Bagdogra - Gateway to landscapes

Bagdogra Airport Directory (IXB)
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Welcome to Bagdogra, the gateway to the beautiful north of Bengal and Sikkim. You may have had a sneak peek of the mighty Himalayas on your way here. Now prepare to treat yourself to everything they offer: from the misty forests of the Dooars to the lush tea slopes of Darjeeling to the mountain lakes of Sikkim.

Best time to visit Bagdogra: 
The best time to be in Bagdogra are the summer months of March-June and later, from September to early December.

Most commonly spoken languages in Bagdogra:

  • Bengali
  • Hindi

How to reach Bagdogra

  • Flights to Bagdogra:Bagdogra Airport lies about 9km (20minutes drive) from west of Siliguri, 45km (90minutes drive) away from Jalpaiguri and 65km (4hours drive) from Darjeeling. IndiGo operates 55 weekly flights between Bagdogra and Bengaluru, Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi and Guwahati.
  • By train:Jalpaiguri is the nearest railway station to Bagdogra, well-connected with India's major cities through various trains.
  • By bus: Bagdogra has frequent bus services, connecting various North-East India cities and the Northern region of West Bengal.
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Places to visit around Bagdogra

  • The Dooars: From Bagdogra airport, head east, past Siliguri, and you will arrive at The Dooars, the floodplains of the Brahmaputra where you either take in a safari or two or relax at one of the verdant forest resorts.
  • Darjeeling: Head north, like most tourists, drives from Bagdogra to Darjeeling—by road, it is a 3-hour uphill journey. En-route, make time for a stopover at Kurseong to sample one of the world's most expensive teas at Makaibari Tea Estate. This is one of the best places to visit in Bagdogra, or if you love tea, you can even bed down at their charming but straightforward homestay. You can also visit the Glenburn Tea Estate, approximately two hours from Darjeeling. But if you have time on hand, skip the road and take the Darjeeling Himalayan Mountain Railway from New Jalpaiguri. The narrow-gauge train service has been in operation for over 120 years and is easily among India's most beautiful train journeys and has earned the UNESCO World Heritage status.Tip: You can also hop on for a simple joyride. Take the three-hour jungle safari train from Siliguri to Rangtong and back, which cuts through the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary. Alternatively, it is a two-hour, 14km round trip from Darjeeling to Ghum, which covers some rather beautiful sights and stops.

Tip: You can also hop on for a simple joyride. Take the three-hour jungle safari train from Siliguri to Rangtong and back, which cuts through the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary. Alternatively, it is a two-hour, 14km round trip from Darjeeling to Ghum, which covers some rather beautiful sights and stops.

  • Kalimpong: Barely an hour from Darjeeling is Kalimpong, another north Bengal hill station, where you can get your first real taste of Buddhist culture through its monasteries and food. Tourists particularly enjoy the Kalimpong Cactus Nursery, with a mindboggling variety of cacti.
  • Mirik: Nearby, Mirik is an even more beautiful hill station, which is (thankfully) not big on the tourist map yet. Drive further east, and you will arrive in Sikkim, the 'valley of rice', orchids and the omnipresent Kanchenjunga.
  • Gangtok: Arrive in Gangtok, which will serve as the base for a few days of adventure. From here, you can drive up to the surreal Tsomgo lake and continue up to the Indo-Tibetan border (permits required). If you're physically fit and the weather's good, head to the Yumthang Valley, a high-altitude Himalayan meadow.

Places to eat in and around Bagdogra

Bhojohori Manna, Siliguri
Bhojohori Manna, Siliguri

That rava upma (or was it the sandwich) you had on the flight was a long time ago and you likely have a long journey ahead. Stop at this Siliguri favourite and feast on some authentic Bengali fare. From chingri malai curry to mutton daakbangla curry to the nolen gurer ice-cream (seasonal), this one is more than your average highway food stop. Brace yourself for a food coma.


Kunga Restaurant, Darjeeling
Kunga Restaurant, Darjeeling

This family-run restaurant serves soul-warming Tibetan food. A simple hole-in-the-wall joint, this is where you head if you want the best momos and thukpas in town. Prepare to wait for a table.

Keventer’s, Darjeeling
Keventer’s, Darjeeling

How can you come to a colonial-era hill station and not have a classic English breakfast. Eggs, meat, and hot chocolate, you cannot ask for a better start to the day.

Taste of Tibet, Gangtok
Taste of Tibet, Gangtok

Arguably the best Tibetan restaurant in Gangtok, this one pair a great location with delicious food. The thenthuk is a speciality, but the momos aren’t bad either.


Shopping places in Bagdogra

Street shopping in Bagdogra

From Bagdogra to Gangtok, many itsy-bitsy markets will tempt you. In Makaibari, you must return with a box of tea as it makes for an excellent gift. Darjeeling's street markets around Chowrasta can dazzle you with their knick-knacks. If you want authentic Tibetan artefacts (and want to aid a good cause), try the Tibetan Refugee Self-help Centre, where you can pick bags, clothes and home décor pieces. Further up in Gangtok, while the New Market on MG Road has your regular touristy fare, it is the Sunday fair at Lal Bazaar that you should aim to visit. Offering everything from cheese to handcrafted chessboards, it is a shopper's delight.

Where to stay in and around Bagdogra


Cedar Inn Darjeeling This hotel has all the trappings of a romantic hill-station stay: good food, warm and courteous service and most of all, cosy rooms with fireplaces and views of the mighty Kanchenjunga. The hotel will arrange transfers from the airport, on request.


Mount Himalayan Resort Bagdogra This resort is one of those Bagdogra hotels which puts you close to all the action on Mall Road. The rooms are well-appointed with the all-wood interiors giving a warm and cosy feel. You may find yourself spending more time at the sun deck though, waiting for the Kanchenjunga to provide you with a peek. Tip: the access to the hotel involves a short but steep climb.


Cochrane Place Hotel Kurseong What makes this one special is its location, you get all the charms of a hill station, and you are nearly half-way down the road between Darjeeling and Bagdogra. That’s a considerable saving in time when you have to catch your flight the next morning. It helps that this restored colonial home is elegant and cosy.


The Golden Crest Gangtok This elegant, modern hotel in the center of Gangtok is perfect for those looking for simple luxuries. Inside the wallpapered rooms, you have tea/coffee makers and Wi-fi. Outside the window, you have the mountains, birds and trees. A single restaurant that serves Indian, Continental and local food completes the package.

More reasons to visit and top things to do in Bagdogra

  • Salugara Monastery: Located about 13k away from the city, tourists can visit the Salugara Monastery which is beautiful tourist spot. This monastery, popular for the stupas was built by Buddhist monks who are the followers of His Holiness- The Dalai Lama. The most popular attraction here is the Stupa which is 110 feet tall and was founded by the Tibetan Lama, Kalu Rinpoche. A large number of people visit this place to witness the beautiful relics and idols of the monastery.
  • The Himalaya World Museum: The Himalaya World Museum has been conceived, designed and curated by Professor Omprakash Bharti, an eminent ethnomusicologist and dramaturge. It can be called a unique International Museum of India, where about 500 artefacts of the Himalaya regions of India and other countries have been displayed. The Museum has been maintained and administrated by the Himalayan Heritage Research & Development Society (HHRDS), a Sikkim- based national NGO.
  • Dreamland Amusement Park: Dreamland Amusement Park is located in the city of Bagdogra which has a variety of things to explore. It is one of the finest amusement parks in the city where tourists can spend a fun-filled day.
  • If you're going towards the Dooars, Kalimpong or Sikkim, you will most likely see the brilliant blue Teesta river. Head to Teesta Bazaar (1.5hours from Darjeeling), from where you can go white-water rafting down the Teesta river. 
  • If you want to waste no time getting to Gangtok, hop into a heli-taxi from Bagdogra airport. The helicopter will take you to Gangtok in 35 minutes flat; services and seats are limited, so plan. But the views from the chopper are worth all the effort.
  • Try your luck! Sikkim is among the few states in India where gambling is legal. Head to one of the casinos in Gangtok and test your skills.
  • Are you feeling even more adventurous? Darjeeling has a range of tattoo studios you can pick from to give yourself a permanent travel souvenir.

Festivals in Bagdogra

The locals celebrate a number of festivals with enthusiasm and zest. Some of the most popular and vital festivals include Kenduli Mela, Jalpesh Mela, Gangasagar Mela, and Naba Barsho (the Tibetan New Year). During these festivals, tourists get to witness the rich traditional heritage of the beautiful city of Bagdogra.

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