Abhishek (December 2021)
Hi Raj, Thank you for maintaining this Site and Forum. It is a great resource for travelers visiting Darjeeling / Sikkim. I had a quick query on the RT-PCR Requirements and would like your inputs on it, as i am not getting concrete information on it. We will be travelling from Pune to Bagdogra Airport by Air on 24 Dec.
As per latest travel guidelines, is RT-PCR Test required for Fully Vaccinated Individuals as well, for travelers coming from Maharashtra? It is not required normally for Fully Vaccinated Individuals, but due to Omicron, I read it might be required for people travelling from Maharashtra, even for Fully Vaccinated Individuals. Hence, need some clarity. Thanks.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) December 2021
Hi, fully vaccinated individuals from other states (including Maharashtra) can travel to any parts of West Bengal (including Bagdogra) without RTPCR test certificates. However, guidelines do change from time to time, so do check with your hotel at your destination for the latest guidelines.
Mohsin Ali (October 2021)
I have a 10 year old daughter. We are planning to visit Darjeeling in December. Does she required a negative RTPCR report while entering. Me and wife are both vaccinated with double doses, so we might not require.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) October 2021
All above 2 years are required to show negative RTPCR test reports (obtained within 48 hours of arrival) unless fully vaccinated. You should contact your hotel for any latest changes in guidelines.
Prachi (July 2021)
WOW! The post is beautifully crafted; was thinking of visiting the place and it answers everything! Thank you :)
Sushil Kumar Pingua (April 2021)
Hi Raj, Firstly I would like to mention that information available on your website regarding North Bengal and Sikkim is unparalleled, unmatched by any other travel portal. I wrote and got a wonderful reply from you on email on 13-14-Jan'21. Further, on 22 March'21 I began my two weeks' drive from Jharkhand to Darjeeling and Sikkim and back for over 2000 kms of happiness in Covid period along with my wife, mother and my 5 month's old daughter.
In Darjeeling I took booking at an apartment which was fully furnished for 5 persons, just a kilometer before the Darjeeling railway station right beside the Ghum-Darjeeling road. And I got a beautiful and safe exclusive parking space in the apartment premises for my car. The rent of the said apartment was dirt cheap.
Of the three days I spent at Darjeeling, I didn't take my car out for drive into the Darjeeling city, I used to catch the Tata-Sumo taxis right in front of the apartment @ Rs.15 per head. Hotels with parking inside Darjeeling would have cost me a bomb and Homestays didn't have in-premises parking space. The said apartment I booked even provided me LPG connection with stove and utensils included in the rent. And the veggie cum chicken shop was right 50 metres from the apartment.
On your website I learnt how to book online tickets of DHR toy train on irctc for the to & fro journey from Darjeeling and back to Darjeeling which no other website was able to explain.
I drove ahead from Darjeeling to Dentam in Sikkim for further 4 days, I cancelled my booking of Gangtok and I'm glad I took the right decision to stay away from the over-crowded Gangtok. Drove back from Dentam and reached home in Jharkhand on 3rd April'21 covering around 2050 kms in total.
Thank you Raj for providing valuable information to probable visitors solely at your own expense. I planned my stay at Lepchajagat, the drive from Siliguri to Darjeeling via Mirik, places to visit in/around Darjeeling and got my Sikkim Arrival Card of tourists based on information from your website. Thanks again,
Adrish Mukherjee (January 2021)
Dear Mr Raj Bhattacharya, Greetings of the day. Extremely grateful for sharing your vast and varied knowledge about North Bengal tourism in your website.
I am from Kolkata visiting Darjeeling on 14-17 April 2021 , just after normalisation of lockdown, along with my wife we are aged 40-45 years and moderately fit , this is our first visit to Darjeeling hence not well versed with the area, hence request your invaluable suggestions. Is toy train of Ghum available? What other major places available during this period to visit? Regards
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) January 2021
Hello, Most tourist sites in Darjeeling are gradually opening up. Toy train joyrides between Darjeeling and Ghum are operational. The Ropeway (cable car) resumed last week. HMI/Zoo are open too. Hopefully, by April it will be back to the usual state.
Since it's your first visit to Darjeeling, suggest you go through Darjeeling Trip Itineraries where I have discussed and commented on numerous day-wise tour plans.
Ora Chatterjee (August 2020)
Hi Mr. Raj we have visited Darjeeling last November 2nd to 6th. All the information I had got from your blog... from hotel booking to tour planning. It was very helpful to us. This was the best tour of my life. Thank you so much for helping us.
Sumit Kabir (March 2020)
Though I am a tourist of limited frequencies, during my short stints with the site I have felt that it's a page of difference. The minute details generously provided without a drop of greed... it's definitely a work of heart and some tour-angel's sincere love for tourism.
Yuvraj Singh (January 2020)
I am from Toronto, Canada, in our sixties and I was planning to visit my place of birth i.e Kalimpong also where I had my schooling in SJC. Going through the websites I came across Darjeeling Tourism managed by Raj. It was the best knowledge that I could get. Raj is a walking encyclopedia for the area tourism. His guidance has been invaluable for me to plan for our tour. On his suggestion, I changed my itinerary from Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Gangtok to the better managed Gangtok, Kalimpong, Darjeeling.
Kathryn Dewey (October 2019)
Hi Raj, What an informative website. Thank you. I have a general enquiry at this point. My husband and I - we are in our late sixties and moderately fit - are wondering if it is advisable to stay in Darjeeling for a week and do daily tours etc to the surrounding areas of interest. We do not really want to stay one night her, two nights there etc. Would 7 days be adequate?. The length of our stay is not an issue nor is the budget within reason! (I do rather fancy Kurseong but this not so central to the points of interest). Your advice would be extremely helpful. Thank you.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) October 2019
Hi, you can easily do day trips from Darjeeling to several nearby places including Kurseong, Mirik, Takdah, Tinchuley, Chota/Bara Mangwa, Kalimpong, Lamahatta, Lepcha Jagat etc etc. Seven full days should be good if you want to explore most of them. You can however combine some of them in the same trip (for example Lamahatta and Kalimpong) or Takdah and Tinchuley.
Rajiv (April 2019)
Thanks to your website and all the details provided. We did a 6 days trip to Gangtok Pelling Darjeeling. I didnt find any trouble in finding the cabs, hotels, sightseeing places as your website stands as a one stop shop :)
Johann Rousselot (December 2018)
Dear Sir, First of all thank you so much for making such a comprehensive and passionate blog about Darjeeling! This is a mine of information, it's amazing how much into every detail you like to go. Do you know anyone who is running a blog as informative as yours, for Sikkim State ? I hope so !! Thank you very much.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) December 2018
Hello, I haven't seen much Sikkim information online other than the websites of Sikkim Tourism Department, travel agents and few stray bloggers. You can find some information about Sikkim from my website as well... Sikkim Tourism or Sikkim Permit Requirements could be a good place to start.
Angshuman Sengupta (November 2018)
Dear Mr. Bhattacharya, This is a short note to express my immense thankfulness to you and your website. I am an ardent admirer of the beauty of the hills around Darjeeling and whenever I plan a tour I visit your admirable website for the exhaustive information and helpful tips. Thank you so very much.
Sreeya Bhowmik (November 2018)
Hello Raj, You deserve a standing ovation for this website. This is the best website on North Bengal tourism, even I think the govt. sponsored websites also are not accurate like yours.
Gautam Ghose (October 2018)
I am just in love with this mystique Hill Station which beckons me to visit every year (as I am from Kolkata)! I have visited Darj in all seasons of the year but I enjoy spending the winters here most. Sitting on the terrace of The Keventers on a winter morning having your favourite breakfast while viewing the mighty Kanchenjhunga is the ultimate pleasure in life! Being a retired person now, I enjoy lazing out and spending the day at the Mall. Earlier I could enjoy puffing my pipe while seated in one of the Benches, but now it has been declared a 'no smoking' zone. No regrets! I only request all to keep my favourite Hill Station clean and free of plastics. Let us keep it as beautiful as ever for generations to come .......
Khandker Fahmida Wadud (October 2018)
Thanks to Raj for his guidelines for Darjeeling tour. It was an amazing experience. Nature itself is enough to be in love with Darjeeling. Stay, food, shopping and site seeing are all convenient. I walked a bit and that was the best way to see Darjeeling. I wish transportation was a bit cheaper but again the climbing of hills miles after miles would cost some extra money. I just loved my Darjeeling Tour.
Alpesh Bhimani (August 2018)
I know you would have read plenty of lines about yourself from various tourists admiring your work, but seriously you have done a tremendous job. I see myself in your work because I'm a person who does his work with that perfection that no one can match. I'm sure that you are also of same kind. I've noticed that you have shared experience about smallest things also. This thing one can not find at any other platform. Whenever I plan for tour I always search various websites, similarly this time also I started to look into various websites but once I've seen your work I really haven't looked any other platform. Many many thanks and congratulations for your great work. Really appreciate it.
Nina (May 2018)
Dear Raj, Thanks a lot for all your efforts in collating and sharing all the details along with the nitty gritties of places near Gangtok, Darjeeling and Shillong. I just came back from my trip and i must say without your valuable inputs I couldn't have planned my trip in solo. Appreciate all your efforts! Please keep it up. All the information you have provided are accurate and reliable. We simply followed all your instructions!
Asif Karim (April 2018)
Hello Raj, you have set up an absolutely wonderful website here. It is very comprehensive, clear to follow and is immensely helpful. No doubt it is a passion for you. It is good to see a fellowman create something of this exemplary standard.
Abhijit Majumdar (April 2018)
It's a wonderful experience travelling through Mirik to Darjeeling. Darjeeling Tourism site is the best I have ever come across. Every details of this site is true and descriptions are accurate and very tourist friendly. Before going to Darjeeling district everybody should carry a copy of details of the areas of their travel from Darjeeling Tourism.
AB Pereira (January 2018)
Dear Raj, Yours is one of the best and most comprehensive information on any tourist site. Such information in other places is being done by govt and its connected agencies, but here, not only that you provide valuable and in-depth information individually, you also provide regular feedback and answers to tourists' questions promptly! Great indeed. When I see such good work, I don't hesitate to praise! So thank you for your good effort.
Soumyendu Roy (December 2017)
Dear Raj, I recently made a trip to Darjeeling. This was my most relaxed and comfortable trip, all thanks to your website. I have traveled across the world and generally do some research before starting my trip. I must say I have never come across an information source like this. Kudos to you man for creating such exhaustive and thorough travel guidance site. You must really be in love with Darjeeling. Best wishes for your future endeavors.
Venkatesh V (December 2017)
This is not the first time that I had been on a planned trip... However I feel that none was and will ever be like this one. The reason - perfect planning and guidance. I would say that this site is an encyclopaedia for the entire trip... WOW..!! Understandably, there was only one reference guide for this trip and it was you (Raj) and your website. And thanks for your personal guidance too.
The trip planning was going awry and by sheer luck I hit upon this site and then there was no looking further. Just back after an awesome trip to Gangtok - Darjeeling - Mirik and it was relaxed, refreshed and rejuvenated. And what else would one require.
Parag Ghosh (November 2017)
Dear Raj, I am among the very few Bengalis who hadn't visited Darjeeling. We now live in Portland, Oregon. Thanks to your greatly informative website, we had made plans to go visit Darjeeling when we were in India last year. Unfortunately, we had to come back from Dum Dum Airport dejected since the flight never took off for Bagdogra due to fog. Being on a tight schedule our entire plan fell apart.
We finally made it to Darjeeling this November and sure enough, this one turned out to be one of our most memorable trips for multitude of reasons. Darjeeling, as I had imagined, had so much to offer - the natural beauty, the colonial past, the tea gardens, the local Tibetan culture and so much more. Being an addict of Darjeeling tea, I fancied myself as a kid in a candy store while in Darjeeling. And we were guided by your website at every step in our planning.
I had waited for more than a year since our fiasco trip to say this and the time has finally come - thank you! Best wishes,
Seema Krishnan (June 2017)
Thank you so much for sharing such detailed Information through your website. It is a huge blessing for first timers like us.
Gargi (May 2017)
Dear Mr. Raj, Wanted to thank you for the lovely guide that you have created. So practical and useful. I was travelling with my little daughter, just followed your site and had wonderful time. Your information on taxis/ shared taxis/ routes and trains helped me to save and enjoy in the most economical manner. I followed your recommendation on hotels too, it turned out just perfect. Have already recommended it to my fellow travelers, and they were thrilled to have found something so useful. Thanks again.
Arko (March 2017)
Greetings Mr. Bhattacharya. I am short of words as to how I may express my gratitude for the absolutely delightfully detailed description that you have provided through your blogs. Equipped with knowledge from your posts, I was able to plan my tour itineraries in Darjeeling and Gangtok, that I visited in the last week of December 2016. It was my first tryst with the grand Himalayas and I was overwhelmed. It would have been very inconvenient, had it not been for your online guidance. When I came back from my trip, I wrote short notes about individual places, posting them on my FB account - and trust me, my inspiration was your write-ups! May your elaborate descriptions and guidance keep inspiring fellow travelers from all around!
B. Rajagopal (March 2017)
We would like to convey our sincere thanks to Mr. Raj Bhattacharya for providing such a vast range of valuable information and guidelines in his website www.darjeeling-tourism.com. This has helped us a lot in planning our 7D and 6 N Darjeeling trip in November 2016.
Because of his excellent guidance we had no hassle in choosing our hotel and tour operator, planning our itinerary, shopping etc. we had an excellent vacation in Darjeeling, enjoying the scenic beauty, interacting with the extremely cheerful and friendly locals, enjoying tasty food. We could avail good discounts at many places because of the Darjeeling Tourism Card which we purchased from Mr.Bhattacharya's website.
We sincerely thank Mr.Raj Bhattacharya and everyone who have helped to make this a wonderful and memorable trip.
Devin Thabah (February 2017)
Hi, I'm Devin from Shillong. Thank you for this website. I just returned from Darjeeling a couple of days ago. Before I embarked on this journey to this beautiful hill town, this was the website that I found to be the most informative and helpful in a lot of ways and I planned my journey according to the infos provided on this site. Needless to say the trip was the most memorable ever ...
Ekambaram (November 2016)
Dear sir, first of all I like to thank you very much for your web site which is my base TO PLAN OUR TOUR. We are 4 male senior citizens & we travelled through Darjeeling & Sikkim from 17th to 22nd Oct 2016. Your guidance is fantastic to select mode of travel, place of stay & selection of sightseeing places within the available time, budget and personal taste. Your reply to my email regarding availability of taxi to Namchi drop from Darjeeling was helpful. On behalf of all my friends I once again thank you for your excellent guidance. Please keep up your work as I am sure there will be plenty of people benefited by your writings on the above subject.
Andy Noel, USA (October 2016)
Hi Raj, I wanted to thank you for the amazing information that you have on this site. I traveled to India for the first time early this year, and your guides were instrumental in navigating Northeastern India. I stayed in Mirik, Darjeeling, and Gangtok, and made all of my travel choices based on your recommendations. I would recommend this site to anyone who's interested in going to Darjeeling and/or Sikkim. I'm coming back to the area again next year, and will definitely be using your site again! Thanks again for everything.
Indira Prasad (May 2016)
I and my husband toured Darjeeling and Sikkim between 20th and 28th April 2016. I planned my entire itinerary based on the information in your website. Your ebook was really helpful in planning our sightseeing schedule and also in choosing the restaurants to eat and hotels to stay. The tourism card also got us discount. Overall our trip was very nice and memorable. Big thanks to you...
Sachin Agrawal (January 2016)
You are doing an awesome Job. I have planned my entire trip at my own by browsing your website only :) Holiday package was costing me close to Rs 80,000 for 3 persons while I have planned it at my own for just Rs 35,000/- for 3 persons :) All thanks to you and your website for great information.
Biplov Rai, Darjeeling
Dear Sir, Greetings! It was a great joy surfing through your site. The suggestions are golden and really accurate. It is good to find someone who truly admires Darjeeling so much. Your effort isn't just helpful for the tourist but for the locals too. Some of the truthful statements regarding the rates of hotels and the misguidance done by the lease hoteliers are very true, your job is truly appreciated by me. Once again thank you for your selfless and bold steps. May God bless you and fulfill your hearts desire.