A Travel Guide to Bagdogra

Bagdogra Airport Directory (IXB)
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Bagdogra is located in the northern part of West Bengal serving as an entry point to some of the beautiful hill stations and Northeast state of Sikkim. Often referred to as a city, Bagdogra is actually a settlement and a base for Bagdogra International Airport as well as Bagdogra Air Force Station. Bagdogra is located on the foothills of the Himalaya where the mighty Kanchenjunga is located between Sikkim and Nepal. 

The main purpose of visiting Bagdogra is to travel to Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Siliguri and the state of Sikkim. But you can also find a few tourist spots in Bagdogra. The city is renowned for some of the famous tea plantations that stretches to the mountains. Since Bagdogra is located close to the Teesta River, chances of taking a quick trip to Teesta Bazaar for river rafting is certainly possible in a day. Now, prepare to treat yourself to everything Bagdogra has to offer, from the misty forests of the Dooars to the lush tea slopes of Darjeeling to the state of Sikkim.

Best time to visit Bagdogra

The best time to be in Bagdogra and its neighbouring cities like Siliguri is during the cooler months from September to March. But it depends on where you are travelling to. For instance, if you are visiting places like Darjeeling and even the state of Sikkim, then the summer months from April to June is perfect. 

Commonly spoken languages in Bagdogra

  • Bengali
  • Hindi
  • Nepali

How to reach Bagdogra?

  • By Air: Bagdogra Airport lies about 9km from west of Siliguri, 45km away from Jalpaiguri and 65km from Darjeeling. 
  • By Train: Jalpaiguri is the nearest railway station to Bagdogra, it is well-connected with India's major cities through various trains.
  • By Bus: Bagdogra has frequent bus services, connecting various Northeast India cities and the northern region of West Bengal.
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Places to visit around Bagdogra

  • The Dooars: The Dooars or Duars is a region in West Bengal, it is basically alluvial floodplains of the Brahmaputra where you either take in a safari or two at the Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary or relax at one of the verdant forest resorts. There are many things to see and do here, like Jayanti, a forest village close to the Buxa Tiger Reserve. 
  • Darjeeling: Head north from Bagdogra by road, it is a three 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 stay at the charming homestay. You can also visit the Glenburn Tea Estate, approximately two hours from Darjeeling. But if you have time in 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: Every travel guide may take you for a simple joyride while in Bagdogra. Take the three-hour train ride from Siliguri to Rangtong and back, which cuts through the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary. You can also hop on for a simple joyride. 

  • 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: Mirik is a beautiful hill station in West Bengal. It is a charming place to visit if you do not have munh time to explore the northern cities and towns. Here you can feel the omnipresent of the Kanchenjunga. 
  • Gangtok: Come into the lap of nature and serenity in Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim. The city has amazing tourist attractions. 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 in Siliguri
Bhojohori Manna in 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 in Darjeeling
Kunga Restaurant in 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 in Darjeeling
Keventer’s in 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 in Gangtok
Taste of Tibet in 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 around 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 Chowraasta 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 around Bagdogra


Cedar Inn Darjeeling This hotel has all the best qualities of a romantic hill-station stay. With good food, warm and courteous service and most of all, cosy rooms with fireplaces and views of the mighty Kanchenjunga. You can call the hotel if you want arrange transfers from the airport.


Mount Himalayan Resort Darjeeling This resort is one of those best hotels which puts you close to all the action on Gandhi Road of Darjeeling. 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.


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.

Reasons to visit Bagdogra

  • Salugara Monastery: Located about 13km 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.

Things to do around Bagdogra

  • 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.
  • 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.

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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