Siliguri is a place that looks astounding and rustic. Travellers love to spend some time here because of its natural allure and climate. Located on the foothills of the mighty Eastern Himalayas and at the bank of the beautiful river of Mahananda, known as Mahanadi in Nepali, Siliguri is a remarkable place to explore.
It is also the famous point that leads to many routes for some of the charming hill stations of West Bengal. Being the second largest city of West Bengal, the connectivity from other hill stations is good. Among locals, it is famous for the tetralogy of Ts, namely Tea, Timber, and Tourism.
As already mentioned, Siliguri is a place which has natural splendor in abundance and travelling here is not at all an issue. It was last summer when I planned for Darjeeling because of my Mountaineering Course in HMI.
I was aware of Siliguri as a pristine hill station, but I decided to visit here after my course finished and visit to Sikkim later. So, when I was on my way back, I spent some days in Kalimpong and decided to reach Siliguri through road. Trust me, it was an amazing idea to grab the opportunity of taking that mesmerizing drive to the divine beauty.
The Route From Kalimpong To Siliguri
I started from Kalimpong after having my breakfast in a rented car. The distance between Kalimpong and Siliguri is around 70 km and it took me more than 5 hours to reach, because I could not stop myself from visiting the small yet astounding attractions coming on my way.
I enjoyed having tea with the locals while having endless talks and making so many connections, which I am sure I will never forget in my lifetime.
So, it was roughly 10:30 AM when the cab arrived and I left my homestay - The Sherpa House - with a heavy heart. However, I was excited to be in Siliguri, but the people of Kalimpong had already made a place in my heart.
PC: Dibesh Thakuri
First Stop – Teesta Valley Tea Garden
My first stop came at Teesta Valley Tea Garden, which is located in Rangli Rangliot Tehsil, where I spent some ten to fifteen minutes exploring the beauty and filling my lungs with some fine fragrance of tea.
After some quick photography, I left from there. It is one of the oldest tea gardens, which was started in 1841. The fine tea from this garden is exported to countries like Japan, Russia, Germany, Holland, France, UK, USA, Singapore and Hawaii.
I was in complete awe of the place until I saw something more amazing, my route was blessed with greenery of Tashiding Forest and Teesta River, flowing along the road, which was breath-taking.
If you are a photography enthusiast, you must visit here and capture some amazing pictures in your cameras.
PC: Srishti Manna
Second Halt Point – Durpin Dara
After driving 5 km from Kalimpong, I stopped again at Durpin Dara. This place is located at an altitude of 4200 feet and is famous for the view it offers. There is an observatory point located here. I could not visit that because I wanted to spend some time in Zong Dog Palri Fo Brang Gompa, which is a new yet beautiful monastery.
PC: Shankar S
Next Stop – Suntalay
Our next stop was at Suntalay, where the taxi driver stopped to check the air in the tyre at the petrol station. After making everything perfect, we moved a little bit and stopped at a restaurant named, Lohapool. It is small yet clean and pretty café and they serve good tea.
Here, I met a few locals and we discussed a lot of the game of soccer while having tea. The view offered by the café is amazing and the cool breeze gives a refreshing treat to the mind and soul. We left from the café and while I was enjoying the local music, my taxi driver stopped the cab to a mesmerizing hamlet known as Kalijhora.
It is a lovely place to stop and enjoy the natural splendor. Since it was a weekend, there were many locals as well as tourists enjoying their picnic. My destination, Siliguri, was just 30 km away, so I decided to stop here and relax for sometime.
Surrounded by a dense forest, and river Teesta flowing by the side, it is a wonderful place which should not be missed. The Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary trek starts from this point. Many foreign as well as Indian tourists were going for this trek and at a point even I was lured, but I wanted to leave for Siliguri, so I decided to miss it.
PC: Krushna Sundar
The Heritage Baghpool Bridge – A Site To Visit
Later, on my way, I stopped at the Heritage Baghpool bridge, which is a lovely attraction on the way. The bridge has got its name from the two lion statues which are at the entrance of the bridge. It was built by the Britishers during 1931; and it makes a marvelous spot to visit till date.
After leaving from the bridge, I stopped at the Kali Mandir. I was hungry and a little tired, so we stopped for lunch at Sevoke, which is close to Siliguri and shares its border with Sikkim. After having some Maggi, tea and bread & butter, we left and reached Siliguri at around 4 PM.
My journey by far was a memorable one and I loved each and every place where I stopped over at. Meeting new people always makes me happy, I met a lot of locals and travellers, and we shared some magically beautiful moments on my way from Kalimpong to Siliguri on a lovely road trip.
I would definitely love to make a visit to the place once again. I really want to go on for the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary trek and a picnic in Kalijhora all by myself. It was more than a fun trip to experience the fantastic view on the road, with river Teesta playing hide and seek around the loops. All in all, it was a beautiful road trip which melts my heart each time I think about it.
PC: Arnab Basu