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Address: Islampur, West Bengal 733202, India

Station Code: AUB


Zone: NFR/Northeast Frontier

Train Frequency Weekly: 185

Station Traffic: High

Address: Darjeeling Rly Station, Hill Cart Road, Darjeeling, West Bengal 734101, India

Station Code: DJ

Station Name: DARJEELING

Zone: NFR/Northeast Frontier

Train Frequency Weekly: 107

Station Traffic: Medium

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‘Ghum Festival’ in Darjeeling Himalayan Railway inaugurated

The three week long “Ghum Festival” in the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) started o­n November 13, 2021 with festivities. The festival was inaugurated by Shri Anshul Gupta, GM/NFR in presence of senior railway officials and local people.

The festival is being organised by the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway at Ghum (the highest railway station in India) and Darjeeling Railway Stations in order to rejuvenate the tourism industry of Darjeeling, at the core of which lies the 150-Year old world heritage Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR). The festival starts from 13th November and will conclude o­n 05thDecember (DHR day); the day DHR got its UNESCO World Heritage Status in 1999. The fest also aims to attract the pandemic-tired population of the entire country and the world, lift up the status of Darjeeling as a premium tourist destination and thus boost the earnings of Indian Railways through DHR. The DHR is running numerous Toy-trains rides namely Joy Rides, Jungle Tea Safari, Red Panda, Him Kanya, New Jalpaiguri – Darjeeling Passenger Train as per need of tourists.

This Ghum Festival fest will simultaneously provide a huge platform for the artists, performers, craftsmen, engineers and workers in the district as well as Indian Railways to showcase their creativity to the world and increase their earnings. All in all, it is a huge step by DHR in the direction of preservation of the local culture of the region and justification of its UNESCO World Heritage status.

The fest will run along 3 verticals, namely: Culture, Adventure and Tourism.The cultural aspect includes several events that will be hosted in the stations and the famous Chaurasta stage in Darjeeling such as folk dances, folk music, singing, music and dance performances, Stand-up comedy, plays and talent shows. Local performers as well as internal talents from Indian Railways are coming together to make it a reality. The cultural pillar will be a reflection of the ecstatic mood of the tourists in this festivity.

The Adventurous aspect includes early morning Heritage Walks to be organized every day, Mountain Biking and Trackathon events to be hosted o­n weekends and specific days. Organizations such as Darjeeling Walks, Vikrun Foundation, Mountain Biking Club of Darjeeling, Runners Club have partnered with DHR to host these events.

Local vendors/sellers and franchises have been provided spaces in Darjeeling and Ghum Railway Stations to showcase handicrafts, art works, clothing etc. and sell food and drinks to the tourists for the entire period.

Several organizations that are integrated with the tourism industry are joining hands to make this festival a success – namely Darjeeling Kalimpong Himalayan Tourism Association, Darjeeling Hotel Owner Association, Darjeeling Home stay Association, Darjeeling Hill Runners Association etc.

(Guneet Kaur)

QR-code based ticketing system launched for DHR Toy trains; Tourists in DHR can now book tickets on the Paytm app

In another step towards tourist-friendly digital initiative, Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) of Northeast Frontier Railway has become partner with digital payment platform Paytm. DHR and Paytm in a strategic partnership has launched QR-code based ticketing system o­n 2nd November, 2021 for joyrides. Tourists in DHR can now book tickets for the Toy trains o­n the Paytm app for their journey.

With this, DHR has now become the 1st of Toy train operator in India to enable digital ticketing systems.

It may be mentioned that DHR is running numerous Toy train rides namely Jungle Tea Safari, New Jalpaiguri- Darjeeling passenger train and Red Panda to promote tourism in the DHR.In order to rejuvenate the tourism industry in Darjeeling, DHR is also organizing Ghum Festival from 13thNovember to 5th December, 2021.This new service would give commuters the option to travel seamlessly and avoid long queues to buy tickets for Toy trains operated by the DHR. They can now simply purchase digital tickets o­n their Paytm app, and proceed for the journey.

Paytm digital ticketing system will enable commuters to book tickets without being physically present at the railway stations. Tourists o­nly need to open their Paytm app, enter the date of journey, select the type of train & schedule and make payment to receive the digital ticket with PNR number. They can display the digital ticket to the Ticket Collector to commence their journey.

This system will lead to reduce the ticket booking time and will also be of great help in maintaining social distancing in these times.

(Guneet Kaur)


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