Great rides from Siliguri

If you stay in Siliguri, consider yourself lucky – you stay at what is regarded as the gateway to the Himalayas! There are fantastic roads all around the city, which are at the same time narrow. What better experience than to take your wife out for a great ride amidst some beautiful landscapes and weather?

  • Image courtesy - upload.wikimedia.org

    1. Darjeeling: A beautiful hill station and the tea capital!

    65 km away, on the NH55 is the fabulous Queen of the Hills. Zip away, but be warned: The roads are not very well maintained, so ask your wife to hold on tight as you navigate through the bumps. Also be wary of the many packed tourist vehicles that you will be sharing the road with, especially on weekends! You will also be sharing space with the tracks of the famous toy train – if you are lucky, you could be riding alongside it! Don't forget to stop for momos and thukpa! Finally, you will reach Gandhi Road – welcome to Darjeeling!

    Darjeeling offers visitors many sights: Refresh yourselves at viewpoints such as the Observatory Hill and Tiger Hill. The former could give you stunning views of Kanchenjunga on a clear day! The Himalayan Zoo is a nice visit if you like wildlife. If you would like to explore your spiritual side, why not make way for the many Buddhist monasteries? Nightingale Park is a beautiful place to take a picture of yourselves to print and hang on your wall! If you are fascinated by the toy train, you can go to Bastasia Loop to see where it makes a loop. And finally, why don't you snuggle in a cable car as you cover a 5 km distance in 40 minutes? It provides you some gorgeous panoramic views of the city. And of course, you should take back some of the legendary tea to enjoy back home!

    Siliguri to Darjeeling route - http://bit.ly/1Jv5k6L

  • 2. Gangtok: The Switzerland of the East

    Ah, beautiful Gangtok in Sikkim! One of the cleanest cities in India, it is untouched by modernity, and you will see a lot of tourist-friendly measures like fixed taxi rates and traffic measures. Via NH31A, it's 116 km away – long enough for good conversation. When you start out you'll encounter some rocky roads passing through small towns, but later on your route, you'll see some fantastic open roads. Do be careful at the corners, though! You may just impress your wife with your driving skills but do not attempt to be a daredevil!

    Gangtok offers many fantastic things for tourists: You can see that Kanchenjunga at Tashi Viewpoint, see panoramic views of the city from Ganesh Tok. Immerse yourself in the sheer beauty of Tsogmo Lake, surrounded by mountains and Buddhist culture. If you ride a little away, you reach the border with China, ie, Tibet. This place is called Nathu La and on Thursday, you can see the ceremonial mail exchange between the two countries. We know you love your bike, but you can park it for a few minutes, while you and your wife embark on yak ride! And about 25 km away, you can see the lovely Kyongnosla Waterfall, which is a must-click for couples! Finally, take the cable car to soak in the beauty of the city before you head home on your bike again.

    Siliguri to Gangtok route - http://bit.ly/1KnwbiN

    Image courtesy - upload.wikimedia.org
  • Image courtesy - travel195.co.in

    3. Lava: A small hamlet

    Situated in Darjeeling district is a lovely place called Lava. It's just short of 100 km there, along the beautiful NH31A. You will see many prayer flags along the route, showing the Buddhist influence. Of course, you might have already passed through that route while going to Gangtok, so if you'd like something different (and a slightly longer ride with your wife holding tight!), go right of Baikunthapur Forest and go via NH12.

    While there is not too much to do at Lava, compared to some of the other options near Siliguri, it's a beautiful place to just relax with no plan! However, you can enjoy the pine trees, ride your bike near the plains and soak in nature, and visit the monastery. The early morning view of Kanchenjunga will take your breath away – enjoy it in a quiet, warm embrace with your loved one!

    Siliguri to Lava route - http://bit.ly/1OvjSqn

  • 4. Kalimpong: The Land Of Kings

    While the name has historical meanings, today it is a quiet, less touristy hill station. 69 km away from your city, it's a beautiful ride along NH31A. Tell your wife to hold on tight as you zip down one of the state's most gorgeous roads! Soak in the cool Himalayan air and leave your troubles behind!

    Once you reach Kalimpong, switch to a low gear and just roam around the town. The traffic is very little in this town, and you will feel like a king, with your queen behind you! You can see Gauripur House, where Rabindranath Tagore used to stay. There are monasteries, unusual churches, temples (especially the Kali temple at Kalibari) and monks: A truly cordial, secular society! Durpindara is the highest point here, giving you some stunning views of the plains and the Teesta river. 3km away from the city is the 7th Mile View Point, which gives you a lovely view of Teesta Rangeet Valley.

    Lastly – drive down to the Market. It's a colourful place and be sure to pick up some prayer flags, Bhutanese wool and Chinese lamps to decorate your home, before you head back on the highway!

    Siliguri to Kalimpong route - http://bit.ly/1dkc7Db

    With so many beautiful places to go with your wife, we'll bet you just can't wait for the next weekend, ready to take off on your trusty bike, with your camera batteries charged!

    Image courtesy - c2.staticflickr.com
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