Colonial Charm in Mountains
On the foothills of the Shivalik, the last of the Himalayan range lies the small hill station called Kalimpong. It is a virgin hill station in West Bengal that is known for the panoramic view it gives especially during sunsets or sunrise. There are many Buddhist monasteries, Hindu temples and Tibetian handicrafts to explore. It is widely known for its educational institutions that were established during the British colonial era. It also used to be the linking point between Tibet and India for trade. In the mid 19th century, Kalimpong was ruled by the Sikkimese and Bhutanese kingdoms in succession.
There are many monasteries available here along with Hindu temples. Kalimpong thus makes a pilgrim paradise as well. Being a part of a major trade route between two independent countries, it becomes an essential part of Indian history. Geographically, the town is on a ridge connecting two hills, Deolo Hills and is elevated at a height of 1,247 m. The beauty of this town is that many of the monasteries, churches and even temples are aged from a colonial era and are still almost the same. Two of the most famous monasteries are Jang Dong Palriffo Brang (Monastery), Thongsa Gompa (Bhutanese Monastery). Apart from monasteries, there are many flower markets that are famous for its orchids and other flowers.
The Serenity of Kalimpong
Kalimpong is known for its quiet atmosphere and the peace that it offers. As soon as you reach Kalimpong, the aura of the place takes over you. You will automatically feel at peace and relaxed. The monasteries and the churches around this place make it even more serene. The bazaars and handicrafts of Kalimpong are also very famous in the town. There are many types of artistic jewels that one can find here in Kalimpong. The vegetation in Kalimpong is also very good. The produce here is fresh and rich in its nutrients. You can visit the orchids and the nurseries around here to experience that as well. The Teesta Bazaar is important for two reasons, one for being a bazaar that sells handicrafts and the other for being an important spot for white water rafting. There are many other adventure activities that one can take up here.
Top things do in Kalimpong
How to reach
Nearest airport to this town is in Bagdogra in Siliguri. This airport is marked to be around 50 km away from the town of Kalimpong. The railway station that is closest is New Jalpaiguri. The airport and the railway station, both have frequent flights as well as trains that travel to or near Kalimpong. The rest of the distance can be covered by a car.
How to Reach by Flight
Kalimpong does not have its own airport, the one nearest to this place is in Bagdogra in Siliguri. On reaching the airport, you can hire a taxi to get you to Kalimpong within two hours.
How to Reach by Train
The closest railway station is in New Jalpaiguri from where trains frequent every day especially from major cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Cochin etc
How to Reach by Bus
Buses are an easy and convenient way to travel to Kalimpong.
How to Reach by Road
Regular buses ply from cities such as Gangtok and Siliguri. One also has the option of driving down to this town from nearby cities like Siliguri, Darjeeling and Kurseong.
How to travel within
Locally, one can find buses as well as cars, trains and ferries to travel within the town.
Food of Kalimpong
The delicious Tibetian food of Kalimpong awaits you here. Apart from Tibetian cuisine, one can also explore Bengali and Chinese cuisines. Items such as momos, thukpa and churpee are delicacies one must always try. Churpee is made of Yak's milk and cheese. The refreshing Darjeeling tea is something you will always find here to relish. Many other Indian dishes are also available in Kalimpong. You have a variety of food and beverages to opt from.
-Visit the Deolo Hills, the highest peak of Kalimpong
- Visit Tharpa Choling Monastery
-Visit Dr Graham's Homes for its grand Scottish architecture and natural beauty.
-Visit the Nature Interpretation Centre
-Go to the Haat Bazaar, the local market of Kalimpong
- Go for adventure sports like trekking, rafting or biking.
- Visit Pemayangtse Monastery
- Visit the Lepcha Museum