Siliguri, a city on the banks of river Mahananda, is situated between Himalayan foothills and Dooar region of West Bengal. Known as the Gateway to the North East India, Siliguri also serves as a base for other major tourist destinations in the vicinity. However, Siliguri in itself is a perfect holiday destination with plenty to explore. For adventure enthusiasts, river rafting, trekking, and paragliding are among the major activities that will interest you in Siliguri. In between those adventure trips, you also have plenty of nature to traverse with abounding beauty as well as wildlife sanctuaries.
The Jaldapara National Park, earlier known as Jaldapara Wildlife sanctuary is on the banks of Torsa River in North West Bengal. The park covers about 217 square kilometres at an altitude of 61 meters above mean sea level and comprises mainly of grasslands as well as riverine forests. The park is renowned for its impressive population of one-horned rhinoceros, Bengal Tigers, Elephants and various species of deers. Visitors can take an hour-long elephant ride to get the best out of this park.
Kanchenjunga stadium is a multipurpose stadium within the city mainly used for cricket and football matches. With a seating capacity of 45,000 seats, the stadium is equipped with floodlights to facilitate day and night fixtures. Going back to nature, Mahananda wildlife sanctuary spreads over 158 square kilometres at different elevations. While the sanctuary has multiple gates, the main gate is at Sukna which is barely 30 minutes from Siliguri. You can witness a wide range of flora & fauna including 330 different types of plantation, 36 species of mammals, and 243 species of birds.
Mirik is an absorbing hill station that has risen to join the ranks of must-visit destinations for visitors exploring West Bengal. Sumedu Lake, a natural lake in the centre of Mirik is the main attraction here. Visitors also have the opportunity of boating and fishing at Mirik. While boating along the 1-kilometer length of Sumedu Lake, you can even relish the magnificent view of lush green hills covering the lake on all sides.
For visitors keen on a more exceptional experience with untamed and wildlife at close quarters must visit North Bengal Wild Animals Park. Part of Mahanadi Wildlife Sanctuary, this park covers an area of about 300 hectares and serves as a means to enrich the diverse fauna and flora of North Bengal’s floodplains. The park has been developed as a natural habitat for Sal and other associated species. Visitors are prohibited from feeding any animals at the park.
Food in Siliguri is a fantastic amalgamation of different cultures and places. Visitors have the choice of delicious Chinese cuisine, delicacies of Bengal, rich Mughlai cuisine and South Indian Cuisine with vegan as well as non-vegetarian variants. If you have a sweet tooth, you can try some of the famous Bengali sweets too.
You can visit Siliguri anytime around the year as the climate is agreeable and sightseeing opportunities abundant. June to September receives heavy rainfall so that you can avoid these months for a more comfortable outing. Being an important trade centre, Siliguri is well-connected to other parts of the state and country. The Bagdogra international airport is at 17 km, whereas the New Jalpaiguri railway station is situated at 8 km from the Siliguri city centre. Siliguri is connected to the neighbouring cities and states via the National Highways 31, 31A, 31D and 55. Private and state-owned buses are available with reasonable frequency. If you’re worried about the commute, you can book Siliguri car rental and visit Darjeeling, Gangtok, Kurseong, Kalimpong etc. Happy Vacationing!