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India >> India >> North East >> Kalimpong
Kalimpong North East, India
  Overview   Holiday Ideas 
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Kalimpong nestled on a ridge at an elevation of 1,250 meters in the Mahabharat Range (or Lesser Himalayas) is a tranquil hill station overlooking the Teesta River in the Indian state of West Bengal.

 

Kalimpong has a multicultural society and thrived well all along, first under its original inhabitants the Lepcha tribals, later dominated by Sikkimese, Bhutanese and Nepalese kingdoms over long periods, for their cultural and religious heritage is very much evident.There followed a period of development in education and missionary schools started by Scottish Missionaries are still in operation in Kalimpong today.

 

This exotic town with a rare ethnic blend of hill people is beautiful, mystical and enchanting, has a tradition of hospitality from the days when the caravans plied. The temperate climate, it's quaint bustling bazaar, the Buddhist monasteries, temples, old churches, picture postcard countryside with towering snow capped peaks, dense virgin forests, wildlife, vast valleys, lush green meadows and meandering rivers makes it an ideal holiday destination. To top it up Kalimpong is famous for floriculture, its orchids and gladioli are well renowned and exported.

 Orientation

Kalimpong being in close proximity of Darjeeling and Gangtok, is off the usually trodden tourist track but its altitude, location and clement weather makes it ideal for a pleasant, relaxed getaway. The town with its warm beautiful people nestled against the backdrop of the lush green mid ranges of the Eastern Himalaya, offers panoramic views of Kanchenjunga Range, the Teesta valley and the towns from the Durpin Dara and Deolo hills making it an interesting off-beat destination for hikers and those of you who enjoy walking. A local tour of the town can be done in a days jeep tour or 2-3 days if you choose to amble.

 

The town has seen advent of Buddhism since 1692, for the monasteries dotting all along its verdant hillside the Thongsha Gompa or Bhutanese Monastery is the oldest dating back to that era. The Zang Dhog Phelri Fo-Brang gompa was consecrated personally by the Dalai Lama in 1976. Built on the Durpin Dara Hill, it contains the Kanguyar, the canonical texts that contain the teachings of the Buddha, in 108 volumes, brought by Dalai Lama when he fled Tibet. The prayer room is adorned with wall paintings and there is a rare three-dimensional mandala upstairs.

 

Kalimpong's colonial bungalows, old hotels, churches, the golf course and the Morgan House are reminiscence of the British Raj. Built by the British wool traders most of these dwellings are located on Ringkingpong and Hill Top roads. The classic examples of the colonial architecture are the lovely Morgan House, Crockety, Galingka, Tashiding and Ringking farm. Morgan house and Tashiding are now government-owned tourist lodges, and are open to visitors.

 

Less than an hour's walk from the town centre at base of Deolo Hill is the famous Dr. Grahams Home. Rev Dr John Anderson Graham, started it in 1900 as an institution to house children born of British planters and local women, it is now a co-ed school The original school building and chapel with stained glass windows are worth a visit.

 

Kalimpongs moderate climate is ideally suited for its flourishing flower nurseries and floral industry. It produces 80 per cent of Indias gladioli and is also famous for a wide array of orchids, cacti, amaryllis, anthuriums and roses. This is one of main source for the much sought after flowers, attracting both floriculture enthusiasts and flora traders from all over the country.

 

It's an ideal place for adventure seekers with the recently introduced rafting on the Teesta and hiking along Teesta Valley is possible most of the year. It is a paradise to enthral any nature lover with its beckoning mountains, forest and flora explorations bird and butterfly watching.

 

Kalimpong is famous for its indigenous handicrafts, its lollipops- sweet, creamy, not quite chocolaty are synonymous with the town.

 

Around Kalimpong

Lava a serene mist-wreathed village is on the old trade route to Bhutan and is surrounded by virgin pine forests. It has a lovely monastery of Bhutanese origin and a Nature Interpretation Centre. Lava is the gateway for trekking to the Neora National Park, which leads further on to the 10,341 ft high Rache La tri-junction of Bhutan, Sikkim and West Bengal. Views of Chola Range from here are breathtaking.

 

The area around Kalimpong is classified as an ecological hotspot, one of only three among the eco-regions of India. Neora Valley National Park a virgin, unexplored terrain in the Himalayas,lies within the Kalimpong subdivision and is home to tigers. The Red Panda, Clouded leopard, Siberian weasel, Asiatic black bear, Barking deer, Himalayan Tahr, goral, gaur  and pangolin are some of the fauna found near Kalimpong. Avifauna of the region include the pheasants, cuckoos, minivets, flycatchers, mynas, orioles, owls, parakeets, partridges, sunbirds, swallows, swifts and woodpeckers.

 

Kalimpong is almost untouched by tourism, obvious by the lack of cafes. Once there, do the unusual things at a leisurely pace and take time to explore. One thing is certain that the picturesque town will leave you spellbound and beckon you time and again.

 Getting there

Location

 

Nestled in the north Bengal Himalayan foothills, east of Darjeeling across the stunning Teesta Gorge.

 

Distances

 

77 km from New Jalpaiguri (the closest rail head) and 80 km from Bagdogra (the closest airport).

 Fast Facts
Name Kalimpong Best Time To Visit Throughout the year
Location North East   India   Destination  
Open From 0000-00-00  To 0000-00-00 Type Hill Station
Temperature Summar   30-38C      Winter   2-8C      Rainy   20-26C
 Map
 
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