Bus, Taxi & Toy Train Fares To Darjeeling
From NJP, Siliguri & Bagdogra
This page is to give you an idea about the local transport fares to reach Darjeeling from places like New Jalpaiguri (NJP) station, Siliguri town and Bagdogra airport. To get to Darjeeling, you will need to take a transport like a private or a shared taxi, bus, or a toy train once you reach the NJP station, Bagdogra airport or Siliguri.
Reserved or private taxis are available at all places, shared jeeps are available at NJP station and Siliguri, Toy train originates from NJP station, and buses are available only at Siliguri main bus stand. Additionally there are also pre-paid taxi counters at both Bagdogra airport and NJP station where you can book a private taxi (small or a larger vehicle)
The fares change with time and in this part of the country, they change more frequently than other places. Secondly, the private taxi fares can even vary depending on low or high tourist season. So the fares that I have given below are indicative. It's for you to get an idea about the cost of a local transport to Darjeeling depending on the mode of travel you choose.
Do not assume that the return fare from Darjeeling to NJP or Bagdogra would be same as what you would have paid while visiting Darjeeling. It's a strange world out there!
Indicative Private taxi fares (Updated September 2014)
There are plenty of private taxis available both outside the NJP (New Jalpaiguri) railway station and Bagdogra airport. The private taxis or cars are essentially of two types - small cars like Maruti Vans, WagonR etc which can take up to 4 passengers, and large ones like Scorpio, Sumo etc taking up to 7 passengers. While you can always take a private taxi/car from outside the station or airport, negotiate the rates and move for Darjeeling, it is advisable to take one from the Pre-Paid taxi counters.
The pre-paid taxi counter at NJP station is located just opposite to the station entrance. And the one at the airport is located at the arrival hall before the exit. The rates are fixed and the cars & drivers tend to be more reliable. You are given a slip as you pay up the amount in advance. Hand over the slip to the driver once he drops you at Darjeeling. No other payment is required.
Remember the taxis will drop you at the Darjeeling town center (i.e. either at the Chowk Bazaar stand or at Clubside Taxi stand next to Gandhi Road police point). They can drop you right at your hotel entrance if your hotel is located close to the stand. Otherwise pay him some extra cash and he will drop you to your hotel. However some areas, like the mall area is closed to vehicles. If your hotel is located in such pedestrian only area, then you will need to either walk or take a porter from the stand.
Here are the indicative reserved taxi fares from NJP/Bagdogra airport to Darjeeling:
NJP/Bagdogra to Darjeeling (Small Car): Rs. 1900.00
NJP/Bagdogra to Darjeeling (Large Car): Rs. 2200.00
NJP/Bagdogra to Darjeeling (Small Car) Via Mirik: Rs. 2500.00. One takes this route if one wants to stop at Mirik lake and also enjoy the wonderful tea gardens and scenic views along the way. This route is not as steep as the others.
NJP/Bagdogra to Mirik (Small Car): Rs. 1500.00
Mirik to Darjeeling (Small Car): Rs. 1500.00
Pre-Paid Taxi - Know about the internal story
If you are planning to book a pre-paid taxi on arrival at Bagdogra or NJP, you should be aware of an interesting activity that takes place there. Pre-Paid taxi counters (both at Bagdogra airport and NJP railway station) usually allocate a local taxi with a local driver. The local driver then tries to find another driver who would have come from Darjeeling, Gangtok or some other place to drop passengers and now waiting outside for a return customer. To them almost any amount for return is acceptable as they would otherwise have to go back empty. The local driver would quickly negotiate a deal with the other driver for a much smaller amount than the pre-paid rate which you have paid up at the counter. So don't be surprised if you find that having booked a pre-paid taxi, when you come outside you are transferred to another cab.
This racket of brokerage is going on since long. So if you come outside and directly negotiate with a driver who is waiting to return, you can strike a rate which is far cheaper than the pre-paid rate. But the question is, will you always find such a returning cab outside? If you don't then you will need to negotiate with a local driver, in which case you may not get much price advantage and face a lot of haggling.
NOTE: Presently the usual route is via Rohini and it takes about 3.5 hours to reach Darjeeling. The down fare from Darjeeling to NJP/Bagdogra by a private taxi is usually higher than the incoming pre-paid rate. The reason is that in many cases the taxi returns empty and therefore they add up some cost for the drop.
Shared Jeep/Taxi fares for Darjeeling (Updated September 2014)
Shared taxis that go up to Darjeeling are usually large Commander Jeeps or sometimes Sumos. There are two places from where you will get shared jeeps for Darjeeling - Outside NJP Station and next to Siliguri Main Bus Stand (i.e. Tenzing Norgay Central Bus Terminus on Hill Cart Road). The Siliguri bus terminus is about 8kms from NJP railway station and you can reach the bus stand by an auto or a cycle rickshaw easily within few minutes.
The shared Jeeps take 10 persons in a jeep, and wait until all the seats are filled up. Usually I have seen that during the high season, the seats get filled up very quickly during the day time when a jeep arrives. There are often many passengers waiting for the shared jeeps. In low season it might take 30 - 45 minutes for all seats to get filled up. Usually several locals would accompany you. Some of them get off on the way and other local commuters picked up.
With so many people packed into the Jeep, it can get uncomfortable at times. But there is a way out. In a shared jeep, you can actually pay and book more than one seats for yourself to buy comfort. For example, you can book both the seats next to the driver and occupy them yourself. Alternatively you can reserve four seats in the back row behind the driver's seat or the ones at the rear. Once booked, the driver won't let anyone else occupy those seats. Luggage is carried on the roof.
For a city dweller like myself, 10 persons in a jeep becomes really stuffy and it may be worth paying for an extra seat for a journey that takes 3.5 hours.
Shared jeep fare from NJP Station to Darjeeling: Rs. 150.00 (per seat)
Shared jeep fare from Siliguri Bus Stand to Darjeeling: Rs. 130.00 (per seat)
Shared jeep fare from NJP Station to Mirik: Rs. 100.00 (per seat)
Shared jeep fare from Mirik to Darjeeling: Rs. 100.00 (per seat)
Usual route for a shared jeep is by Hill Cart Road (NH-55). Usual travel duration is 3.5 hours. If any detour is required, that would increase the fare.
Bus fares to Darjeeling (Updated September 2014)
You will get buses only from the Tenzing Norgay Central Bus Terminus located on Hill Cart Road in Siliguri. It is about 8kms from NJP station. Currently there is a bus from Siliguri in the morning. While usual route used to be by Hill Cart Road (NH 55), the road is closed near Tindharia since 2010. The bus now takes the Rohini route up to Kurseong and then the Hill Cart Road to Darjeeling. The travel duration between Siliguri to Darjeeling by bus is about 4 hours.
Bus fare from Siliguri to Darjeeling Via Rohini: Rs. 130.00 per person
Note: The Mongpu route is taken in case the Hill Cart Road is closed.
Toy Train Fare to Darjeeling (Updated September 2014)
The diesel engine hauled toy train leaves NJP station at 9am and takes about 7 hours 15 minutes to reach Darjeeling. You can also board the train from Siliguri Town Station or Siliguri Junction Station that are 5kms and 8kms away from NJP respectively. There are also toy trains available from Siliguri Junction and Darjeeling for joy rides. These are steam engine hauled toy trains. Check out Darjeeling Toy Train Services
for current status and schedules.
NJP to Darjeeling: Not operational since Sept 2010 due to track damage
Kurseong to Darjeeling: First Class Rs. 210.00, 2nd Class Rs. 30.00
Round Trip Joy Ride Darjeeling to Ghoom (all First Class): Rs. 400.00 per person if booked through IRCTC website. The train stops at Batasia for 10 minutes and then at Ghoom for 30 minutes. Cost of entry to DHR Museum at Ghoom is included in the ticket cost.
Siliguri Junction Station to Tindharia & back Joy Ride: Rs. 355.00 per person if boooked through IRCTC website (only 2nd class seats available). This 6-hour ride takes you through Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary and offers great views of the Tindharia valley.
NJP Station to Siliguri Bus Stand Fare (Updated September 2014)
Siliguri main bus stand (Tenzing Norgay Bus Terminus on Hill Cart Road) is about 8kms away from NJP station. You can either take an auto rickshaw, a cycle rickshaw or a taxi from NJP to reach the bus terminus at Siliguri.
Auto Rickshaw fare: Rs. 90/- (up to 3 persons, limited luggage), 10 minutes
Cycle Rickshaw fare: Rs. 50/- (up to 2 persons, limited luggage), 30 minutes
Taxi fare: Rs. 200/- (up to 4 persons)
2) Check out How to reach Darjeeling
for complete information on reaching Darjeeling from various places in India and neighboring countries.
Moumita Dutta (February 2014)
Hello Raj, First of all thank you for the feedback which you provided regarding hotel in Darjeeling. Now I have a query regarding hiring a small car (private taxi) from NJP station to Darjeeling. You have already provided an idea of the cost, but came to know from people in off season, small cars take around 1200-1300Rs, if we can bargain. Just wanted to confirm from you is it correct or not. Many thanks in advance.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) February 2014
I have indicated the pre-paid taxi fare in my site, which is fixed. However outside the NJP station you can negotiate with drivers who come from Darjeeling to drop other passengers and now waiting to get return passengers. They can agree to such lower rates as they would like to get back quickly. But you need to find such returning drivers. In off season you may not always find one. So don't bank on that. But you can negotiate with other drivers as well and sometimes get better rates than pre-paid charges. However in high season, it's unlikely that you can bargain better rates due to high demands.
Amita Sinha (April 2013)
I'm planning to reach NJP by train at around 9.00am. I want to hire a pre-paid taxi to reach Darjeeling via Mirik & would like to spend 2-3 Hrs at Mirik before reaching Darjeeling. Please suggest whether this is possible & if yes, what would be the additional cost for this journey?
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) April 2013
Pre-paid taxi route to Darjeeling is via Hill Cart Road or Pankhabari, not via Mirik. Mention at the counter that you want to go via Mirik. If they agree, they will let you know the charges which should be about Rs. 500/- more than the normal pre-paid rate. But the usual wait time at Mirik would be at the most 30 minutes for refreshment. If you like to halt there for 2-3 hours, then you will need to negotiate with the driver. If he doesn't agree, then you can try with a private taxi outside the station.
Another solution is to take a pre-paid taxi from NJP up to Mirik. Then after spending 2-3 hours at Mirik, take a taxi from the Mirik Bazaar stand for Darjeeling. If you start from Mirik before 2pm, you can also take a shared jeep (from the bazaar area) for Darjeeling.
Sysilia Tanhati (Jan 2013)
Hi, I want to ask you, you mentioned that the price for shared jeep is 150/per seat, do I need to bargain or is it the fixed price? Thank you
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) Jan 2013
Hi, It's a fixed rate and you won't be able to bargain. P.S.: Take the rates as indicative as they change with time.
Sysilia Tanhati (Jan 2013)
Hi, Thanks for your info, I will be in Darjeeling next week. 1 question, should I find the jeep outside the train station in new jalpaiguri or there is a prepaid stand? Thanks a bunch
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) Jan 2013
Prepaid counter is only for private (reserved) taxis. You will get the shared jeeps outside New Jalpaiguri station. In case you don't see one (because they depart as soon as they are full), go down to Siliguri main bus stand area on Hill Cart Road (about 5kms). Take a rickshaw or an auto-rickshaw. You will find shared jeeps there.
Sysilia Tanhati (Jan 2013)
Noted, many thanks for your info. Your website helps a lot!