Darjeeling is among the popular tourist hill stations in northeast India. Darjeeling has everything a tourist needs to have a great time. From delicious food to a variety of clothing and from sky-kissing peak views to exhilarating toy train rides, everything is available in Darjeeling.
The main attraction of Darjeeling is undoubtedly the Toy Train. The Toy Train is the lifeline of Darjeeling as it connects this hilly region to the plains of Siliguri. The Darjeeling Toy Train or Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is a 2 ft gauge track from New Jalpaiguri Railway Station to Darjeeling Station and covers a distance of around 75 km. This Toy Train was started in 1881 and on 2nd December 1999, UNESCO declared the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway a World Heritage Site.
Darjeeling Toy Train Routes
(1) Jungle Tea Toy Train Safari (New in 2021)
The newly introduced 'Jungle tea safari' is a delightful
addition to the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway toy train routes. Starting from
Siliguri Junction, the 3-hour mesmerizing journey takes you through the forests
of West Bengal before reaching Rongtong Station, where you can enjoy a complimentary
cup of Darjeeling tea.
What’s special about this service is the train itself. Pulled
by a heritage steam engine, the train has a new Wi-Fi-enabled vistadome coach that comes with large glass windows, glass roof, and rotatable seats to
give a seamless viewing experience to passengers. As the train chugs on the
route, you are confronted with jaw-dropping views of the surrounding hills and the
Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary.
The 2-way journey breaks for a stop at Sukna Station where
you can briefly visit the museum there.
Junction to Rongtong Station and back
Leaves Siliguri Jn. at 2:45 pm
Reaches Rongtong at 4:20 pm
Leaves Rongtong at 4:40 pm
Reaches Siliguri Jn. at 6:05 pm
Book the ride
(2) New Jalpaiguri: Darjeeling Station: It’s a daily passenger service route of around 80 km. Diesel Engine Toy Train is used in this route. Cost is INR 1420 in First Class and INR 1700 in AC Chair Coach.
Book the ride
Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Route Map
(3) Mahananda Wildlife Safari Route: This 3-hour Darjeeling Toy Train route starts from Siliguri Junction to Rangtong and back to Siliguri Junction. This is for people who have less time on their hands and can’t visit Darjeeling but want to experience a ride on the Toy Train. You can have a good mix of flora and fauna in Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary along with a Railway Museum in Sukna in this train route.
It runs twice a day:
Morning safari at 10:30 am: INR 600 in First Class and INR 700 in AC Chair.
Afternoon safari at 02:45 pm: INR 1000 in First Class and INR 1200 in AC Chair.
(4) Darjeeling Toy Train Joyride: To have an adventurous experience on the Toy Train, you can opt for a 2-hour joyride, which starts from Darjeeling Toy Train Railway Station, takes a tour of Batasia Loop, and ends back at the Darjeeling station. In this Toy Train joyride, you can enjoy the charm of sitting inside the Toy Train and enjoying the scenic beauty of Darjeeling. The Toy Train first takes passengers to Batasia Loop. You can get off and take some pictures of a variety of flowers and plants there with a view of the majestic Khangchendzonga Range in the backdrop. Later, the Toy Train heads to Ghoom Toy Train Railway Station near Darjeeling. You can visit Ghoom Railway Museum (entry fees included) and do shopping nearby. Usually, there are a total of 9 Toy Train joyrides in Darjeeling: 6 for the steam engine worth INR 1600, and the rest 3 are for the diesel engine costing INR 1000.
Darjeeling Toy Train tickets can be booked from the station window or from the IRCTC website. For safari and joyrides, you need to book tickets in advance as the train tickets are always in demand and remain sold out. To book Joyride Toy Train tickets online, you need to select from ‘DJ’ to ‘DJRZ’ or vice versa, and to book Safari Toy Train tickets, select from ‘SGUD’ to ‘SGUJ’ or vice versa.
The schedule of the Darjeeling Toy Train keeps on changing with the season and sometimes due to heavy rainfall or landslides rides get cancelled too.
Darjeeling Toy Train Station
Best Time to Visit Darjeeling
Darjeeling is mesmerizing throughout the year and can be visited anytime. However, monsoons are not considered to be good to come to Darjeeling due to landslides in nearby regions also, due to clouds Himalayan Ranges can’t be seen in rains. October to April are preferred months to visit Darjeeling.
How to reach Darjeeling
Darjeeling is easily accessible throughout the year due to good connectivity with the mainland of West Bengal.
By Air: Nearest Airport is Bagdogra Airport, which is approximately 70 km from Darjeeling.
By Rail: Nearest Railway Station to Darjeeling is New Jalpaiguri Railway Station, which is connected well with other major Indian cities. Distance from Darjeeling to NJP is 75 km
By Road: Darjeeling is well connected with Siliguri through NH110, and you can reach Darjeeling within a comfortable 3-hour drive. Distance from Darjeeling to Siliguri 65 km.
Best time for Darjeeling Toy Train Passenger Ride
Except for monsoon time, Darjeeling Toy Train Passenger Ride can be a great experience in any month.
Best time for Safari Ride
It can be enjoyed throughout the year; however, the monsoon is the best such that one can see lush green forests with clouds around.
Best time for Darjeeling Toy Train Joyride
Darjeeling Toy Train Joyride is available around the year and is best to have in winter. You can get a clear view of the whole of Darjeeling town and Himalayan ranges at the backdrop.
Top 14 things to do in and around Darjeeling:
- Evening walk at Darjeeling Chowrasta- 0 km from Darjeeling
- Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park (Darjeeling Zoo)- 2 km from Darjeeling
- Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI Darjeeling)- 2 km from Darjeeling
- Japanese Peace Pagoda- 2 km from Darjeeling
- Happy Valley Tea State- 3 km from Darjeeling
- Rangeet Cable Car- 4 km from Darjeeling
- Yiga Choeling Monastery (Ghoom Monastery)- 8 km from Darjeeling
- Sunrise View from Tiger Hill- 12 km from Darjeeling
- Rock Garden- 14 km from Darjeeling
- Lamahatta- 20 km from Darjeeling
- Kurseong- 30 km from Darjeeling
- Pashupatinagar Market (Nepal)- 30 km from Darjeeling
- Mirik- 50 km from Darjeeling
- Teesta River Rafting- 50 km from Darjeeling
Darjeeling Tour Packages
Tour in Darjeeling
Darjeeling Tea Tour
Getaway to Darjeeling
A weekend retreat to Darjeeling
Adventurous mountain biking tour
Getaway to Mirik