Public Car Parking in Darjeeling
If you are planning to drive your own car or a rental car to Darjeeling, the first thing you should be wary of is the public car parking in Darjeeling which has always been a huge problem. You can not park your car in and around the township on the roadside, because most roads are narrow and winding. Also note that even if you use a local tour operator to rent a car along with a driver for few days, the car would not be available to you at nights because of parking problem. The operator would usually ask the driver to report to you in the mornings and offer the service during the day time only.
However, if you are self driving your own car or taken a car from a Darjeeling based tour operator, local sightseeing during the day time is not a problem as you can find temporary parking at most of the tourist sites. But the main problem is the night parking. So what are your options??
The best option is to ensure that the hotel you are booking has parking facility and that would solve all your problems. But there are very few budget hotels that have parking space (one exception is Darjeeling Tourist Lodge which has a large open parking space in front). Most hotels that offer parking facility in Darjeeling are luxury class hotels, but parking slots are limited in almost all.
Once you reach Darjeeling, go down to Darjeeling Transport Corporation. Their office is located in a building on Ladenla Road (near but little downhill from Big Bazaar shopping mall) and opposite to Apsara Hotel. This place is quite centrally located and within easy walk to both upper town and lower town centers. They offer paid car parking (Rs. 250 per night) in their building. There are provisions for parking 7-8 cars, so this place is in high demand but this is the second best option after hotel parking.
There is a multi-level paid car park at Lebong Cart Road below Darjeeling Government College and near HMI & Darjeeling Zoo. It is about 1.5kms from Chowk Bazaar (Lower Town) and takes about 10 minutes by car. There is ample car parking space there. However being little far, walking back to the town center could be difficult for some (particularly if your hotel is in the upper town area, i.e. near Chowrasta or Gandhi Road). Shared taxis (Jeeps) ply on the route between the Car Park and Chowk Bazaar Motor Stand. From the motor stand it takes about 20 minutes to walk up to the upper town.
There is a large public car parking next to Darjeeling Railway Station located near the lower town area on Hill Cart Road. There is a building where cars could be parked overnight for free across 3 floors. Although this is a free car parking, you need to be mindful of one thing... this space is mainly used by the villagers who come down to Darjeeling lower town for daily shopping & trading. They park their vehicles here in the morning and use the parking until around 2pm. After 2pm most villagers leave and the parking becomes free for all and even tourists can use this.
So, this option is good for night parking and it's also free. However you should take your car out early in the morning unless you want to invite trouble with the local villagers who swarm into this place with their own vehicles and start occupying the space in the morning hours. This place is quite walkable both from upper town area (about 15-20 minutes) and lower town (only 5 minutes).
Rakesh Kumar Singh (December 2018)
Hi Raj, Thanks for information you give through your website. I have a query related to car parking at Darjeeling for nights, as we are visiting Darjeeling by February end in our own car.Darjeeling tourist lodge is not available on our dates and other hotels with parkings are not affordable for us. I have booked "The Revolver" at Darjeeling from 24th to 26th of Feb-2019 for my family of 4. But the problem is, they at 'Revolver' do not provide any car parking and they are so annoyed with the self driving visitors that they are straight forwardly threatening to cancel our booking for the reason.
Can we get a safe car parking anywhere in Darjeeling for those two nights? We can pay any reasonable amount for the purpose. Actually our car is an essential part in our week long Darjeeling- Sikkim tour and we will have to drop our Darjeeling visit plan for this reason itself. For Gangtok and Ravangla, we have got some budget hotels with car parking, but Darjeeling plan is on the verge of cancellation. Please suggest some solution.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) December 2018
Hi, car parking in Darjeeling is not easy as it is increasingly getting congested. Revolver is on Gandhi road where roadside parking is not allowed. However there are a few solutions. On reaching Darjeeling you can approach Darjeeling Transport Corporation (on Ladenla road that connects lower town with upper town and leads up to Gandhi road). The building is located below Big Bazaar (Rink) shopping mall and will be on your way to Revolver. They offer paid parking (limited though, @Rs. 250 per night). If you don't get one, then take Lebong Cart road and you will find a public car park near the HMI/Zoo (about 1.5kms from lower town, i.e. Chowk Bazaar).