How to reach Gangtok
Routes, Transports & Fares

 
NJP (New Jalpaiguri) is the major railway junction closest to Gangtok or rest of Sikkim. There are many trains from all over India passing through and some terminating at NJP. Most tourists avail trains and get off at NJP to reach Gangtok. NJP is at a distance of 124kms from Gangtok. 
 
At NJP plenty of private and shared taxis are available, and it takes about 4.5 hours to reach Gangtok. Bagdogra is the nearest major airport for Gangtok and has daily air connections with several cities of India and even with some neighboring foreign countries like Bhutan. 
 
 
 
Bagdogra is at a distance of 126kms from Gangtok. Private taxis are available from Bagdogra airport. It takes about 4.5 hours to reach Gangtok from Bagdogra by road. There is also a helicopter service available between Bagdogra and Gangtok (takes 35 minutes one way). 
 
NOTE: A new airport at Pakyong (about 30kms from Gangtok) is now operational which has limited domestic flight services from cities like Kolkata. There are private taxis at Pakyong airport offering transfers to Gangtok. Recently AC Bus service has also been introduced. 
 
Siliguri is a township close to NJP (8kms) and 114kms from Gangtok. Other than private and shared taxis, public bus service is also available between Siliguri and Gangtok. 
 
Read: Trains to Darjeeling &áSikkim to know about all trains to NJP. 
 
Read: Flights to Bagdogra to know about flight services to Bagdogra from main cities in India. 
 
Recommended Resources 
  • The eBook on Darjeeling &áSikkim is a great resource to plan your tour and get deep insights into various attractions of Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Sikkim including trips, tours and rides. 
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    Routes to Gangtok &áSikkim 
    The road routes from Bagdogra, NJP and Siliguri all meet the Sevoke Road which leads to the National Highway NH10. The route passes through the Teesta area and then goes all the way to Gangtok. For a long part of the drive, you will see the beautiful River Teesta flowing alongside. Gangtok also has a helipad close to the town. There is daily helicopter service between Bagdogra and Gangtok (subject to weather permitting). 
     
    Routes to Gangtok, Sikkim and Kalimpong 
    Routes to Gangtok   Sikkim 
    Click the picture to view in full size 
     
    Also know about Routes to Darjeeling, Kurseong, Mirik if you want combine visits to Gangtok &áSikkim with Darjeeling and surrounding areas. 
     
    Once you reach Teesta Bazaar area along NH10, you need to cross over the Teesta Bridge and get to the other side of the river and continue on NH10. Shortly thereafter (about 4kms away) you can see the wonderful confluence of the river Teesta with river Rangeet
     
    20kms further along is Rangpo, a small bordering village where there is a Sikkim check post. This is the entry point to east Sikkim. Until 1975, this used to be the international border between India and Sikkim. With inclusion of Sikkim as part of Indian territory, it now serves as the state border between West Bengal and Sikkim. 
     
     
     
    All commercial vehicles that are not registered in Sikkim will need to stop at Rangpo check post and take a permit. Usually it takes only a few minutes. At Rangpo you will cross over a small bridge over a stream. The stream is known as Rangpo-Chu (Chu in Nepali means river). Rangpo-chu is one of the main rivers of south-Sikkim and originates near the well known Jelepla Pass, and demarcates the boundary between south Sikkim and West Bengal over a long stretch. 
     
    Gangtok is further 39kms from Rangpo... along the way and with river Teesta alongside you will pass through Singtam settlement (11kms), further up and along a stream known as Ranikhola you will come across another settlement called Ranipool (16kms), and then a steep uphill journey would take you to Gangtok (12kms). Note that up to Ranipool the altitude remains within 3,000ft, but in the next 12kms to Gangtok the altitude changes to nearly 6,000ft. 
     
    Darjeeling hill town is 98kms from Gangtok. While coming to Gangtok from Darjeeling, you will get private taxis as well as shared Jeeps from the taxi stands at Chowk Bazaar and Gandhi Road.. It takes about 4 hours to reach Gangtok from Darjeeling. The route is initially via Ghoom/Jore Bunglow, then along Peshok road down to Teesta Bazaar area where it meets NH10. The road goes downhill up to Teesta, crosses over the river on Teesta bridge and then uphill via Melli and Rangpo following the earlier route. 
     
    Private Taxis to Gangtok 
    Prepaid taxi counters are available at both Bagdogra airport (next to the arrival hall exit) and NJP station (opposite the station entrance). Prepaid taxis have fixed rates. Private taxis are also available at Pakyong airport. Taxis are either small private cars (that can take up to 4 persons) like Santros, Altos, WagonR etc, or bigger vehicles (for up to 7 persons) like Innova, Scorpio, Xylo etc. Private taxis are also available from Siliguri, Darjeeling and Kalimpong stands. 
     
     
     
    NOTE: If you take a private or a shared taxi with West Bengal state registration, then they will drop you at the Deorali Taxi Stand (also known as Mainline Taxi Stand) near Gangtok which is about 2kms below the town center. This is due to restrictions in Gangtok for non-state vehicles. From Deorali stand you will need to take a local Sikkim taxi to reach your hotel (they will charge some Rs. 200 - 300 depending on the distance). 
     
    So it would be ideal if you get a Sikkim registered vehicle (you can at times get them at NJP or Bagdogra... the ones that come to drop passengers and wait for return customers). This would help avoid the hassles of transferring your luggage to a local taxi at Deorali stand and also paying an additional amount. 
     
    The prepaid counters will usually give you a West Bengal state registered taxi because both Bagdogra and NJP are in West Bengal, so West Bengal taxis get the preference. However you can go out and try to find a Sikkim taxi directly, but there is no assurance that you will get one. 
     
    NOTE: If you also plan to visit Darjeeling along with Sikkim, then look into Darjeeling Tourism Card that can get you great discounts with several transporters and tour operators who offer point to point transfers as well as local sightseeing tours. The card also fetches great discounts with many hotels, restaurants and shops. 
     
    Indicative private Taxi fares (Fare updated: February 2019) 
    Bagdogra to Gangtok: Rs. 2800 small taxi, Rs. 3300 large taxi. 
    NJP to Gangtok: Rs. 2700 small taxi, Rs. 3200 large taxi. 
    Darjeeling to Gangtok: Rs. 2700 small taxi, Rs. 3000 large taxi. 
    Kalimpong to Gangtok: Rs. 2500 small taxi, Rs. 2900 large taxi. 
    Pakyong Airport to Gangtok: Rs. 1200 - 1500 for small taxi. 
     
    NOTE: While returning from Gangtok to NJP, Bagdogra etc, expect the return fare to be higher than the forward fare as the taxi has to often go back empty. 
     
    Shared Jeeps or Taxis to Gangtok 
    Shared Jeeps usually take about 10 persons on a per person rate. The luggage is put on the roof. But they usually cover it with a plastic sheet during monsoon. You can reserve more than one seats for yourself if you so wish and make it a more comfortable ride. Note that people will be hopping on and off the shared jeep along the way as many locals travel for shorter distances. 
     
    Shared Jeeps are available from NJP station, Siliguri stand, Darjeeling and Kalimpong to reach Gangtok. You won't get them at Bagdogra airport. 
     
    Update 2018: There is now a provision to book luxury class shared taxi online that ply between Bagdogra/Siliguri to Darjeeling and Gangtok. Know more about all options of shared taxis &áfares
     
    Indicative shared jeep fares (Fare updated: February 2019) 
    NJP to Gangtok: Rs. 200 per person 
    Siliguri to Gangtok: Rs. 200 per person 
    Darjeeling to Gangtok: Rs. 175 per person 
    Kalimpong to Gangtok: Rs. 150 per person 
     
     
     
    Bus services to Gangtok 
    Bus service is available between Siliguri and Gangtok. Sikkim Nationalized Transport (SNT) operates Sikkim state run buses from its bus terminal at Siliguri (close to the Tenzing Norgay Central Bus Terminal on Hill Cart Road). From NJP you can take an Auto Rickshaw and reach the bus terminus in about 10-15 minutes. 
     
    From Siligufri SNT bus terminal, there are daily bus services to Gangtok at an interval of 1 hour starting at 8:30am until 1:30pm. The last bus leaves for Gangtok at 3:30pm. There are additionally several privately operated buses that operate from SNT bus terminal to Gangtok, but all start by 2pm. There are also daily bus services between Kalimpong and Gangtok. 
     
    There is an SNT Bus Stand at Deorali which is about 2kms below the Gangtok town center. The main SNT bus station in Gangtok is located at Paljor Stadium Road which is close to MG Marg (a few minutes walking distance). 
     
    Contact info for bus schedule: 
    Sikkim Nationalised Transport: (0353) 2517528, 2511496, 2432751 
     
    Indicative bus fare (Fare updated: January 2019) 
    Siliguri to Gangtok: Rs. 150 per person (non-AC). There are few AC bus services as well. 
     
    Helicopter Service between Bagdogra and Gangtok 
    If you want to avoid the 4.5 hours drive through the winding mountain road and like to reach Gangtok without wasting much time, you can take the daily Helicopter Service between Bagdogra airport and Gangtok. There are two daily trips (subject to weather condition) which take about 35 minutes one way. 
     
    The helicopter has a capacity of 5 persons, but one seat is kept blocked for VIP/Emergency until 24 hours prior to the flight and then released if there is no such demand. So if your booking happens to include the emergency seat, they will keep you waitlisted, won't take any booking charge and call you back to confirm or reject the booking a day before your departure. If rejected your only option would be to take a taxi. 
     
    One restriction in helicopter ride is you can not carry more than 10kgs luggage per person and there is no hand baggage allowed (other than laptop and purse). The two services (one in the morning and the other in the afternoon) ensure that you won't have much wait time when you arrive at the Bagdogra airport. Once you reach the helipad in Gangtok, you will need to take a taxi to reach your hotel. 
     
     
     
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    Visitors' Reviews/Comments 
     
    Raman Gulati (April 2019) 
    We had pre-booked a taxi from Bagdogra to Gangtok... an Innova, for Rs 4K. It took us 4 hours to reach. Which is pretty quick. We are told that on Mondays it can take between 8 - 9 hours to reach owing to a 'market' in Silliguri. If you can, avoid travel to and from Gangtok on Mondays. The road is ok, but there are patches which are quite bumpy. 
     
    Jai Chhabra (April 2019) 
    I am reaching New Jalpaiguri railway station at 3:00 Am. I have to go to Gangtok. Will taxi be available at that time? thanks in advance. 
     
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) April 2019 
    There could be a few stray taxis available around that time and it is not advisable to avail those (many such taxi drivers remain drunk). Driving in the hills here at such odd hour in any case should be avoided. I would suggest that you wait at the station until 7am when the pre-paid taxi counter opens. 
     
    Raman Gulati (January 2019) 
    Dear Mr Raj, A small query. I am confused a little bit. I have read the details of hiring a private taxi for Gangtok from Bagdogra. 1. there is a pre-paid taxi counter for booking. This will be WB registered taxi and thus there will be change of cars before reaching Gangtok. 2. I want to avoid this hassle. 3. Should I therefore, step out of the airport and find a taxi with a Sikkim registration? Please advise, how I should go about this. Thank you. Best regards 
     
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) January 2019 
    There is no assurance that you can find a Sikkim registered taxi outside the airport. The small taxis are usually allowed to go up to Deorali where you need to change to a local taxi up to your hotel in Gangtok. There are several ways you can avoid this change. You can ask your hotel to arrange for a pickup. Alternatively you can book seats online in a shared luxury cab like Innova (Wizzride.com is a good option)... you can book multiple seats if you are traveling with your family and it can be an economical yet a comfortable transfer. Although they have several drop points within Gangtok, you need to check out with them which would be nearest to your hotel. As a third option, you can book a pick up through a travel agency in Gangtok. 
     
    Shiladitya Senbarat (December 2018) 
    Dear Sir, We are planning to visit Pelling in the second half of Jan '19. Though the climate is expected to be freezing cold, our objective is to see the snow-capped peaks in their full glory, as we have been told the skies generally remain clear in winter. (Last summer we visited Kalimpong and Darjeeling, but the skies remained clouded for all the 4 days, and the mountains, elusive!). 
     
    Given that we have a 8 year old daughter, would it be advisable to stay over at Namchi enroute from Bagdogra, as the distance and time is too long for a direct drive to Pelling? Besides, we have been informed that the road from Melli to Jorethang is under repairs currently. So, we may have to take the Ravangla-Namchi-Jorethang route. Please advise. 
     
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) December 2018 
    You can stay overnight at Namchi and proceed to Pelling next day via Ravangla. That way you can avoid Melli-Jorthang route and instead take the route to Namchi via Melli. 
     
    Sujoy Kumar Batabyal (July 2018) 
    Hi Raj, We will visit to Gangtok on 20th October 2018. we are six adults, one ten years and two Four Years child from NJP to Gangtok. So we are planing to hire a Innova 7+1 seater from Gantok only. Some tour operators are telling that for 7 person will not be allowed by police in Innova/Xylo. Can I know the reason behind this rule. What other options are left for us. Thanks. 
     
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) July 2018 
    Hi, there are six adults and three children in your group plus the driver plus luggage. That would clearly overload a vehicle of that type and jeopardize safety. I would be surprised if any tour operator agrees to such load. Police too may not allow. You should take two smaller vehicles instead of trying to save money in that manner. 
     
    Sunil (April 2018) 
    Hi Raj, your information about Sikkim is valuable. Can you help me in deciding what route shall I take from NJP to visit places at Namchi and Gangtok, in such a way to take a circular route? 
     
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) April 2018 
    To take a full circular route you need to approach Namchi via Darjeeling, and that will be a long detour. Practically you can take this route: NJP - Sevoke road - Melli - Namchi - Temi Tea Gardens - Singtam - Ranipool - Gangtok - Rangpo - Sevoke - NJP 
     
    Karan Raj Singh (May 2016) 
    Hi Raj, Can I enter Gangtok and Darjeeling in a Bihar registered SUV and use it for local sightseeing please? I'll be landing at Bagdogra from Delhi and my friend who lives near Bengal Bihar border area has a private Inova that he also uses for commercial hire purposes. Our (we are 7 people) plan is to drive from Bagdogra to Gangtok, stay there for 3 days and then come to Darjeeling and stay there for 2 days before coming back to Bagdogra. But reading in your blog that West Bengal registered vehicles are not allowed after Deorali checkpoint in Gangtok, I am concerned that we too may not be able to use our Bihar registered vehicle to reach the hotels (provided there is parking) and use it for local sightseeing? Is there any restrictions on entering Darjeeling in a Bihar registered vehicle too? We are planning to book Darjeeling tourist lodge as it has parking space. It'll be very helpful if you could kindly share any information on this. Also, if we are to face any entry restrictions, is there any secured parking space near Deorali checkpoint or in Darjeeling (if above scenario is true), so we can park our car there and use local taxis for hotel transfers and sightseeing? Regards. 
     
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) May 2016 
    Hi, if you use a car with Bihar commercial registration (similar to yellow plated car of WB), then you are likely to be intercepted by the taxi association at both places. It won't be allowed. If you use a car with private registration, there is no problem. The idea is simple... they don't want the taxi business to go elsewhere irrespective of where the car is from. And no, there are no such secured parking areas at Deorali or entry to Darjeeling. 
     
    Amit Sen (March 2016) 
    Dear Sir, Me (61yrs) and my wife (57yrs) have planned to visit Darjeeling and Gangtok between 27.03.2016 and 02.04.2016. Darjeeling for 3 days and Gangtok for 4 days. I would request you to kindly advise 1. our return flight is on 03.04.2016 @3pm from Bagdogra, then at what time we should check out from Gangtok. 2. will it be comfortable to travel by Bus from Gangtok to Siliguri. 
     
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) March 2016 
    It can easily take over 4 hours from Gangtok to Bagdogra, plus often road work goes on along the way near Kalijhora which results in hours of traffic jam. So ask the hotel depending on the situation. You should start early (ideally by 7am and cross the traffic prone zone). Bus won't be right if you have such time constraints. If you came down a day earlier, then bus would be okay.  
     
    P Jain (December 2015) 
    Sir I was planning to visit Gangtok by my friends car. I want to know is it possible to do sightseeing in Gangtok and visit Nathula by my friends car. A driver would drive the car and the owner of the would not be with us. Please tell what all papers is required. And if car is not allowed in the city where i will have to keep the car for 2 days. 
     
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) December 2015 
    Private (not a commercial) car is allowed in Gangtok, but note that vehicles are not allowed in areas like MG Marg in Gangtok. Also you can not take your own car to Nathula, Tsomgo etc, these are restricted areas and vehicles only from operators registered with Sikkim Tourism are allowed. You should choose a hotel in Gangtok with parking facility. 
     
    Paramvir Singh (August 2014) 
    I'm coming to Bagdogra in September. I am going to Gangtok first. I want to know that can I book the prepaid taxi when I reach there or I have to pre book a cab and should I get the cab of Sikkim number plate from prepaid counter. I want to know the fare from bagdogra to gangtok for a small car 
     
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) August 2014 
    You can book and avail a pre-paid taxi at Bagdogra airport on arrival. The pre-paid counter usually allocates only a local taxi which can take you up to the Deorali stand (2kms from Gangtok town) where you will need to transfer to a local Sikkim taxi to reach your hotel. Small taxi pre-paid fare from Bagdogra to Gangtok is roughly Rs. 2,500/- 
     
    Parmjit Singh (September 2014) 
    This is in response to Paramvir. Today I reached Bagdogra airport pre paid taxi counter and took a taxi for Kalimpong. Only a small taxi was available for Rs.1563/. I was surprised when my taxi wala asked me to follow him to outside stand &áhe put my luggage in a Xylo &árequested me to go with that driver. 1st driver paid Rs. 1000/ to xylo Driver &ámade a quick money. This same story one of friends had already mentioned on FB but I couldn't believe that it happens with me . So Mr. áParamvir you can also try this... come out áfrom airport á&áyou will find taxis standing outside parking &áyou might be lucky to get Sikkim no. taxi at 60-70% price. áGod bless you and enjoy your trip. 
     
    R. Singh (March 2014) 
    Hi Raj, Great thanks for the good work you are doing. Your blogs are extremely informative, covering a great range of detail and hence probably the best blog available on the web for the region. 
     
    I am planning to travel to Gangtok as well as Darjeeling in a friend's car (as he has a 7 seater) from Bagdogra. I read somewhere that only the vehicles having Sikkim Number plates are allowed for local sightseeing as well as traveling across the state of Sikkim. My car will be a West Bengal registered vehicle. As I am staying for 2 nights in Gangtok, am I allowed to bring this car into the city, park at the hotel (probably on Tibet Road) and use this for local sightseeing? I have the same query for Darjeeling as well. Also, how is the weather generally during mid March there? Kind regards, 
     
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) March 2014 
    Hi, In Gangtok the vehicle restriction applies only to commercial vehicles like a taxi. The issue is with the local taxi association in Gangtok who claim that tourists bring taxis from Darjeeling, do local sightseeing in Gangtok and depart. Therefore the local taxi drivers in Gangtok get deprived. áDarjeeling also allows only drop from Sikkim and not local sightseeing by Sikkim taxi. But if you have a private car, there is no problem in any of these two places. You can take it to your hotel in Gangtok and park there (at the hotel's parking), and also use it for local sightseeing. You can do the same in Darjeeling. Weather is quite pleasant now during the day time. You will need a jacket in the evenings. Regards, 
     
    Rajesh Gupta (December 2013) 
    Hi Raj, How is the road condition from Bagdogra/NJP to Gangtok? Is it bearable? 
     
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) December 2013 
    Unfortunately, much part of the road is quite bad at present. From Bagdogra or NJP, initially the road is good up to Teesta. However from there about 40% of the road is quite bad and bumpy, and full of potholes. About 2 hours before Gangtok, there is road widening and constructions taking place. As a result they often block one side of the motor traffic while allowing the other. This sometimes results in massive traffic jam. If one is unlucky, one may get stuck there for an hour. So while returning from Gangtok, keep at least 2-3 hours of cushion. From Rangpo onwards (i.e. after you enter Sikkim), the road is better, although patchy at places. 
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
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