Situated on the banks of the river Mahananda, Siliguri is a tiny hill station nestled in between the Himalayan foothills and the Doar region of West Bengal. Also known as the Gateway to North East India, Siliguri serves mainly as a base for tourists to camp in before moving out to explore nearby tourist attractions such as Kalimpong, Darjeeling and Gangtok. However, Siliguri itself is a perfectly good holiday destination, with sufficient things to see and do.
The Jaldapara National Park, situated on the banks of the Torsa river is a prime attraction of Siliguri. Earlier known as the Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary, the park is spread over an area of around 215 kilometres, and is comprised of riverine forests as well as grasslands. The park is famous for its impressive population of Royal Bengal Tigers, elephants, one-horned rhinoceros, and various other species of deer. To get the best out of the park, you can go for an elephant ride, which will give you a chance to catch a glimpse of the animals up close.
Another wildlife park that nature lovers should consider visiting is the North Bengal Wild Animals Park. This park is an integral part of the Mahanadi Wildlife Sanctuary and spread out over an area of 300 hectares, this park contains a wide variety of flora and fauna. However, unlike other wildlife parks and sanctuaries, the Mahanadi Wildlife Sanctuary strictly forbids visitors from feeding the animals at the park.
When visiting Siliguri, a close-by tourist attraction that most people visit is Mirik. Around 50 kilometres from Siliguri, Mirik is famed for its picturesque beauty, its pristine Sumedu Lake, and its monastery. Sumedu Lake offers fishing activities and boat rides for tourists, which is a wonderful way to relish the breathtaking view of the hills bordering the lake on all sides.
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The 'Gateway of North East India'. Exceptional view of snow clad Himalayas. Surrounding regions have beautiful tea gardens.
The city is prone to frequent earthquakes.
It makes for a great stopover destination for people travelling to Darjeeling or Sikkim.
The Bagdogra airport makes for the highlight of the city. It is an International airport, almost 16 km away from the Siliguri township. The airport also serves as a major military air base. It is also responsible for combat air operations over areas including North Bengal and Sikkim. The airport is well connected to cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bangalore. It is also the nearest airport to Darjeeling and Sikkim.
Day 1- Arrive at Siliguri. Check into the hotel. Head straight to the ISKCON temple, also known as Sri Sri Radha Madhav Sundar Mandir. Next, visit the Coronation bridge to cherish the exquisite British style of architecture. Invest some time in shopping as well. Day 2- Start for the next destination.
Siliguri’s cuisine is a veritable mix of various cultures and places. Tourists can pick from cuisines such as Chinese, Bengali, Mughal and South Indian, depending on what one wants to eat. There are plenty of sweet shops scattered all over the city, so if you have a sweet tooth, don’t forget to try out the plethora of Bengali sweets available in the town.
A large Tibetan and Nepali population reside here and therefore, momos and Thukpa can be found commonly as street food.
Since it is only a transit town, there is not much to be expected in terms of quality of food but you do get a lot of variety. Non-vegetarians will find an entire host of options here as Red meat, birds, pork, fish, mutton, and seafood items are commonly eaten and therefore available in many eateries. Potoler Dorma (meat stuffed gourd), Bhapa Ilish (steamed Hilsa fish), Chital Muitha (fish koftas), Chital Kaliya ( a gravy based fish dish) give some spicy and delightful food choices to non-vegetarians.
Vegetarians options are also available in Bengali cuisine such as Pumpkin Bhujia (deep fried gram flour coated Pumpkin slices). Vegetarian Indo-Chinese dishes such as Chowmein are commonly available. Vegetarian momos, Thukpa, and common North Indian vegetables along with rice give a varied meal choice to vegetarians.
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