11 Places That Make Siliguri India’s Soulful Tourist Destination
Siliguri is the main commercial city of North Bengal and its importance comes from its strategic location near international and state borders. Spread across the foothills of the Himalayas, it is also an important transport, trading, and educational centre. Popularly known as the 2nd largest city in West Bengal, it is also known as the gateway of North-Eastern India. Siliguri is also famous for its 4 T’s – which is Tea, Transport, Tourism, and Timber. There are a number of wild life sanctuaries, heritage sites, hill stations, and scenic riverbanks, which feature among the top tourist places to visit in Siliguri.
“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller
Top 11 Places To Visit In Siliguri
- Salugara Monastery
- Hong Kong Market
- Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary
- Kali Mandir
- North Bengal Science Center
- Coronation Bridge
- Savin Kingdom
- Sed Gyued Monastery
- Umrao Singh Boat Club, Sukna
- Chilapata Forest
1. Salugara Monastery
The Salugara Monastery is famously known for the massive 100-feet stupa that was established here by the Tibetan Lama, Kalu Rinpoche. The monastery was founded as a result of Tibetan Buddhist monks settling in the region during their exile. The monastery is also known as the International Tashi Gomang Stupa and is located approximately 6 kilometers from the main city. The monastery houses five Buddhist relics and is a popular tourist attraction in Siliguri. Salugara Monastery is among the most frequented and revered places, located in the outskirts of Siliguri. The Buddhist shrine is mostly visited by tourists for meditation and prayer.
2. Hong Kong Market
Hong Kong Market is a popular location in the township of Siliguri for buying foreign goods and international brands like apparel and gadgets. Besides, the illegal shopping arcade also features old confectioners and restaurants. Like Dhulabari in Nepal, the market also offers a wide variety of imported goods at affordable prices. In comparison to metro cities, the goods sold here are nearly 30% cheaper than Kolkata and 40% cheaper than Delhi and Mumbai. As the prices are not fixed, visitors can also bargain at this market. It is one of the most popular places to visit in Siliguri.
Hong Kong Market in Siliguri is one place where you get all imported products from China. This place on Hill Cart Road also specializes in imported goods from other Asian countries like Thailand and Nepal. Other items like electronics, clothes, and accessories are also available. Just make sure that you sharpen your bargaining skills before heading out to this market.
3. Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary
Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary, a vast forest reserve is situated between River Mahananda and River Teesta. A natural habitat for many animals and unique plants, the sanctuary is spread over the green mountainous Himalayas. Spread across an area of 159.86 square kilometres, the wildlife reserve is abundant with green forests, tea gardens, and sparkling rivers of Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar District. The Sukna check gate stands as the main entrance to the sanctuary, which has a forest bungalow on a hillock.
The animal species found in the sanctuary are mountain goat (Serow), cheetah, barking deer, tiger, porcupines, and more. Besides, the reserve is home for numerous migratory birds that fly from Central Asia during winter months. Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary provides opportunity for the tourists to engage in forest safari and birdwatching at Latpancher and Golaghat. Along with this, visitors can also engage in activities like trekking and hiking at Deorali Mana. Although it is 18 kilometres away from the main township, the sanctuary is a popular tourist attraction in Siliguri and is mostly visited by tourists for picnic, birdwatching, forest safari, and trekking.
4. Kali Mandir
Kali Mandir, a Hindu temple is one of the most sacred places in Siliguri, located nearby Sevoke. Goddess Durga in the form of Kali is the main deity at the shrine. Sculpture of the Goddess is adorned with jewels and arms like sword and armoury. Dedicated to Goddess Kali, the temple is visited by countless devotees during the period of Durga Puja and Navratri, which is celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm. During this period, the natives display various attractive shows and processions. One of the best places to visit in Siliguri, the temple also provides visitors an opportunity to sight the Kanchenjunga Peak.
Being an ancient temple located on the banks of the Teesta River, the temple is believed to be the home of Goddess Kali who acts as a protector of the locals living in the region. The temple is located on a nearby mountain and the walk to the temple can be a workout in itself. It is said that the locals, before any auspicious occasion, visit the temple to seek the goddess’s blessings.
5. North Bengal Science Center
North Bengal Science Centre, Siliguri is a vibrant science centre under National Council of Science Museums, Ministry of Culture, and Government of India. Since its inception on August 17, 1997, there have been continuous efforts for inclusive science communication. North Bengal Science Centre (NBSC) located at Matigara is located about four kilometres away from the Siliguri Township. One of the most popular tourist attractions in Siliguri, The main attractions of the centre are Digital Planetarium, 3D Theater, Science Shows (Super Cold Show-Showing low temperature properties of matter, Fun with Bubbles, Amazing Chemistry, and Unexpected Science), Taramandal Shows, Galleries on various science topics and its green Science Park. The centre has galleries on Popular Science, Nature Interpretation Gallery, Life Science Corner and a Travelling Exhibition Section. The gallery on “Nature Interpretation’ depicts the flora and fauna of seven forest zones of North Bengal. The central theme of the gallery is the biodiversity (flora and fauna), biosphere (Forest Zone) of the North Bengal and dialects, customs, traditions and culture of the people of North Bengal. Seven ecosystems of North Bengal have been presented through dioramic presentations supported by a light and sound show with bilingual commentary. In the popular science gallery, visitors can have fun with mirrors, learn the principles of musical instruments and how movies are made. All along the visit the visitors can touch and feel the objects and participate in order to stimulate their inquisitive mind.
6. Coronation Bridge
Coronation Bridge is otherwise known as the ‘Loha Pul’. It is a bridge that connects Siliguri to the Jalpaiguri District in West Bengal. The bridge is a prime example of precise engineering combined with beautiful aesthetic styles. The bridge offers a panoramic view of Siliguri’s natural landscape. You can enjoy adventure sports activities like rafting and canoeing in the bellowing waters that flow under the bridge. A visit to the bridge is a must if you find yourself on the outskirts of Siliguri.
Coronation Bridge, also known as Sevoke Coronation Bridge was built in 1930 over the Teesta River at the confluence of Rangeet River and Teesta River to mark the Coronation of the King George V. The bridge is located close to Sevokeswari Kali Mandir in Siliguri.
7. Savin Kingdom
The Savin Kingdom is an amusement park in Siliguri. This amusement park is, usually, surrounded by many tea estates. You can spend time at the amusement park engaging in the numerous rides the park has to offer. The park is a hit with children so make sure to take your kids here. It’s also a great place to reawaken the childlike wonder in you. If you do not wish to take part in the rides, you can just relax in the nearby tea estates. Savin Kingdom is an amusement park set in the midst of spacious and serene tea farms. Owing to plenty of opportunities and facilities for recreation, the park is frequented by tourists and natives of all ages.
The themed castle park is established on the banks of Mahananda River over an area of 10 acres. Savin Kingdom is segregated into three sections, which include dry park section, cultural section and food court section. Dry park section features thrilling rides such as Break Dance, Go Kart, and Swing chair, Paratrooper, Dashing Cars Monorail and Fume Ride. The cultural section features activities such as pottery making, henna painting and magic shows.
8. Sed Gyued Monastery
The Sed Gyued Monastery is a magnificent place to visit in Siliguri. The monastery is an important Tibetan Meditation Centre. It was attacked by the Chinese army and was almost destroyed in the Indo-China war. It has since been rebuilt and restored to its former glory. The monastery is home to more than 90 monks and serves as a research centre of Tibetan culture. A visit to the monastery is a serene experience. Located in Siliguri, the Sed-Gyued Monastery is a breathtaking monument which was destroyed by the Army of China, and then rebuilt. The monastery is home to more than 90 monks of the Gelukpa Divison, and is presently used as a research centre. Photographers and experience seekers love to visit this place and meditate there.
9. Umrao Singh Boat Club, Sukna
Umrao Singh Boat Club at Sukna is a famous tourist location, developed and maintained by Indian Army. This club provides boating opportunities for the visitors. Tourists can avail boats of various sizes and shapes. Pedal and engine fitted motor boats are available in plenty for a lake ride. For safety of tourists, motor boats accompany visitors for boating. Positioned amidst tea plantations and serene surroundings, the boat club is frequented by tourists visiting the destination. Sukna is the place where Umrao Singh Boat Club is located and this place is located in Siliguri. The Indian Army is responsible for the development and maintenance of this place. There are many amenities for boating and entertainment. Different kinds of boats varying in shapes and sizes have been made available for the tourists so that they can hire them. Engine fitted as well as pedal boats are available in large numbers in this place and while boating, you will be accompanied by some official guides. The club is positioned in a picturesque place and is accurately located in the area snuggled with abundant greenery and tea plantations. The cool and tranquil atmosphere in this club makes it a very charming place to spend your weekend. In a nutshell, we can describe this place as a very proper destination for enjoying boating and viewing the natural beauty of the surroundings.
Dudhia is a small hamlet on Mirik-Siliguri highway on the bank of river Balason. There are several small tea shops where you can get other essentials. Dudhia is a tranquil tourist spot. Above Gokul, as the hill starts rising from the plain, you can find Dudhia viewpoint. You can see far and wide from here including a great view of River Balasan. Dudhia is located on the outskirts of Siliguri and is a beautiful town. The town is blessed with lush greenery and beautiful river. The river makes for an excelling kayaking and canoeing spot.
The banks of the river are a great camping spot. Dudhia is particularly famous amongst nature and adventure enthusiasts. Dudhia is abuzz with activity during the winter months as it is one of the most popular picnic spots for the locals including people from Siliguri. During the rest of the year, you will love to spend a couple of hours on the banks of the river to enjoy nature’s splendour. There is no other activity available here but to enjoy the surrounding and the river. Be careful and stay away from the direction of gunshots, as there is a shooting range of the armed forces in the vicinity, which is used quite regularly. Dudhia is surrounded by some of the best tea gardens of the area such as Longview Tea Garden, Gayabari Tea Garden, Marianbari Tea Garden, and Panighata Tea Garden etc. If you have the time to explore the area, you may try walking among the tea gardens. Small hikes to places such as Kurseong, Mirik etc. can easily be done on your own, by enquiring to the local people. Most such hikes can be completed within a day or less.
11. Chilapata Forest
The Chilapata Forest lies on the very edge of the Siliguri Border limits and is a must-go place for every wildlife enthusiasts. The forest acts as a pathway between the Jaldapara National Park and the Buxa Tiger Reserve, you will get to see elephants travelling here during their mating season. You can also spot animals like rhinos and leopards in the forest. Besides the animals here you can also visit the decayed forts of the Nal kings and hitch a tonga ride by the Bania River.
Situated at an hour drive 68 kilometres/42.3 miles from Siliguri, the Chilapata Forest structures an elephant passageway between the Jaldapara National Park and Buxa Tiger Reserve. Chilapata Forest is a thick woodland so it is prudent that you take a jeep safari to dive deep inside the timberland and appreciate the vegetation, fauna, and natural life up close. These woods used to be the chasing ground for lords and still has numerous rhinos, elephants, deers, and peacocks in them.
The principle fascination in the zone is a stronghold of the Nal lords known as the Nalraja Garh. In spite of the fact that it is presently in ruins, this fortress was built during the Gupta domain in the fifth century, which is thought to be the Golden Age of India. Close to the stronghold entryway there are uncommon trees called Ramguna, which are otherwise called draining trees since when they are cut, you can see red hued blood-like juice spilling out of its branches.
The best time to visit Siliguri is from October to December and from February to March. Go ahead and plan your trip to Siliguri. Have a great trip!
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A procrastinator by heart, who dreams of a utopian world. Allergic to coffee and scared of cows. Can zone-out whenever she wants to and a fan of unplanned trips. Trying to sail through life without making a fuss around her travel stories