Siliguri also known as Gateway of North East India is a city
in the Indian state of West Bengal. Siliguri is situated on
the banks of the Mahananda River and the foothills of the
Himalayas, it is a principal commercial, tourism,
transportation, and educational center of North Bengal. As of
2011, the city had 6 Lakh residents; the urban agglomeration,
which comprises the city and its communities, was home to
about 10 Lakhs.
Siliguri has become a significant trade center of West Bengal.
The town hosts over 20,000 domestic and 15,000 foreign
visitors annually. Siliguri being a commercial center for the
North Bengal, it draws migrants from other states who come in
search of livelihood. It is also the transit point for air,
road and rail traffic to the adjoining countries of
Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal, and to the North East.
Siliguri is famous for its four 'T's i.e.; Tea, Transport,
Tourism and Timber. As of 2011, Siliguri has been witnessing
an economic boom in the organized retail, hospitality and real
estate industries due to population growth and its strategic
Siliguri is one of the most prominent cities not only for West
Bengal, but for many states of North East as well. Siliguri is
located at a distance of 600 Km from Kolkata, Siliguri is at
an elevation of 400 feet above sea level. This not too high
and not too low altitude ensures a perfect climate for tourist
The second largest city of West Bengal after Kolkata, is the
gateway to Darjeeling, the the most important tourist
attraction of the state. From New Jalpaiguri station one
catches the well-known Toy Train to Darjeeling. Siliguri lies
at the foot of Eastern Himalayas providing some exceptional
views of the snow clad mountains. Apart from visiting
pilgrimage attraction like Kali Mandir, Wildlife Attraction
like Jaldapara Wildlife Park and nature attraction of Mirik
hill station, tourist can indulge themselves in shopping.
Climate of Siliguri
Siliguri has three distinct seasons: summer, winter and monsoon.
In summer the temperature reaches 35 degree Celsius.Winters are
usually chilled and cool when temperature goes down to 2 to 3
degree Celsius. During the monsoons (between June and
September), the city is lashed by moderate to heavy rains often
cutting access to the hill stations and Sikkim. The city is
blessed with natural beauty of flora and fauna. The city has
some fault line or uplands nearby it is the reason for most
frequent earth quakes. The most dangerous earth quake was
recorded in the region on 7 July 1988 which was recorded as 9.7
Richter scale followed by the Earth quake of 18th Sept 2011
which last for 4 minutes 17 seconds as per North Bengal
University. The climate is appropriate for growing tea and the
surrounding regions have many tea gardens. The winters are
becoming shorter year by year due to urbanization.The city has
expanded towards hills which leads to destruction of vegetation,
due to which the summers are becoming hot and winters are losing
Culture of Siliguri
festivals celebrated at Siliguri include Durga puja, Chhath
Puja, Ganesh puja, Laxmi puja, Saraswati puja, Dipawali, etc.
Baishaki mela is one of the oldest mela in Siliguri. The fashion
week during winters are celebrated for entertainment. Various
shows are organized by local clubs, which continues from
mid-October to mid-December.
The city has a rich cultural exercise in it. Apart from number
group theatres, it hosts many music schools, clubs. In special
interest section, there are Automobile club, Laughing club or
Cine Club. The city hosts an active and well equipped astronomy
club too, Sky Watchers Association of North Bengal
Many fairs and festivals take place in Siliguri. The popular
fares in Siliguri are Boishakhi Mela, Hosto Shilpo Mela, Book
Fair, Lexpo Fair etc. Most of the fairs happens in Kanchenjunga
Shopping in Siliguri
Shopping is undoubtedly an attraction in itself as choices
and variety for items here is innumerable. Siliguri being
at the border of West Bengal and North East, offers best
of both cultures. Darjeeling Tea the most shopped for item
here, it is closely followed by Tibetan paintings, wooden
handicrafts and woolen garments. The best place for
shopping in Siliguri is Hill Cart Road and Sevoke Road.
There is a famous electronics market in Siliguri which is
famous by the name of Hong Kong market is worth to visit.
Also low cost gadgets are available in the market that
will compel to grab hold of almost everything.
Bagdogra airport market is one of the shopping hubs in
Siliguri. Another important market is at Matigara hut
where people from Hills and plains comes for shopping. In
recent times, the city has seen the establishment of a
number of shopping malls and multiplexes to cater to the
growing needs of the population. The organized retail
sector has created a large number of jobs in the region.
Being a tourist destination, the hospitality sector and
tourism sector constitutes an important part of Siliguri's
History of Siliguri
antiquity of Siliguri is enclosed in mystery. According to
Sailen Debnath, Siliguri means a heap of stones or pebbles; and
in the nineteenth century often the area was called Silichaguri.
Before the Treaty of Sagauli in 1816 between British India and
Nepal, Siliguri played as a transit point between Nepal and the
hilly areas of Darjeeling (Doreje-liang) and ‘Karseong’. Sailen
Debnath points out that before the rise of Nepal as a growing
power under Prithvi Narayan Shah (1769-1775), Siliguri area, as
belonged to trans-Morang zone (i.e. at the meeting ground of
western and eastern Morang), was a part of the southernmost edge
of the kingdom of Sikkim. There was a river port just to the
south of Siliguri, at Phansideoa having trade relations with
Maldah and thereby with other areas of Bihar and Bengal. The
Sikkimese and the Bhutanese used the river bank near Siliguri in
order to go down the Mahananda with their products to
Phansideeoa. Siliguri steadily developed as a small town since
1835 when the British occupied Darjeeling; and more since 1865
when they occupied the whole of the Dooars and Kalimpong. The
partition of India in 1947 and the foundation of East Pakistan
and afterwards Bangladesh, covered the path of Siliguri becoming
an important transit point and strategically important area; and
the same incident led to the rise of population because of the
coming of immigrants.
The city of Siliguri in its present form started from the bank
of Mahananda to Saktigarh, a small village which is now in
southern part of the city. When the British East India Company
introduced Railway to North East India, it enhanced the
significance of the region. The population of the town
continuously increased leading to its expansion because of the
vast immigrants from Nepal, Southern Bhutan and newarby Indian
states apart from eastern Bengal.
Siliguri is described as the gateway to the North East of India,
Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh. Siliguri has slowly developed as a
profitable center for a variety of businesses. The four "T"s -
Tea, Timber, Tourism and Transport - are the main businesses of
Siliguri. Recently many hotels had mushroomed up & a very good
increment had been seen in this sector at past.
The strategic location of the city makes it a base for necessary
supplies to the above regions. As a central hub, many national
companies and organizations have set up their offices here. The
Hong Kong market near Khudirampally is a chief hub for buying
low cost Chinese goods and imported goods, nearby Seth Srilal
Market, Sevoke Road and Hill Cart Road is a famous place to buy
daily use goods, and is very famous among people from nearby
areas. The presence of Indian army, Border Security Force (BSF),
CRPF, SSB and the Assam Rifles around the city have contributed
to the growth of the local economy.
As a sign of international co-operation and friendship, the road
network of Siliguri is being used by the governments of Nepal
and Bangladesh to facilitate easy transportation of essential
commodities, such as food grains. The Silk Route of India, i.e.
trade route between India and Tibet (China) is reachable only
after crossing Siliguri through Nathula and Jelepla. There are
also business routes to Bhutan.
In order to develop the city in a planned manner and to make
arrangement for the exploding population of the city, new
townships of Uttarayon. The Kanchanjunga Integrated park and
Shushruta Nagar-Kawakhali township have been proposed to be
built around the fringes of Siliguri.
Siliguri is one of the three satellite IT hub and township that
the Government of West Bengal is developing. Some leading IT
companies have shown interest and some of them have already
started operating. Siliguri Jalpaiguri Development Authority has
taken an initiative to develop Siliguri into an IT/ITES hub
Siliguri is situated in the Siliguri Corridor or Chicken's Neck
- a very narrow strip of land connecting mainland India to its
north-eastern states. The total area of Siliguri City is 48 km2,
most of which lies in Darjeeling district, but a part of the
city extends over adjacent Jalpaiguri district. Siliguri is
located in the plains at the base of the Himalaya mountains,
Siliguri links the hill stations such as Gangtok, Darjeeling,
Kalimpong, Kurseong and Mirik and North East to the rest of
India. It is the largest city of North Bengal. The Mahananda
River divides the city. The city is enclosed by Forest ranges,
which is why it is very much prone to wild animal entrance. It
has the distinctive and memorable geographical feature, Nepal
lies in the west of the city 10 km from Bagdogra, Bhutan on the
North East about 40 km, Bangladesh in the south 0 km from
Tourist Attractions of Siliguri
Madhuban Park is a park near the city of Siliguri in
Darjeeling district, West Bengal which is about 10 to 12 km from
the town center, and on the road that leads to the hill station
of Darjeeling. The park hosts animals such as rabbits, deer and
Corronation bridge was founded in 1930, Sevoke Coronation bridge
is still considered among the best architectural wonders in the
country. The Coronation Bridge was built by Britishers to link
West Bengal to North East India. The Bridge is built over River
Teesta and extends from Salugara till Kalihora. Corronation
bridge is located about 20 km from Siliguri, the Coronation
Bridge gives us magnificent views of River Teesta below and high
green mountains on both sides.
Mahananda wild life reserve
Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Darjeeling
district of West Bengal, India. It comes under Darjeeling
Wildlife division and can be reached from Siliguri in 30
minutes. Sukna, the gateway to the sanctuary, is only 13 km from
Siliguri and 28 km from Bagdogra airport. The sanctuary spreads
over 159 km˛ of reserve forest and was started as a game
sanctuary in 1955. In 1959, it got the status of a sanctuary
generally to protect the Indian bison and Royal Bengal Tiger,
which were facing the threat of extinction.
Kali Mandir of Siliguri is a prominent temple for Hindus
which is located near Sevoke. The temple is said to be the abode
of living Goddess Kali. The temple is visited not only by
locales but by pilgrims from adjacent areas as well. However, it
is most famous among newly weds who come here to attain
blessings of Goddess Kali for happy married life.
Basil fun world
The project has been conceived as a means of flourishing the
recreational facility of the region in terms of Amusement,
Education, Fun and Frolic, Culture and Arts. Based on recent
trends and demands, the parks are developed in phases on various
themes like Land Amusement Park Water and Ocean Park Snow Park
International Society for Krishna Consciousness, more
popularly known as ISKCON Temple, is one of the important places
of interest in Siliguri. Located at Gital Para, ISKCON Temple
Road, the temple is characterized by purity, calmness and
magnificent beauty. Also known as Hare Krishna Movement, ISKCON
temple in the city is the biggest Krishna centre in the whole of
the Northeast India. Completely dedicated to Lord Krishna, the
temple attracts thousands of devotees from all over the
country.An embodiment of peace and beauty, ISKCON Temple
enshrines Radha Madhav idol and an image of Lord Krishna with
Savin kingdom can be found in the modern city of Siliguri,
comfortably located at the foothills of Himalayas and the banks
of Mahananda river.
The Great International Tashi Gomang Stupa is about 6 km
from Siliguri, West Bengal, India, it comprises a one hundred
foot stupa which was founded by Kalu Rinpoche, a Tibetan Lama.
It contains five types of artifacts, and is maintained by the
Drodon Kunchab Chodey Buddhist Association.
The Mahananda River is a trans-boundary river that flows
through the Indian states of West Bengal and Bihar, and
Bangladesh. Right bank tributary Mechi forms part of Nepal's
eastern boundary with West Bengal and the Kankai crosses out of
Mirik is a perfect option for excursion from Siliguri. Mirik is
located about 55 Km from here, it takes nearly an hour and a
half to cover the distance. Mirik is a scenic hill station which
has in recent years, become a must visit destination in West
Bengal. The main attraction of this charming hill station is a
centrally located natural lake called Sumendu Lake. Tourist can
indulge in boating and fishing in the lake which is about 1 Km
long. While boating, enjoy the views of wonderful green hills
that surround the lake from all sides. Mirik is an important
pilgrimage destination with honored Hindu Temple of Sangla Devi
being present on the western side of the lake. This hill station
is dotted with many apple orchards and tea gardens.
The Surya Sen Park is a park in Mahakal
Pally, Siliguri, West Bengal, India. It contains a bust of
freedom fighter Surya Sen, children's park and an exhibition on
alternative energy in West Bengal. Well-known Bengali songs can
be heard from everywhere and in the evenings fountains are
working and the whole park is lit.
How To Reach Siliguri
New Jalpaiguri station is the nearest railway head to Siliguri
which is located just 16 Km south of Siliguri. Jalpaiguri
Station is linked to all major stations in the country like
Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore with regular train service.
Siliguri is about 600 km away from the capital city Kolkata.
There is regular bus service to Kolkata and to many other
important places in West Bengal like New Jalpaiguri and
Kharagpur. Private coaches as well as transport buses are
operational between the cities. It is also connected to cities
in North East India as well like Gangtok.
Siliguri has its own domestic airport which is located in
Bagdogra at a distance of 12 Km from city center. Jet Airways,
Indian Airlines and Kingfisher Airlines are the main flight
operators to Siliguri. There are flights connecting Siliguri to
Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and all other major airports in India.
There is a regular helicopter service as well to Gangtok.
Along with superb bus facility inside the town, there are
numerous jeeps as well that cater to locales and tourists. These
jeeps usually run on shared basis.