At an altitude of 1250 meters, this tranquil hill station is located on top of a ridge on the east of river Teesta. Kalimpong is a charming town and the head quarter of a district by the same name that was created in 2017. It is a historic town with major Lepcha population and a unique culture of its own. The tourist attractions in Kalimpong includes its beautiful serene environment, great view of snow capped mountains and exquisite surrounding countryside. After Darjeeling, this is the second most popular tourist destination in the hills.
To See and Do
Deolo and Durpin are the two must see places in town. The town is on a ridge connecting the two peaks of Deolo and Durpin. Both places offer excellent view of the mountains including the Kanchenjunga range as well as Teesta River below. Other attractions include Horticulture nurseries, Monasteries, Grahams Home and others.
Deolo Hill Top - You have to travel about 15 minutes from Kalimpong town towards Algarah and then take a left road and travel another 15 minutes to reach Deolo view point. There is a Tourist Bungalow where overnight accommodation is available. You can also try the attached restaurant that offers gourmet food. Apart from excellent view of the surrounding, a large well maintained garden spread over several acres attracts tourists as well as locals here. There is a road from Deolo which reaches the Sikkim boarder at Rangpo through Mansang village.
Kalimpong is also one of the popular destination for Paragliding. The launching point for paragliding is close to Deolo, you can take a paraglide and have a birds view of Kalimpong town. The starting point is on the main road within walking distance from the Deolo view point and is difficult to miss.
If you are not constrained by time, we also recommend you can take a walk on the Bhalu Marg east of the view point. The road has little traffic and can be a beautiful walk on a clear day, there are several small temples of Hanuman, Buddha and Shiva on this road with nice view of the surrounding.
Close to Deolo Hill top is the Kalimpong Science City, which is also worth a visit if you have some extra hours in hand. If you are accompanied by children, then this place is worth a visit.
Durpin Dara (Dara = hill top) is closer to the town on the opposite side of Deolo. This is the other end of the ridge on which the Kalimpong town exists. It is a great place to view the Teesta down below and Kanchenjunga up above and the Kalimpong town in between. You can also have view of Dooars plain from here on a clear day.
Zong Dog Palri Fo-Brang Gompa: Built in the mid-1970s and consecrated by Dalai Lama at `Durpin Dara` Hill, 5km south of the town, this 'Gompa' (monastery) houses impressive wall-paintings and a rare three dimensional `mandal` upstairs. You can climb the stairs and reach the top of the monastery for better view of the surroundings. Groups of monks chanting prayers inside the main hall is an experience that you will remember for a long time.
Golf Course – The scenic golf course can be visited as part of Sightseeing tour of Kalimpong town. This nine hole (12 greens) golf course is dedicated to the people of the town and its visitors by the Indian army.
Flower Nurseries: Kalimpong, an important orchid-growing area, also produces gladiolas and a variety of other flowers that are exported from here to the cities all over India and also abroad. There are some great cactus nurseries also in town that showcases about 1500 variety of cacti. The B.N Pradhan Nursery, Flowerwood Nursery are among the more popular ones to visit.
Dr. Grahams Home is an orphanage built in 1900 by Dr. J.A Graham, a missionary. Till today it remains one of the best schools in the hills and is famous for its philanthropic activity. Many foreigners and Indians volunteer to serve at the school during their extended tours.
Kalimpong is a great place for shopping handicraft and artefacts. The town is famous for its indigenous handicraft. You can get authentic Tibetan Thanka paintings and wooden masks here. Different forms of art such as on handmade paper can also be bought here. The artisans here produce Tibetan and Bhutanese handicraft and jewellery such as woodcarvings, copperware like feng-sui bells, tapestry bags, scrolls, paintings and Tibetan jewellery.
If you are travelling to Kalimpong from Siliguri or Gangtok you have to follow the NH 10. This is main road connecting Bengal with Sikkim and it passes through Teesta Bazar area where it crosses river Teesta before entering into Sikkim. Near Teesta Bazar you have to take a turn from NH 10 and drive uphill about 14 km to reach the town on the hill top. Travelling from Darjeeling to Kalimpong, you may reach Teesta Bazar through the Peshok road and then continued on the same route. From west Sikkim you have to travel via Jorethang.
There is another major road that travels through Gorubathan in Dooars and then through Lava and Algarah before reaching Kalimpong. This road is used by travellers coming here from Lava, Lolegaon, Kaffer, Pedong, Rishop and surrounding area.
People and culture
Kalimpong is known as the land of the Lepcha, original inhabitants of the land, due to major migration of Nepali community from different parts, the indigenous Lepcha community has become a minority in the area now. Still a number of Lepcha villages can be found near the town. There is effort to revive the culture and tradition of these indigenous people. Current population of the town includes Nepalese and Tibetan people along with the Lepchas leaving in the town.
The town offers pleasant weather for most of the year. During summer the maximum temperature rarely crosses 25 degree centigrade. Since the town is located at an altitude of about 4200 feet only, the weather during winter also does not get lower than 10 degrees during the day. The town receives heavy rainfall during the Monsoon months of July to September.
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