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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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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