Carmen Schenderlein (April 2023)
Hello Raj, can I have one more question? We want to come from Chitwan NP or from Kathmandu to Siliguri. There goes a night bus from Kathmandu to Siliguri. In internet I can read this border check point is open for foreigners, but in facebook somebody says this is not open for us, so we can not take this bus. Do you have current information about this fact? Thanks you very much as before.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) April 2023
Hello Carmen, until recently (i.e. the second week of April 2023), the Indo-Nepal border at Kakarvitta/ Panitanki leading to Siliguri was closed for foreigners... that is the last update I have. I do not know if it has re-opened thereafter. The border remained closed for foreigners since the time of Covid pandemic. However, it re-opened for Indians and Nepalese.
I suggest you take clear information from the Nepal embassy in Kathmandu before you take that bus route to Siliguri. Alternatively, you can take a bus from Kathmandu to Birgunj in Nepal (about 5 hours), cross over the border to Raxaul in India (Bihar), and take another bus from there to Siliguri via Motihari (which takes about 13 hours)... this is a longer route but I understand that the border there is open for foreigners.
Khorshed (March 2022)
Hi Raj, Is it possible to reach Darjeeling from Changrabandha directly? Please advise.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) March 2022
Hi, Changrabandha is quite close to Siliguri town (about 8kms by road). Take an auto-rickshaw and go down to Siliguri (takes about 25-30 minutes) where you will get buses (from Tenzing Norgay bus terminal), shared and even reserved taxis from the taxi stands to Darjeeling.
Lyn Cooper (February 2022)
Hi. I will be visiting Nepal and Darjeeling from South Africa. I will be travelling with my grand daughter from Kathmandu to Darjeeling. If we take a bus to the border at Pashupati Nagar, is it possible to get transport directly from there to Darjeeling? What would be the cost?
I presume that the prices quoted by you are for Indian rupees. Where would I exchange Nepali rupees for Indian rupees after crossing the border? Do hotels and taxi drivers accept dollars?
How much of a price difference is there between March and April? Also, is there a big difference in weather in those two months? What is NJP?
I would much appreciate your help. Thank you very much. Kind regards,
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) February 2022
Hi, the border at Pashupatinagar can be used by Indians and Nepalis to cross over, and not by other foreign nationals because there is no immigration service here to issue or stamp visas. Indians and Nepal citizens do not require visas to cross over Indo-Nepal borders, they only need photo ID proofs. You will need to use the border at Kakarvitta of Nepal and come to Darjeeling through Siliguri. (I suggest you re-confirm the current entry restrictions at Indo-Nepal borders through an official channel such as an Indian or Nepal Embassy/Consulate).
Once you cross the border at Kakarvitta and come to Panitanki, you will get transport to get to Siliguri... a small reserved taxi fare from Panitanki to Siliguri would be around INR 1000. From Siliguri, the reserved small taxi fare would be around INR 2,500 - 3,000 (fares vary widely depending on season and demand).
You should ideally exchange Nepali rupees in Kathmandu and get Indian rupees before entering India. Hotels and taxi drivers do not accept dollars. Most hotels, some upmarket restaurants, and large stores usually accept international cards though. April is considered a high season compared to March (hotel tariffs are usually higher in April), and it's usually warmer in April than in March. NJP stands for New Jalpaiguri which is the largest Railway junction/station that is nearest to Darjeeling.
Lyn Cooper (February 2022)
Hi Raj, Thank you very much for your prompt reply and very helpful advice. It would seem that a much better option, both price wise and time wise, would be to take a plane from Kathmandu to Badrapur and then a taxi from there. There should also surely be an immigration desk there. It is my understanding that South Africans do not need a visa to enter India, although I will obviously Check this beforehand and find out how it works. Since I was a child at school and learned about Darjeeling I have always wanted to visit there. Your helpful information will make it a lot easier for me to plan. Thank you again. Sincerely,
Aslam (October 2019)
Dear Mr Raj, I was following your blog quite a time and got some good information. Thanks a lot for your excellent service. I am from Dhaka, Bangladesh. I am planning to visit Darjeeling and Gangtok (4 persons) with my spouse and 14 & 10 year old boys. I have 5year multiple entry Business visa for India and my spouse & kids have Visas against my visa like "Spouse/ Father holding business visa" and visa type marked "X".
We have a tentative plan like this:
10Dec: Enter into India through "Changrabandha" land port from Bangladesh
Take taxi to Darjeeling (may be through Mirik)
11Dec: sightseeing including Tiger hill, sun rise etc
12Dec: sightseeing in Darjeeling toy train, tea garden etc
13Dec: Checkout and travel to Gangtok by taxi
14Dec: Sightseeing around Gangtok
15Dec: Checkout, take taxi and way back to Changrabandha and Departure
I have few points to clear:
1. We have only Indian visa as I mentioned above, do not have any approval of Gangtok tour etc, can we get necessary approvals in Darjeeling on 12th/13th and/or how?
2. Checkout from Gangtok, can we cross the border same day through Changrabandha?
3.Is this time and route suitable for travel for a family on mentioned date?
4. Should we book hotels in advance online or book it after reaching the place?
5. Any advise regarding itinerary and requirements please
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) October 2019
Hello, you can get Inner Line Permit for Sikkim (including Gangtok) from Darjeeling... need to visit the FRO office followed by District Magistrate's office with your documents and photos. Alternatively you can get it done on the way to Gangtok at Rangpo checkpost. You can cross the border on the same day you leave Gangtok. December can be very cold out there, other than that there is no issue. Views will be good. Select hotels with good heating systems (preferably with electric bed warmers). During your time slot, you can book hotels on reaching the destinations, but do not fall into the trap of touts (often taxi drivers are touts in disguise) or arbitrarily get into a hotel... do a good research in advance.
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 & was 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 & Travel. 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 (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 & immigration 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 & India 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 Bangladesh.
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 & Nepal by road. Today I received Nepal Visa & waiting for Indian visa. My entrance in India as per visa form I signed is Changrabandha/Ranigonj & exit port is also Changrabandha/Ranigonj. It is Sigle entry visa by Indian Visa authority. Should I exit by Ranigonj from India & go 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 & Maleka 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 & my wife. Bus starts at 08:00 PM.
Abdul Naim (April 2013)
Hi, how are you. I plan to tour Nepal & India 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.