Varanasi to Darjeeling

#1 Aug 16th, 2008, 22:11
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  • brenda bibs is offline
#1
We are travelling to India for our first time and are very excited!! We have picked up many tips on this site already, but are hoping you can help us planning how we can get to Darjeeling from Varansi.

From messages on this forum it seems that the best way to do the Toy Train is to travel from Kurseong and get the 'school' train to Darjeeling.

However, we have a couple of questions:

1) How do we get to Kurseong from Varansi (is it to NJP and then taxi from there?)
2) Can we book the school train in advance? If so, do we book this on the same website that we book the other train tickets?

Any thoughts/suggestions would be much appreciated,

Thanks in advance

B
x
#2 Aug 16th, 2008, 23:36
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  • paintedlotus is offline
#2
Hi Brenda,

I did this trip a couple of years ago although I took a jeep from NJP to Darjeeling and not the toy train...

If I remember correctly though, you do need to take a jeep to get to Kurseong from NJP. It's very easy to do right outside the train station (actually you'll probably be surrounded by jeep drivers upon leaving the station).

Have a great time and say hello to the beautiful Kanchenjunga for me!

#3 Aug 16th, 2008, 23:55
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#3
Thanks for the information.

We are really looking forward to it - hopefully someone will know if we need to book the school toy train.

We will be sure to say 'hi',

B
x
#4 Aug 17th, 2008, 00:11
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#4
I don't know if it needs to be booked, but it can be booked in advance, 8 berths are bookable in First Class (not air con).

Train 9D departs Kurseong daily at 15.00 and gets to Darjeeling at 17.50

Are you aware of the New Jalpaiguri-Darjeeling toy train?

train 1D departs New Jalpaiguri daily at 09:00 and gets to Darjeeling at 16.15
#5 Aug 17th, 2008, 00:54
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#5
Thanks for the information Steven.

We had thought about going from NJP to Darjeeling all of the way by toy train, but comments from the forum suggest that this is not a steam train (which the one leaving Kurseong is supposed to be) and is a more 'draining' journey.

I had taken the info on the school toy train from one of your posts dated 30 Jan 06. In fact I have found all of your posts (and others on this forum) exceptionally useful in planning our trip in India!!

Huge thanks,

B
x
#6 Aug 17th, 2008, 02:08
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#6
To get from NJP to Kurseong, you made need to take a rickshaw to Siliguri, which is a couple of kilometers from the train station, and catch a jeep there.. The first time i vistited darjeeling all the jeeps going to Darjeeling were waiting at the NJP station, but when i went back last year, there were no jeeps, only rickshaws going to Siliguri and all the jeeps were there. Perhaps the jeep drivers and the rickshaws drivers came up with an agreement so that the rickshaw drivers could make some business off of the incoming trains.

Needless to say I was surprised to see no jeeps at the station, and it was a little embarassing because I had met some fellow tourists on the train and agreed to share a jeep with them, and I assured them there would be plenty of jeeps at the station. Then when we arrived, not a single jeep to be found. You could see their trust of my knowledge of India going down the drain as I looked for a jeep in vain.

I dont know if the situation is the same now, the political unrest at that time with the Gorkhas might have had something to do with it.
Either way, it was simple enough to get a jeep, just one small extra leg added to the journey. Usually you have to make this rikshaw connection on the return route anyway, since most jeeps coming from Darjeeling have Siliguri as their destination.
#7 Aug 25th, 2008, 22:06
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#7
Thanks to you all for your help and suggestions,

Very much appreciated,

B
x
#8 Aug 26th, 2008, 11:36
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#8
Dear brenda bibs,

but are hoping you can help us planning how we can get to Darjeeling from Varansi

##I am afraid the above query is yet to get answered.:-)
#9 Aug 26th, 2008, 11:43
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#9
2506 North East Exp Dep:mgs 18.30 Arrv:njp 08.20
4084 Mahananda Exp Dep:mgs 21.20 Arrv:njp 13.05
4056 Brahmputra Mail Dep:mgs 11.40 Arrv:njp 04.30
#10 Aug 26th, 2008, 12:15
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#10
.........and also 2424 Rajadhani Express.
---
You Queried For Train No Train Name Date Runs From Source Runs On
2424 DBRT RAJDHANI 26/08/2008 NEW DELHI MON TUE WED FRI SAT
SNo Stn Code Stn Name Route No. Arrival Time Dep. Time Distance Day Remark
1 NDLS NEW DELHI 1 Source 14:00 0 1
2 ALJN ALIGARH JN 1 15:00 15:10 123 1 Train doesn't halt at this station, presently
3 CNB KANPUR CENTRAL 1 18:32 18:37 440 1
4 ALD ALLAHABAD JN 1 20:37 20:40 634 1
5 MGS MUGHAL SARAI JN 1 22:45 23:00 787 1
6 PNBE PATNA JN 1 02:00 02:10 999 2
7 BJU BARAUNI JN 1 04:30 04:50 1109 2
8 KIR KATIHAR JN 1 07:40 07:50 1288 2
9 KNE KISHANGANJ 1 09:10 09:12 1405 2
10 NJP NEW JALPAIGURI 1 10:55 11:05 1492 2
-----------------------------------------------
You Queried For
Train Number Train Name Date (DD-MM-YYYY) Source Station Destination Station Quota Code
2424 DBRT RAJDHANI 23-11-2008 MUGHAL SARAI JN NEW JALPAIGURI GENERAL
S.No. Date (DD-MM-YYYY) Class - 2A Class -3A
1 22-11-2008 AVAILABLE- 0001 AVAILABLE- 0013
2 24-11-2008 AVAILABLE- 0002 AVAILABLE- 0014
------------------
#11 Aug 26th, 2008, 12:21
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#11
Dear Jyotirmoy,

##In addition, there is a direct Rajadhani from Varanasi to NJP on Two Days in a week.
...
You Queried For Train No Train Name Date Runs From Source Runs On
2436 NDLS DBRT RJDHN 26/08/2008 NEW DELHI THU SUN
SNo Stn Code Stn Name Route No. Arrival Time Dep. Time Distance Day Remark
1 NDLS NEW DELHI 1 Source 09:30 0 1
2 MB MORADABAD 1 12:20 12:25 167 1
3 BE BAREILLY 1 13:45 13:47 258 1
4 LKO LUCKNOW 1 17:30 17:40 493 1
5 BSB VARANASI JN 1 22:15 22:25 776 1
6 BUI BALLIA 1 00:40 00:45 916 2
7 CPR CHHAPRA 1 02:00 02:05 981 2
8 HJP HAJIPUR JN 1 03:10 03:12 1040 2
9 BJU BARAUNI JN 1 04:30 04:50 1128 2
10 KIR KATIHAR JN 1 07:40 07:50 1308 2
11 KNE KISHANGANJ 1 09:10 09:12 1425 2
12 NJP NEW JALPAIGURI 1 10:55 11:05 1512 2
----------------------------
You Queried For
Train Number Train Name Date (DD-MM-YYYY) Source Station Destination Station Quota Code
2436 NDLS DBRT RJDHN 23-11-2008 VARANASI JN NEW JALPAIGURI GENERAL
S.No. Date (DD-MM-YYYY) Class - 2A Class -3A
1 23-11-2008 AVAILABLE- 0004 AVAILABLE- 0012
------------------------------------------------
#12 Aug 26th, 2008, 12:23
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#12
.......but, please note this travel facility is NOT availabile for NJP-MGS/BSB journey by 2423 and 2435.
#13 Sep 1st, 2008, 05:45
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#13
Thank you all kindly for your replies.

After extensive reading on this forum I was ready and prepared for the fight with the IRCTC booking to book the trains required - or so I thought!!

We decided on the 2424 from MGS to NJP, then rickshaw/jeep to Kurseong overnight there, and afternoon train to darjeeling (9D)).

However, for the last two weekends I have attempted to book the tickets (taking into account all of the forums advice) but I am not anywhere closer. I think I have now spent a total of 11 hours trying to book - only to be told either - a failure due to comms error, or you have touched the back button (when I know all to well to leave it alone); or it is not possible to buy tickets for this departure.

I have waived the white flag and have contacted SD Enterprises. I know I am paying a lot more - but I am sure I have gone prematurely grey just in the last two weekends.

So to everyone with more patience than I - I salute you - well done.

Thanks again to you all for your help and advice,

B
xxx
#14 Sep 1st, 2008, 22:52
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  • steven_ber is offline
#14
Bad decision Brenda, I hope S.D. Enterprises explained things well to you.

Train 2424 is a Rajdhani train, one of India's premier trains, and you'll be on the train for just a few minutes short of 12 hours, great news as Indrail passes can be purchased for 12 hours, or 24 hours (and more).

HOWEVER. because of the higher price of the Rajdhani trains, Indian Railways makes you drop down a class on the Rajdhani trains if your Indrail pass is shorter that a 4 day pass.

So if you have a First Class (air con) pass, you'd have to travel in 2-tier air con.

But to travel in 1st Class air con, you'd have to purchase a 24 hour pass instead of a 12 hour pass.

So, VERY expensive.

I'm not going to explain how to use the booking website again, like many members, I've explained almost as many times as I've been rejected by prety women, but a couple of things to remember....

Do it all as fast as you can, any complex credit card numbers, have them coppied and ready to paste, have your train number ready, date ready, all passenger details ready, then hire a 120 words a minute touch typist.

Tell your bank that you'll be buying stuff in India (like train tickets), some banks stop payments to india because the payment doesn't fit in with your usual routine.

Or try the following...

http://www.indiamike.com/india/india...ailway-t59423/

On that website, use the CITI payment gateway.
#15 Sep 2nd, 2008, 00:19
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#15
Steven

As always thank you so much for passing on your knowledge.

No the downgrading of class was not explained to us. We were told that 1st class AC would be 126/person and 2 Tier AC, 63/person (this is the total for the train from MGS to NJP and then Kurseong to Darjeeling) (due to the high prices we were going to opt for the 2 tier AC).

I had a quick look at the thomas cook website - and had a quick go for my train from MGS to NJP. It tells me that booking is not possible between these two stations (I also get this message on IRCTC. Maybe I will try again later looking at another train (#2506).

Thanks for the tips - I thought I was being quick, etc. but maybe not quick enough. I guess I just haven't got the knack! (Or the luck).

After submitting my payment, I go through to 'verified by Visa' security check (quite common now for me when I use my CC online). Could that be the problem - i.e. the websites do not like this interruption in their process?

As always, Thanks,

A despairing B
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