Returning from Darjeeling

 
To return from Darjeeling, you will first need to come down to the lower plains either at New Jalpaiguri for catching a train back home (NJP is the nearest major railway junction), or to Bagdogra Airport for taking a flight. While many trains pass through NJP all through day and night, flights from Bagdogra are mostly available during the day time. 
 
Many tourists also come down to Siliguri (which is the twin city of NJP) to catch long distance buses that run daily between Siliguri Tenzing Norgay Bus Terminal on Hill Cart Road and Kolkata (Esplanade). 
 
 
 
These long distance buses (known as Rocket buses) are run by North Bengal State Transport Corporation (NBSTC). You can get tickets at the Siliguri bus terminal. These buses usually ply at night and leave Siliguri in the evening. There are privately run buses as well that ply between Siliguri and Kolkata. 
 
Coming down from Darjeeling to lower plains 
There are buses, shared jeeps, reserved taxis and even toy trains available from Darjeeling to come down to the lower plains. It takes about 3.5 hours to reach NJP or Bagdogra from Darjeeling by car or taxi. Buses and shared jeeps take a little longer though because of intermediate stops. Toy trains take much longer (over 7 hours). While taxis area readily available from early morning till evening, other modes of transports are available during day time only. 
 
Reserved Taxis from Darjeeling 
In Darjeeling, taxis are private cars which can be small cars like WagonR, Santro etc or a bigger vehicle like a Scorpio or Sumo. You will get ample taxis from the Club Side taxi stand located near Gandhi Road Police Chowk. It's best to book a taxi on the previous day during the high tourist season. You can book directly with the driver, or there is a small kiosk (a counter run by the taxi drivers association) right next to the Club Side taxi stand on Gandhi Road where you can book a taxi. I'll recommend the second method (i.e. booking through the kiosk) although the other method might be a bit cheaper. 
 
This is because you have something to fall back on in case anything goes wrong. While booking directly with the driver, usually you won't need to pay any advance. But in high season, if the driver gets a better rate from some other tourists, he can find some excuse to turn down your booking or get some other driver to serve you. Although quite unlikely, I won't like to take any chance of being left in the lurch at the last minute. 
 
If you book a taxi, the driver will come to your hotel and pick you up at the scheduled time. Remember to take the mobile number of the driver when you book. This will come very handy in case the driver delays (which is not very unusual). You can then contact him and ease out your tension. Reserved taxi service is available from morning (about 7am) till about 6pm. However if you book in advance, taxi can pick you up at early or late hours as well. 
 
Taxis usually take the Hill Cart Road to get down to the plains. Alternative route includes the one via Pankhabari (in case Hill Cart road is closed) or via Mirik (a longer route with higher fare). 
 
Shared jeeps from Darjeeling 
Shared jeeps are available at Chowk Bazar and Gandhi Road stands. They usually pack in 10 persons before they start. There is no system of advance booking in shared jeeps. You will need to come to the stand and hop into the one that is scheduled to start next. They place the luggage on top of the roof and usually cover them with a plastic sheet during monsoon season. You will usually get shared jeeps starting at 7am in the morning until about 2pm. Shared jeeps take the same route as taxis (Hill Cart Road or via Pankhabari). 
 
 
 
Buses and Toy Trains from Darjeeling 
Buses are available from Chowk Bazaar (Lower Bazaar) bus stand. You can buy tickets at the bus stand. The usual route is the Hill Cart Road. If the route is closed for some reason, buses take the alternative and longer route via Mongpu. 
 
Toy trains leave from Darjeeling Station. Tickets are available at the station or online through Indian Railway website (irctc.co.in). Toy trains run on narrow gauge track which has a fixed route via Kurseong (mid way) and then down to Siliguri and NJP. 
 
Darjeeling to NJP/Siliguri Transports 
For coming to NJP (New Jalpaiguri) or Siliguri you have the options of taking a taxi, a shared jeep, bus or even the toy train (if it's operational). 
 
Darjeeling to Bagdogra Transports 
The easiest way to come down to Bagdogra from Darjeeling is by taking a taxi unless you book a private car from the hotel which is going to charge you more. There is no bus service and usually no shared jeep service to Bagdogra airport. The Toy Train runs between Darjeeling and NJP (via Siliguri) and not available for airport. 
 
 
 
Related Articles 
 
1) Check out Bus/Taxi/Toy Train fares to Darjeeling to know about bus, taxi, shared jeep and toy train fares between Darjeeling and NJP/ Siliguri/ Bagdogra. 
 
 
Visitors' Reviews/Comments 
 
Prathamesh Patkar (November 2018) 
HI Raj, I have one query with regards to taxi or vehicle availability from Darjeeling to Bagdogra airport early morning. I have flight to catch at 9 am from Bagdogra airport for which I would need to reach airport at around 7 am. Is it possible to get a vehicle or taxi available early in the morning from Darjeeling at around 4.30 or 5 am ? 
 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) November 2018 
No, you won't get a cab at the stand at such hour. Better arrange a drop through the hotel. 
 
Parag Ghosh (March 2018) 
Hi Raj! Thanks for the informative blog. It's by far the most informative blog regarding tour at this part of Himalaya. I want to know if it is a good idea to take the road via Lamahatta, Tinchule, Peshoke, Tista Bazaar, Sevoke while returning from Darjeeling to Siliguri. Is is possible to visit the aforesaid places while we return from Darjeeling and how long it will take? áThanking you in anticipation. 
 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) March 2018 
It is possible but you must start early ... do Tinchuley first and then Lamahatta, Tista Bazar etc. It can take 4.5-5 hours of travel plus the time you spend on each site. Better do only Lamahatta on the way and get to Siliguri... will take about 3.5 hours of travel plus the time for sightseeing. 
 
Manjari Chattopadhyay (January 2018) 
Is it possible to visit Mirik, Jorpokhri and Pasupati Market on the way from Darjeeling to NJP? 
 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) January 2018 
Possible but you need to start early and your train should be in the evening. 
 
Michelle (November 2017) 
Today I took a pre-paid taxi from Darjeeling to Bagdogra Airport. When I initially stopped in to enquire, I was told the fare for a private taxi was 2,000 Rupees and it would take 3 hours max. When I went back to book the car, the price rose to 2,200 until I told them I'd been quoted something lower a few hours prior. But that's not my problem. My problem is that when I got in the car and was told it was a private taxi, the driver stopped the car in Ghum so he and his two friends could use the bathroom at the petrol pump. 
 
He then picked up a total of 6 different people along the way, which meant time both letting them into and out of the car. My 2.5 to 3 hour private taxi journey included stops for others and took nearly 3.5 hours. By the time I arrived at the airport I was late (I ended up missing my flight, which was the last of the night, along with my international connection in Delhi, and am writing this from a nearby hotel) and ran out of the car without telling the drive that I was disappointed. 
 
My point in leaving this review is to advise others to a) leave far more time than you think you need, especially if you're heading to the last flight out (my dumb mistake) and b) if you've paid for a private taxi, don't allow the driver to stop and c) (MOST IMPORTANTLY) make sure the pre-paid taxi place actually TELLS the driver they've hired that they've been booked as a private car. I have a feeling that didn't happen.  
 
Vinayak (February 2017) 
Hi Raj, I am planning 4 days trip to Darjeeling. My first visit. While coming back to NJP , I will reach at 6pm since there will not be any Jeep or bus in evening. Is there any place around NJP to pass the time as my train will be at 12pm and I have to spend almost 6hrs at NJP. Kindly revert. Thanks. 
 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) February 2017 
Siliguri (near NJP) is a busy town... nothing much to see or do. If you like to shop around a bit, visit the Hong Kong market... lots of shops of all kinds.... beware of the fakes though. 
 
Tejas (December 2016) 
Hi Raj, very informative site this! Just wanted to know what is the last mode of transport available (bus or shared taxi to NJP in the evening hours). Can I get a transport at say 6 pm? If yes, from where can i get it? PS. We are from Bangalore and have a train from NJP at 10pm.  
 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) December 2016 
Hi, shared taxis and buses won't be available that late. You need to book a private taxi from a taxi stand. But they are unreliable and may not turn up. Better to book a car through your hotel. 
 
Pinaki Das (October 2016) 
Sir, Is there any place on the road from Darjeeling to Siliguri where we can halt for some time near the banks of Teesta and enjoy the river. We are visiting Darjeeling during Dec 2016. 
 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) October 2016 
While returning from Darjeeling, if you take Peshok road (also known as Rishi road) at Jorebungalow towards Teesta Bazaar, then you can get Teesta alongside for quite a while when approaching NJP, particularly after Kalijhora. But this would require a detour of about 1 hour compared to the usual route via hill cart road. While the views of Teesta is excellent, there is hardly any place to sit and relax along the bank. 
 
Venkatesan Narayanan (October 2016) 
Dear Raj, I am planning to return back to NJP on 30-Dec-16 night to get howrah shatabdhi on 31-Dec-16 early morning. Is there any taxi/bus service after 6 or 7pm from Darjeeling to NJP. Is it safe to travel in late hours? With regards 
 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) October 2016 
Hi, you won't get taxis at the stands at that hour. You need to book one in advance. There is a taxi booking kiosk at Club Side stand (near Gandhi Road / Laden La road crossing). You can also book one through your hotel. A better plan would be to come down to Siliguri/NJP on the previous day and preferably stay at the retiring room at NJP or otherwise at a hotel in Siliguri. Driving at such odd hours is not advisable. 
 
Dr Dhiman Bhattacharyya (September 2016) 
Dear Sir, If I need to descend down at evening or night (as I have my ailing father at home) in case of emergency, what are the options Sir? Thanks and regards. 
 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) September 2016 
Nighttime transports at Darjeeling are very limited. You won't get taxis at the stands. Better book a hotel that has its own vehicles, and give them a heads up in advance about your possible requirements. You must get a confirmation from the hotel about such emergency service, otherwise you may not get the service when you actually need it. 
 
Kamal (January 2016) 
Hi Raj, We are planning to visit Darjeeling on 26-27 Feb 2016. I had a doubt that if I want to take benefit of enjoyment of DHR and also wanted to save time as I am in little hurry of time. So can I take train (train no. 52588) DJ KGN NG TRAIN upto kurseong and from there will I get any vehicle (like taxi, jeep) for NJP ? Will it be feasible ? 
 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) January 2016 
You will get private taxis from Kurseong. Shared jeeps are usually not available after 3pm. 
 
Jon Strachan, Australia (January 2016) 
Hi, We are planning a trip to Darjeeling and will fly in from Delhi. On our departure we wish to use the toy train to NJP and then the express train to Kolkata. Our trip will be in March this year, but exact dates are not confirmed. I understand the Toy Train leaves Darjeeling at 10:15 am and arrives NJP at 5:45pm. Will we be able to connect with the Royal Mail/Express train for overnight trip to Kolkata? Lastly, once we have our itinerary sorted out how do we buy tickets? Thanks, 
 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) January 2016 
Hi, you should keep a minimum time buffer of 2-3 hours while connecting to a train to Kolkata. The toy train can get late at times. You can buy toy train tickets through IRCTC.co.in website or ask your hotel to help. 
 
Pinaki Pal (October 2015) 
Hi Raj. Thanks for the detailed information. Its really helpful. I am planning to do the sightseeing around Mirik while returning to NJP. I am planning to leave around 11:30 AM from Darjeeling on 25th October and will visit Jorpokhri, Pashupati market and Mirik before reaching NJP. Can you suggest how long that can take ideally? Also suggest if it is safe to keep the luggage in the private taxi while doing the sightseeing. How much can they charge for this trip? 
 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) October 2015 
Mirik will take 2.5 hours from Darjeeling and another 1.5 hrs to NJP. You will need around 3 hours for sightseeing (more if you visit Pashupati market). Taxi charges can vary depending on season. A rough figure would be around Rs. 4,000 in a small car. 
 
Ashoka (September 2015) 
Hi Raj, Kudos for maintaining the excellent website. My return train to Kolkata is booked from New Jalpaiguri at 4:00pm. I am planning to take the 10:15 toy train from Darjeeling to Ghum. I want to know if it is possible to get back to New Jalpaiguri directly from Ghum? How long will the journey take? regards, 
 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) September 2015 
Ghum is on the way to NJP. You can ask your car to come and wait at Ghum station, or you can take a vehicle from Ghum itself. The bus and shared jeeps are also available there. 
 
Adil Mistry (February 2015) 
Hi Raj. Thank you for the wonderful information you have provided. I had one query, my return train is at 8:10 am from NJP, so will I get a taxi/bus/shared jeep in the midnight to reach NJP railway station from Darjeeling? 
 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) February 2015 
You can book a taxi in advance. If it doesn't turn up, you will be stranded at that hour. Better to come down to Siliguri previous evening and stay overnight in a hotel, or at the NJP station retiring room (online booking possible now). 
 
Upasana Mallick (September 2014) 
I have a flight from Bagdogra to Kolkata on Sunday. Please can you tell me where to find shared jeeps to bagdogra from Darjeeling? I wish to travel cheapest, so do not intend to hire a prepaid cab all for myself. Many thanks! 
 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) September 2014 
You can find them at the Chowk Bazaar motor stand. 
 
Ashwin Sakariya (August 2014) 
Hi Raj, I am planning a vacation with my family in the first week of jan, i will be arriving at bagdogra airport on 020115 at 1140hrs &ámy departing flight on 110115 from bagdogra airport is at 1215hrs. Can i reach bagdogra airport while returning frm Darjeeling back on time... If yes then by what time shall i leave Darjeeling, so that i reach well before my flight departure...? Can i get share taxis for the airport early in the morning?? If yes how early do they resume their services in the morning? Or shall i reach bagdogra the night b4 departure so as to avoid any hassles?? 
 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) August 2014 
Hi, start from Darjeeling by 7am and you will reach Bagdogra by around. 10:30am. Shared jeeps are usually available from 7am, but with 6 yr old daughter? I would have been hesitant. 
 
Supriyo Bhowmick (June 2014) 
Raj, I have a return flight from Derjeeling to Bagdogra Airport on 26.10.14 at 12:40 Hrs. Therefore, I should reach the airport at least by 11:45 Hrs. I am little confused whether I can start from Darjeeling the same day OR I should come down to Siliguri the previous day and stay there for the previous night. Though I would like to stay in Darjeeling on 25.10.14 night, if it permits. Therefore please suggest if I can start the same morning from Darjeeling to Bagdogra and reach safely in time (Or will it be risky). If I start the same morning, at what time should I start? Is transport easily available in the morning? Looking for your reply. With regards, 
 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) June 2014 
It takes about 3.5 hours from Darjeeling to Bagdogra, keep another 45 minutes in hand and time your start accordingly. You will get taxis, but better to book one in advance from the Clubside stand on Gandhi Road or the kiosk there. 
 
Sandip Chakraborty (February 2014) 
First it is very nice to see your quick and proper relevant response. In 2009 December our honeymoon was cancelled due to strike and various problems. Now after many other tours I can get proper courage to make a trip to Darjeeling in April. We are four family members. For return if I want to take Satabdi (timing 5.35am), then how is it possible? Book a room in station? If yes then how? Waiting for your reply 
 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) February 2014 
At NJP station there are 2-bedded and 3-bedded retiring rooms as well as dormitory beds. The rooms are limited. You can try contacting the station master to know about advance booking procedure (contact info... Station Master: 0353-2691766, Enquiry: 2691800/555/133/131). Alternatively while returning book a hotel room in Siliguri and stay the night there. Transfer to NJP station early morning to catch the train. 
 
Tanmay Biswas (December 2013) 
Hi Raj, Your blog is really very helpful. Previously I wrote about our 2 days Darjeeling trip plan &áyour suggestion was very good to plan our trip. Before booking I want to ask you one question on our return journey. We are planning to take a toy train ride on the return journey. For that we want to book 10.15am toy train from Darjeeling up to Kurseong (1.10 pm). From Kurseong we will catch a shared jeep up to Siliguri/NJP. From NJP we will catch Darjeeling mail (8pm). Now my question is around 2pm is there any shared jeep available from Kurseong to Siliguri/NJP? Thanks &áRegards, 
 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) December 2013 
Hi, Shared jeeps at Kurseong are usually available up to 2pm (at the stand near the station), and occasionally until even 4pm. Most jeeps terminate at Siliguri (bus stand area), while some may go up to NJP. 
 
Tirthankar Banerjee (November 2013) 
Hi. This site is really helpful. Thank you. I know that the best way to come from Darjeeling to NJP would be through a taxi. But in case I plan to take a shared taxi. How long do you think it will take? What time does a shared taxi need to start in the morning from Darjeeling - I need to take the Rajdhani Exp. from NJP at 11am. 
 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) November 2013 
Hi, It takes about 3.5 hours between Darjeeling and NJP. You should plan on at least 4.5 hours or more. But shared taxis (which are jeeps) and even private taxis at stands are usually available from 7am onwards (occasionally earlier). I don't think it's wise to plan on a shared taxi early in the morning. It waits till it gets all seats full (about 10) and takes time to load and unload luggage on the roof and along the way. So sometimes it can take more time to reach. A better idea is to book a taxi in advance. 
 
Rakesh Sancheti (October 2013) 
Dear Raj, Thanks a lot for your quick reply. The main question I have is if I have to catch a train from NJP at 9.30 AM. As per the time mentioned by you in below mail, I will have to leave by 4 or 5 AM. Can I get a Cab or taxi at that hour? I am ready to book a cab in advance but I want the cab to be available at that time. Is it possible? Thanks and Regards, 
 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) October 2013 
As I mentioned, if you book in advance, it will come and pick you up from the hotel. Cabs in Darjeeling are private cars. Your only risk is if the driver doesn't turn up, you won't get another taxi at that early hour. Keep the mobile number of the driver. Usually tourists go down to Siliguri on the previous day if they have morning trains to catch. Secondly, early in the mornings, there is also possibility of fog and driving down the hills in fog is not advisable at all. If I were you, I would book a hotel in Siliguri for the last night and leave Darjeeling a day before in the afternoon. Hope this helps! Regards, 
 
Rakesh Sancheti (October 2013) 
Hello Sir, I am planning to visit the Darjeeling. I want to catch a train no. 12364 from New Jalpaiguri Station at 9.50AM.I have two questions: 
1. At what time I will have to leave from Darjeeling? 
2. Whether I will get a taxi or cab early in the morning that will leave me at New Jalpaiguri Station by 9.30 AM 
 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com)áOctober 2013 
Hi, Darjeeling to NJP takes about 3.5 hours by car. You should keep another 1.5 hours buffer time just in case of some delays on the way. You should book the cab a day before you leave Darjeeling. You won't get one on the fly at that early hour. 
 
Sandeep Bains (September 2012) 
Excellent site. I have tried to read it as much as possible to assist in my upcoming trip. I am planning on flying to Bagdogra on Nov 18,13 and understand that the cheapest option to get to Darjeeling is to share in a prepaid taxi from the airport or travel the short distance to Siligiri Bus Stand and travel in a shared jeep. I would like to return to Bagdogra on Nov.22,13 to fly back out to Delhi and understand the toy train will take me as far as Kurseong arriving in the mid afternoon. I am wondering how easy it is to obtain transport from Kurseong to Bagdogra at that time of day in hopes of being able to book an evening flight or whether it is better to spend the night in Kurseong ensuring early morning transport to Bagdogra. Thanks 
 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com)áSeptember 2013 
Hi, Kurseong is a busy town and you will get plenty of transport back to Bagdogra in the afternoon. No derth of taxis (available all the time till evening), shared jeeps are available until about 3pm for Siliguri etc. It takes less than 2 hours to reach the airport from Kurseong. 
 
Saumyadip Ghosh (April 2013) 
We have return train-ticket from NJP on 29.05.2013 at 12.35 p.m. We would like to start on the same day from Darjeeling. Please suggest what can be done on this regard. At what time we should start in morning? Should we take a private taxi or shared taxi? Please suggest the best possible way which will be fast and economic at the same time. 
 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com), áApril 2013 
It takes 3.5 hours to reach NJP from Darjeeling via Pankhabari, and 4.5 hours via Mirik. Check out with the Taxi driver about the route which is open when you return and time your journey accordingly. Keep a cushion of at least 1.5 hours in case of any delays on the way. You may not get shared jeeps early in the morning. Better book a private taxi in advance. 
 
Santosh Kumar (Feb 2013): Night travel from Darjeeling to NJP 
I am planning to visit Darjeeling during May month. As you have mentioned that it takes 3 to 4 hrs to reach Darjeeling from New Jalgaipuri. Now I have a train at 5:30 in the morning (Howrah Shatabdi) from NJP to go back to Howrah. So I wanted to know whether I can get bus at night 12:30 am to reach NJP. Or at least a Taxi. If I book a Taxi at night then what will be the rates including Night charges if any.  
 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com), áFeb 2013 
Hi, There won't be any bus during that time. You can pre-arrange a taxi and the driver is likely to charge additional amount over the normal fare. There is no fixed norm. You will need to negotiate the amount. But I would not recommend night travel in the hills. While there is no safety issue otherwise, many drivers indulge in drinking at night and therefore there is always a risk factor at play. Rather come down to Siliguri by early evening and plan a night stay there. You will get ample taxis (pre arranged) to drop you at the station early in the morning. 
 
Jessica (November 2012) 
Hi, I'm looking for information about a travel from Darjeeling to Calcutta, because there are all information for the opposite way but not to go to Calcutta from Darjeeling.. I don't really know how it works but maybe you could help me... I want to book up a flight from Calcutta to Bangkok the 19th of December. But, I'm in Nepal so I intend to take a transit visa (72h) for India and then from the Nepal border go to Darjeeling and go straight to take a train to Calcutta. But I know we have to book up the trains a long time before, how can we do that? is there regular lines? can I be at least 90% sure to arrive on time in Calcutta? Thanks for your kind answer.. 
 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com), áNovember 2012 
Hi, Yes, there are regular daily trains between New Jalpaiguri (NJP) and Calcutta (now known as Kolkata). NJP is the major railway head (junction) closest to Darjeeling. It takes about 3.5 hours to reach NJP from Darjeeling by road. While there are several trains that pass through NJP for Kolkata, it is best to take one that originates from NJP itself or a nearby place for maximum reliability of reaching on time. One such nice train is Darjeeling Mail which originates from Haldibari (close to NJP) and leaves NJP in the evening (current schedule 8pm) after a stop of 1 hr 20 minutes at NJP. It reaches Kolkata (the Sealdah Station, SDAH) early in the morning (6am). It runs all days of the week and has sleeper, AC 3-tier, AC 2-Tier &áAC 1st Class coaches. You can make your train booking online through Indian Railway's website https://www.irctc.co.in 
 
Another option is to take a flight from Bagdogra Airport for Kolkata. Bagdogra airport is also about 3.5 hours driving distance from Darjeeling. There are several online operators like makemytrip.com, yatra.com etc through which you can book the flights. Alternatively you can book through the airlines' own sites. Some airlines that currently operate between Bagdogra and Kolkata includes Air India, Jet Airways, Spice Jet, Jet Lite etc. 
 
Whichever option you choose, I would advice not to cut it too fine, and keep enough cushion. While flights are usually on time (unless there are some major issues), with trains you really never know. You should assume that trains can be easily delayed or run late by one or two hours. Hope this helps!! 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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