You can book a bus from Kolkata to Siliguri or you can book the much cheaper train instead.
When you book your train, you could either book Siliguri Junction or New Jaipalguri which is just a couple of kilometers away from Siliguri.
Booking A Ticket
If you want to book the train tickets yourself, you could either use IRCTC , ClearTrip(this is not an ad, affiliate or sponsored link) or other company owned online booking facilities. I personally use Cleartrip because it’s easy to use and loads faster on my netbook compare to IRCTC and it accepts international cards unlike the other booking facilities.
Make sure to book a few days or if possible a few months or weeks ahead of time. The first time I booked a ticket, I got waitlisted until the hour of departure. Luckily, IRCTC will automatically refund your ticket in those cases.
If you book your tickets yourself, make sure that you also have an Indian phone number as they send verification codes and updates to your phone. Otherwise you wouldn’t be able to book. Best chance would be to book through a travel agent which will usually add a commission on the base price of the ticket.
Inside Howrah Train Station
A Few Tips
1. Once you got a “confirmed ticket” make sure that you’re aware on which station you need to go to. Kolkata has various train station such as Howrah and Sealdah. Also remember that you will not be allowed to board the train if your ticket is still tagged “Waitlisted”.
2. Make sure that you properly secure your belongings as no one has control on what might happen. I usually lock my bag especially the one carrying all my electronics.
3. Bring food and water. The trip to Siliguri from Kolkata is a long one and it’ll be nice to keep yourself hydrated and nourish.
4. Tickets will be checked an hour or two after departure. If you’re already sleeping by that time, expect to be awaken by a train officer for the ticket checking process.
5. The best sleeper berth is the lower one so you could place your bags underneath it. But be ready to share your space in the morning with fellow passengers.
A View of Howrah Train Station from Howrah Bridge