- Encounters with locals
- Off the beaten track
I stopped at Siliguri on my way to Nepal, but it didn't leave me with a great impression. Siliguri has nothing special that distinguishes it from the similar buzz of other Indian towns. If you pass through it during your holiday in India, don't give it too much of your precious time.
The best part was the final stage of my train journey from Patna. Travelling overnight from the capital of Bihar, I fell in love with the sight of Sikkim's rice fields at sunset. The green tones of the paddy fields are incomparable. Looking out of the train's window, the view was picturesque - dried raffia on the railway lines, cows grazing, people toing and froing. And the journey by train is long enough (maybe too long for some) to really appreciate the scenery. And the view's beautiful up to Siliguri.
One thing you can say, is that Siliguri isn't a dream holiday destination. During my trip to India I passed through it three times and am proud of the fact that I didn't need to stay over. I ended up getting used to this traffic hub, comprising of a bus station, a Jeep terminal and a railway station.
The first time I changed at Kolkata to catch the only daily bus to Guwahati. The second time I entered the Chicken Neck of India was via North Lakhimpur on route to Sikkim in the north. The third time, my Jeep brought me from Darjeeling, so that I could catch a bus to Patna in Bihar. As you can see, it's hard to avoid Siliguri.
For those of you who hate long journeys and don't want to spend two days on a bus (understandable!), spending a night in Siliguri will at least provide you with a rest. If not, you can always fly!