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 vary considerably depending on low or high tourist season. When demands are high, the reserved taxi fares can sky rocket. The fares that I have given below are indicative and applicable under normal situation, so that you get an idea about the cost of a local transport to Darjeeling depending on the mode of travel you choose.
While returning from Darjeeling (i.e. for a drop to Bagdogra airport or NJP station), private taxi fares would be considerably higher compared to the forward journey because the taxi might have to return empty.
Fares updated: July 2015
Indicative Private taxi fares
There are plenty of private taxis available both outside the NJP (New Jalpaiguri) railway station and Bagdogra airport. These are private commercial vehicles and have yellow number plates. The private taxis or cars are essentially of two types - small cars like Maruti Vans, WagonR, Alto 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 from outside the station or airport, negotiate the rates and move to Darjeeling, it is advisable to take one from the Pre-Paid taxi counters. The pre-paid counters are run by the state department and they can track the driver and the car in case of any problems.
The pre-paid taxi counter at NJP station is located just opposite to the station entrance. It's a small kiosk outside the station building. The pre-paid counter at Bagdogra 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 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 the driver will ask for some extra money to drop you to your hotel. However some areas, like the mall area is closed to vehicles where taxis/cars are not allowed. If your hotel is located in such pedestrian-only area, then you will need to either walk or take a porter from the nearest taxi stand.
Here are the indicative reserved taxi fares from NJP / Bagdogra to Darjeeling:
NJP/Bagdogra to Darjeeling (Small Car): Rs. 1850.00
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, enjoy the lake at Mirik and also the wonderful tea gardens and scenic views along the way. This route is not as steep as the others but takes one hour more (usually about 4 hours+).
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 Siliguri based driver. The local driver then tries to find another driver who would have come from Darjeeling, Gangtok or other places to drop passengers and now waiting outside for a return customer. To those returning drivers 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 him for a much smaller amount than the pre-paid fare 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. Insist on your original booking as otherwise the security of pre-paid booking would be lost.
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 instead face a lot of haggling.
NOTE: Presently the usual route is via Simulbari, Rohini and Kurseong, and it takes about 3 hours to reach Darjeeling from NJP or Bagdogra (with a short break in between).
Shared Jeep/Taxi fares for Darjeeling
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 quite 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 new passengers may join in.
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
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. The buses are run by North Bengal State Transport Corporation (NBSTC) and are blue in color. They look like mini buses and can carry some 30 passengers (standing is not allowed in these buses).
Currently there are four bus services from Siliguri to Darjeeling and back. The first one starts at 7am in the morning and others ply during the day time. There is no night bus. 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 other routes are closed.
Toy Train Fare to Darjeeling
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 and Siliguri Junction stations that are 5kms and 8kms away from NJP respectively.
NJP to Darjeeling: Presently suspended due to landslides.
Kurseong to Darjeeling: First Class Rs. 210.00, 2nd Class Rs. 60.00
There are also toy trains available from Darjeeling for joy rides (both diesel and steam engines). Check out Darjeeling Toy Train Services
for schedules & fares.
NJP Station to Siliguri Bus Stand Fare
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. 250/- (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.
Arnab Ray (September 2015)
Hi Raj, Just read this article, especially the section - The Internal Story. My question is what one should do, apart from rejecting the proposal strongly, if the pre-paid taxi driver asks to get transferred to a different vehicle? Is there any real effective way to deal with them?? Thanks in advance.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) September 2015
All taxi drivers in Siliguri area and hills are not exactly the right kind, so it is important that you are covered under the security of prepaid arrangement. You can try telling the man at the counter to ensure that such transfer does not happen, or ask the driver that if he can't go all the way, he should immediately change your slip to allocate another prepaid taxi.
Neha Banerjee (April 2015)
Hi RaJ, Me an my husband are planning to visit darjelling in May'2015. Just wanted to know that will the rates of a shared taxi be higher during the saeson time?
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) April 2015
Hi, shared taxi rates remain the same in high and low season because they are mostly used by the locals. Reserved taxi rates increase during high season.
Kumar Gautam (March 2015)
Update as on 26 March 2015
Prepaid taxi fare from Bagdogra Airport to Darjeeling is 1850/-. Post claiming your baggage, just walk into the prepaid taxi counter at the departure area at the airport.
CAUTION: In all likelihood you will be subjected to 'bait and switch' the moment you come outside the airport, its upon your wish to 'haggle/bargain' for a deal that suits you. The prepaid booking is till the taxi stand only (Near darjeeling station) . The driver will demand 200/- or 300/- for a drop till the hotel. Settle this in advance before getting into the vehicle.
P.S. This website is a goldmine of useful information.
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!
Fares to Darjeeling
Reviewed by Raj Bhattacharya