Kalimpong is a small hill station situated in the northern part of Darjeeling district in West Bengal. This town is beautifully blessed with some of the most breath-taking mountains, gardens and lakes and is often regarded as a paradise for nature lovers. From unlimited adventure options, to mesmerizing views of the mountains with delicious local food, historical temples and monasteries, Kalimpong offers many tourist spots for the visitors. A significant number of tourists also visit this town, for its mouth-watering Chinese food and local merchandise, which are available on road side shops all over the city. It is often said that every building or monument of Kalimpong has got an interesting story attached with it and is backed with a rich history and culture.
There are so many lovely view points offering sweeping views of Kanchenjunga & Chola range as well as of river Teesta flowing between the towering mountains, great monasteries with awesome architectures, quaint temples, sprawling tourist complexes, numerous flower nurseries, parklands, famous missionary schools and more. In fact some can easily argue, and I can somewhat agree that there are more vantage points in Kalimpong than Darjeeling town to get views of Kanchenjunga snow peaks. There are some stretches in Kalimpong where such views will be on your direct eyesight for a long time as you drive along. The easiest way to visit the tourist places would be to take a taxi from the stand. You can shortlist places that you want to visit. All taxi drivers however offer standard local sightseeing tours covering the major attractions. You can also go through a local tour operator (there are many in the town).
Kalimpong : Climate & Hospitality
Kalimpong has five distinct seasons: spring, summer, autumn, winter and the monsoons. The annual temperature ranges from a high of 30°C (86°F) to a low of 9°C (48°F). Summers are mild, with an average maximum temperature of 30 °C (86 °F) in August.
Best Places To Eat In Kalimpong
There are a large number of restaurants which offer a wide variety of cuisines, ranging from Indian to Continental. Tea is the most popular beverage in the town, procured from the famed Darjeeling tea gardens. The best place for Chinese food is China Garden, tucked in near the main bus stop. Hit the place before 8 pm because this city shuts down early. For the best momos, hit Gompu’s; you can also get a inexpensive lunch or dinner at this place. Kalimpong produces the only aged cheese made in India. It has the texture of a hard European cheese and has a mild almost Parmesan-like flavor.
PLACES YOU MUST NOT MISS TO VISIT
Deolo Hill is the highest point of Kalimpong and it located at the North East of the town. The Deolo hill top is beautifull decorated with a men made park built for the purpose of recreation for the visitors which features exotic flowers. It is an ideal place for a day picnic. A Tourist Lodge is there on the hill to stay. Staying a night to the tourist lodge is highly recommended to watch the spectacular view of Sunrise on Kanchenjunga massif.On a clear day visitors may spellbound by watching the beauty of snow capped peaks of Himalayas which rule the entire north. View of Kalimpong town, the surrounding vallies, Teesta river dominate the beauty. At night watching the Kalimpong from Deolo hill top seems that someone fixed the heavenly stars on hills.Three water reservoirs are there, two of which provide the purpose of primary water requirement of Kalimpong.
Dr. Graham's Homes
This missionary school was set up by Dr. J A Graham in 1900 as an orphanage cum school for the destitute Anglo Indian children. It started only with one cottage that accommodated up to 35 children. Over the years it has grown as a well known multi religious and co-educational school spanning over 500 acres of lush landscape and having some 50 cottages. It is located on the way to Deolo Hills. You can walk across to various parts of the school.
Kalimpong Cactus Nursery
B.N. Pradhan Nursery was born out of the vision of an agriculturalist and nature lover, Mr.BN. Pradhan and was established in 1976 under the name Twin Bro. Nursery. It was renamed B.N. Pradhan Nursery after the passing away of its founder in 1992. Kalimpong is situated on the foothills of the Himalayas, in the District of Darjeeling in West Bengal India and is a well known tourist destination for its magnificent scenic beauty and famous nurseries.
Pineview Cactus Nursery
The land of the largest number of commercial flower nurseries Kalimpong nurseries specialize in cultivation of exotic beautiful flowers and export these flowers to different parts of the country. There are numerous nurseries across the town so you can enjoy some sweet time there. One of such nurseries is Pine View Nursery which is famous for exotic cactus.
Zong Dhog Palri Fo Brang Monastery
Zong Dog Palri Fo Brang Gompa, renowned as Durpin Monastery, is located on Durpin Hill. This monastery after six years of its establishment was consecrated by Dalai Lama in 1976. Durpin Monastery holds important religious significance owing to sacred Kunguyar kept inside the monastery. Consisting of 108 volumes, all these were carried by Dalai Lama during his exile. A true specimen of Buddhist architectural style, this monastery has beautiful paintings on the walls. In addition, this gompa houses a main prayer hall along with upstairs that have three dimensional appearance.
Durpin Dara Hill
Durpin Dara, located at an altitude of 1,402 metre, is known for its beautiful views. It is an observatory point, which is located approximately 3 kilometre from the town. Tourists visiting this place can enjoy beautiful views of the Himalayan ranges. Durpin Dara, easily accessible by car, is the highest point in Kalimpong. In addition, this observatory point also offers views of the plains along with River Teesta.
Mangal Dham, a temple located in the beautiful town of Kalimpong, was built in 1993. The temple was constructed by Shri Krishna Pranami, a Hindu sect and in the memory of late Guru Shri 108 Mangaldasji. Sprawling over an area of 2 acres of wooded land, this temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna. In addition, the Mangal Dham temple also houses the idols of Prannath, Raj Shyamji and Mangaldasji, which are present on the top floor of this temple. This floor also has pictures depicting several scenes from the lives of Lord Krishna and other patron saints of the temple. The idol of Mangaldasji is on the ground floor of this temple.
Located only at a distance of one kms from the Kalimpong town, Lepcha museum is one of the prime attractions. This museum displays oodles of things related to the Lepcha culture, traditions and heritage and so, those who are great fond of such collections must visit the place for the sure.Sited in Big Dhara, the other things of attraction houses in this wonderful museum are the musical instrument of that era, manuscripts, worshipping tools and also many other things that speaks a lot about the Lepcha community just by mere display!! Therefore, Lepcha museum is one of the not to be missed places in Kalimpong.
Crookety was built in the 18th century by the British Wool traders. Its exquisite architecture includes lavish halls, stunning artifacts and beautiful ceilings. It is with reason that out of all the bungalows built by the British in India, only Crookety attracts visitors from all over the world. Crookety is also famous because Helena Roerich, a Russian philosopher, writer, and public figure made it her home and also died here.
HOW TO REACH
Several cab and taxi services are available outside the airport to travel from airport to other parts of Kalimpong. Bagdogra airport is the nearest airport near Kalimpong. It is about 46 kms from Bagdogra airport to Kalimpong.
The bus route is very nice, you get to see lot of good places on the way. This route has many different types of buses operating. E. g. Non AC Airbus, AC Sleeper (2+1), Non AC Sleeper (2+1), Volvo A/C Deluxe Semi-sleeper, Volvo A/C Multi-Axle Semi-sleeper. Book bus tickets for Kalimpong from Kolkata. Quite a few government and private buses run between Kolkata and Kalimpong.
To travel by train from Kolkata to Kalimpong, check the train schedule and availability now. You will reach in 12 hours from Kolkata to Kalimpong by train. Sivok is the nearest railway station. It is about 21 kms from Bagdogra airport.