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As one of the most important transportation hubs in the north east, Siliguri has recently become something of a boom town. Sprawling and boisterous, modern condominiums dominate the landscape on entering the town, followed by endless streets of market stalls
which surround a core of car show rooms and shopping malls. While it is a popular place to shop and do business for people from the [[Northeast (India) | North East]] and [[Bhutan]], there is no good reason for tourists to linger in Siliguri. However, travelers heading towards Bhutan, [[Darjeeling]] and [[Sikkim]] may need to spend a night here. With a population of over 1.5 mil, Siliguri is the second largest city in West Bengal and boasts the highest literacy rates in the state. |+|
As one of the most important transportation hubs in the north east, Siliguri has recently become something of a boom town. Sprawling and boisterous, modern condominiums dominate the landscape on entering the town, followed by endless streets of market stalls surround a core of and shopping malls.
While it is a popular place to shop and do business for people from the [[Northeast (India) | North East]] and [[Bhutan]], there is no good reason for tourists to linger in Siliguri. However, travelers heading towards Bhutan, [[Darjeeling]] and [[Sikkim]] may need to spend a night here.
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Revision as of 04:26, 19 December 2011
Siliguri  is a city in Darjeeling district in the northern part of West Bengal, India.
With a population of over 1.5 mil, Siliguri is the second largest city in West Bengal and boasts the highest literacy rates in the state.
As one of the most important transportation hubs in the north east, Siliguri has recently become something of a boom town. Sprawling and boisterous, modern condominiums dominate the landscape on entering the town, followed by endless streets of market stalls that surround a core of up-scale shops and shopping malls. Due to its position as a shopping and business hub and high concentration of colleges and institutes of learning, the city enjoys a sophistication and range of shopping rarely available outside the five metro cities.
While it is a popular place to shop and do business for people from the North East and Bhutan, there is little in the way of tourist attractions and so there is no good reason for tourists to linger in Siliguri. However, travelers heading towards Bhutan, Darjeeling and Sikkim may need to spend a night here.
The people of Siliguri have a reputation for their business prowess, but at the same time are known to be friendly and welcoming to outsiders.
- Siliguri has two important railway stations: Siliguri Junction and New Jalpaiguri (NJP) besides 'Siliguri Town'. NJP connects Siliguri with Gauhati/Dibrugarh in the north-east, Jaipur/Jodhpur/Mumbai etc in the west, Delhi etc in the north and Trivandrum/Cochin etc in the south. Siliguri Junction mainly serves short distance meter gauge line trains along with a new broad gauge line up to NJP. NJP is about a twenty to thirty minute ride from the city center.
Now Siliguri Junction have some long distance train like Mahananda Express(Upto New Delhi), Kanchankanya Express (upto Sealdah) etc.
Siliguri Bus Station is located across the street from the Sher-e-Punjab Hotel on Hill Cart Road (Tenzing Norgay Road).
- There are regular buses to/from Kolkata. The well-known and comfortable Siliguri Rocket, run by the North Bengal State Transport Corporation (NBSTC), leaves Kolkata at 8PM arriving Siliguri at 8am (Rs. 245). Some private bus lines also ply the route. The 'Royal Cruiser' Volvo buses run by Gupta Travel (Tel: +91 353 251-3451) leaves Kolkata at 8PM arriving Siliguri at 9am (Rs. 745 AC/Rs. 325 non-AC).
- Under a joint understanding between Indian and Bangladeshi transport authority, there are regular bus services to/from Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh. BRTC (Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation) buses leave Dhaka everynight at 8 PM and reach India-Bangladesh border at Changrabanda post at early morning. These buses will not cross the border and the passengers have to clear customs, walk a few hundred yards to cross the border and board the waiting Indian buses for another three hour ride to Siliguri. The buses are air conditioned, very comfortable and depart on time. One way fare from Dhaka to Siliguri is between USD 20 to 25, depending on conversion rates.
- Reserve cars also available from Kings Travels, dial-098304-28401/ 093319-39486.
- The closest major international airport is at Kolkata, approx 570km south of Siliguri. The Bagdogra Airport is just 14km from the heart of Siliguri and has links with most major Indian cities - Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Guwahati, while Druk Air operates flights from Bangkok twice a week (incoming in Sundays and Wednesdays, outgoing on Tuesdays and Saturdays). Flights on the Bangkok route begin or terminate in Paro, Bhutan. Taxis are available from the airport to Siliguri, as well as to Darjeeling and Gangtok, though these are expensive. Cheaper options are available from Siliguri bus station.
Moving in and around Siliguri is cheap. Cycle-rickshaws, Auto-rickshaws, buses, taxis are easily available in almost every region. One can walk around the market place. Cycle-rickshaws can be hired to move around within the radius of 1-2 KM. The fares are pretty nominal. To go about 5-10 KM, one can hire/share auto-rickshaws. You just need to flag down one and when you leave you pay a fixed amount.
Cars can be arranged by several companies, such as Kings Travels (098304-28401).
- Salugara Monastery. A monastery in the Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. The compound includes a 100 foot stupa consecrated by the late Kalu Rinpoche.
- Iskon Temple . International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), also known as Hare Krishna Movement manages the ISCKON temple, Siliguri. The temple houses many beautiful idols of Advaita Acharya, Lord Narasimha, Lord Chaitanya and many more. This temple attract thousand of people every year.
- The Coronation Bridge at Sevoke. This is about 23 km from the city on way to Gangtok/Kalimpong and Dooars on the National Highway 31.
- Sevoke Kali Mandir, Sevoke. This is around 20 kms from Siliguri, near the coronation bridge. This is a temple of goddess Kali, the goddess of destruction, and is considered very holy. People from far off places come here to pray and worship her.
- The Science City at Matigara on the northern suburbs.
- Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary, Sukna. This is a wildlife sanctuary at the foothills of the Himalayas. You can hire a vehicle and enter the sanctuary at a minimal entry fee. Different types of wild animals are found here. However it is famous for its wild elephants and peacocks. It is said that these elephants travel for around 1000kms sometimes and come here. However, the sanctuary is closed in the rainy seasons, i.e. 15th july to 15th september.
- Tea Gardens, Dagapur. You can take a view of some tea plantations over here in dagapur.
- Kalchakra Monastery, Salugara (7 KMs from Siliguri towards Sevoke). 15 - 20 minutes from Siliguri. The Kalchakra Monastery at Salugara was inaugurated by the Dalai Lama when he visited Salugara, a suburb in Siliguri, for the Kalchakra ceremonies in 1996.
- Dudhia, Siliguri-Mirik Highway. A common tourist spot on the Siliguri-Mirik highway.
- Swimming, Viramma Club, Siliguri Club, Cinderella Club, Stadium Swimming Pool.
- Club Cabana. Siliguri's most popular disco.
- Siliguri Club. Houses the biggest swimming pool in the whole of North Bengal.
- Blue Mountain Club. A relaxing country-club with landscaped gardens.
- The Kunchenjunga stadium and the Netaji Indoor Stadium. Exhibitions and varied events.
- Tea Estate Tours. Visit the serene and spacious tea farms located in and around the city.
- Savin Kingdoms, Dagapur (near Darjeeling More). An amusement park located among tea plantations.dagapur temple
- Blue Mountains, dagapur. If you have a country club membership you can go to this club and engoy the evening in the foothils and watch the scenic beauty of siliguri with a drink in your hand.
- Basil World, this is another amusement park located in the outskirts or Siliguri. However, you will have to hire a veichle to go there because no publice transport runs on that route.
Basically, Silguri sells its wares on two streets - Hillcart Road and Sevoke Road. The former offers more traditional stores and is home to many of the city's hotels, while Sevoke offers more upscale shopping and is the center of the city's banking.
- Cosmos Mall, Sevoke Road. A large and up-scale mall.
- City Mall, Sevoke Road
- Orbit Mall, check post, if you are a movie worm, you can take a peek at the '''INOX''' movie centre in the mall along with some shopping.
- CINEMAX, another Multiplex in the city near Dagapur having 4 screen and ticket rates are cheaper than INOX
- Cosmos Mall, Sevoke Road. This place is very good for shopping. This is the first mall built in Siliguri.
- City Center, Uttarayon , near darjeeling more - latest mall with all major brands and chain eateries like KFC
- Bidhan Market.
- Hong Kong Market, Hill Cart Road. Specializes in imported goods - mostly from China, but also from other Asian countries such as Nepal, Thailand, etc. However, beware of duplicate items. Even items made in Delhi stamped with "Made in China" are being sold here. Keep in mind that the actual price of the item will be 1/2 or 1/3rd of the price the shopkeeper asks.
- Nivedita Market
- Seth Srilal Market. buzzing market in the heart of the city . get the best deal in this mkt. also famous for its momo gali
- Havelli An excellent resturant for fish and lamb items, Hill Cart Road, Siliguri.
- Viramma at Viramma Resort, Dagapur.
- Banake at Sharma Sweets at Mahabirsthan.
- Sweets at Rasoraj, Mahabirsthan.
- Viramma Restaurant (Viramma Resort).
- Palm court (Sinclairs)
- Pamm (Vinayak)
- Amber (Saluja Residency)
- Ranjit. South Indian cuisine
- Taiwah. Chinese cuisine.
- Kalpana. Excellent Bengali cuisine.
- Kalpatru. Excellent Bengali cuisine
- Zaika . Excellent Moughali dishes
- Sartaj. Famous for its Excellent Food quality and ambience,at Hillcart Road
- Momo Goli.Near Margaret School, walking from Siliguri Bus Stand.
- Bedwin.at Bidhan Market Old Bus Stand is known for its delicious Biriany.
- Road Side Food Stalls are also famous for Momo and Chowmin, as chinese is the most preferred food after Bengali Cuisine here.
- Monarch Restaurant, 10 Sevoke Rd, ☎ 03532537312. Famous for Indian, Tandoori and Chinese dishes.
- Barista, Bidhan Road (next to Hotel Dolly)
- Cafe Coffee Day, Basement, Cosmos Mall, 2nd Mile Sevoke Road.
- Cafe Coffee Day, Savin Plaza, Dagapur, Cinemax.
- Cafe Coffee Day, Bidhan Market near Panitanki More
- Cafe Coffee Day, near Khela Ghor More
- O2 in Sinclairs. Worth checking out for a nice evening drink and snacks.
As a major transportation hub and business center, Siliguri has a host of hotels. Many are located on the main thoroughfare, Hill Cart Road.
- Mainak Tourist Lodge, Hill Cart Road, Pradhan Nagar. Tel:+91 353 251-2859. Not as grand on the inside as on the out, but still good value. Standard: single - 340Rs, double - 450Rs, Deluxe: single - 525Rs, double - 700Rs.
- Dewan's Hotel, NJP Railway Station. Tel:+91 353 734-007. A simple hotel located just outside New Jalpaiguri (NJP) Station. After exiting station, turn into first alley on right (adjacent to the taxi parking lot). The hotel is at the end of the alley.
- Athithi Guest House, Hill Cart Road, A well maintained hotel at low rates with AC and non-AC rooms.
- Hotel Heritage, Hill Cart Road, Pradham Nagar. Tel:+91 353 734-003. Conveniently located across from the city's main interstate bus station, Heritage is a well maintained and efficiently run hotel. 500rs non A/C to 2,500rs for suite.
- Hotel Manila, Hill Cart Road, Pradham Nagar. Tel: +91 353 251-9342. Located next to Hotel Heritage. 600rs non A/C to 2,400rs for suite.
- Hotel Central Plaza, Hill Cart Road, Pradham Nagar. Tel: 91 353 251-6119. Located about a five minute taxi ride from main bus station. Clean and acceptable facilities. 650rs non A/C to 3,500rs for suite.
- Marina's Motel, This is just a stones throw away from the IXB airport. You can go through their website http://www.marinasmotel.com/home or contact Mr. Rajib directly +91 9749093020.
- Viramma Resort.  A luxury resort on the Darjeeling highway.It is no more luxury resort now and has very poor standards of hygine.
- Hotel Sinclairs. Pradhan Nagar. Tel: +91 253 251-7674 . A well maintained hotel with good facilities. Located about a five minute taxi ride from main bus station.
- Hotel Cindrella.  A four star hotel on Sevoke Road.
- Barsana Hotel. Beautiful hotel with all the modern amenities. Very resonable as per the infrastructure nad facilities that they offer. For more details log onto their website http://barsanahotels.com/
There are a host of internet cafes in the lanes behind Hotel Heritage/Hotel Manila (across from the main bus station). There is also an internet cafe among the row of restaurants directly outside NJP Station. Web connections in Siliguri are fast and reliable.
There are several banks on Sevoke Road that offer money change and ATM service.
- Gompa Dara
- Loleygaon or Lolegaon
- Phuentsholing. The Bhutan Government buses depart for Phuentsholing at 7:30AM and 1:30PM everyday from directly across from the bus station (near Hotel Heritage) - tickets are available on the bus. There are more frequent Indian buses to the border town of Jaigaon.
- Mahananda Wild Life Sanctuary. The main entrace is through Sukna about 12 km from the city centre. There is a nature interpretation centre at Sukna showcasing local flora and fauna