Darjeeling Ropeway
Rangeet Valley Passenger Cable Car

One of the best ways to experience the panoramic views that Darjeeling is so famous for, is by taking a ride on the ropeway. It's also called the Darjeeling Rangeet Valley Passenger Cable Car because of the spectacular view of the valley around the river Little Rangeet. You will need to board the cable car from Singamari which is 3kms (i.e. 1.8 miles) away from Darjeeling Chowk Bazaar. 
As you ride the cable car, in about 45 minutes you will travel from an altitude of about 7,000 ft. (or 2134m) down to 800 ft. (or 244m) where the last station Singla Bazar is located. However presently the ride has been shortened to a station called Tukvar from where the Gondolas return. 
Darjeeling Ropeway 
Darjeeling Ropeway 
Darjeeling ropeway started in 1968 and is the first cable car system in India. It was initially set up to cater to the tea gardens at the valleys below which did not otherwise have an easy access. Starting with just one cable car or a gondola, it was upgraded to accommodate 16 cable cars each having a capacity of six persons. 
So what can you experience while riding Darjeeling Ropeway? There are several stops or cable car stations in the original route between Singamari and Singla Bazar which is 8kms (i.e. about 5 miles) away located at the bank of Ramman river. Earlier the cable car stopped at Tukvar Village (which is well known for its vast stretch of tea estate that started in 1856), followed by another village called Burnesbeg, and then the Singla Tea Estate which is owned by the Jayshree Tea Company. 
From the cable car you can get breathtaking view of the valley below, see the spread of lush green tea gardens on the hill slopes, flowing rivers, forests, waterfalls and to top it all the magnificent view of the Eastern Himalayan range including the snow capped peaks of the Kanchenjunga. Where else can you get such a bounty of the nature all in one place? 
Darjeeling Ropeway over Tukvar Tea Garden 
Darjeeling Ropeway 
Photo: JyotiPN, cc by sa 4.0 
You can actually see two flowing streams down below. One is the river Ramman and the other is the Little Rangeet. They both meet with the Great Rangeet river which originates from a glacier of mount Kabru. The Rangeet valley is full of flowers and butterflies and is located in the Bijanbari area. The Little Rangeet river is well known for its many fresh water fishes. The entire Singla has a forest area of over 1,500 acres. 
So what are the attractions and what can you do at the lower stations? 
Plenty! Since there is no set time limit on the ropeway, you can take break journeys, hop on and off the cable cars without having to bother about coming back to Darjeeling at a fixed time. Of course you will need to return before the ropeway operation closes for the day. 
Here are some of the great things that you can do: 
  • Visit the Tea Estates, take a guided round through a tea factory and see how is tea processed after being plucked from the gardens. 
  • Take a light trek through the beautiful green tea gardens that have well laden paths, see the local women plucking teas and enjoy the views. It's always a special experience. 
  • Take snacks and other refreshments at the kiosk counters of the stations. 
  • Or just sit down and relax at the sit out, enjoy the nature and the ambience. 

    Some background of Darjeeling Ropeway

    Darjeeling Ropeway started in 1968 and went through major upgrades in 1988. It is a joint venture between the West Bengal Forest Development Corporation Limited (WBFDCL) and a private company called Conveyor and Ropeway Service Private Limited (CRSPL). Over the years it has become one of the key tourist attractions in Darjeeling. 
    However on October 19, 2003, an unfortunate accident took place and the ropeway remained closed for a long time. Three cable cars slipped out of the track from Darjeeling Singamari station and crushed into the tea gardens some 100 feet below causing death to four passengers and injuries to several others. Several years later and after the second inspection by the Public Works Department, clearance was finally given to reopen the ropeway by early 2012. 
    In September 2011 when I personally went to take a look, the steep staircase leading to the cable car station seemed virtually inaccessible due to lack of maintenance. I found it hard to believe that it could reopen soon. But it did! Darjeeling Ropeway had re-opened in February 2012 after more than 8 years. 

    The Present Journey

    From Lebong Cart Road at Singamari, there is a signage and a narrow concrete stairway leads to an upper level where the ticket counter is located. During tourist seasons there is usually a long queue up there and there can be a long wait time before you are able to board a gondola. 
    The ropeway (cable car) presently goes up to Tukvar and returns to Singamari base station at Darjeeling. There are 12 gondolas in operation each having a capacity of up to 6 persons. From an altitude of about 7,000ft you will go downhill to about 6,000ft at Tukvar. If you want a full gondola to yourself, then you need to buy six tickets. 
    Darjeeling Ropeway Station at Singamari 
    You can get off at Tukvar... there is a small sit-out once you get off the Gondola. You can sit there and enjoy the views of the valley and lush tea gardens around, or take a walk through the Tukvar tea gardens. Note that on your return, you will again have to queue up to board the cable car. If you want to avoid this wait on return, don't get off at the destination and get back on the same gondola. 
    There is also a small eatery next to the cable car station at Tukvar... an open air restaurant on the roof of a building where you can get some refreshments. They also sell packaged tea which you should avoid. But you can have a cup of hot tea and enjoy the views. At Tukvar, there is a toilet but not well maintained. Having spent some time at Tukvar, board a gondola to return. The total round trip is about 5kms (i.e. 2.5kms each way). The cable car moves quite slow and takes about 15 minutes each... add to that the time you spend at the destination. 
    If you decide not to get off at Tukvar, it will take total of about 40 minutes for the round trip. For best views, try to take a seat facing downhill. Some Gondolas are new while others are old ones with glasses full of marks and not suitable for taking good pictures. Also ventilation window remains mostly open, so carry some warm clothes to avoid the chill. 

    Entry Timings (Open Hours) for Ropeway

    10am to 4pm during off season (winter and monsoon) and 10am to 2pm during high season (summer and autumn). Why shorter hours during peak season? Because once you buy the tickets, you will find yourself behind sea of people waiting for their turn. The average wait time can be anywhere between 1 hour to 90 minutes. Therefore they close the ticket counter early during high season to clear off the long queues. So, try to reach as early as possible in the morning hours and be among the first to take the ride and avoid the queues. 
    Note that on 19th of every month, the Ropeway remains closed for maintenance operation. 

    Ticket Price

    (Fare Updated: March 2022) 
    Rs. 260/- per person (for 5kms round trip). Child (3-8 years) is Rs. 130/-. 

    Location of ropeway and how to reach

    Darjeeling Ropeway or cable car station is located at Singamari which is 3km (1.8 miles) away from the Chowk Bazaar (the main market center of Darjeeling at the lower level). You will get cabs or shared jeeps from Chowk Bazaar that takes about 15 minutes to reach unless there is a traffic jam in the market area which is often the case. 
    Get down at North Point on Lebong Cart Road which is quite close to the St. Joseph's college. Across the road you will find a narrow and steep stairway that leads to the Singamari cable car station located at a higher level. You can see the station at a higher level from the road and the cable cars passing over your head down to the valley below. 
    Check out North Darjeeling Map to see the location of the ropeway station. 
    Darjeeling Ropeway along with several other popular attractions in Darjeeling are covered by the standard local sightseeing tours offered by taxi drivers and tour operators. 

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    Visitors' Reviews/Comments

    Anupam Garai (October 2023) 
    Sir, how to book Darjeeling ropeway ticket online? I am not getting the proper link. Please help. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) October 2023 
    There is no online booking facility for Darjeeling Ropeway at present. 
    Sanjay Patel (March 2023) 
    Dear sir, I am from Gujarat visiting Darjeeling ropeway. I am standing in a queue for the past 2 hours. What I noticed that ropeway operators giving direct entry to their near and dear ones may be by taking bribes. We are standing in the queue and other people are going directly into the cabs. Thanks 
    Durjoy Das (June 2022) 
    Whether in September Darjeeling ropeway remain open for riding? 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) June 2022 
    The ropeway usually operates all through the year unless there is an unavoidable situation or maintenance work going on. 
    Lieke Mobach (April 2022) 
    Hi Raj, is it also possible to take a cable car into Darjeeling? That Darjeeling is the end station? Would love to hear from you soon. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) April 2022 
    Hi, there is no cable car transport to Darjeeling... it's only a short ride within Darjeeling. 
    Lieke Mobach (April 2022) 
    Perfect, thanks for the answer. Do you have a good view of Darjeeling city from above? 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) April 2022 
    You get great views of the valley, sprawling tea gardens on the slopes of the mountains, streams, and on a clear day, the view of the Kanchenjunga snow peaks. The township of Darjeeling is 3kms away, so you won't get a great view of the city itself. 
    Ashwini Pailoor(February 2022) 
    We reached the ropeway after passing through many picturesque spots, and to our luck there were just 4 people before us. We got into the cable car and that's when I realised that I can be a wimp at times. As the operator pushed the car off the hill, my heart raced and I was too scared to open my eyes. My friend had the most enjoyable laugh looking at my plight. 
    I got used to it in a couple of minutes, and opened my eyes to the most marvelous sight ever. The green tea estates and the road through it looked like a river. We even saw some snow on a few tea shrubs. As we descended we passed through fluffy clouds and GODDD, it was cold. We had the most crazy and enjoyable ropeway ride over the beautiful tea estates. 
    Once we got back, the operator pointed out the exit sign behind us. What we did not know is that we just had to turn left after the exit sign so we could go towards the entrance gate. Instead we started walking straight after the exit sign. It was a narrow path and we walked thinking we would find a road. 
    My friend told me a couple of times that this might not be the route but I just wanted to go on. There was no one to even ask for directions. After about 600 meters we stopped and looked around. We saw a few people at a distance, waited for them to pass us and finally asked them for directions. If we hadn't, then we would have taken the jungle route to Chowkbazar! The route allowed me a few good clicks. We turned back and reached the entrance, found the small stairs leading down towards the road. We took a shared taxi back to the market. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) February 2022 
    Hi Ashwini, Do you know, if you had continued to walk from the ropeway exit on that narrow unknown road, you would have actually reached the Love Road... the most romantic pathway in Darjeeling which is hardly known to tourists. You can go through Love Road if you like to read my small article on it :) 
    Vaishali (November 2018) 
    Hi Raj, Is the rope-way closed now? I can see last update was on April 2018 that rope-way will be closed indefinitely. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) November 2018 
    It is still closed. There is no news when it may re-open. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) January 2018 
    After 7 months of closure following the agitation in hills for a separate state, Darjeeling Ropeway has finally resumed its operation in January 2018. Although peace was restored in the hills in September 2017 itself, the ropeway could not operate because they could not renew the annual NOC (i.e. No Objection Certificate). That being done, the operation has now resumed. However the ticket cost has been increased from Rs. 175/- to Rs. 200. The ropeway service is operated by the company Conveyor and Ropeway Service Private Limited (CRSPL). 
    Shekhar (December 2017) 
    Hi Raj, I am planning my visit to Sikkim and Darjeeling tour starting from New Jalpaiguri in the last week of Mar'18. Will Darjeeling ropeway be crowded during this time? What will be the average wait time? And should all of us including old and young stand in queue to board or we can wait for our turn. Regards. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) December 2017 
    March is relatively free of tourists, the high season really starts from April. But there can be tourists, so expect some wait time although not much (may be 15 minutes or so). All need not board the gondola together. Your group can be in different gondolas. 
    Deb Sengupta (February 2017) 
    Dear Mr Raj, Kindly suggest whether Tukvar rope way is operational now as heard in past that it had some issues on renewal of NOC. We are traveling between 20-22 MAR....kindly confirm. Thanks and warm regards. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) February 2017 
    It is operational. 
    Antara Sarkar (June 2016) 
    Sir, we are going to visit Darjeeling during November this year i.e 2016. What I want to know is that whether we will be able to enjoy the rope-way ride as I have heard that it is presently not operating. Regards. P.S: You have done an excellent work on your website and the information are very useful. I've planned our vacation according to your information. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) June 2016 
    The ropeway operation is suspended now. Nothing can be said until the company responsible renews the NOC and takes care of the sagging of the cable between poles. 
    Suvendu Adhikary (November 2015) 
    Sir, I want to know about online advance booking system for CABLE CAR in Darjeeling. Please help me. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) November 2015 
    You can't avoid the queue. There is no online booking system of Darjeeling cable car. 
    Jennifer (September 2015) 
    Hi we are visiting Darjeeling in November this year 2015, we are wondering if the Rangeet Valley passenger cable car will be working again. Regards 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) September 2015 
    It is operational. 
    Rakesh (May 2015) 
    Dear Raj, Such a nice and informative web site developed by you. I would like to update that ropeway is now closed after earthquake. I had been to this place on 4 May 2015 and it was closed. 
    Kameswari Jandhyala (November 2013) 
    Hi Raj, can you tell me about cable cars at Darjeeling? What I read is there will be 3 stations from north point to singla market, and it takes 45 mins for one way. My question is presently how many stops are there for Rangeet valley cable car? How much time it takes for both ways (to and fro)? Can I get down at any stop and come back to north Point or is it mandatory that I have to travel till singla bazaar and come back? Kindly help me out with the information for above mentioned questions. Thank you 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) November 2013 
    Currently the ropeway is operating between Singamari (the starting point) to the next station Tukvar. It takes about 15 minutes one way. It's not going all the way down to Singla Bazaar.