Be it the summer heat or biting cold, there’s no excuse to escape to hill stations for a perfect getaway. These amazing hill stations near Kolkata will quench your wanderlust for sure, if you are looking to escape the city at any given time in a year.
Kolkata may not be as lucky as Delhi or Bangalore when it comes to physical proximity to the Himalayas or the Western Ghats, but if we venture out towards the Himalayas in Northern part of Bengal or slightly towards the virgin hills of northeast, there’s ample destinations to unwind.
Best Hill Stations near Kolkata for a Perfect Holiday
Crowned the ‘Queen of the hills’, Darjeeling lies amidst the lush green tea gardens which not only overwhelms the visitors, it also offers a mesmerising sunrise view and a cup of famous Darjeeling tea to cherish in your memories for lifetime.
The Darjeeling Himalayan railway or “Toy Train” is a UNESCO world heritage site.
Darjeeling was also ranked as the Top Destination amongst Best Places to See in West Bengal by Blackboard.
Darjeeling tea is internationally recognised and ranks among the most popular black teas in the world. Due to varied mix of cultures in Darjeeling the local and ethnic food of Darjeeling is also quite varied. The most popular food are ‘momos’ and ‘Thukpa’. It’s backdrop is Mt Kanchenjunga, the world’s third highest peak and it attracts tourists from all over the world for the sunrise view in the morning. According to a survey published by India Today, Darjeeling is the third most googled destination among all the tourist spots in India.
The nearest airport to Darjeeling is Bagdogra which is approximately 95 km away from the city. From the airport, one can reach the city by hiring taxis. It will take 3 hours to reach Darjeeling from Bagdogra airport. Also trains are there from every major Indian city to reach New Jalpaiguri Railway junction. From NJP station it will take around 2 hours by car to reach Darjeeling. Local buses are available only from the Tenzing Norgay Central Bus Terminus located on Hill Cart Road in Siliguri. It is about 8kms from NJP station.
Kalimpong not only offers panoramic view of the great Himalaya range but also it is famous for its orchids, nurseries and traditional handicrafts. The nearest airport is Bagdogra near Siliguri.
The land of the largest number of commercial flower nurseries Kalimpong nurseries specialize in cultivation of exotic beautiful flowers and export these flowers to different parts of the country. Teesta River with its green surroundings is the best choice for Rafting in Kalimpong that makes it a popular tourist attraction. Other places to visit in Kalimpong includes Durpin Dara hill, cactus nursery, Galingkha, Deolo hill, Morgan house, Thongsa Gompa and Cockety.
This airport is connected to Kolkata, Delhi and Guwahati. From Bagdogra, Kalimpong is around 2 hours distance by car and local taxis are also available outside the airport. International travelers can get connecting flights from Kolkata or Delhi. By train the nearest rail is New Jalpaiguri which is well connected to most of the major cities in India. By road Kalimpong city is well connected to other cities in Sikkim and the neighbouring states by bus services. This makes Kalimpong one of our most favourite hill stations near Kolkata.
Gangtok is the land of pristine and mystic beauty. It is the capital of the northern Indian state of Sikkim. A popular food here is the momos which contains beef and pork stuffings. And other popular noodle based foods include thukpa, thenthuk, fathuk and wontons. Biosphere reserve is the home to a multiple species of flora and fauna and a large number of native and migratory birds making it a popular tourist attraction. Tourists come to Tashi view point for the most breathtaking views of Himalaya. And other tourist attractions include Nathu la pass, Himalayan Zoological garden, Hanuman took, Saramsa garden and Tsomgo lake.
The nearest airport to Gangtok is in Bagdogra near Siliguri. From the airport, local taxis are available which will reach Gangtok in a matter of two to three hours. From Bagdogra, TSA helicopter is also an option to get to Gangtok in just 20 minutes. However, their services depend on the weather conditions. The nearest railway station to Gangtok is New Jalpaiguri. The station is well-connected to major cities of India. From New Jalpaiguri tourists can hire a taxi to Gangtok or from Siliguri Bus Station they can catch a state-run bus to Gangtok. This makes Gangtok a definite choice for best hill stations near Kolkata.
Samsing is the land of floating clouds and endless maze of greenery that will leave an everlasting sense of satisfaction in heart. It is located in Malbazar subdivision of Jalpaiguri. Samsing is a gateway to the remote parts of Neora Valley national park. The Rocky island is just 2 km away from Samsing is a most visited place for its beautiful setting on the banks of river Murti and also a preferable camping site. This place is full of birds and some of the major species include grey nightjar and ashy bulbul. Some of the popular food items here include momos and thukpa. Samsing is known as the “Queen of Dooars” and famous for its landscapes, hills and forest.
Direct bus and trains are available to Siliguri which is connected to the major cities of India. On an average, Siliguri to Samsing travel time is 2 hours. Taxis are available outside the railway station. Bagdogra airport is the nearest airport near Samsing. It is about 53 kms from Bagdogra airport.
The rolling hills around the town of Shillong reminds of the European settlers of Scotland hence it is also referred as the ‘Scotland of the East’. It is a hill station in northeast India also capital of Meghalaya. The place is known for its adjacent mini zoo at Lady Hydari park. Shillong has one of the largest natural golf courses in Asia. Shillong Peak offers a panoramic view of the countryside and the highest point of the state, which is also a picnic spot. In North the Don Bosco Center for Indigenous Cultures features displays on the region’s native people. The famous waterfalls include, the Elephant Falls – on the outskirts of the city, Spread Eagle Falls and the most beautiful falls of Shillong – the Sweet Falls which also locally known as weitdem. It is one of the most visited hill stations in India.
Shillong doesn’t have an airport within the city and the nearest airport which is well connected with multiple cities across India is Guwahati airport. From Guwahati it takes around 4 hours by car. Even the nearest railway station from Shillong is in Guwahati and this railway station is connected to Kolkata as well as the major cities across the country.
Tawang is known for its natural beauty wrapped in the scent of spirituality and is famous as the birthplace of Dalai Lama. Tawang is a mountain town in northeast India. It takes about 12 hours to reach Tawang from Tezpur.
Tawang is famous for many important and beautiful monasteries and one of them is the 17th century Tawang Monastery, which is the largest monastery in India as well as the most popular and extremely sacred for the Buddhists. The Tawang Monastery is recognised for its hilltop structure housing and a massive gilded Buddha statue. The orchid sanctuary and the Tipi orchid sanctuary is also an amazing place to visit. The traditional Monpa cuisine features a lot of chili’s and quite different flavours. Also Zan ,Khura and Gyapa Khazi are the part of local authentic cuisines. The tranquil Peng’s Teng Tso lake attracts migratory birds in summer.
Tezpur Airport is the nearest airport. It is connected by flights to Kolkata and Guwahati. Even Tezpur is the major rail head closest to Tawang. From Tezpur, buses and private taxis are available to reach Tawang. Tawang may be a bit far, but certainly a choice when it comes to hill stations near Kolkata.
What are your favourite hill stations near Kolkata? Tell us in the comments section below.