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Kolkata to Darjeeling by Car

Discussion in 'East India' started by Wrangler, Jun 10, 2016.

  1. Wrangler

    Wrangler New Member

    I need information about the route details, road conditions and driving directions to go to Darjeeling from Kolkata by car. I want to know -

    1. Which is the best route to take from Kolkata to reach Darjeeling?
    2. How long does it take to reach Darjeeling from Kolkata by car?
    3. How's the condition of the road? Is it possible to do the journey in a small car like Maruti Alto?
    4. If we are to break the journey in two days, then which place is ideal for night stay?

    Thanks for your kind help.
  2. Debapriya Deb

    Debapriya Deb Active Member

    A non-stop journey from Kolkata to Darjeeling is not practical as the distance is over 600 KM. Still assuming that you manage to do it at-a-stretch, it would take no less than 14 hours continuous driving to settle the distance - unless of-course you have a Michael Schumacher or Kimi Räikkönen behind the wheels :p

    Ideally, you should break the journey in two days. I would suggest doing Kolkata to Malda on Day-1 and Malda-Darjeeling on Day-2. Malda is a big town, where you can easily find a suitable accommodation for night staying.

    The condition of the road is decent at the moment, as monsoon is yet to hit West Bengal. There are rough patches in-between, especially after your cross Malda and proceed towards Siliguri. But that should not be a problem. I know many people who have done Kolkata-Darjeeling journey on Alto's and Maruti-800's without any problem.

    Coming on to the route details, the best and the shortest route to reach Darjeeling from Kolkata is by NH-34 from till Dalkhola, followed by NH-31 upto Siliguri and then NH-55 (Hill Cart Road) to climb up till you arrive in Darjeeling.

    Here's the route details (assuming you are planning a 2-days journey from Kolkata to Darjeeling via Malda) -

    Day-1 : Kolkata to Malda : Distance - 360 KM, Duration - 8 Hours (Approx)
    • Exit from Kolkata via Airport Road onto NH-34.
    • Drive along NH-34 to Krishnanagar via Barasat, Chakdaha, Ranaghat and Shantipur. A non-stop drive will take about 3 hours. If you start in the early hours, then take your breakfast at Krishnanagar.
    • Continue to proceed further along NH-34. You will cross Dhubalia and Palasi to reach Baharampur in another 2 hours.
    • Continue to drive on NH-34. Pass by Jangipur, Dhulian, Sultangunj and Kaliachak to reach Malda. Bahrampur to Malda can take around 3.5 hours with a 30 minutes' break for lunch.

    Day-2 : Malda to Darjeeling : Distance - 270 KM, Duration - 8 Hours (Approx)
    • Take NH-34 from Malda town and drive towards Raiganj.
    • Shortly after Raiganj, you will be arriving at Dalkhola. From here you need to deviate from NH-34 and take NH-31 to Siliguri. Malda to Dalkhola journey would take around 2 hours.
    • Once you are onto NH-31, continue towards Kishanganj and then to Islampur. It would take another 2 hours.
    • From Islampur, continue to drive towards Siliguri via Sonapur and Bagdogra. You will arrive in Siliguri within 1.5 hour (from Islampur).
    • From Siliguri town, take Hill Cart Road (NH-55) all the way up to Darjeeling. It's a very scenic drive. You will encounter steep ascends in this route and your progress will be much slower. Darjeeling is just around 870 KM from Siliguri, but the journey can take around 2.5 to 3 hours.

  3. Rahul4640

    Rahul4640 New Member

    I have been to Darjeeling many many times, paying at least over two dozen visits in last fifteen years. Almost all the times I have been there by my own car, as it gives you the advantage of adding some other nearby hill station in your destination. Even this year I first went to Pelling and then have visited Darjeeling. Now coming to your questions, Darjeeling takes at least seventeen hours from Calcutta, assuming the speed to be between moderate and cruising.

    The best route is NH-34, which is also the shortest route. Unfortunately, the road is far from ideal. Though the authorities are trying their best to develop the road by widening and repairing it, lack of availability of land is hampering the pace of work. I guess it will take you around fourteen hours to reach Siliguri. There are several places to stay on this route, like Maldah or Raiganj. Golden park hotel at Maldah is a decent staying option. I have even seen that one or two hotels exist at Islampur, though have no idea of the amenities available there. Never stayed at any of them, as I myself prefer to cover the maximum distance on the first day itself, reaching Siliguri on the first go and staying there for the night.

    And yes, your Maruti Alto is certainly capable of taking you to Darjeeling, if you climb up by Rohini Road or by the scenic Mirik route. Locals do it all the time. However, please make sure beforehand that your hotel has provisions for car parking, as few hotels in Darjeeling have adequate room for car parking in their compound.

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