The Valley of White Orchids
Kurseong is a small and quaint hill station, located in the subdivision of Darjeeling district in West Bengal. Once a small village with an abundance of vegetation and green landscape, the town came into much notice when in August 1880, when the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Toy Train service was expanded to it. The “Toy Train” runs the length of the town and gives the view of the surrounding Tea Gardens like Ambootia, Castleton etc. and natural sites. Encircled by the Mountains the valley has a cool and dry climate even in summer and is the home for the famous “Kurson Orchids” that grows in abundance at the valley during spring, hence giving it the name Kurseong. Kurseong also has many Religious sites and Museums to visit too, the churches and natural waterfalls and parks give us a variety to explore and spend a few days in this lovely station.
Kurseong was a part of Sikkim but in 1835 was handed to the British by the then King of Sikkim by signing a deed. At the time it was the home of the Mongolian origin tribe called Lepchas also known as Rongpas, they still reside there and are the original inhabitants of the land. Later on, it was inhabited by immigrants from Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, and Sikkim. Due to the blend of so many cultures the languages are spoken, there is Nepali, Hindi, Bengali, and English. Nepalese have a major ingress in the town and are called The Gorkhas. The Darjeeling Cultural and Tourism Festival that shows the art, handicraft, and heritage of Darjeeling is held every year in the month of October or November in Kurseong or places near it. Kurseong also takes part in the Tea and Orange festival in the winter because of its famous juicy oranges and tea that grows in the mountains nearby.
Top things do in Kurseong
How to reach
Kurseong is the sub-divisional small town near Darjeeling, the route to the small town has very less traffic and beautiful landscape. Even though it might not have any direct connectivity, taking the journey there is worth every hassle.
How to Reach by Flight
The nearest Airport to Kurseong is Bagdogra, which is connected to every major city. The distance between Bagdogra to Kurseong is around 39 km and will take an hour and a half to reach the town by cab.
How to Reach by Train
There is no direct train to Kurseong, the nearest railway station is Siliguri and Jalpaiguri Railway Station which are connected to every other city and is a cheaper mode to travel to our destination.
How to Reach by Bus
There are buses from Kolkata and Kharagpur to Siliguri, which is the only nearest bus depot to reach Kurseong, from there it is a cab drive to the town.
How to Reach by Road
From Kolkata to Kurseong the road distance is about 601 km and will take us around 14 hrs. to reach, which might not be suitable for some travelers, the best option to enjoy the road trip will be if we take a cab from Bagdogra, Siliguri or Jalpaiguri.
How to travel within
Tourist exploring the town usually explore on foot, but you can also hire local jeeps and cabs to go visit tourist sites and places.
Having a number culture in one place have its own perk, mostly in the cuisine area. Kurseong gives you the taste of many cultural cuisines from different part of the state. Noodles, Rice and Potato is the staple food there. The local traditional cuisine includes of Nepali thali that comprises of rice, daal, vegetables, pickle, curd, sweet item, chicken or meat curry, along with other dishes like Dalle, Churpee, Shaphalay, Gundruk and local beverages like Tongpa, Darjeeling and Tibetian Tea.
- Pankasari Restaurant
- Amarjeet Hotel
- Kurseong Tourist Lodge Restaurant
- Roadies Café
- Aastha Hotel and Restaurant
Day 1: Reaching Bagdogra Airport, the quickest way to Kurseong, is hiring a cab and enjoy the 2 hr road trip to the city. Checking in the hotel easily, we can rest a bit after lunch and visit the Churches of the area, each one with unique architecture is a place worth checking in. Dinner can be done in the local restaurant or multicuisine around the city.
Day 2: Night in the hills is always so peaceful that we can easily wake up in the early mornings. A quick breakfast and hiring a cab, we can travel to the surrounding tea estates and visit the famous Ambotia Shiva Mandir. Purchasing Tea from the estate, we can travel back to the city for enjoying local cuisine and spent our evening watching the view from Eagle’s Craig and shopping in the city.
Day 3: On the last day of our stay, exploring the Dow Hill Park is the best option since it is attached with the Dow Hill Forest, Museum and School. Enjoying a simple lunch and taking a cab back to the Airport, we can adieu back Kurseong, promising to visit the luscious valley again.