Darjeeling Rangeet Valley Passenger Ropeway
One of the best ways to experience the panoramic views that Darjeeling is so famous for, is by taking a ride on the ropeway. It’s also called the Rangeet Valley Cable Car because of the spectacular view of the valley around the river Little Rangeet. You will need to board the cable car from Singamari which is some 3km (i.e. 1.8 miles) away from Darjeeling Chowk Bazaar.
As you ride the cable car, in about 45 minutes you will travel from an altitude of about 7,000 ft. (or 2134m) down to 800 ft. (or 244m) where the last station Singla Bazar is located.
Darjeeling ropeway started in 1968 and is the first cable car system in India. It was initially set up to cater to the tea gardens at the valleys below which did not otherwise have an easy access. Starting with just one cable car or a carriage, it was upgraded to accommodate 16 cable cars each having a capacity of six persons.
So what can you experience while riding Darjeeling Ropeway? There are several stops or lower stations between Darjeeling Singamari and Singla Bazar which is 8kms (i.e. about 5 miles) away located at the bank of Ramman river. The cable car stops at Tukvar Village which is well known for its vast stretch of tea estate that started in 1856, followed by another village called Burnesbeg, and then the Singla Tea Estate which is owned by the Jayshree Tea Company.
From the cable car you can get breathtaking view of the valley below, see the spread of lush green tea gardens on the hill slopes, flowing rivers, forests, waterfalls and to top it all the magnificent view of the Eastern Himalayan range including the snow capped peaks of the Kanchenjunga. Where else can you get such a bounty of the nature all in one place?
You can actually see two flowing streams down below. One is the river Ramman and the other is the Little Rangeet. They both meet with the Great Rangeet river which originates from a glacier of mount Kabru. The Rangeet valley is full of flowers and butterflies and is located in the Bijanbari area. The Little Rangeet river is well known for its many fresh water fishes. The entire Singla has a forest area of over 1,500 acres.