Sunday, 11 December 2011

Siliguri, West Bengal

The second most important city in West Bengal, after the state capital Kolkata, Siliguri is a rapidly developing as a metropolis in West Bengal. Serving as the gateway to the northeast region of India, it connects the hill towns of Gangtok, Rangpo, Kalimpong, Kurseong, Mirik and Darjeeling, to the rest of the country. Located at the plains of the mighty Himalayan range, Siliguri acts as an important base for essential supplies to the other parts of the region. A bustling city, it even serves as a base for Indian Army, Border Security Force (BSF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Shashatra Seema Bal (SSB) and Assam Rifles.

The city of Siliguri is primarily based on ‘4 Ts’ - Tea, Timber, Tourism and Transport. While tea and timber are the main industries flourishing in the region, much of the economical growth of the place is dependent on tourism and transport as well. Due to its strategic location, the place serves as an important landmark for visitors and tourists traveling to the north eastern hill towns. The location has also made the town the next business hub of West Bengal (after Kolkata), as many national companies and organizations have set up their offices herein. 

Originally owned by Rajbanshi Group, Siliguri has become a cosmopolitan city, with a populace that has Bengali, Bihari and Nepalis in large numbers. Hindi, Bengali, Nepali, Bhojpuri and English are the commonly spoken languages. Talking about the tourist attraction in the city, ISKON temple ranks highest. Dedicated to Lord Krishna, it is deemed as the biggest Krishna centre in the whole northeastern region. Apart from this, there are numerous places wherein you can enjoy the serene beauty and charm of nature. Right from effervescent tea gardens to unruffled Jaldapara national park and even the observatory points, Siliguri is a delightful place to enjoy the beauty and splendor of the region. 

Recently, Siliguri has gained a contemporary face lift, with the emergence of popular shopping malls, like Cosmos, City Style and Sun Flower. However, despite the new malls and shopping arcades opening up, Hong Kong market and the market in Hill Cart road still remain a favorite amongst tourists. In short, Siliguri is a shopper's paradise, as it offers excellent products, at affordable rates. Plans to open multiplexes are also on the cards. Once done with shopping, you can also indulge in the scrumptious 'momos' and savor a hot cup of Darjeeling tea. Overall, Siliguri is a perfect place for tourists, who want to experience the beauty and magnificence of nature, coupled with contemporary services.

Places To See:

One of the most prominent tourist attractions in Siliguri is the ISKCON temple. Dedicated to Lord Krishna, it is deemed as the biggest Krishna centre in the whole northeastern region. Though the temple is built in a modern architectural style, it has beautifully retained the ancient Indian customs of ‘Vashtuhaara’. The temple houses Radha Madhav idol and an image of Lord Krishna with Radha. More

Shopping Centers

Siliguri is a paradise for shopaholics, what with its numerous shopping centers. One of the most famous markets in town is the Hong Kong market, which specializes in imported goods, mostly made in China. Right from a nail cutter to a high-end party dress, you would find a shop for everything in the market. Apart from this, the other markets one can check out are Bidhan Market, Nivedita Market and Sunflower Shopping Mall. Keeping up with the conventional norms of shopping, Siliguri also boasts of an up-market shopping mall, named Cosmos.

Railway Junction

For those who love to have a glimpse of the bygone era, Siliguri Junction is just the ideal place to be in. In the junction, one can see the steam engines of narrow-gauge 'C' class, a relic of the British Raj. Started in 1949, it once was the departure point for all the trains in the northeastern region. One of the distinctive and unique factors of Siliguri Junction is that it is the only station in India, with tracks of all the three gauges used herein.

Science City

A highly accomplished institution, Science City is a knowledge base of science in Siliguri. Well equipped with numerous scientific equipments, the museum exhibits various scientific experiments. Also known as North Bengal Science Centre, the complex encloses a planetarium and a Nature Interpretation Centre, displaying the region’s natural diversity in flora and fauna. Its planetarium showcases interesting shows on astronomy. Due to all this, Science City has become a common place for educational tours.

Siliguri is not just the gateway to the northeastern region of India, but also a mecca for tourists to experience the bountiful glory and ecstasy of nature. There are umpteen excursion options for tourists in Siliguri. With just an hour or two of drive, one can reach the most scenic and picturesque places around the city.

Snuggled in the Alipuduar subdivision of Jalpaiguri district, Jaldapara is situated in the foothills of eastern Himalayas, at a distance of 124 km from Siliguri. The place houses a wildlife sanctuary, prominently known as Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary.


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