Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Tourism      Hill Stations      West Bengal     Darjeeling    


Place : Darjeeling District, West Bengal
Altitude : 1,250 metres (4,101 ft)
Temperature : Summer : Max. 27° C, Min. 17.2° C
Winter : Max. 15° C, Min. 7.2° C
Significance : One of the famous hill stations in West Bengal. 
Best Season : March-early June, mid-Sept-December
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Pleasant and peaceful, Kalimpong is located in the Shivalik Hills on the lower range of the Himalaya. Situated at an altitude of about 1,250 metres (4,101 ft) within the district of Darjeeling in West Bengal, Kalimpong is a quieter and still untouched by commercialisation. It's breezy climate has made Kalimpong's orchids and gladioli well renowned. The name Kalimpong means the stronghold pong of the king's minister Kalim.

Until the 18th century AD, the hill station was, a part of the Sikkim raja. In 1706, the Bhutan kings took it over and in 1865, after the Anglo-Bhutan War, the British east India took over Kalimpong and merged into West Bengal. Kalimpong has been a meeting point of the once 'Three Closed Lands' on the trade route to Tibetan, Bhutan and Nepal. The town thrived as a wool trading centre with Tibet till 1950. Alongside the trade with Tibet, Scottish Missionaries who came here in the late 19th century, built schools, hospitals etc and made Kalimpong from a sleepy hamlet to a town that it is present. Kalimpong's famous Dr Graham's orphanage and school is still running today.

Even though it is a tiny hill station compared to Darjeeling, the other famous hill station in West Bengal, Kalimpong follows a similar layout, old colonial residences, lovely gardens etc. Most of the colonial buildings and old hotels are located on Ringkingpong and Hill Top roads, include, the Morgan House, Crockety, Galingka, Tashiding and Ringking Farm. Morgan House and Tashiding are now government owned tourist lodges, and are open to visitors. The lifestyle of the local people similar to nneighbours, Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan. 

The orchids and flower nurseries, the fine views of mountains, oak forests and the abundance of flowers makes Kalimpong an attractive resort. For those who are looking for an exhilarating blend of adventure and Nature, Kalimpong has some good trekking also.  

Attractions in Kalimpong
Flower Nurseries

Kalimpong is the only hill station in India, where many commercial flower nurseries are situated. The flower nurseries here, produces various Orchids, Amaryllis, Roses, Anthirriums, Gerberas, Cacti, Dahlias, Gladioli and lot more. Universal Nursery about 3 km along Tista Rd (Ph: 03552- 255387), Twin Bros Nursery (Ph: 03552- 255216), Shanti Kunj Nursery (Ph: 03552- 255293), Nursery International (Ph: 03552- 255225), Pine View Nursery (Ph: 03552- 255843) are among many. Note that most of them shut on Saturdays. There's a flower festival in Kalimpong in October.

The Sericulture Research Institute

It is a famous institute for the research studies in sericulture. This institute cultivate silk worms and produces high quality silk. It is on the road to Darjeeling and one can see the different process in silkworm production and one can get a real hand experiences in the sericulture methodologies. Timings : 9.30 am to 4 pm.
Nearby is the Swiss Welfare Dairy. Built by Swiss missionary, Father Andrea Butty who started producing cheese in Pedong. Cheese, butter and other dairy products of this center are very famous and the quality is comparable to the finest that is imported. Ph : 03552-255291/928

Thongsa Gompa

Also known as the Bhutanese Monastery, it is the oldest monastery in Kalimpong. Founded in 1692, it's original structure was destroyed in the inter clan wars by the Gorkhas, it was rebuilt on the same site.

Zong Dog Palri Fo-Brang Gompa

Situated on the Durpin hill, the monastery was consecrated by the Dalai Lama in 1976. It is retaining its special lamaistic order with a school of Tibetan medicine and a religious debating society. It also has Tibetan wall paintings, 108 volumes of the Kangyur brought by the Dalai Lama himself when he fled Tibet which attracts a lot of tourists. 

Tharpa Choeling Monastery

It was founded in 1937 and belongs to the Gelugpa (yellow hat) sect of Tibetan monastery. This Monastery houses a library of Tibetan manuscripts and Tankhas. 

Dr. Graham's Home

It is situated 3 kms from the town center on the thickly wooded Deolo hill. Founded by Rev Dr. John Anderson Graham in 1900 to educate children of the tea garden workers and poor laborers. Now it is a public school open to all, sprawls over 500 acres and has its own bakery, poultry and dairy. The original school building and chapel with stained glass windows are worth a visit. Tourists are welcome to visit the campus.

Mangal Dham

Constructed in memory of late Guru Shree Mangal Dasji in 1996, it is situated over an area of two acres. The samadhi of the Guruji is kept inside the temple. The temple is devoted to Lord Krishna.

St .Theresa Church

It was constructed by local craftsmen to resemble a Gompa. Looks like a Buddhist monastery, it has Wooden carvings on the walls depicting Biblical scenes which is an interesting example of Tibetan influences.

Haat Bazaar - Raja Dorji Market

Haat Bazaar is Kalimpong's busiest and crowded place best explored on foot. This is the traditional open air rural market for villagers who sell fruit, vegetables, spices, Tibetan jewellery, traditional medicines, footwear, plants or flowers, Buddhist Thankas, Chinese tea cups, Bhutanese weaves, Chinese lamps and Lepcha daggers, Kalimpong cheese, milk lollies and local pickles. One can get pen holders, pencil boxes etc at a cheap rates.

Parnami Temple

Situated on Relli Road, this large temple was opened in October 1993. Dedicated to Lord Krishna, it belongs to Parnami faith of Hinduism. Stands in a flower filled garden, the temple consists a life-size statue of Lord Krishna in the big prayer hall.


It is a small cottage where the famous poet Rabindranath Tagore used to stay.

Deolo View Point

At 1,914 meters Deolo Hill, offers panoramic views of the Kanchenjunga Range, an excellent view of the town, the Teesta Valley below and the snowy ranges in the distant horizon.

Golf Course

It is beautifully laid out golf course maintained by the Indian Army situated on a picturesque hillside in Kalimpong. An ideal place for photography, it consists of nine holes