Reaching Darjeeling From
Bhutan, Bangladesh & Nepal

 
 
This section provides information about how to reach Darjeeling from Bhutan, Bangladesh and Nepal. The information will be equally useful if you are instead planning a reverse travel, i.e., visit one the above neighboring countries of India from Darjeeling or even Siliguri. 
 
Other than all the routes, approaches and transport options between Darjeeling and these countries, you will also find the basic travel documentation &ávisa formalities required to enter Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh for both Indians and other foreign nationals. 
 
Darjeeling to Bhutan 
One of the best ways to approach Darjeeling from Bhutan is through Phuentsholing which is the border town of Bhutan. There are buses from Paro, Thimpu (in Bhutan) that come up to this point. There is a border gate here which separates Bhutan from State of West Bengal (India). Jaigaon is the adjacent and border town in West Bengal. 
 
 
 
Between Phuentsholing and Siliguri, there are number of buses that ply every day and the journey takes about 4 hours. Royal Bhutan Government bus leaves from Siliguri Tenzing Norgay Bus Terminus (on Hill Cart Road) near Heritage Hotel every day at 7:30am and 1:30pm. There are also regular buses from P.C. Mittal Bus Terminus located at Sevoke Road in Siliguri for Phuentsholing. 
 
You can buy the tickets on entering the bus. While going towards Bhutan, all these buses go through Jaigaon (the bordering town in West Bengal), cross over the border and go all the way to Phuentsholing. On their way back, they start from Phuentsholing. 
 
Note that there are two routes between Siliguri and Phuentsholing, one via the Sevoke bridge, the other via Alipurdwar and Hasimara. The second route is better and is part of the Siliguri - Guwahati highway. 
 
If you are going towards Bhutan, there are also reserved car rentals available from Siliguri. One of the well known travel agents offering car rentals is Kings Travels. They offer reserved cars for Bhutan, Sikkim and Darjeeling areas. 
 
Kings Travels, 94 Bankim Chandra Road. Siliguri-6. 
Cell: +91/9830428401/ 9331939486. 
 
While coming from Bhutan, once you reach Siliguri, there are a number of transport options available for Darjeeling including private taxis, shared jeeps, and even the Toy Train ride. Check out Siliguri to Darjeeling to know about all the transport options including rates and locations. From Paro or Thimpu, it takes over 10 hours to reach Darjeeling by road. 
 
There are also regular Druk Air flights between Bagdogra Airport and Paro (in Bhutan). 
 
Indians do not require visa or any travel documents to enter up to Phuentsholing. Actually the buses from Siliguri go all the way up to Phuentsholing crossing the border gate. But beyond Phuentsholing, even Indians need a permit to visit other places within Bhutan. Indian citizens need to carry the passport (or any other government issued identity proof recognized by Bhutan Immigration) in order to get the permit. The permit is issued by the Bhutanese immigration office located in the border area. 
 
All other foreign nationals (except Bangladeshi and Maldivians) need proper visa to enter any part of Bhutan including Phuentsholing. Note that there is no 'visa on arrival' facility in Bhutan. 
 
Darjeeling to Bangladesh 
There are regular bus connections between Dhaka and Darjeeling. Buses from Dhaka come up to the border town of Burimari. From here the passengers will need to walk for few minutes and cross over to the Indian border town Changrabandha after completing the customs formalities. There will be Indian buses waiting here to take the passengers to Siliguri main bus terminus. So, there is a break journey involved but it's fairly hassle free. 
 
 
 
Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) operates the buses from Dhaka up to Burimari through an agent called Shyamoli Paribahan. The buses leave at 8pm from Dhaka and reach the border town early in the morning. The Indian bus takes another 3 hours to reach Siliguri. The buses are air-conditioned, run on time and offer food &ásnacks on the way. Although you need to change the bus at the border, the entire journey can be booked end to end, and is generally comfortable. The road condition in Indian side is inferior compared to the Bangladesh side. 
 
Once you reach Siliguri, there are plenty of transports for Darjeeling from the main bus terminal. Check out Siliguri to Darjeeling for details. 
 
For the reverse journey (i.e. from Darjeeling to Bangladesh), you will need to come down to Siliguri and catch the bus from the Siliguri main bus terminus (Tenzing Norgay Bus Terminus). You can buy your tickets here. Proper travel documents are required including passport and visas for travel between Bangladesh and India. 
 
Darjeeling to Nepal (Kathmandu) 
There are several ways you can reach Darjeeling from Nepal or vice versa 
 
  • From Kathmandu, you can get a direct bus up to the India Nepal border at Kakarvitta. You can buy tickets and board the buses at Gongagbu Park bus stand in Kathmandu. While there are several private bus operators, try to take a bus which is labeled 'Tourist Bus' in front as they are least likely to face any barricade or other issues from the locals along the way. However this is a long 15 hours journey. The tourist buses are better in general and have reclining seats. 
  •  
     
     
    Once you reach Kakarvitta (which is the border town on Nepal side), cross the Mechi river bridge and walk down to Panitanki which is the Indian side of the border. You can also take a rickshaw (1km, 5 minutes). Once you cross over the border you can get a bus or a shared taxi up to Siliguri. It takes about 1 hour to reach Siliguri (about 31 kms from Panitanki). From Siliguri there are ample options to reach Darjeeling. Check out Siliguri to Darjeeling for details. 
     
  • Alternatively you can take a flight from Kathmandu to Bhadrapur. There are daily morning and afternoon flights (currently operated by Buddha Air and Yeti Airlines) that take less than 50 minutes of flying time to Bhadrapur which is also located in Nepal but close to Kakarvitta. You can then take a taxi up to the Kakarvitta, and then follow the steps as mentioned in the previous section. 
  •  
  • If you are an Indian or a citizen of Nepal, you have a better option of reaching Darjeeling from Kathmandu. However this option is not available for other foreign nationals. You can come to the India-Nepal border Pashupati (where the Pashupati Nath Market is located), and then take a taxi or shared jeep to Darjeeling. The distance of Darjeeling town from Pashupati is only 29kms and it takes only one hour to reach once you cross the border. Other foreign nationals are not allowed entry through this route. 
  •  
    While Indians don't need visa to enter Nepal, they should carry the passport. Note that Photo IDs like ration card, driving license etc. are not recognized by the Nepal Immigration office. Citizens of several other Asian countries also do not require visa for Nepal. There is 'visa on arrival' facility for over 50 other countries that are associated with United Nations. For the rest, prior visa is required to enter Nepal. 
     
     
     
    Related Articles 
     
     
     
    Visitors' Reviews/Comments 
     
    Jewel Zaman (January 2018) 
    Hi Raj, First of all please accept my thanks and appreciation for your well covered write-ups on Darjeeling tourism. I and my friend planned to visit Darjeeling and Gangtok in February next with our families. Since this is off-season and at times very cold, should we drop the idea of visiting there at that time with our children aged between 4 to 13? 
     
    I like to visit Darjeeling first and then to Gangtok. As I will start from Banglabandha land port from Bangladesh and India, should we hire a jeep for seven of us from the border or we should go up to Siliguri then take the shared taxi to Darjeeling (with all ten seats)? 
     
    One more question, will it be wise to take shared taxi upto Mirik and then again another shared taxi up to Darjeeling with a break of about 2 hours? 
     
    Thanks in advance in anticipation of your usual cooperation. Take care, bye... 
     
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) January 2018 
    You can hire a large vehicle at the border and head directly to Darjeeling. You can also take a shared taxi to Mirik from Siliguri. But you may not always get a shared taxi from Mirik when you want particularly late in the afternoon. In such a case you need to hire a reserved taxi from Mirik to Darjeeling. Also note that Bangladesh nationals have restrictions to visit Gangtok or any other part of Sikkim. You require a special approval from Home Ministry at Delhi which you need to acquire through Indian Embassy at your country. 
     
    February can be extremely cold in Darjeeling. However tourists who enjoy the chill do visit Darjeeling around that time. You should carry heavy woolens. 
     
    Raja Sekhara Pillai (January 2018) 
    Hi, is it possible to reach Darjeeling from Thimphu in one day by bus? I Will be leaving from Thimphu early morning. 
     
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) January 2018 
    Bus journey from Thimphu to Phuentsholing will take about 6 hours, then you need to transfer to Jaigaon and take another bus for Siliguri which would take about 5 hours thereafter. By the time you reach Siliguri, you may not get a bus for Darjeeling and instead might need to take a taxi. Taxi from Siliguri to Darjeeling takes nearly 3 hours, bus about 4 hours. Not quite practical to plan such a long journey. 
     
    Susan Hooper (January 2015) 
    Good Afternoon, I will be arriving in India from Nepal at the Panitanki crossing &áwas wondering if it's typically possible to get a taxi directly to Darjeeling. Or will I likely have to go to Shiliguri first? What would be a fair price? I look forward to hearing from you. 
     
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) January 2015 
    Good day, Getting a private taxi at Panitanki is quite unlikely. You will get a bus or a shared taxi for Siliguri. You can get off at Darjeeling More (which is a crossing at Siliguri) or at the main bus terminal where you will get a taxi. It'll take about an hour to reach Siliguri. Alternatively, you can get off at Bihar More at Bagdogra, which is a busy junction about 30 minutes from Panitanki. The main road continues towards Siliguri while another road branches off towards right for the airport. Bagdogra airport is only 5 minutes from here. You can take an auto rickshaw (three wheeler vehicles) to reach the airport where you will get plenty of private taxis. Fare to Darjeeling from Airport will be around Rs. 2,000, from Siliguri about Rs, 1,800. 
     
    Monalisha Sherpa (April 2014) 
    Hi Raj, I am planning for a 7 day Bhutan trip with my family from darjeeling and frankly saying I don't have that lavish budget to spend, so just want to know if you can help me advising some tour company from Darjeeling whose rates are affordable. I understand that you already have provided names of so many travel agencies with their full contact details on your page and they really are a lot :-) but I would really like you to suggest me a good one from your side with affordable rates. Many thanks Raj.. 
     
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) April 2014 
    Hi, unfortunately Bhutan is not a place for budget travel. You can talk to Clubside Tours &áTravel. They are good. 
     
    Rafiq Hasan (October 2013) 
    Hi, This is Rafiq Hasan from Bangladesh. I thank to you for your online cooperation for international as well as Indian travelers by providing valuable information about Darjeeling. Three of my friends and me want to go to Darjeeling in this month on 17th October. We will start our journey by bus. Would you tell me how can we get a bus from Changrabandha port to Darjeeling. Also bus fare for each person. Looking forward to hear from you soon, Thanks. 
     
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) October 2013 
    Hi, Shyamoli Paribahan in Bangladesh runs AC buses between Dhaka and Changrabandha. Once you cross the border, you will need to board an Indian bus which will be waiting at the border. This bus will take you to Siliguri. You can book the entire Dhaka - Siliguri trip through Shamoli and avoid ticketing at the border (this is recommended). There is no direct bus from Dhaka to Darjeeling. Once you reach Siliguri (the main bus stand - Tenzing Norgay Bus Stand on Hill Cart Road), you will get buses for Darjeeling (Rs. 80 via Mongpu). You will also get plenty of shared jeeps (Rs. 150 per person) as well as private taxis to reach Darjeeling. For Dhaka to Siliguri fare, please contact Shamoli Paribahan in Bangladesh. Regards, 
     
    Siddharth (June 2013) 
    Sir, I'm planing to visit Darjeeling from Kathmandu. Please inform me how long it takes to reach Pashupati border from Pashupati nath tample or Kathmandu? And what is the best way to reach Pashupati border from Kathmandu? 
     
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) June 2013 
    Hi, Firstly be aware of the fact that India/Nepal border at Pashupati á(i.e. where the Pashupati Market is located) is accessible only to nationals of India and Nepal. If you belong to one of them, then proceed. Nationals of other countries are not allowed to cross this border. 
     
    Pashupati border is about 30kms from Darjeeling and on the way to Mirik. It's a long hard route between Kathmandu and Pashupati border. There are buses (in wretched conditions though) that ply between the two places. Most part of the route is along East-West Highway (H01). The total distance between Kathmandu and Pashupati border is about 630 kms. The journey will be through day and night and can easily take 15-17 hours depending on road conditions. Along the way you will pass by Lahan, a small town which is about 400kms from Katmandu towards east. 
     
    It's a good idea to stop over at Lahan for the night and catch a bus next morning. Otherwise unless you are used to it, this kind of journey can be very painful. The bus will be packed and there will be people and cattle on the roof. A lot of the journey is through bumpy and dusty roads. From Lahan, Pashupati border is another 230kms and along the way you will cross the Koshi river. There are landfills on Koshi river on which the vehicles cross over. Once you reach the border, Darjeeling is another 1 hour or so. You will get ample shared jeeps or taxis from the border to reach Darjeeling. Regards, 
     
    Shyikh Mahdi (June 2013) 
    We are a group of Students from Dhaka University planning to have an International Tour. Please help us in those questions.... 
     
    01. We (Max 25 - 40 people) have planned to take a Multiple Entry Visa from Bangladesh, Now is it possible for us to visit Nepal by Road from Shiliguri? Some people keep telling that We have to take the Transit Visa for that, but it stands only for 5 days. So, which is the correct info? 
     
    02. We heard that Sikkim is banned for Bangladeshi people for visiting. Is it true? Is there anything that can be done for visiting Sikkim? Thanks in advance. 
     
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) June 2013 
    Hello, To visit Nepal and India, you will need valid tourist visas for both countries. If you plan to enter any country more than once, then you will need multiple entry visa for that country. 
     
    From Siliguri, you can take a bus to the Nepal border at Kakarvitta. It takes about 1 hour. After you clear customs &áimmigration checks and cross the border, you will get bus for Katmandu. It takes close to 16 hours. But before you start, inquire at the Siliguri main bus terminal about the timings of buses at the Nepal side. Otherwise you may need to go through long wait at the border. 
     
    There is no ban as such for Bangladeshis to visit Sikkim. But there are restrictions. Nationals of Bangladesh, Pakistan, China and Myanmar require prior approval from the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs (at New Delhi) and then a separate Inner Line Permit (which all foreign nationals require and can be taken from any Overseas Indian Mission or several other places) to enter some parts of Sikkim like Gangtok. If so many of you are visiting together, then I suggest you take an endorsement from your tourism ministry's office and attach that with your application for Indian Home Ministry's approval. Otherwise it is likely to be turned down. Regards, 
     
    Mehedi (June 2013) 
    Hi, how are you. I plan to tour Nepal &áIndia and tried visa for both countries. But I am not clear about this 2-country tour. 1st I thought of going to India and then to Nepal, then enter India again, and finally exit to Bangladesh. But India visa is single entry. Now is my tour plan possible? how I get double entry.. please give me route plan... 
     
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) June 2013 
    Hi, Since India visa is single entry, it is quite obvious that you can not enter India twice. So your first destination has to be Nepal. May be you can fly to Kathmandu. From there you can enter Siliguri (India) through the Kakarbhatta border. While returning you can exit India via the Changrabaddha border and enter áBangladesh. 
     
    Maleka Rahman (September 2012) 
    Try to get direct Shyamoli bus ticket from Dhaka to Siliguri, else you will face hassles from outsiders. From Siliguri to Darjeeling by Santro, Nissan, taxi etc, cost of a reserved private car is Rs. 1200-1600; Single on sharing basis is Rs. 150. In Siliguri, you can stay at Sheena Hotel near Central Plaza Hotel (room rate from Rs. 350-500 double). All Darjeeling hotels need 2 passport photos from foreigners due to new Gorkhaland rules. 
     
    Mohammed Nazrul Alam (November 2012) 
    Sir, I have keen interest to visit Darjeeling &áNepal by road. Today I received Nepal Visa &áwaiting for Indian visa. My entrance in India as per visa form I signed is Changrabandha/Ranigonj &áexit port is also Changrabandha/Ranigonj. It is Sigle entry visa by Indian Visa authority. Should I exit by Ranigonj from India &ágo to Katmandu by road? Should there be any obligation by this exit? If so, please provide me some valuable suggestion from your side. Thanks, 
     
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) November 2012 
    Dear Md. Nazrul Alam, You should be able to leave India through the India-Nepal border like Kakarvitta if you have a Nepal visa. However confirm this with your embassy / consulate office. If you go back and exit via Changrabandha, you will need to plan the Nepal visit separately from Bangladesh and that would be a longer route by road. 
     
    Md. Masudur Rahman (November 2012) 
    Thanks Raj &áMaleka Rahman. I shall start my journey to Darjeeling from Bangladesh on 20 Nov 2012. Tickets already booked on Shamoli Bus, Dhaka counter. Bus fare increased by BDT 200 from Nov'12. I paid total BDT 3,000 for me &ámy wife. Bus starts at 08:00 PM. 
     
    Abdul Naim (April 2013) 
    Hi, how are you. I plan to tour Nepal &áIndia and got visa for both countries. But I am not clear about this 2-country tour. I 1st thought of going to India and then to Nepal, then enter India again, and finally exit to Bangladesh. But India visa is single entry. Now is my tour plan possible? Please help me. 2nd option... 1stly I am going by air to Kathmandu then, I am going to Kakarbhatta, cross the border and go to Siliguri in India. While returning cross the changrabandda border (it is exit and entry port) and enter Bangladesh. Is it possible.. Please help me. Note: Nepal visa multiple and India visa single entry. Thank you. 
     
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) April 2013 
    Hello, With single entry visa for India, you can enter India only once (either from Bangladesh or from Nepal). Once you exit India through any border point, you can not re-enter. So the first option will not work. 2nd option is okay. 
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Advertisements