Siliguri is also the gateway to Bhutan through the Dooars. The direct road connection to Bhutan and Nepal and other North-Eastern states has prompted Siliguri to become a buzzing modern international trade centre.
Although Siliguri is a typical modern city, its scenic surroundings are hardly comparable to any other cities of India. A half an hour journey from Siliguri to any direction reaches deep into the natural environments. With Mahananda River and Balasan River flowing through it, Siliguri is not deprived of natural beauty.
The distinct view of snowy range of Mount Kunchenjungha on a clear day is very attractive.
Siliguri offers several options for day visitors. Mahananda Wild Life Sanctuary, Shorea-Forest Recreation Centre, Sevok Coronation Bridge, Madhuban Nature Park, Panighata are some of the major tourist spots lying with 25kms radius from Shiliguri.
Bindu is a small village at an altitude of 700m, on the India-Bhutan border. Bindu, famous for its cardamom plantation, is also coming up as a popular offbeat tourist destination in Dooars Himalayan foothills.
Bindu is scenically placed among the high mountains all around with Jaldhaka River flowing through the valley making a natural border with Bhutan and India.
The 108 km drive from Shiliguri to Bindu winds up through the undulating slopes of Dooars covered with lush green tea garden and forests. A visit to Todey (1500m) and Paren from Bindu is worth experiencing for the unspoiled natural environment and innocent village people.
Mongpong 32 km drive away from Siliguri. Mongpong provides one with the mesmerizing landscape of the Eastern Himalayas. On the lofty banks of Tista River under the floating clouds will offer one some unforgettable picnic spots and panoramic view of Mahananda Wild Life Sanctuary. One also can trek through the virgin forest near Mongpong. The sight of flickering ripples in the Tista in a moonlit night will take one to the world of sublime dream. The cool breeze and soft melting glow of the sun will infuse a new life at Mongpong.
Lolegaon is an important offbeat destination in Kalimpong hills, Lolegaon is 123 km from Shiliguri, 54 km from Kalimpong and 24 km from Lava.
At an altitude of 1850 meters in the midst of undulating slopes and adorned with towering Dhupi and Cypress trees Lolaygaon / Lolegaon is the place of ethereal wilderness. Glittering Kunchendzonga at dawn or sensational sunrise and sunset from Jhandidara will leave one spellbound. The soft colourful petals of the flowers and orchids and the cool breeze will bring a new life in you.
The visit to the Heritage Forest of Lolaygaon is a must to get a feel of the exquisite wealth nature has showered here. The unique 'Canopy Walk' over the century old mossy Oak and Cypress in the Heritage Forest is a thrilling experience. The all-pervading melodious silence will give one a new dimension of contended soul.
A journey of 99km via Kalimpong or 115km via Gorubathan from Shiliguri will take one to Lava, one of the most picturesque spot in the Darjeeling Himalayas. A serene misty hamlet in the Kalimpong sub division, Lava has been a recent addition in the tourism map of North Bengal and is getting immense popularity among the travelers looking for off beat destinations.
Lava is situated at an altitude of 2100 meters. Lava presents a landscape with ultimate splendour of nature that can never be captured by word. The conifer forests under the worm glow of sun with colourful birds flying and singing everywhere the whole surrounding will enthrall one to a new dimension.
The view of the silvery peaks of Greater Himalayan snow ranges or the smiling children of local ethnic villages, soaked in simplicity and hospitality, will give one a sense of total fulfillment. Visit the Lava Monastery and Neora valley Interpretation center, which offers the glimpse of the nature's wealth.
Neora Valley National Park
Lava is the gateway of Neora Valley National Park, a virgin, unexplored terrain in the Himalayas. A drive to Choudaferri inside the park through the pine clad winding road and the Sunrise spot at Tiffin Dara are simply unforgettable. Rishop, another upcoming popular tourist destination is only 8kms from Lava.
Siliguri is well connected with air, road and rail to almost all the important Indian cities, Shiliguri is basically a launching ground for the travellers to explore North Bengal and Sikkim. Bagdogra, the nearest airport, is only 15Km from Siliguri. It has direct daily air link with Calcutta (now Kolkata), Delhi and Guwahati. Presently Jet Airways and Indian Airlines are operating flights on regular basis from Bagdogra. Shiliguri is the junction of NorthEast frontier Railway Grid. New Jalpaiguri, popularly known as NJP is the one of the most important rail station of North east and just 4 km from Siliguri. NJP is connected with direct trains from New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai, Bengaluru etc. Shiliguri is 650km from Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal, 760kms from Khatmandu, the Capital of Nepal 350Kms from Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. Shiliguri to Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim is 120Kms