Shiliguri, India

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Shiliguri, India

Region: West Bengal


Geographic Coordinates: 26.710000, 88.430000
Temperature Range: 10.0°C to 35.0°C (50°F to 95°F)
Climate: Shiliguri experiences a humid subtropical climate with hot summers and cool winters, and has a monsoon season from June to September.
Population: 701489
Language: Bengali

Siliguri is a city in West Bengal, India that is located at the foothills of the Himalayas. The city sits on the banks of River Mahananda and serves as a gateway to popular tourist destinations such as Darjeeling, Sikkim, Bhutan and Nepal. Siliguri has a diverse cultural heritage with various ethnic communities including Bengalis, Nepalis, Marwaris, Biharis and Tibetans. The natural beauty of Siliguri is one of its main attractions. Visitors can enjoy stunning views of snow-capped mountains on one side and lush green tea gardens on the other.

The Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary nearby provides an opportunity for visitors to see exotic animals like leopards, Elephants and deer in their natural habitat. Siliguri has several temples that are worth visiting including Kali Mandir which attracts thousands of devotees every year during Durga Puja festival. Another popular temple is Iskcon Temple which follows Vaishnavism tradition. The food scene in Siliguri is diverse with options ranging from local street food to international cuisine. Some popular dishes include momos (steamed dumplings), Thukpa (noodle soup), Chowmein (stir-fried noodles) and jalebi (sweet fried dough).

There are also many cafes where visitors can enjoy a cup of tea or coffee while taking in the beautiful views around them. For those interested in shopping, Siliguri has several markets offering everything from traditional handicrafts to modern gadgets at reasonable prices. Hong Kong Market and City Centre Mall are two popular shopping destinations among locals as well as tourists. Overall, Siliguri offers a unique blend of culture, Nature and adventure making it an ideal destination for travelers looking for an offbeat experience away from typical tourist spots.



Important Landmarks

  1. Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary
  2. Kali Mandir
  3. ISKCON Temple
  4. North Bengal Science Centre
  5. Hong Kong Market
  6. Salugara Monastery
  7. Coronation Bridge (Sevoke Bridge)
  8. Surya Sen Park
  9. Jaldapara National Park
  10. Bengal Safari Park

Primary Industries

  1. The tea industry
  2. Tourism
  3. Transport and logistics businesses
  4. Retail trade
  5. Small-scale manufacturing units
  6. Education institutions
  7. Healthcare
  8. The food processing industry

The tea industry is a major source of income, given the city’s location in the foothills of the Himalayas. Tourism is also significant due to Siliguri’s proximity to popular tourist destinations like Darjeeling, Sikkim, Bhutan, and Nepal. Siliguri’s strategic location at the crossroads of several important highways has led to growth in transport and logistics businesses. Retail trade is also thriving with a population of over 500,000 people. Small-scale manufacturing units produce goods like plastic products, textiles, furniture items etc., while education institutions cater to students from across North Bengal and neighboring countries. Healthcare has emerged as an important sector with an increasing number of hospitals and clinics being set up in recent years. The food processing industry also contributes significantly towards Siliguri’s economy with companies such as Nestle India Ltd., ITC Limited operating there.


Noteable History

  1. The construction of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway in 1881 connected Siliguri to Darjeeling and helped boost trade and tourism in the region.
  2. The Battle of Plassey in 1757 saw British forces defeat the Nawab of Bengal, paving the way for British colonial rule over India.
  3. The establishment of Siliguri Municipal Corporation in 1949 marked a significant milestone in the development of Siliguri as an urban center.
  4. Notable people associated with Siliguri include:
    • Bimal Gurung, founder and leader of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha political party
    • Jyoti Basu, former Chief Minister of West Bengal
    • Dipa Karmakar, Indian gymnast who represented India at the 2016 Rio Olympics
    • Shubhankar Sharma, Indian golfer who won multiple titles on both Asian Tour and European Tour

Museums and Things To See

  1. North Bengal Science Centre
  2. Kali Mandir
  3. Madhuban Park
  4. ISKCON Temple Siliguri
  5. Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary
  6. Salugara Monastery
  7. Hong Kong Market
  8. Coronation Bridge
  9. Surya Sen Park
  10. Savin Kingdom Amusement Park



Cultural Events

  1. Durga Puja is the biggest festival celebrated in Shiliguri with great fervor and enthusiasm. It celebrates the victory of goddess Durga over the evil demon Mahishasura.
  2. Diwali, also known as the festival of lights, is celebrated all over India including Shiliguri. It marks the victory of good over evil and people light up their homes with diyas and candles.
  3. Holi, the festival of colors, is celebrated in March every year to mark the arrival of spring season in India.
  4. Bihu is an Assamese festival celebrated by people from Assam living in Shiliguri to mark the harvest season.
  5. Although not a traditional Indian festival, Christmas is celebrated by Christians living in Shiliguri with great enthusiasm.
  6. Buddha Purnima commemorates Lord Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death and is celebrated on full moon day in May as a Buddhist festival.
  7. Eid-ul-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan month when Muslims fast during daylight hours and it’s celebrated by Muslims all over India including Shiliguri.
  8. Lohri involves lighting bonfires and dancing around them to celebrate fertility and good harvests during Punjabi winter solstice celebration.

Cuisine

  • Momos: A popular street food in Shiliguri, momos are steamed or fried dumplings filled with vegetables or meat.
  • Thukpa: A noodle soup made with vegetables and/or meat, thukpa is a popular dish in the region.
  • Darjeeling Tea: Shiliguri is located near the famous tea-growing region of Darjeeling, so it’s no surprise that tea is a staple beverage here.
  • Keventers: This iconic restaurant serves up breakfast items like pancakes and waffles as well as burgers and sandwiches.
  • Bhatia Kadhaiwala: Known for its Punjabi-style food, this restaurant serves up delicious curries and tandoori dishes.
  • Hotel Madhuban: This vegetarian restaurant offers a wide variety of Indian dishes like dosas, thalis, and chaats.
  • Gyan’s Bakery & Cafe: This bakery/cafe offers pastries, cakes, sandwiches, pizzas and more!
  • The Chaya Lounge – Located at City Centre Mall Siliguri this cafe offers handcrafted teas & coffees along with some snacks to munch on.
  • Dreamland Restaurant – Known for its Chinese cuisine that includes noodles soups & other dishes along with Indian delicacies!
  • Hotel Anandamoyee- Serves authentic Bengali Cuisine such as Fish Curry , Luchi , Alu Posto etc!

  • Parks and Recreation

    1. Coronation Bridge Park
    2. Kanchenjunga Stadium
    3. Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary
    4. Salugara Monastery and Park
    5. Surya Sen Park
    6. Jatraprasad Park
    7. North Bengal Science Centre and Nature Interpretation Centre
    8. Umrao Singh Boat Club
    9. Bidhan Market Children’s Park
    10. Lohagarh Tea Garden Estate Walk

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