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Kalimpong

Kalimpong, a pristine hill station in West Bengal, is located about 50 km east of the famous tourist destination Darjeeling. This hill town, overlooking the beautiful Teesta valley, is at an altitude of 1250 m above the sea level and is vibrant with bustling activities. Kalimpong is located at the foothills of majestic Shiwalik ranges in Lower Himalayas. It is believed that until the 19th century the area was ruled by Bhutanese kings and was a forward post of the Bhutanese Army.

Enshrined with ancient Buddhist monasteries, centuries old churches and exquisite revered temples, Kalimpong was earlier a part of Bhutan until it was wrested by British rulers and joined to Indian territory. The populaces in Kalimpong are mostly of Nepalis origin. These people are all migrated to this area in search of job opportunities. Enriched with lush green forests and dense plantations of tea, Kalimpong is really marvelous and awe inspiring.

Kalimpong is renowned for many high quality educational Institutions. Students throng to this town from the entire North Eastern region of India and also from neighboring countries like Bangladesh, Burma and Bhutan to have their higher studies.

This town is bustling with flower markets, a major source of orchid flowers in the north east. One can enjoy the view of attractive flowers placed on the sideways of the street and the fragrances of the flowers make you to think about an eternal destination.

Kalimpong is a breathtaking picnic spot and one can view the panoramic picture of the down valley known as Teesta Ranjit Valley from the spot known as 7th Mile View Point. This town is a best place for shopping, one can get items like Tibetan Jewelries, artifacts, copperwares, handicraft items and many varieties of dress materials.

When To Go

Kalimpong is a nice place to visit any time in a year. But the best time to visit Kalimpong is from March to May and September to December.

  • Winters (December to February) are cool and pleasant with temperature below 15°C and touching a minimum of subzero temperature.
  • Summers (March to May) are mild, with temperature never touching 30°C. It the best time for Kalimpong tourism.
  • Monsoons (June to September) offer severe rainfalls, causing landslides making road blockages.

    Kalimpong is an amazing place to visit. During summer the weather is mild with beautiful sunny days and is excellent time for sightseeing and outdoor activities. Winters are cold and suited for enjoying honeymoon in Kalimpong. Landslides are common occurrence during monsoons.
    Attractions

    Jang Dong Palriffo Brang (Monastery)

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    Dalai Lama consecrated Jang Dong Palriffo Brang Gompa, also known as Durpin Monastery, in 1976 after six years of establishing it. The importance of this monastery lies with the sacred Kunguyar kept here. It contains all 108 volumes carried by Dalai Lama in his exile.

    This Gompa is a specimen of Buddhist architectural style with spectacular painting on the walls. This Gompa encloses a main prayer hall and an exceptional upstairs appear in a three dimensional view. Fascinating views of surrounding landscapes and the distant Himalyan ranges make here as an enchanting picnic spot. The fragrance of peace and tranquility flows through the ambience of this Gompa all though the days.

    Thongsa Gompa (Bhutanese Monastery)

        mustsee
    Thongsa Gompa, also renowned as Bhutanese Monastery, was established in 1692 and is the oldest monastery situated in the region of Kalimpong. The presently seen Gompa is the renovated one, after the demolition of the original Gompa by the ravage of Gurkhas in Sikkim. The original Gompa was built under the Bhutanese rule and it is believed that this was built under the direct guidance of Bhutan King.

    Buddhists monks offer everyday prayer here and this place is a perfect place for mediation. Many activities aiming towards the uplift of spirituality are undertaken in this Gompa. Tourists are allowed to visit every part of the Gompa.

    Catholic Church

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    The Catholic Church, the largest church in the Kalimpong area, is a revered religious attraction. The church, built during the British rule in 1890, is constructed under the supervision of the British architect Hardy from Edinburgh. This church was open to public for offering prayers in November 1891 after a religious consecration. The architectural style of the church is the one following the western style.

    This church benefits the local Roman Catholic populace and has strong influence in the social and cultural activities of the region. The church attracts thousands of devotees all through the year.

    Crockety

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    Crockety is a bungalow built by the British wool traders in 18th century and is one of the many bungalows in the region constructed during the British Regime. The uniqueness of this bungalow is the exquisite architectural design and the breathtaking surroundings. This old fashioned and charming house stands in Kalimpong as a reminiscent of British period

    Presently this is open to public and attracts many tourists due to its imposing appearance and beauty. The house, from which the great Indian poet and Nobel Laureate Rabindra Nath Tagore broadcasted his great work “Janmadin? on his birthday in All India Radio, is placed behind this Crockety Bungalow.

    Dr. Graham’s Homes

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    Established in 1900 by Dr. John Anderson Graham, this educational institution situated on the lower slopes of Deolo Hill, is often visited by many tourists travelling to Kalimpong. Spread over an area of 500 acres, the school’s scenic setting is sure to enthral any nature lover. The institution houses a small museum, dedicated to the founder and his wife Katherine. Hanuman Mandir, which is another tourist attraction, is a short walk from this school.
    Timings: 9 am to 3.30 pm (Monday to Friday)  

    Durpin Dara Hill

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    Durpin Dara hill, located at a height of 1402 m, is a vantage point that gives birds-eye-view of the spectacular serene mountains, plains and rivers. Durpin, meaning “binoculars” in Nepali is a great spot that offers a clear view of the majestic mountains, Kanchenjunga.

    It is the highest point in Kalimpong, offering visitors to enjoy the views of elegant rivers – Teesta & Rageet, tea estates, Tiger hill, Peshoke, Western Sikkim, magnificent mountains and the plains of Terai. One should not miss to include this attraction in their itinerary when travelling to Kalimpong.

    Flower Nurseries

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    Kalimpong is a place with lots of flower nurseries, which specializes in cultivation of exotic beautiful flowers. The largest number of commercial flower nurseries are found in Kalimpong. These flower nurseries exports beautiful exotic flowers to different parts of the country. You can always visit some of the nurseries across the town and look for your collection of flowers, orchids and cacti, which are available in abundance here.

    Well known for great flower growing hub, Kalimpong exports a variety of flower like Amaryllis, Lilies, Anthuriums, Roses, Gerbera, dahlias, gladiolas, Orchids and Cacti in large scale. Some of the famous flower nurseries in Kalimpong include Universal Nursery, Ganesh Moni Pradhan Nursery, U.C Pradhan Orchid Nursery, Vrindavan Gardens and Midland Nursery.

    Galingka

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    Galingka is a bungalow built during the British regime located at the majestic backdrop of the Kanchenjunga peak, the second largest peak in Himalayan ranges. Like Crockety, this bungalow was also built by British wool traders for their use during their trade travel. The exquisite architectural style and the picturesque surroundings make this bungalow a picnic spot for the tourists. This is built after this area is renowned as a summer hill resort.

    A marvelous garden enriched with many beautiful flowering plants and shade trees add the attraction of this place. This is a serene place which is suitable for secluded relax and enjoyable holiday vacations.

    Hiking

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    Kalimpong is a nice spot for hiking. The hiking here offers mild to medium challenges as the altitude is only about 1500 m. Sightseeing and rafting are two important which can be associated with hiking. The hiking can be start at the down valley and many experienced guides can offer the tourists effective tips for hiking.

    The undulated hilly terrains and the dense lush green forests add the charming enjoyment during the hiking. One can spend the gorgeous nights in mountain hamlets among the hospitable local populaces. Well defined hiking routes can be covered by four to five days.

    Lava

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    Lava, the imposing gateway to the Neora National park, is located at an altitude of 6500 ft from sea level in Kalimpong. This place is surrounded by thick green dense forests consisting of fir and oak trees. This pristine location attracts thousands of tourists every year to its lap. It is an ideal spot for bird watching and nature viewing. It is the starting point for trekking to Neora National Park.

    This is a marvelous picnic spot in Kalimpong with enchanting views of Rechila and Jalipa passes in the great Himalayan ranges. The Panoramic view of charming Himalayan mountain ranges is an added attraction here. The shopping enthusiasts can get many versatile ethnic products such as carpets, studded masks and knitted garments with beautiful embroideries.

    Lolegaon

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    Lolegaon, also known as Kapher, is a fantastic view point for natural beauty in Kalimpong. This place encloses a heritage forest and also enriched with lovely woody terrains. One can view amazing beauty of snow capped Singalila ranges from this location.

    An ideal spot to view the marvel of sunrise, this place can be reached from the heart of the Kalimpong through a lovely travel through the hilly forest regions. The breathtaking views of the Kanchenjunga peak and the other Himalayan mounts and the pleasant cool atmosphere add the attraction of the place. The natural picnic spot is the home of many wild animals and variety of birds.

    Morgan House

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    Morgan house, presently a tourist lodge run by the department of tourism of Government of India, is an erstwhile bungalow built in the British Period. This was the favorite home of a wealthy Jute merchant from England. This is one of the many British Bungalows in Kalimpong. The western architectural style dominates in the appearance of the building.

    There was a picturesque garden with many rare blossomed plants add the beauty of the grandeur location of the house. One can view the marvelous sight of the lush green hills at the distant horizon from the house. The surrounding forest is a hamlet for birds and wild animals. Bird watching is an experience from the house.

    Nature Interpretation Centre

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    Nature Interpretation Centre in Kalimpong, a great idea on work, provides the great information on effect of human activities in the Earth’s environment. This centre is established and managed by forest department. This centre carries out information collecting and research on flora and fauna in the hilly forests of Kalimpong and also watches the human interaction with these natural gifts. It highlights the need for soil conservation, dwindling of forest wealth and also extinct animals and birds.

    The museum in this centre is praise worthy. It encloses information, pictures, photographs and books on ecology and environment.
    Timings: 10.30 am to 4 pm daily except Thursdays  

    Neora National Park

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    Neora National Park, spread over an expanse of about 88 square km, is located at a woody forest area near Lava in the majestic foothills of the Himalayan Ranges in Kalimpong. It is established in 1986 and is maintained by the forest department. Bhutan and the lush green forests of Sikkim border this National Park.

    The vegetation in Neora Park is rich in flora and fauna. The park is enriched with natural forests containing many varieties of dense woody trees. Dense bamboo groves and abundant species of orchids are special feature of this Park. The species of wild animals freely moving in this park include red panda, Himalayan black bear, tiger, wild dog and goral. This is a haven for birds and reptiles. Bird fauna includes Himalayan griffon, redstart and golden-headed black finch and the reptiles include green pit viper, King cobra and blind snakes.

    This is a renowned nature friendly region of rich biodiversity and eco-balanced environment. Neora valley is a beautiful picnic spot for nature lovers and tourists seeking for a serene and secluded environment. Rechela Danda, the highest peak in the Park placed at an altitude of about 10600 ft, is a breathtaking attraction and is a ideal location for hiking and trekking.

    Rafting

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    River water rafting in the famous Teesta River is a major attraction in Kalimpong. The popular rafting activities in the Kalimpong are a major attraction for adventurous tourists. Teesta River with its alpine surrounding is an ideal choice for rafting trips.

    The rafting trips is Teesta river starts mostly at Melli Bridge and culminate at Geilkhola in Kalimpong. There are many agencies, private as well as government, arranging breathtaking adventurous rafting trips. These agencies are based in Chitray and Melli, the famous rafting bases in Kalimpong. Travelers looking for real worth lifetime experience of rafting can enjoy the same in Teesta River, which is rough sometimes with turbulent and quick rising waves.

    Samco Ropeway

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    Samco Ropeway, with a length of about 1.5 km, is the ropeway located over the famous rivers Teesta and Relli. Christian missionaries, to facilitate Lepcha population to come over to Samthar Suruk, area built the ropeway. This provides a good access to imposing Samthar valley and the hamlets of ethnic tribes.

    One can enjoy the thrill of riding over the gorgeous rivers in the ropeway, which is placed at about 120 km above the water level. One can view spectacular view of the river under the ropeway and also the lusting greeneries surrounding the ropeway. This is really an unforgettable view for any kind of travelers.

    Samthar Plateau

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    Scenic, secluded and remote plateau in Kalimpong, Samthar Plateau is a gateway to ethnic villages of local tribes in Kalimpong. The plateau is naturally placed at an elevation of 1,400 m and is a best spot for viewing the eye catching sceneries of panoramic landscapes and the snow capped ranges in Himalayan Mountains, including the majestic Gymochen in the eastern direction and Kanchenjunga in the western direction.

    This plateau is a much sought tourist location in Kalimpong. Tourists are attracted towards this plateau due to its pristine beauty, enchanting streams, imposing and cool thatched huts, exotic sceneries and panoramic landscapes. The Samthar plateau is renowned for mountain biking, nature hiking and nature explorations.

    Saramsa Garden

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    Flower Show
    Saramsa Garden is a popular tourist spot in Kalimpong. It was constituted in year 1922 by the forest department of India. It is the home to numerous species of exotic orchids and other uncommon tropical plants of Sikkim. The garden also comprises many orchids and fruit trees. The garden has been established and sustained by the department of forests. It is a splendid recreational and picnic spot.

    The garden covers an area of six acres. The garden would be an alfresco gallery and a watching deck in what respect the same the visitants can catch a glance of Rani khola and the worthy floriculture centre situated on its opposite side.

    St Theresa Church

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    St Theresa's Church, an ancient centuries old church, is believed to be built by local craftsmen. This church resembles monasteries and a rare view of the Tibetan architectural design can be seen on the structure of this church. The church walls are enriched with the paintings and inscriptions of Biblical themes. The scenes displayed on the walls carried biblical characters resembling the Buddhist monks.

    The church is located at a place from where one can get the scenic view of the distant Himalayan ranges. The spiritual ambience surrounding this old church is inviting for many devotees and one can see a constant flow of believers to this church

    Teesta Bazaar

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    Teesta Bazaar, also known as tenth mile among local people, is the main bazaar area in Kalimpong and is named after the lifeline Teesta River of Kalimpong. The market places thrive with many handicraft items and artifacts. One can shop for all kinds of commodities in this splendid market. The worthy and costly crafted items are the main attractions in this bazaar.

    One can shop for variety of wares from China, Tibet and Bhutan. The local items like thankas, daggers, tea cups, footwear and lanterns are abundantly available here. Copper and Silver ware, Jewelry items, fruits, vegetables and cloths can also be shopped in moderate rates from this bazaar.
    Contact: 03552-62261  

    Tharpa Choeling Gompa (Monastery)

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    Tharpa Choeling Gompa is a renowned Monastery established in 1937 by Buddhist sect Gelukpa, also known as yellow-hat. This is one of the first three monasteries built in Kalimpong and is placed on the mount of Tirpai Hills. The Gompa is surrounded by picturesque and lush green dense forests. One can view the scenic Himalayan ranges from the Gompa premises.

    The monasteries attracts many Buddhist monks and devotees and is an ideal location for meditation. The tranquil ambience, cool and pleasant climate, unspoiled and unpolluted nature and the perfect religious atmosphere make the monastery a unique place for a stay in seclusion.

    Trekking

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    Trekking in the Kalimpong region can be the most pleasurable and memorable holiday experience in one’s life. Kalimpong offers some of the most remarkable treks along the wonderfully beautiful hills that surround it. The magnetism, grandeur, enigma and journey of the enormous hills slowly reveal as one trek through the quiet villages, dense plantation and lush green fields. Unlike treks in the Darjeeling region or West Sikkim, which are more suited for the more hard-core trekking buffs, the treks in Kalimpong are more suited for the occasional or first time trekkers. The treks vary from easy meanders in the country side to mild ones, at the altitude of around 2,500m to 3,000m.

    A trek to Lava, a small village that lies 34 km away from Kalimpong on the old trade route to Bhutan would be an experience to cherish forever. The place has a beautiful monastery and a Nature Interpretation Centre. Ideal for bird watching, Lava serves as a starting point for treks into the Neora National Park, which abounds with flora and fauna wealth.

    One should not miss the breathtaking views of the exotic sunrise and sunset, lush plantations and beautiful snow mountains from the Samthar Plateau which is 80 km away from Kalimpong. Known for hiking, angling and mountain biking, Samthar is an awesome place to be.

    A small trek to Neora National Park is helpful to refresh the adventure seekers by its amazing flora and gushing waterfalls on the way.

    Army Golf Club

      
    Army Golf Club, an 18 hole golf course, is located in a picturesque hillside in Kalimpong. This club thrives with golf activities of Indian Army officers everyday and is meant for keeping fit the army majors for high altitude activities and soldiering.

    This golf club is an excellent spot for scenic views and photography. The well maintained landscapes with lusting green lawns attract many tourists to this place. The undulating hilly terrains make the golf club a challenging field. One can enjoy the enchanting of the Durpin monastery from the golf club ground and one can get excellent angles of monastery to photograph the amazing beauty of the monastery.

    Dello Hill

      
    Perched at a height of 1914 m above sea level, Dello Hill is a beautiful spot overlooking the scenic town of Kalimpong. This small hamlet is situated around 7 km from the town. Strategically located, it offers magnificent views of the Teesta Valley and the majestic Kanchenjunga range. At Dello, one can also enjoy the mesmerizing view of the sunrise. With natural surroundings, Dello Hill is an impeccable gateway to spend some peaceful moment alone with the Mother Nature.

    Ringking Farm

      
    Overlooking picturesque valley, Quaint Bungalow Ringking Farm is a farm Bungalow built during the British reign in Kalimpong. This is an ideal holiday resort to enjoy the enchanting beauty of the nature in a serene ambience and is located at the foothills of majestic Himalayan foothills, at the Ringking road in the heart of the Kalimpong city.

    The bungalow is a specimen of old fashioned western architecture practiced in India during the British Colonial Rule. This environment is an ideal location as a base for nature trekking. A local sightseeing tour will be a worthy experience. Tourists can get a rare chance of mingling and living with the hill tribes in this farmhouse and surroundings.

    Sericulture Research Institute

      
    The Sericulture Research Institute in Kalimpong is a renowned center for the research studies in sericulture and is a place for breeding the silkworms. The center facilitates farmers to engage in sericulture. The institute provides all necessary help to the farmers by the way of transferring know-how and expertise skill training required for breeding silkworms and cultivating mulberry trees.

    The Institute purchases the silkworm cocoons from the farmers and provide the farmers a decent way of earning from sericulture. One can visit the institute to see the different process in silkworm production and can even get a real hand experiences in the sericulture methodologies.
    Timings: 9.30 am to 4 pm  

    Tashiding

      
    Tashiding is one of the centuries old British colonial Bungalows in Kalimpong. This is located perfectly at the middle of the Kalimpong town. This is a specimen of the western architecture and the glorious period of British Raj in India. This is placed in scenic surroundings with a stunning garden adoring the front yard. Presently this bungalow is used as a budget hotel run by tourism department of West Bengal.

    The bungalow offers the majestic views of enthralling Himalayan ranges and the surrounding dense green forests. The cool scent breeze passing over the flowers in the garden gives a sense of secluded state in mind.
    Distances
    Kalimpong 1 km
    Darjeeling 48 km 1h, 40m
    Chalsa 80 km 1h, 30m
    Kolkata 623 km 11h, 30m
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