So excited to design your own vacation in Darjeeling? Then read on...
Just to give you a head start about the place, Darjeeling hill town is located at an altitude of 6,710ft in north east India and is part of the state of West Bengal. The nearest airport is Bagdogra and the nearest major railway junction is New Jalpaiguri (NJP).
It takes about 3 hours to reach Darjeeling from both these locations by car. Private taxis (available at NJP and Bagdogra), shared taxis (available at NJP) and bus (from Siliguri bus stand, only 8kms from NJP) are the main public transports to reach Darjeeling from NJP station or Bagdogra airport. Alternatively, you can take the fascinating toy train from NJP or Siliguri all the way up to Darjeeling soaking in the Himalayan beauty in a 7-hour ride.
NOTE : Only private taxis are available at Bagdogra airport, no bus service, shared taxis or toy train. Unlike in Gangtok, there is no helicopter service from Bagdogra to Darjeeling. You need to go by road and negotiate steep & winding mountain roads.
Dotted with majestic mountains, pristine lakes, verdant tea estates and sacred monasteries, Darjeeling has a lot to offer in terms of tourist delights. Behold the bewitching sunset, which mesmerises everyone with the sight of golden sun rays falling on Khangchendzonga and Mount Everest. Relax in the serene environs of old monasteries and get acquainted with the rich wildlife of the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park. A visit to the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute provides an insight into techniques of the challenging adventure sport of mountain hiking.
Update February 2017 :
Kalimpong which was earlier a subdivision of Darjeeling district has become a separate district of West Bengal effective 14th Feb 2017 with an area of 1,056 square kilometers of its own. It is no longer a subdivision of Darjeeling district.
Within Darjeeling town area, you can walk to visit several tourist attractions. Plenty of taxis (which are private commercial vehicles of various types - small & large) are available at the stands. They offer both local sightseeing tours as well as point-to-point transfers. You can also get shared taxis (mainly Jeep type vehicles) at the stands, but they are mostly available for transfers and seldom for tours.