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Darjeeling is the queen of hill stations. The attractions packed in Darjeeling are numerous and maybe that’s why this is one such destination that never gets old. The beauty always seems new, always feels beautiful. And to enjoy the beauty of this serene landscape nothing can be better than the Darjeeling Ropeway. Furthermore the Darjeeling Ropeway is also one of the oldest cable cars or Gondolas in the country. In spite of facing some tragic fate the Darjeeling Ropeway reopened and at present it is one of the most captivating attractions for tourists.
If you are an adventure lover or a nature lover you will find this journey by Darjeeling Ropeway as one of your cherished moments. This spine chilling, exciting journey will be one of those moments that you will wish to capture in your mind forever. And the sights that you will witness with your eyes would never like to leave your memories. So if you are visiting Darjeeling then this article will be helpful for you. Without the Darjeeling Ropeway your trip to Darjeeling will be incomplete. So keep on reading this article to know everything about the Darjeeling Ropeway.
Darjeeling Ropeway timings:
There is a catch for the timings of the Ropeway. During peak season the timings are from 10 am to 2 pm that is during the months of winter and monsoon. And during the off season of summer or autumn the timings are from 10 am to 4pm.
Yes, you read that right. The timings are less in case of peak months. Now you must be wondering why it is less and not more during peak season. It is because of the huge crowds during the peak season. Once you buy a ticket you will find yourself in the queue as there is an approximate waiting of 1 hour or 90 minutes. Therefore during the peak season the ticket counter closes early at 2 pm so that there are no longer people waiting for their turn. So try to reach there as early as you can to avoid heavy rush. Also on the 19th of every month the Ropeway remains closed due to maintenance purposes.
Darjeeling Ropeway ticket price:
The Darjeeling Ropeway price is Rs. 260 per person for adults for a 5 km round trip. For children from 3 years to 8 years of age the price is Rs. 130
How to Reach Darjeeling Ropeway
The Darjeeling Ropeway is situated at Singamari. This location is about 3 km away from the Chowk Bazaar in Darjeeling which is the main market centre. You can get jeeps or cabs and shared rides to reach Chowk Bazar first. From there the Ropeway point is only a 15 minutes distance. You will then have to get down at the North Point on the Lebong Cart Road. This area is close to the St. Joseph College. On that lane you will have to find a narrow yet steep stairway. Through that you will reach the Singamari Cable Car or Ropeway location.
Overview of Darjeeling Ropeway
One of the most fascinating experiences in Darjeeling can be to enjoy the Cable Car or Ropeway here. You will be able to enjoy the all encompassing view of Darjeeling and the beauty of Darjeeling doesn’t necessarily need any introduction. Also popular as Darjeeling Rangeet Valley Passenger Cable Car, the Cable car offers a breathtaking view of Little Rangeet. In total this is a cherishing ride of 45 minutes. The Darjeeling Ropeway goes at an altitude of 7000 feet that is almost 2134 metres and goes down to 800 feet or 244 metres which is the last station. The last station is the Singla Bazar. However at present there is a change in this route. Now the ride has been shortened a little and it ends at Tukvar. This is the spot where the Gondolas return.
History of Darjeeling Ropeway
The Ropeway in Darjeeling started in 1968. What makes it special is the fact that it is the first ever cable car in India. Initially the main purpose was to cater to the tea gardens which were otherwise inaccessible. At first there was only one cable car. Later by 1988 the Darjeeling Ropeway got a revamp. It is basically a joint venture between West Bengal Forest Department Corporation Limited and the private ownership of a company Conveyor and Ropeway Service Private Limited. Over the years this has gathered momentum and currently is one of the key attractions in Darjeeling tours.
On October 19, 2003 however an unfortunate incident took place. Three cable cars accidentally slipped out and crashed into the tea garden about 100 feet below. This incident caused death to 4 passengers and injured many others. After this incident the Darjeeling Ropeway was closed for a really long time. Later after many years there had been many inspections. The Public Works Department went through all safety measures and finally gave a clearance to the Ropeway services in 2012 after 8 years.
The Ropeway had started with 1 cable car and now there are 16 of them. And these can accommodate up to 6 people in each of these cars.
Read More: OFFBEAT PLACES NEAR DARJEELING
Present Route of Darjeeling Ropeway
A narrow concrete lane from Lebong Cart Road will take you to Singamari. At the upper level you will find the ticket counter. Usually there is always a queue and even after getting the tickets there might be a waiting time. And finally when you get your chance to board the cable car there is no looking back.
At present the ropeway starts at Singamari base station and goes up to Tukvar station. At present 12 cable cars are in operation here. You will be able to enjoy the breathtaking view of the whole valley from an altitude of 7000 feet to a downhill view of 6000 feet at Tukvar. You can go for a shared ride with other passengers or you can also get the whole cable car to yourself. However in that case you will have to buy all the 6 tickets of a car.
It is possible to get off at Tukvar and this is by far one of the most interesting things to do. You will get a small seating area there. For some time you can choose to sit there and then you can enjoy the pristine views of the tea gardens. The lush green vegetation will feel like bliss. However you must stay there until the ropeway service is functioning. Within that speculated time you can have some time out to enjoy the views there. But take note that while returning you will have to queue up again before your turn comes.
There is another option as well. If you are not willing to wait or if you don’t want to get off then you can even wait inside the cable car as well. And then you can return by the same Gondola that you were traveling in.
But for people who wish to get off at Tukvar you will find a small eatery in Tukvar. It also has an open air roof top restaurant where you can grab some quick refreshments. You can enjoy a cup of hot tea along with enjoying the view. A toilet is also there which is well maintained if you want to use it. The total round trip is 2.5 km each way that is 5 km in total. It would take around 40 minutes for the round trip to complete if you don’t get down at Tukvar.
Major attractions to enjoy during the Darjeeling Ropeway Ride
The best thing to enjoy here is obviously the views that it offers. Everything would look like it’s straight out of the picture. For a better view take the seats facing the downhill. Also the ventilation window remains open so make sure you carry enough winter wear to beat the chilly wind. Enjoy views of flowing rivers, lush green vegetation, snow capped peaks and a lot more. The peak of mighty Kanchenjunga is one of the major attractions too. Capture each of these with your eyes. However, don’t forget to take plenty of pictures as well.
The ride is thrilling and spine chilling too. To move on such a higher altitude surely needs a lot of guts and you should be prepared for that. You can see the Rivers Ramman and Little Rangit here as well. Also if you are hopping out the cable car make sure you enjoy visiting the tea gardens there. Take a guided tour to know more about how tea is processed here. You can also enjoy looking at the colorful Rangeet Valley with its seasonal blooms and butterflies. It can be one of the most enchanting sites here as well. This can be one of the most interesting moments of your whole Darjeeling trip. So make sure you make the most out of it.
You need to check out the Darjeeling Ropeway photos to get convinced why this is a must in your itinerary. You would be able to enjoy a different side of Darjeeling as a whole from such a height. So whenever you are visiting Darjeeling plan up to try the Darjeeling Ropeway. Of course muster all the courage in yourself too. And get ready to enjoy this exciting journey that will be etched in your memory forever. Let me know when you are planning a trip to Darjeeling. Also don’t forget to tell me if this particular article is helpful for you in knowing about the Darjeeling Ropeway.