Kalimpong is a small hill station situated in the northern part of Darjeeling district in West Bengal. This town is beautifully blessed with some of the most breath-taking mountains, gardens and lakes and is often regarded as a paradise for nature lovers. From unlimited adventure options, to mesmerizing views of the mountains with delicious local food, historical temples and monasteries, Kalimpong offers many tourist spots for the visitors. A significant number of tourists also visit this town, for its mouth-watering Chinese food and local merchandise, which are available on road side shops all over the city. It is often said that every building or monument of Kalimpong has got an interesting story attached with it and is backed with a rich history and culture. If you are planning to visit this unexplored town of Kalimpong,
Kalimpong is situated on the northern edge of West Bengal in East India and is about 53 km from the hill station of Darjeeling. The town was added to the district of Darjeeling in 1866. In 1866–1867 an Anglo-Bhutanese commission demarcated the common boundaries between the two, thereby giving shape to the Kalimpong subdivision and the Darjeeling district.
Its proximity to Nathu La and Jelep La, offshoots of the ancient Silk Road, was an added advantage and it soon became an important trading outpost in the trade of fur, wool and food grains between India and Tibet. The increase in commerce attracted large numbers of migrants from Nepal, leading to an increase in population and economic prosperity.
Following the Indian independence in 1947, the hill station became a part of West Bengal. Kalimpong used to be a gateway in the trade between Tibet and India prior to China’s annexation of Tibet and the Sino-Indian War. The Indian Army’s 27 Mountain Division is located on the outskirts of the town.
Often termed as the highest point of the town of Kalimpong, Deolo Hill is situated at a tremendous height of around 1700 m. The hills are accompanied by three reservoirs of fresh water that play an important role in fulfilling the water requirements of the town. Deolo Hills are popular for their height and for offering some of the most beautiful views of surrounding valleys, rivers and villages. The most captivating feature of this hill is the recreational park which is situated at the top of this hill. The hill also offers various adventure-sports that include paragliding and horse riding and trekking etc. thus attracting a large number of adventure enthusiasts.
Dr. Graham’s home is situated on lower steep of Deolo Hills and is a major centre of education in Kalimpong. This place was established in the 1900s by Sir Anderson Graham of England and the entire complex is spread over an area of 550 acres. Dr. Graham’s house offers a significant number of vocational courses in farming, baking, dairy management, clothing, medication and poultry. It is a truly international institution and gets sponsored by various Non-Governmental organizations from all over the world. This place is important for understanding the educational background of this beautiful town and gets visited by a large number of tourists.
Kalimpong Cactus Nursery houses some of the rarest varieties of cactus plants and orchids. This nursery is situated in an isolated part of this town and is surrounded by a thick network of trees and hills. A large number of tourists visit this place because of its beautiful location and pleasant weather, apart from cactus plants and orchids. The entire complex of this cactus nursery is surrounded by scenic views of hills and exotic colourful flowers.
Zong Dog Palri is an ancient Buddhist monastery which was built under the guidance of Dalai Lama in 1975. This monastery is located on the Durpin Hill and is also known as Durpin’s monastery. Today, Zong Dog Palri is regarded as a major religious centre among the followers of Buddhism and it houses close to 110 published texts on Buddhism. Amazing Buddhist architecture, sculptured walls, pillars and ancient paintings are some of the most attractive features of this monastery.
An excellent temple complex built in the memory of late Guruji Mangal Dasji and dedicated to Lord Krishna. Devotees come from far away places.
Right after Durga Mandir is a huge statue of Lord Hanuman perched on the hill. Climb several flights of stairs to reach up to the temple.
This is a watershed near Buddha statue from where you get great views towards both north and south. You get excellent views of Sikkim hills and Mount Kanchenjung if you look north, towards south is the beautiful view of a valley and the Relli river flowing through it as well Loleygaon (Kafer) and also the hills of Samthar plateau. This view point is unfortunately not well maintained.
This is a museum run by the forest department. It has many pictures and paintings of flora & fauna explaining the nature and environment of Kalimpong area. It's located close to the town.
A scenic 9-hole golf course which was conceived and laid by the army authorities. You can see the golf course from the roadside Watershed View Point. From here you also get splendid views of the mountains as well as Loleygaon. It's located close to the Circuit House.
Pedong is the nearest outskirt town of Kalimpong. Located just about 22kms away on the road to Jelepla Pass, it takes only about 40 minutes drive to reach this beautiful place. This small town has a whole lot to offer in terms of nature and history. Due to its location on the ancient silk route it has quite a story to tell. One of the oldest monasteries around here which was built in 1837 by the name of Sangchen Dorji Gumba is located at Pedong. Also the Damsang Fort, the only fort in the Darjeeling hills is at Pedong. This Fort was destroyed in the Anglo Bhutanese war of 1864 but the ruins are still there to give one a glimpse of history of these parts. The Damsang hike is one of the best single day nature hikes of this region.
Pedong is also known for being one of the oldest Catholic Missions of this region and is filled with Christian Mission history.
This small scenic and beautiful town is situated at an elevation 2000 meters and is approximately 35kms from Kalimpong. The lush green virgin forests of Lava are ideal for for nature treks, bird-watching and flora and fauna exploration. The Sherpa view point here provides an excellent view of snowcapped mountains of Bhutan and Tibet. The monastery at Lava is also a place of much interest. Trekking routes to Gitdabling, Neora Valley, Rachela and Gumbadara originates from Lava.
Rishop is a small hamlet at an altitude of 8000ft approximately 34kms from Kalimpong. It takes about 1hr 15mins drive from the town of Kalimpong to reach rishop. Covered by dense forest all around this little place has a picture postcard feel and the view of the surrounding mountains especially Mt.Kunchenjunga is simply breathtaking. One can simply sit back and enjoy the views and take a breath of real fresh air on this beautiful hamlet. It provides for a perfect private picnic place with pre packed food items.
The most lucrative attraction at Lolegaon is the famous 'Canopy Walk' along the hanging wooden footbridge amidst the huge pines and oaks, which give the enthralling feel of the surrounding beauty and wilderness. Located about 2hrs drive from Kalimpong, this serene place is situated at an altitude of approx. 5000ft. One can actually make a complete circle and cover the three places of Lava, Lolegoan and Rishop in one day. You are to start from Kalimpong through the Relli Khola route and cross the river and climb up; the first to come across is Lolegaon, then Lava and then Rishop. It is a full day trip but one important aspect to keep in mind is that you would need a sturdy vehicle. Little cars will not do.
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