Road Conditions
Darjeeling, Sikkim and Kalimpong

 
 
 
Hi Raj, 
 
First of all a big thank you for taking time out and providing us with such detailed information. 
 
We are a group of 3 people, planning to go on a 9 days trip, starting from Bagdogra, in a self driven car, in early December. We will visit Darjeeling, Pelling, Ravangla, Namchi, Tarey Bhir, Kalimpong and then return to Siliguri. 
 
Could you please tell us more about the road conditions in these routes and whether it'll be safe or not, considering this will be our first trip to hills in a self driven car. We have been to Darjeeling and Rishop earlier, but that was on bike. 
 
Thanks in advance. 
 
Madhabi Saha (September 2020) 
 
 
 
 
 
Hi, 
 
This year there has been excessive and almost non-stop rains in the hills and there were several landslides, and it takes a long time to repair the roads in the hills, so expect bad road conditions in several parts of Darjeeling and Sikkim. Overall, roads in Darjeeling district are better than Sikkim.  
 
In fact, most of the internal roadways of Sikkim are presently in bad condition, and in some areas (particularly from Singtam towards Temi via Tarku), roads practically do not exist at several sections. Although there has been road repair work going on in several parts of Sikkim for the past several years including widening of the roads by cutting out rocks (locals call this 'back cutting'), the situation has remained grossly the same. 
 
So considering this overall situation and that your group has no hill driving experience at all, you may like to re-think about such an extensive driving plan. If you decide to go ahead with the same plan, I would advise that you take an SUV type sturdy vehicle. A small car may not be able to negotiate some stretches and you will be further risking on breakdowns, particularly if you drive a rented car whose actual condition is not known to you. Note that, other than in the townships, there is practically no repair or breakdown service available in the whole of Darjeeling district and Sikkim. 
 
Now on the specific roads... from Bagdogra (Bihar More) area, there is now a broad excellent flyover operational that connects all the way up to Matigara. From Matogara More, you will turn left and the road up to Simulbari is overall good. From there you will turn right into Rohini road, which too is in good condition and connects to Hill Cart Road at Kurseong (be careful about the sharp hairpin bends). Kurseong onwards the road has several bad patches but overall okay up to Ghum and then further up to Darjeeling. 
 
From Darjeeling, you can approach Pelling in several ways. You can either take the shorter route that originates from Singamari (near St. Joseph's North Point School) and goes via Tukvar and Jamuni and all the way up to Jorethang of Sikkim. Only Indian nationals are allowed on this route and there is a check post at the border (carry your ID proofs). But several sections of this route are extremely bad, full of large potholes, and not suitable for small cars at all. From Jorethang the route to Pelling is via Legship and Geyzing which too is in bad condition and will be a bumpy ride (although road repairs were underway). 
 
Alternatively, from Darjeeling, you can go via Ghum and then Peshok Road down to Teesta Bazaar area where the route meets with NH10, goes over Teesta bridge crossing river Teesta, then via Melli all the way to Jorethang. Up to Melli the road is quite okay, however from Melli (there is a check post here) the road up to Jorethang is in bad condition. From Jorethang, I have already described the route earlier. 
 
A better option is to take the route via Melli - Namchi - Damthang - Ravangla - Pelling, which is in much better condition compared to the other two routes, although there will be a few uneven patches along the way, but tolerable. You will need to get back to Melli on your return in order to visit Kalimpong. On your way back, you can approach Tarey Bhir from Namchi (16kms)... the road is okay but has some odd uneven sections. You can continue on Melli-Turuk road (14kms) to get back to Melli. The road from Melli to Kalimpong via NH10 is quite good. 
 
Raj (Darjeeling-Tourism.com) September 2020 
 
 
 
Hi Raj, 
 
Thanks a lot for your detailed and informative blog. Actually I am planning to visit Sikkim in first week of May and will be starting my journey from Siliguri (Bagdogra Airport). The plan is to rent out a self-drive car (Zoomcar) and ácover places like Darjeeling, Namchi, Pelling, and Gangtok. So just wanted to know whether these places are safe for self drive or not and how's the road áand terrain (too rocky ; lots of off roading ; and too many hairpin turn) 
 
Nishant Gupta (January 2021) 
 
 
 
Hi, overall the terrain is steep with many hairpin bends and turns... so, good hill driving experience is advisable. The road conditions in several sections of the routes in Sikkim are quite bad, particularly if you choose a wrong alternative route which may look shorter on google map... for example, you can get some really bad and horrendous patches if you are trying to approach Gangtok from Pelling via Yangang and Singtam. There are many such alternative routes and options between places and it's not possible to discuss them all here... so your best bet would be to talk to locals as much as possible and understand the routes ahead and their conditions before you start your journey from one point to the other. 
 
Raj (Darjeeling-Tourism.com) January 2021 
 
 
 
Hi Raj, We are planning to visit Kalimpong and Darjeeling on 17th July 2021. We will be arriving at Siliguri and from there rent a car for onward journey. However lately we are hearing few news about bad weather in the hills and its impact on the road condition. Just wanted to understand if it will be safe to visit now. Your thoughts on this will be highly appreciated. 
 
Abhinaba Sen (July 2021) 
 
 
 
Hi, 
 
You can not use Hill Cart Road (NH-110) from Siliguri to Darjeeling... a large section of the road has been swept away near Tindharia due to a landslide. You can take the Rohini route. River Teesta is currently flowing at an alarming level and a low section of NH-10 between Teesta Bazaar and Kalijhora has been flooded... only large vehicles can presently negotiate that part of the road. So you need to approach Kalimpong from Darjeeling via Peshok road and not directly from Siliguri. 
 
Raj (Darjeeling-Tourism.com) July 2021 
 
 
 
Hi, I am planning to go to Kalimpong on 1st August and will hiring hiring a taxi for the same. But before I do finalise everything, could you please tell me about the safety involved. I have heard that the continuous rains have left the roads partially swept away and that Teesta áriver is overflowing and there are high chances of flooding. Will it be safe to travel to Kalimpong given the high chances of landslides? 
 
Mahi (July 2021) 
 
 
 
Hi, multiple landslides took place on NH-10 that connects Siliguri with Kalimpong and Sikkim resulting in road blockages at several places... the landslides took place near Sevoke Police Checkpost, Sevoke Kali Mandir and Seti Jhora. Although the blockages have been cleared, the condition of the road remains precarious and a relatively less number of vehicles are now plying on this route... the taxi fares have also gone up significantly. There has been continuous and heavy rains in Darjeeling hills over the past few weeks. 
 
In order to visit Kalimpong at present, it is better to take the alternative route via Gorubathan... this is a longer route but relatively safer. Otherwise, you can go to Jorebungalow (via Kurseong) and take the Peshok Road all the way down to Teesta Bazaar and then get into NH-10 to Kalimpong. However, a huge landslide on Hill Cart Road (the main road that connects Siliguri with Kurseong and Darjeeling) has swept away about a 40-meter section of the road near Tindharia (which is about 20km below Kurseong)... so, you can not take Hill Cart Road from Siliguri to get to Jorebungalow/Ghum area, instead, you need to take a detour via Rohini Route (which eventually meets the Hill Cart Road near Kurseong) and then proceed onward. 
 
Overall, the conditions of the roads here are not good. Chances of further landslides always exist in heavy monsoon. There are also stringent restrictions now for tourists to follow Covid-19 guidelines &áprotocols... in order to get entry, you must carry a double vaccination certificate or RTPCR negative test (done within 48 hours)... and this is applicable for all in your group... otherwise you will not be allowed entry into Darjeeling area or into Kalimpong. 
 
Raj (Darjeeling-Tourism.com) 29th, July 2021 
 
 
 
Update August 10, 2021 
From Darjeeling, you can approach Kalimpong or Sikkim via Ghum - Jorebungalow - Peshok road - Teesta Bazaar, but while returning and on reaching Teesta Bazaar, you will need to continue on Sevoke Road (NH-10) for NJP/Bagdogra. And several landslides have taken place recently on NH-10 between Teesta Bazaar and Sevoke Police Checkpost. 
 
Although the rubbles have been somewhat cleared, the condition of the road is still quite precarious... only limited vehicles are plying on that route. You need a large vehicle to negotiate that section of the road. Vehicle rates have skyrocketed on that route. Suggest you check with your hotel in Kalimpong before you take a final call. 
 
Raj (Darjeeling-Tourism.com) August 2021 
 
 
 
Since I am not at all acquainted with the routes, I would like to know if there is any risk from landslides on the road from Bagdogra to Darjeeling via Mirik? I'll be reaching Bagdogra by 10.30am. With the whole day at hand, I was planning to take the Mirik route in a hired car from the airport.  
 
Thanks 
 
Kaushik Ghosh (August 2021) 
 
 
 
There were no major landslides on Mirik route for the past few years, so it's a relatively safer route although there are always some chances of landslides during the monsoon. Mirik route is open now while the main Hill Cart Road to Darjeeling is closed near Tindharia (20kms below Kurseong) due to a major landslide. 
 
Going to Darjeeling via Mirik is a good idea although this is a longer route. From Bagdogra, unless you pre-arrange a car through your hotel or an agency, you can only get taxis from the pre-paid counter, and the pre-paid taxis take the Rohini road which eventually meets the Hill Cart Road near Kurseong. 
 
A change in the route plus taking stops along the way (there are several attractions on this route) will involve a higher fare... but sometimes the pre-paid counter may not be able to get you a taxi that would be willing to take the Mirik route and agree to stop at your will, even at a higher fare. So, if you haven't pre-arranged a car, your only other option will be to go out of the arrival hall where you will find many taxi drivers and negotiate with them for the Mirik route... note that the charges in such cases can be erratic and this is not officially allowed at Bagdogra airport, although nobody cares. 
 
Raj (Darjeeling-Tourism.com) August 2021 
 
 
 
Hello, I am planning to start from Kolkata to Darjeeling on the 27th of august. After spending a few days in Darjeeling wanted to go to Kursueong. 
1. Questions is the road conditions good for a road trip in these areas? 
2. I have a Chevrolet Beat, will it negotiate the roads? 
3. Under the current environment is it advisable to move ahead to Gangtok, Pelling and the rest of Sikkim also? 
 
Devrath Banerjee (August 2021) 
 
 
 
Hello, Hill Cart Road (NH-110) is blocked near Tindharia due to landslides... you need to take the Rohini route to get to Darjeeling. You can come down to Kurseong via Hill Cart Road, but avoid getting into the villages/remote areas... roads are not in good condition. There were several landslides on Sevoke Road (NH-10) and your car can not negotiate that road to approach Gangtok/Pelling. You can take Peshok Road from Jorebungalow to get to Teesta Bazaar and proceed, but do not stray around in Sikkim... most roads require a large vehicle. 
 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) August 2021 
 
 
 
A major landslide near Melli Bazaar has cut off the approach road between Melli and Jorethang of Sikkim. So, tourists planning to get to Namchi or Pelling via NH10- Melli- Jorethang (which is the usual route from NJP or Bagdogra), will not be able to do so. The alternative route is via Darjeeling- Tukvar- Jamuni... however, that road is currently in bad condition in several sections... one ideally needs a large vehicle to negotiate that road. 
 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) August 2021 
 
 
 
Hi Raj, 
 
Thanks for your blog. This platform has been really helpful for all. 
 
Can you please help us with the current road condition of Siliguri to Darjeeling. I will be starting on 6th Nov 2021 áin my personal car - Honda CITY with my family from Kolkata to Darjeeling via Mirik and Lepchajagat. 
 
From last couple of days I have been reading in news papers that most of the roads in hills are blocked due to landslides ( for heavy rainfalls ). Would be of great help if you could suggest of its ok to travel via Mirik route as i understand Kalimpong route is heavily damaged. Moreover, I will be driving Honda City as a Car. Any idea in the current situation will it be possible to drive such cars which will not have ground clearance like SUV's. 
 
Your inputs will be helpful to take decisions since i shall be travelling with family ( includes kid's and senior citizens ) 
 
Ayan (October 2021) 
 
 
 
Hi, The Mirik route, as well as the Rohini route to Darjeeling, are open. The Hill Cart Road is closed between Siliguri and Sukna, so go via Matigara. It should be okay. 
 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) October 2021 
 
 
 
Plan to travel from Guwahati to Pelling via Sevoke with my family in my personal car on November 19, 2021. I am apprehensive about the road condition after the heavy rainfall and flooding in October. Grateful for advice regarding road condition particularly from Sevoke towards Pelling. 
 
Udayan Das (October 2021) 
 
 
 
There were 8-9 landslides on NH-10 (Sevoke Road) in the past few days, the last one being at Sethijhora. Although the clearing work is in progress, the road condition remains precarious and not at all good for small vehicles. I suggest you avoid Sevoke road altogether and take a detour... unfortunately, the Hill Cart Road to Darjeeling is also closed all the way up to Sukna due to a landslide at Mahanadi. 
 
So your other option would be to take Rohini road via Matigara and Simulbari, and then Kurseong, Ghum and then to Jorebungalow and take Peshok Road which will go down and meet NH-10 near Teesta Bazaar, from there, continue towards Pelling on the usual route via Melli. 
 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) October 2021 
 
 
 
I intend to have a Darjeeling to Namchi day trip during last week of December. How would be the road condition that time? We are 4 heads, can we take small car or the road condition is still bad? Any idea on Day Trip Car Fare for this trip? Do we need to have Sikkim Travel Card applied only to have this Day Trip to Namchi from Darjeeling? 
 
D Das (November 2021) 
 
 
Hello, I can not predict how the road condition will be in December-end, but the road presently is still in a bad condition at few sections and you should not plan to take a small car on that route to Namchi. The day trip to Namchi from Darjeeling can cost Rs. 4,500 - 5,000 in a Sumo. You should carry a Sikkim Travel Card because the guards at Rammam Check Post may ask for it. Since travel guidelines have changed due to the pandemic, I recommend you arrange such tours through an established operator rather than taking a stray taxi from the stands... the tour arrangement through an operator, however, will certainly cost more. 
 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) November 2021 
 
 
 
Dear Raj, 
 
Firstly, thanks for your responses and continued updates which helps us plan our trips. Wanted to check how are the road conditions if we are planning a drive from Siliguri to Kalimpong end of February 2022. We are traveling as a family in a single car and may also extend the trip to Gangtok. Are there any special passes needed to be applied? Kindly advise. Thanks 
 
Arjun (February 2022) 
 
 
 
Hi, Sevoke Road (NH-10) is open and vehicles are plying on that road. The road condition up to Teesta Bazaar is somewhat bad in patches. If it is your personal car, there is no special pass/permit required up to Gangtok. But do not forget to take Sikkim Travel Card if you visit Gangtok... you can apply for it online. 
 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) February 2022 
 
 
 
Hello Mr. Raj. 
 
You are an exceptional help for travellers like me! Big Thanks. We are planning a trip from Bagdogra to Darjeeling,Peling, Kalimpong, Manas National park ( if it is operational), Guwahati, Shillong, Cherapunjee. We want to start by 28 May and return by 8 Jun. In view of the recent reports of heavy rains and landslides will it be safer to travel at the given dates or shall we reroute? Kindly advise. Big Thanks again. 
 
Dr Vijay Sata (May 2022) 
 
 
 
Hello, Roads to Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Pelling are still open. There is still a huge tourist rush in these places and that's likely to continue for a while. There have been heavy rains but luckily that has not caused any major problems. You can go if you want, but it's still raining once in a while. In view of the recent heavy floods in Assam, it is better to avoid Manas and other parts of Assam till the situation improves. Manas too is prone to floods, and flash floods usually cause heavy damage to the roads in Assam including Guwahati. There has been a heavy downpour in Shillong as well and several parts of Shillong and Meghalaya were submerged in water. 
 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) May 2022 
 
 
 
Dear Mr. Raj, 
So many thanks for being always helpful to tourist like us and giving very precise and crisp information. I hope more people do come up like you! We have modified our plan accordingly and changed the locations to be visited. So many thanks again and I do know that words are not enough to thank you enough!! PRANAM 
 
Dr Vijay Sata (May 2022) 
 
 
 
We are planning to take a family vaccation on second and third week of June (8th to 16th). We are concerned about the heavy rain, poor road conditions and rock/ mud slides as well. Could you please share current road conditions under this weather so that we can finalize our trip? We will ride a car from NJP to Darjeeling. Your insight is highly appreciated. Thank you for all you do for the travellers. 
 
Deb Saha (June 2022) 
 
 
 
Hello, the current road condition from NJP to Darjeeling is okay. 
 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) June 2022 
 
 
 
Please inform if it's safe to drive with family to Mirik. Do I have to face road blocks in July? 
 
Pankaj Gogoi (June 2022) 
 
 
 
Usually, the Mirik route remains clear and the occurrence of landslides on that road is rare. As of now, the road is in good condition. But July is in peak monsoon season and heavy showers are expected, so self-drive only if you are used to hill driving. 
 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) June 2022 
 
 
 
I am planning to come to Darjeeling on July 15 to 18th 2022. Kindly let me know whether the roads are open as I saw news about the landslides. Kindly let me know. 
 
Ankit Tekriwal (29th June 2022) 
 
 
 
As of now, you can visit Darjeeling... depending on the prevailing situation during your time of visit, you may need to take the Rohini Route because the Hill Cart Road (NH-110) is prone to landslides at certain places such as Tindharia located before Kurseong. 
 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) 30th June 2022 
 
 
 
Dear Mr. Bhattacharya, I'm planning to drive to the hills of North Bengal with my grey-haired parents and two puppies (small breed) by the end of July or early August. I had been to Darjeeling and Kalimpong several times but would like to see the places around them this time. Will it be wise to travel to the hills during the monsoon? If not, I can swing towards Dooars. I have always appreciated and recommended darjeeling-tourism.com to my friends as it is nothing less than a goldmine. Hope to hear from you. Thanks 
 
Sucheta Dutta (3rd July 2022) 
 
 
 
Hello, this year it has been raining almost incessantly in Darjeeling from June until now. There have been a few cases of landslides as well. By July end/August, it may become a little more prone to landslides. You should avoid NH-10 (Sevoke road) at all costs in order to approach Kalimpong or any other place within Darjeeling district... there are frequent landslides on the stretches near Kalijhora and a few other points on this route causing complete traffic derailment. You can however approach Kalimpong via Gorubathan/Lava route. 
 
If you decide on Darjeeling, take the Mirik route, that route usually remains clear and landslides are rare on that route. Avoid the Hill Cart Road (NH-110) which is prone to landslides at places near Tindharia (before Kurseong). You can also take the Rohini route if it is clear. 
 
Dooars via Gajoldoba would be a good choice as far as road conditions are concerned. Note that all sanctuaries and national parks remain closed in Darjeeling and Dooars between mid-June to mid-September, so you can not take any safaris. You can certainly enjoy nature though. 
 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) 4th July 2022 
 
 
 
Hi Raj, 
 
I am planning for vacation to Dargeeling and Gangtok with my family in last week of September 22, Wanted to know weather condition and road condition from Bagdogra to Dargeeling and Gangtok. 
 
Thanks in advance 
Manjunath (August 2022) 
 
 
 
Hi, a recent landslide at NH-10 (at Birik Dara) has created a traffic mess for vehicles bound for Gangtok, but roads from Bagdogra to Darjeeling are okay and from Darjeeling, one can take the Peshok road to bypass the NH-10 section that is affected with landslides and visit Gangtok. However, at present, returning from Gangtok is still a problem unless one takes a long detour back via Peshok road. 
 
For expected weather conditions in September, suggest you go through this Weather Article
 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) August 2022 
 
 
 
I travelled to Kalimpong during mid-August and first got to know about the route through gorubathan-Lava as a better alternative to NH10 from this website. As we were travelling in a self-driven vehicle, it was very important to take the best route possible in the monsoon conditions. Thank you very much Mr. Raj for taking the time and effort for providing vital information to travellers. 
 
The lava - Gorubathan route has 3 or 4 places where debris from past landslides blocks one side of the road. But even these places are manageable because the road is wide and sufficient space has been cleared. Other than that, the route was very smooth áand wide (2-lane) with very few bad patches. The route is also more scenic; and less traffic and wide roads mean that you can afford to stop on the side of the road and take in the view without causing a traffic jam. 
 
Rintu (August 2022) 
 
 
 
Dear Raj, 
Thank You for your wonderful guidence. We are planning to visit Darjeeling in the first week of October 2022 by self driving. Our planned route is Guwahati - Siliguri - Darjilling (via Mirik road), Kalimpong - Guwahati (via Sevok road). Please let us know the present condition of the above mentioned road? Kindly guide is it possible to self drive. 
 
Alaka Medhi (September 2022) 
 
 
 
Hello, the Mirik route from Siliguri all the way up to Darjeeling is in fairly good condition and there is no problem with self-driving. However, several sections of Sevoke Road (NH-10) are in bad condition... there have been numerous landslides on this road in recent times... other than the bad road, traffic movement is slow and there is a high possibility of traffic snarls and derailments. I suggest, from Kalimpong, you take the route via Gorubathan and Damdim, and then towards Mal Bazaar, Chalsa and onwards to Guwahati. 
 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) September 2022