Reaching Darjeeling By Flight/Air:
Bagdogra International Airport – also known as the Civil Aerodrome Bagdogra, - an Indian Military Airport which allows civilian flights is the nearest airport to Darjeeling at 85 kilometres distance in the town of Bagdogra in Darjeeling District. The airport is located at 26°40′52″N 088°19′43″E. Bagdogra Airport is the only airport in North Bengal and connects Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Guwahati and Chennai. International flights connect Bagdogra to Paro in Bhutan and Bangkok in Thailand. From Bagdogra Airport, direct prepaid Taxis, are available to ferry travelers to Darjeeling via Siliguri and could charge about Rs. 1000. Alternatively, Kolkata International Airport, about 480 kilometres south of Darjeeling could also serve domestic and international travelers who are Darjeeling-bound.
Located at 22°39′17″N 088°26′48″E - and originally called the Dum Dum Airport, Kolkata Airport is formally known as the ‘Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport’ and is India’s 5th busiest airport in overall passenger traffic and 9th busiest in terms of International passenger traffic in India – operating about 310 flights per day – both domestic and international. Kolkata Airport is 17 kilometres northeast of Kolkata city centre, and serves as a nexus for flights connecting to North-East India, Bangladesh and Southeast Asia. Kolkata is well connected by air with all major cities in India - with major domestic airliners landing from all sectors of the country – Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Jaipur, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Bhubaneshwar, Guwahati and Port Blair. Kolkata Airport also connects to Frankfurt, Dubai, Doha, Singapore, Shenzhen, Kunming, Paro, Bangkok and Dhaka. Owing to high passenger traffic in this airport, it is advised that passengers check-in early for international flights. From the airport, pre-paid taxis are available to transfer to Kolkata city which costs about Rs. 500 and takes about 45 minutes travel time. Airport shuttle services – Volvo buses - are also available from the airport on some prime routes to the city and cost between Rs. 20 and Rs. 60 per head.
Reach Darjeeling By Rail/Train:
The nearest major railhead to Darjeeling is New Jalpaiguri Railway Station (popularly known as NJP) in Siliguri at about 70 kilometres from Darjeeling. New Jalpaiguri is a major railway junction that connects Siliguri as well as North Eastern India to India’s big metros such as Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Pune, Bangalore, Guwahati and Chennai. The station operates on both broad and narrow gauges. The broad gauge is used for the regular rail traffic but the narrow gauge is specifically laid for the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway – popularly known as the ‘Toy Train’ that runs 86 kilometres of steep verdant rugged hills from Siliguri to Darjeeling.
The Toy Train route encompasses Siliguri Town > Sukna > Rangtong > Chunabatti > Tindharia > Gayabari > Mahanandi > Kurseong > Tung > Dilaram > Sonada > Rangbul > Jor Bungalow > Ghum (highest railway station in India at 7400 feet altitude) > Batasia Loop > Darjeeling.
The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway comprising four loops (track spirals) and four reverses (zigzags) was established by the British Government in July 1881. The Toy Train – heralded as an Engineering Marvel, is a vintage B-class Steam Locomotive (train that runs on steam) – a rarity these days! Darjeeling is equipped with a computerized reservations counter (0354-2252555 open 8 am to 2 pm).
Reach Darjeeling By Road:
By virtue of being a hill station, the road to Darjeeling is long, winding and twisted route on which taxis, North Bengal State Transport Corporation (NBSTC) buses and private buses run frequently daily. The bus journey on this route takes longer time than it should owing to steep and rugged hilly topography of the region. Jeeps are recommended as they are faster and cheaper.
Reach Darjeeling By Bus:
Darjeeling is well connected to other cities in West Bengal state and neighboring Sikkim state by bus. Regular North Bengal State Transport Corporation (NBSTC) and private buses ply from Siliguri to Darjeeling Bus Stand daily.