Tenzing Norgay Bus Station

Tenzing Norgay bus station in Siliguri, India

To make a long story short: you cannot get a Visa on Arrival at Changribandha, but if you already have a Bangladesh visa, here is how you get to the border.

Most people coming into Bangladesh via this border will be coming from Nepal or Darjeeling. There are at least two border crossings in India’s North Eastern states and another land crossing near Kolkata so people from those areas will likely not be heading to Changribandha.

I spent a couple nights in Darjeeling, and I heard some very unreliable information that visas on arrival could be obtained at Changribandha. Reaching the border from Darjeeling is a long trek – much longer than one would think. I went down to the Darjeeling shared taxi stand at 10:00 am and easily found a jeep for Siliguri that finally filled up around 10:45 am.

It was a three hour journey to Siliguri. When you get to Siliguri, ask to be dropped off at the Tenzing Norgay bus station. This is where you can get onward buses to Changribandha. I incorrectly thought buses to the border went from NJP station so my driver took me there. In hindsight, I should have told him I wanted to go to Changribandha, and he would have dropped be off at the Tenzing bus station. NJP is about two kilometers further down the road from the bus station so I needed to double back in a shared rickshaw (20 rupees) to the station. While it barely costs anything to double back, the traffic in Siliguri is horrendous so this ate up nearly an hour in total.

Once at Tenzing Norgay, there are ticket counters on the west side of the station entrance selling tickets to Changribandha. There is a completely useless “inquiry” desk that initially told me there were no buses to Changribangha. Don’t waste your time with them. At the ticket counters, you can clearly see “Changribandha” written in English.

There is also a daily 1:30 pm A/C bus directly to Dhaka from a small parking lot across the street from Tenzing Norgay bus station, but it is essential to buy tickets in advance.

I got on a 3 pm local bus bound for the border that initially was only 25% full, but as we continued on, the bus picked up more people until it wasn’t possible for anymore to stand inside, but even then they tried. Get a window seat. It took almost three hours to get to Changribandha. The border stop is just a fork in the road without any signs so let several people around you know where you want to go, and they will notify you when you reach the stop. Don’t worry, they will all be trying to chat with you.

After I got off the bus, there were several rickshaws for hire to take me to the actual border. I paid 100 rupees and the trip felt like 10-15 minutes. Once I got closer to the border, the driver took me through a small village where I eventually reached a lone border post in what feels like some small jungle village.

On the Indian side, a couple of people pointed out some shacks where I could get the appropriate stamps to leave India. There are also several guys hanging around working as informal money-changers. This was as far as I made it because Bangladesh did not have the facilities for visa on arrival at this border post. India did not stamp me out.

I had read reports that the border closed at 5:00pm, but I was at the border at 5:45 pm and I still would have been able to cross. While I cannot be sure of the closing time, it is at least 6:00 pm Indian time.

Once over into Bangladesh apparently there is a 6 pm bus to Dhaka, but I cannot confirm this.

If you this guide helped you into Bangladesh, let me know in the comments below!