Darjeeling Ropeway was started in 1968 by the forest development department and comprised only a single car which ran one way. Later it was renovated to 16 cars and moved in both directions. From an elevation of 2,134 m (7,001 ft) in Darjeeling's North Point (Singamari), this bicable ropeway slide down to 244 m (801 ft) at Singla on the banks of the Ramman River. After a short halt at Tukver, Burnesbeg and Singla tea estates, it used to take 45 minutes to reach Singla Bazar, eight km away. The Darjeeling Ropeway passed over dense forests, mountain ridges, flowing rivers, water falls, green valleys and tea gardens.
Darjeeling Ropeway offers views from the glacial elevation of Kabru, in the lower regions of the Kanchenjunga, flow of the Great Rangeet that meets first the Ramman and then the Little Rangeet, further down, flows from the Tonglu spur in the Singalila range. The Singla Bazar is a fascinating beautiful view of the lovely valleys of these two streams from the ropeway. The Little Rangeet flows across lush Bijanbari valley, featuring wild life, flowers and butterflies. The passenger ropeway was operated as a joint endeavour of the West Bengal Forest Development Corporation and the Conveyor and Ropeway Services Private Ltd.
Darjeeling's northern point is connected to Singla through a bi-cable passenger ropeway. It is the first bi-cable passenger ropeway in the nation and also the longest of its kind in Asia. This ropeway cable car can carry six passengers at a time. The Ropeway covers an aerial distance of 8km, sliding down almost 2 km, to Singla Bazaar. The 45-minute ride encompasses mountain ridges, wooded lands, lush green valleys, sparkling streams, tea gardens and impressive waterfalls.
The ropeway, which was started in 1968 and revamped in 1988, was unfortunately stopped in October 2003 after an accident, where four tourists died when the cable snapped causing two cars to plummet down the hill. In 2005 the state forest and public works department (PWD) ministers established a three-member committee to supervise the safety issues. Reaching the starting point of the Darjeeling Ropeway is very easy, regular share taxi service is available from Market Motor and Taxi Stand to the Ropeway Station.
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