Pradip Burman Ray (August 2023)
Hi, You offer excellent suggestions Raj. We are 2 Senior Citizens from Kolkata. Visiting Darjeeling for 7 days end-Nov 2023. Shall take Darjeeling Mail to NJP. Few Queries:
1. Are Shared Taxi (Not Jeep) available from NJP to Darjeeling. If Available, what would be the fare.
2. Are Prepaid Taxi available at 8AM (The time Darjeeling Mail reaches NJP) at NJP Railway Station to Darjeeling ? How much fare is likely for a small Car ?
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) August 2023
Hi, shared taxis are usually Tata Sumos, Mahindra Max or similar large vehicles. Pre-paid taxis are now available at NJP for almost 24 hours. The usual small reserved taxi fare from NJP to Darjeeling is around Rs. 3,000. However, the pre-paid fare is usually lower.
Shivajit Dutta (September 2022)
Excellent website, Mr Raj. Please let me know if Binayak Hotel mentioned by you is the same with Hotel Vinayak Inn and Banquet.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) September 2022
Hello, In 2013 when I wrote about Binayak Hotel, it was a good option for some refreshments before heading towards Darjeeling. It was located on Hill Cart Road. It seems to have closed down now. Hotel Vinayak Inn & Banquet is a different hotel and located on a lane off Hill Cart Road.
Deepika (August 2021)
Our train will be reaching NJP at 10:30 pm will we get taxi to Darjeeling late night?
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) August 2021
You might get some stray taxis around that time at NJP... it's advisable not to take such a taxi, often the drivers are drunk. You should either pre-arrange a pickup through your hotel or wait till the pre-paid taxi counter opens in the morning. The second option is better because driving in the mountains so late at night is not quite advisable.
Sayan Saha (March 2020)
We are going there in April 2020 at 4 am. We are 9 people. First question is should I wait for 1-2 hours before booking a taxi?? And second, which will be wise for booking a taxi... at njp or bus stand?? Thanks in advance.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) March 2020
The prepaid taxi counter at NJP opens at around 7am. You can take a taxi from NJP itself. But try to avoid taking a stray taxi from the station.
Shrinidhi Padaki (February 2020)
Hello, we are 3 friends we have a train from NJP at 11:30 in the night, so will we be able to get a bus or a shared taxi from Darjeeling?
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) February 2020
Hi, shared taxis and buses operate during the day time.
Ritvik (December 2019)
Hi, I will reach NJP @21:55 hrs by 15635. According to your one of the replies, prepaid counter will be closed by 7PM. Shall I proceed with Wizzride to Darjeeling in night only or should wait till morning. Night transfer is safe or not. Also I wish to travel to Darjeeling and Gangtok both, shall I hire a reserved cab for full tour or should change and hire cabs separately for separate locations to save some money.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) December 2019
Wizzride is safe if you get one as per your timings. Avoid taking stray taxis from the station for night transfer... you can however ask your hotel for pick up service, which should be okay. Otherwise, better to go next morning. West Bengal taxis can not be used for local sightseeing in Sikkim and vice versa (but a one-time drop is allowed from one place to the other). So use separate reserved taxis at both places.
Hitprakash (November 2019)
It is quite tough to get a bus from New Jalpaiguri Junction if you arrived at station after 10:30 a.m. So the only option is to take a shared taxi to Darjeeling if you prefer economical mode and it will cost around Rs. 250/- per head in a old Tata Sumo. Many travel agents are even roaming around the station who will offer you many attractive schemes such as cheap packages which will include accommodation, sightseeing, etc. These agents will even take you to Darjeeling in 150/- just to attract you to avail their scheme. But if you want to go by bus then you can get it from siliguri.
Joydip Roy (June 2019)
Dear Raj, Thanks for your nice and informative website. Just wish to add one issue which I experienced recently, specially applicable for those who are travelling with elderly people and for the overall safety of the passengers.
We hired a Wagon-R from NJP at about 5am and the driver agreed at Rs. 2000 for dropping upto Ghoom. From the very beginning the driver started driving rashly and inspite of several reminders to slow down and my mother (73 y/o) requesting to drive slowly, he rudely said that he has 32years of experience so we need not worry.
It was extremely scary to see him driving at 70Kmph+ at an altitude of 5000 ft and above, where narrow roads and load bearing trucks make the driving quite dangerous. He took just 2.15hrs to drop us at Ghoom which is at 7500ft!! Immediately after check-in my mother fell sick, having hugely increased heartbeat and head started spinning, which made us terribly scared. There was no hospital in Ghoom so the only option was to go to Darjeeling, but the traffic is so bad that it would have taken more than 2hrs to cover the distance.
Thankfully Sterling Resorts arranged a local doctor, Dr. Agarwal, and he was really an excellent person and a godsend for us. He came over almost immediately and told us that this has happened due to the sudden change in altitude. It took almost two days for my mother to stabilize and it affected our itinerary since we did not dare to go out leaving my mother at the hotel.
It is a warning for all those who travel with elderly people: do not let the driver drive in a rash manner (as they want to make more trips in the shortest period) and deal with it in a firm manner immediately otherwise your trip will be badly affected. It is not only dangerous to drive rashly(specially after several accidents that happened in Sikkim) but also specially unsafe for senior citizens. Also, incase you are in need of medical attention near Ghoom, please call Dr. Agarwal immediately. He is an extremely helpful person and will be of great use in such a situation.
Rajshekhar K (December 2017)
Is there a good place to stay in New Jalpaiguri, I will be getting down at NJP in the middle of night and not sure how this place is. Will it be a good idea to book a cab and drive to Darjeeling at night from New Jalpaiguri.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) December 2017
There are several stray hotels in NJP. Better stay in a hotel at Siliguri (10 minutes by cab from NJP). There are plenty of good hotels there. Better avoid driving to the hills at night.
Jesus (June 2017)
Hi. Thank you very much for your nice and helpful comments. I was wondering if there is some kind of locker room or something to leave some of our luggage in the station during a few days (5-7 days) while we will be in Darjeeling and Sikkim, in order to carry out less weight during our trekking. Thanks a lot. Kind regards.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) June 2017
Hi, cloak room facility is available at NJP station where you can keep your luggage. You need to pay a nominal fee per day for each baggage. All bags bust be locked. You need to have a valid railway ticket reaching or leaving NJP to avail this facility. Contact the station master at NJP station once you reach. If you reach late at night or early in the morning, you need to wait until the station master's office opens.
Khanh Van Nguyen (March 2017)
I will visit Darjeeling on 29th - 31th March. I'm planning to reach NJP by train, and then take a shared jeep to head to Darjeeling. But the train reach NJP quite late around 6pm - 7pm, so I am wondering if there is any shared jeep or car still works at that time? Thanks a lot.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) March 2017
You will get private taxis, but not shared Jeeps.
Sarbojit Shome (February 2017)
Hello, We are a group of 11 people, reaching Darjeeling on 23rd April, 2017. Can you please confirm if there is an option all 11 of us could be accommodated in a single car from NJP to Darjeeling.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) February 2017
You can consider a Tempo Traveler or a minibus which can be organized through a travel operator in Siliguri.
Dhiman Bhattacharya (January 2017)
Hi Raj Sir, Once again I have a question for you. What are the direct options of coming from njp station to Kurseong? Is there any prepaid booth like bagdogra airport? Please inform. Thank you very much and regards.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) January 2017
There is a pre-paid taxi booth just outside the station platforms. You can also avail a shared jeep. Or go down to Siliguri main bus stand for a bus ... there are four buses daily.
Manish Wadhwani (June 2016)
Hi Raj! First of all, I would like to thank you for providing such detailed information about Darjeeling - Queen of Hill Stations. I am planning for Darjeeling in the month of November with my wife. I would be reaching New Jalpaiguri at 22:00 hrs. I wanted to know is there any way to move for Darjeeling late night and if not; where to stay overnight at New Jalpaiguri for one night before leaving for Darjeeling?
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) June 2016
There will be several stray drivers offering you drops at night, but those will be risky and I won't recommend that. You can either stay overnight at the retiring room at NJP station or else stay in a hotel in Siliguri which is within 10 minutes driving distance. There are plenty of hotels of all types there. But ask the hotel to send a car for pick up from NJP station instead of taking a stray taxi.
Harsha (April 2016)
Hi sir please help me. I will reach New Jalpaiguri at 10/05/2016 by Shatabdi Express train at 10.30 night. And I go from New Jalpaiguri to Gangtok by road (cab or bus anything). So please tell me can I get any local bus or cab at night after 11 from New Jalpaiguri to Gangtok, thanks.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) April 2016
You can get some stray vehicles (taxis) at such late night who can charge high fares. I do not recommend late night drive in the mountains. Often car drivers remain drunk. Better stay back at a hotel in Siliguri, ask the hotel to send a car for a pick up, and move next morning.
Sudip Bose (December 2015)
Raj, hi!!! Just wanted to ask you whether there is an elevator at the NJP station to facilitate elderly senior citizens to climb up and down to cross the railway overbridge.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) December 2015
There is an escalator at the outer end (i.e. while going out of the station to the parking area), a stairway plus ramp at the platform end, and a long over-bridge to walk in-between. So it's wheelchair accessible, but otherwise requires a long walk. The escalator goes both ways - up and down, but only to bring you up to or down from the over-bridge. It's a short escalator at the entry/exit, but helps negotiate the gradient at this end.
Kalyan Das (November 2015)
Is it safe to stay in retiring room with family at night at NJP station & is it clean enough. after booking to whom I will contact for room key.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) November 2015
It's safe and fairly clean. You should meet the station master on arrival.
Digvijay Singh (October 2015)
Hi, I am having a confusion sir, I am reaching NJP at 8pm and i have a toy train ride booked for the next day at 8am. What would you suggest so that I don't miss my toy train ride and at the same time reach Darjeeling. Thanks in advance.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) October 2015
You need to travel to Darjeeling at night. Better ask your hotel to send the car for a pickup rather than taking a stray taxi at night from the station. It might be costlier, but that is more sensible thing to do.
Shailesh Shah (January 2015)
I am coming to NJP with my family on 15 february 2015. My train (Guwahati Express) will reach NJP at 21.55 Hrs. Will it be possible for me to get a taxi right away and go to Darjeeling same night ? Or will I have to pass night in NJP and get the taxi next morning? If it's the case, are there hotels nearby NJP railway station to pass a night with a family ? Please guide me. Thanking you very much.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) January 2015
Pre-paid and regular taxis do not operate after 7pm. But you will get some taxis outside and the drivers may charge more than normal fare. Also driving late at night in the mountains is not recommended... drivers may be drunk, fog can create problems etc. Better to stay back at NJP station retiring room for the night or book a hotel at Siliguri (10 minutes from NJP). You can now book retiring rooms at NJP online through www.irctctourism.com. Proceed next morning. Pre-paid taxi booth opens around 7am.
Satish Thombre (October 2014)
I am traveling with my family including one infant. I was reaching NJP at 3am from Mumbai, so can I get transport to darjeeling at that time or else where to wait & at what time I will get transport. Please guide me. Thank you Raj.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) October 2014
Wait at the retiring room at NJP station. There might be one or two drivers outside offering you a drop at that hour. Try to avoid. The pre-paid taxi booth just outside the station opens around 7am.
Ranabir Deb (March 2014)
Hi Raj, we are planning to visit Darjeeling on 14th Mar 2014. We shall be reaching NJP by 7:00 am approx, and we shall be taking the 3:00 pm train from Kurseong for Darjeeling (tickets already booked from irctc site). Can you please guide us how to reach Kurseong from NJP and whether we would be able to reach Kurseong by that time from NJP (from 8 am to 2 pm). How is the condition of the road to Kurseong (from NJP) now-a-days? Thanks & regards,
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com), March 2014
Hi, NJP to Kurseong takes about 1hr 45 minutes by taxi. Take a pre-paid taxi or a shared Jeep from NJP station. They should take the road via Rohini, which has been newly repaired... it's in good condition now.
Asha (March 2014)
I would like to know about the frequency of the shared jeeps from NJP station to Pelling and Darjeeling to Pelling. Where is this taxi stand situated in Darjeeling.Are these direct jeeps to Pelling? When does the last jeep start from Darjeeling. Also what is the journey time to Pelling from Darjeeling and Njp.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com), March 2014
NJP to Pelling takes about 6 hours via Jorthang (located about midway). You will get shared Jeeps from Siliguri near SNT (Sikkim Nationalised Transport) bus stand. They Leave at 7am and 1pm, and usually go up to Yuksom via Pelling. Note that the timings may change, but usually there are two shared Jeep services from Siliguri on a day, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. Darjeeling to Pelling takes about 5 hours. You will get shared Jeeps from Clubside and Chowk bazaar taxi stands in Darjeeling. Note that they take more than 10 persons in a jeep and you will need to remain crushed in a pack of local commuters for hours. Good luck!
Sameer Mehta (February 2014)
Hi Raj, After 2 months I will be getting down at NJP railway station, late night. Just need to know if there are any transport from NJP to Darjeeling at late night
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com), February 2014
You are unlikely to find transport late at night at NJP. The prepaid counter opens around 7am. But you may start getting private taxis outside the station before 7am (several taxis come to drop passengers who catch morning trains). But I suggest not to travel even if you manage to get a taxi late at night mainly because of the fog problems. From all places you mentioned, you will start getting shared and reserved taxis from around 7am.
Subhajit (December 2013)
Hi Raj, At first I thank you a lot for this kind of informative and helpful website. No other website is as helpful as this one. Hats of to you Raj. Please note my little query which you please answer. I will go to Darjeeling on 30th Dec 2013. This is the 4th time for me. It is one of my most favorite places. We are now 14 persons including 2 children and 4 senior citizens. I want an advance booking of a suitable car. Can you please provide me contact details of a reliable travel agency/driver/person for traveling NJP to Darjelling and which car you suggested for us. Please reply.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com), December 2013
Hi, For 14 persons, You will need two large vehicles (like Scorpio, Sumo etc) or a minibus. Best is to ask your hotel to organize the transfer and give you a good rate. Otherwise you can go through one of the several travel agencies in Siliguri (try google search). One of them is Kings Travel, they are good but usually their rates are also higher. Try to take a quick quote from 2 or 3 operators and decide on one. Note that for kids & seniors, the route via Mirik would be better. It's longer (takes one hour more) but not that steep or winding. Rates will be higher for this route though. Talk to them over phone.
Shampa Anand (September 2013)
Hello, First of all thank you for this wonderful informational website which is very helpful. We would be travelling with elderly parents and children in a group of 10 adults and 4 children . Will be travelling by Teesta Torsa train and reaching NJP on 1 Feb 2014 at 2.40 am .Could you please advise if we would be able to get a TATA Sumo pre-paid car or Qualis at this time of the morning to take us to Darjeeling. I hope all of us fit in the same car or might be able to take a mini-bus if available. Also with family and children travelling with us, is it safe to travel from NJP to Darjeeling in the early hours of morning. On the way to Darjeeling vis the Hill Cart Rd, could we stop at Tea Garden etc? Please advise. Many Thanks Regards
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com), September 2013
Hi, The pre-paid taxis are usually available from NJP station from around 7am onwards. So you will need to wait at the station if you reach on time. You can get Sumo or Bolero on pre-paid as well. I won't recommend travelling for Darjeeling while it's dark. It's mainly because of the fog problems. Driving through the fog along winding road is quite risky. So start only after the daylight breaks. If you want to pre-arrange a vehicle, you will need to contact a tour operator or travel agency in Siliguri. There are plenty of them... search in google.
The Hill Cart road is closed before Kurseong for the past several years due to landslides. So you can't take that road. You can go via Mirik (pre-paid charges are more and takes about 4.5 hours). You can see lots of beautiful tea gardens along the way. The best tea gardens (on the mountain slopes) are on the stretch between Mirik and Darjeeling. There is a view point on that stretch for viewing the tea gardens. It'll be on your left. Unless its foggy or cloudy, you will get sweeping view of the tea estates from there. Ask the driver to stop. They generally do. The extra fare is worth this trip. Also, this is a route with gradual slope (unlike the usual Pankhabari route which is quite steep). Children & old persons will find it easier. Regards,
Jill Roehr (June 2013)
I'm travelling to India, Darjeeling, in less than 2 weeks and I am very happy to have found a website like yours which is very useful for my preparation. I've read your information very well but I still have a question concerning the pre-paid taxis which I want to use to get from New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling. I'll probably arrive very early on a Monday morning (6.15am, according to train schedule) in New Jalpaiguri and my question now is: are the pre-paid taxi counters inside the station already open so that I can get a pre-paid taxi? If not, how else could I then get to Darjeeling so early? I would be very pleased if you had an answer to my question! Thanks in advance, Best Regards,
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com), June 2013
Hi Jill, The pre-paid taxi counter at NJP station opens around 7am and operates until 10pm. It's actually located just opposite to the station entrance. So if your train reaches on time, you may need to wait for a while to get a pre-paid taxi (which I think is worth doing). Otherwise, there should be taxis outside the station around that time. You should be able to get one for Darjeeling. The drivers are likely to jack up the prices at that hour and you may need to get into some bargaining act to get a fair deal :)
Ghufran Ahmed Khan (April 2013)
Hi Raj, Your website is really informative. I need help. I am reaching NJP @ 2:00 AM in the night. I will be with my wife, so where could I stay/wait near NJP railway station. When do we start getting Taxi/Shared Jeep early in the morning. Thank you
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com), April 2013
Hi, There are waiting rooms as well as retiring rooms (both AC and Non-AC, although limited) and also dormitories at the NJP station. There are 2-bedded AC & Non-AC rooms, 3-bedded non-AC room, and ample dormitory beds. At that hour you will be better off staying back at the station rather than trying to check into a hotel. Taxis & shared jeeps start operating by 7am. You may get private taxis even earlier.
Capt. S. A. Modak (February 2013)
Dear Mr. Raj, Really appreciate your thoughtful, practical and informative guidance provided in these web pages. We are a family of 3 adults (myself, spouse and mother) and 2 kids (ages 4yrs & 7yrs) intending to take a 5 days Gangtok-Darjeeling trip this May. I request you to provide me information on eating options, particularly breakfast and dinner at or near NJP railway station. I will be arriving NJP around 9am by Padatik express and leaving NJP after 5 days thence by Darjeeling Mail around 8pm.
Ideally we would like to finish breakfast around 8am in the Padatik express train itself and so also for dinner around 9pm in Darjeeling Mail. But I do not know if catering is available in these trains. Also please advise me about standards at NJP as regards cleanliness and family safety. How are the waiting hall conditions at NJP railway station? I am holding 1A tickets either way. Once again, I congratulate you on maintaining this wonderful site and wish you success in all your ventures. Warm Regards
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com), February 2013
Hello, There are lots of stalls that have come up just outside the NJP station and by the side of the road selling all kinds of food. They all thrive on train passengers and serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. But I doubt the hygiene factor. See the photo above.
If you want proper restaurants, then take a rickshaw/auto or a taxi and go down to Siliguri town (5kms). There are many nice restaurants there. One of them (although not upscale) is the restaurant below Binayak Hotel (it belongs to the hotel). It's a multi-cuisine restaurant. Bengalis prefer Kalpataru - a simple restaurant serving good Bengali food. Regards,