri near SNT (Sikkim Nationalised Transport) bus stand. They Leave at 7am and 1pm, and usually go up to Yuksom via Pelling. Note that the timings may change, but usually there are two shared Jeep services from Siliguri on a day, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. Darjeeling to Pelling takes about 5 hours. You will get shared Jeeps from Clubside and Chowk bazaar taxi stands in Darjeeling. Note that they take more than 10 persons in a jeep and you will need to remain crushed in a pack of local commuters for hours. Good luck!  
 
Sameer Mehta (February 2014) 
Hi Raj, After 2 months I will be getting down at NJP railway station, late night. Just need to know if there are any transport from NJP to Darjeeling at late night 
 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com), February 2014 
You are unlikely to find transport late at night at NJP. The prepaid counter opens around 7am. But you may start getting private taxis outside the station before 7am (several taxis come to drop passengers who catch morning trains). But I suggest not to travel even if you manage to get a taxi late at night mainly because of the fog problems. From all places you mentioned, you will start getting shared and reserved taxis from around 7am. 
 
Subhajit (December 2013) 
Hi Raj, At first I thank you a lot for this kind of informative and helpful website. No other website is as helpful as this one. Hats of to you Raj. Please note my little query which you please answer. I will go to Darjeeling on 30th Dec 2013. This is the 4th time for me. It is one of my most favorite places. We are now 14 persons including 2 children and 4 senior citizens. I want an advance booking of a suitable car. Can you please provide me contact details of a reliable travel agency/driver/person for traveling NJP to Darjelling and which car you suggested for us. Please reply. 
 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com), December 2013 
Hi, For 14 persons, You will need two large vehicles (like Scorpio, Sumo etc) or a minibus. Best is to ask your hotel to organize the transfer and give you a good rate. Otherwise you can go through one of the several travel agencies in Siliguri (try google search). One of them is Kings Travel, they are good but usually their rates are also higher. Try to take a quick quote from 2 or 3 operators and decide on one. Note that for kids & seniors, the route via Mirik would be better. It's longer (takes one hour more) but not that steep or winding. Rates will be higher for this route though. Talk to them over phone. 
 
Shampa Anand (September 2013) 
Hello, First of all thank you for this wonderful informational website which is very helpful. We would be travelling with elderly parents and children in a group of 10 adults and 4 children . Will be travelling by Teesta Torsa train and reaching NJP on 1 Feb 2014 at 2.40 am .Could you please advise if we would be able to get a TATA Sumo pre-paid car or Qualis at this time of the morning to take us to Darjeeling. I hope all of us fit in the same car or might be able to take a mini-bus if available. Also with family and children travelling with us, is it safe to travel from NJP to Darjeeling in the early hours of morning. On the way to Darjeeling vis the Hill Cart Rd, could we stop at Tea Garden etc? Please advise. Many Thanks Regards 
 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com), September 2013 
Hi, The pre-paid taxis are usually available from NJP station from around 7am onwards. So you will need to wait at the station if you reach on time. You can get Sumo or Bolero on pre-paid as well. I won't recommend travelling for Darjeeling while it's dark. It's mainly because of the fog problems. Driving through the fog along winding road is quite risky. So start only after the daylight breaks. If you want to pre-arrange a vehicle, you will need to contact a tour operator or travel agency in Siliguri. There are plenty of them... search in google. 
 
The Hill Cart road is closed before Kurseong for the past several years due to landslides. So you can't take that road. You can go via Mirik (pre-paid charges are more and takes about 4.5 hours). You can see lots of beautiful tea gardens along the way. The best tea gardens (on the mountain slopes) are on the stretch between Mirik and Darjeeling. There is a view point on that stretch for viewing the tea gardens. It'll be on your left. Unless its foggy or cloudy, you will get sweeping view of the tea estates from there. Ask the driver to stop. They generally do. The extra fare is worth this trip. Also, this is a route with gradual slope (unlike the usual Pankhabari route which is quite steep). Children & old persons will find it easier. Regards, 
 
Jill Roehr (June 2013) 
I'm travelling to India, Darjeeling, in less than 2 weeks and I am very happy to have found a website like yours which is very useful for my preparation. I've read your information very well but I still have a question concerning the pre-paid taxis which I want to use to get from New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling. I'll probably arrive very early on a Monday morning (6.15am, according to train schedule) in New Jalpaiguri and my question now is: are the pre-paid taxi counters inside the station already open so that I can get a pre-paid taxi? If not, how else could I then get to Darjeeling so early? I would be very pleased if you had an answer to my question! Thanks in advance, Best Regards, 
 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com), June 2013 
Hi Jill, The pre-paid taxi counter at NJP station opens around 7am and operates until 10pm. It's actually located just opposite to the station entrance. So if your train reaches on time, you may need to wait for a while to get a pre-paid taxi (which I think is worth doing). Otherwise, there should be taxis outside the station around that time. You should be able to get one for Darjeeling. The drivers are likely to jack up the prices at that hour and you may need to get into some bargaining act to get a fair deal :) 
 
Ghufran Ahmed Khan (April 2013) 
Hi Raj, Your website is really informative. I need help. I am reaching NJP @ 2:00 AM in the night. I will be with my wife, so where could I stay/wait near NJP railway station. When do we start getting Taxi/Shared Jeep early in the morning. Thank you 
 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com), April 2013 
Hi, There are waiting rooms as well as retiring rooms (both AC and Non-AC, although limited) and also dormitories at the NJP station. There are 2-bedded AC & Non-AC rooms, 3-bedded non-AC room, and ample dormitory beds. At that hour you will be better off staying back at the station rather than trying to check into a hotel. Taxis & shared jeeps start operating by 7am. You may get private taxis even earlier. 
 
Capt. S. A. Modak (February 2013) 
Dear Mr. Raj, Really appreciate your thoughtful, practical and informative guidance provided in these web pages. We are a family of 3 adults (myself, spouse and mother) and 2 kids (ages 4yrs & 7yrs) intending to take a 5 days Gangtok-Darjeeling trip this May. I request you to provide me information on eating options, particularly breakfast and dinner at or near NJP railway station. I will be arriving NJP around 9am by Padatik express and leaving NJP after 5 days thence by Darjeeling Mail around 8pm. 
 
Ideally we would like to finish breakfast around 8am in the Padatik express train itself and so also for dinner around 9pm in Darjeeling Mail. But I do not know if catering is available in these trains. Also please advise me about standards at NJP as regards cleanliness and family safety. How are the waiting hall conditions at NJP railway station? I am holding 1A tickets either way. Once again, I congratulate you on maintaining this wonderful site and wish you success in all your ventures. Warm Regards 
 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com),  February 2013 
Hello, There are lots of stalls that have come up just outside the NJP station and by the side of the road selling all kinds of food. They all thrive on train passengers and serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. But I doubt the hygiene factor. See the photo above. 
 
If you want proper restaurants, then take a rickshaw/auto or a taxi and go down to Siliguri town (5kms). There are many nice restaurants there. One of them (although not upscale) is the restaurant below Binayak Hotel (it belongs to the hotel). It's a multi-cuisine restaurant. Bengalis prefer Kalpataru - a simple restaurant serving good Bengali food. Regards, 
 
 
 
 
NJP to Darjeeling Reviewed by Raj Bhattacharya Rating: 4.5
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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