North Bengal, where the Himalayas soar from the flat alluvial plains towards Nepal, Sikkim and Bhutan, holds some magnificent mountain panoramas, and also some of India’s most attractive hill stations. Most visitors pass as quickly as possible through Siliguri en route to Darjeeling, Kalimpong and the small, mountainous state of Sikkim. If you’ve time on your hands, it’s worth making a detour east of Siliguri to explore the sub-Himalayan Dooars, with its patchwork of tea gardens and forests that encompasses the Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary, home to the one-horned rhino, bison and wild boar.

The region has its fair share of political turmoil. The Gurkhaland movement, centred around Darjeeling, and the Kamtapuri Liberation Front, which purports to represent most of north Bengal south to Malda, have called for a complete break from the state of West Bengal. Occasional strikes called by the Gurkha movement can paralyse the Darjeeling hills and affect traffic. Tourist traffic is usually allowed to exit the district, but you may have to pay an exorbitant fee to the taxi driver. You should check the press and with your hotel before travelling to the region.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

India features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Video: the essence of India

Video: the essence of India

When Paris-based production company Bed & Breakfast reached out to us with a video that so perfectly captured the essence of India in all but a minute, we c…

04 May 2017 • Colt St. George insert_drive_file Article
In pictures: the little-visited treasures of South India

In pictures: the little-visited treasures of South India

After a week-long whistle-stop tour of central India's least-visited attractions, travel writer and photographer Lottie Gross shares her favourite photos. In…

07 Mar 2017 • Lottie Gross insert_drive_file Article
Indian trains: a traveller's survival guide

Indian trains: a traveller's survival guide

The Himalayan Queen, the Grand Trunk Express, the Deccan Odyssey… the very names of India’s trains are evocative of timeless style and old-school adventure…

09 Feb 2017 • Freya Godfrey insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month