After enduring a sweltering summer, a blend of restful knoll and temperate temperature brings a sheer sign of relief to Kolkatans. And when it comes to scale any neighbouring pinnacle for a summer escape, most of them either make it to Darjeeling or Gangtok. But in the quest of some popular hill stations, few lesser known destinations like Kurseong and Kalimpong often remain underrated by them.
In our earlier posts, we have delineated many travel tails on Darjeeling, Gangtok and Kalimpong. This post is going to take you for a ride to one of the small hill stations of Darjeeling district in the Indian state of West Bengal.
Kurseong, one of the soothing hill stations along Darjeeling and Kalimpong is known for its picturesque nature, animated waterfalls and Buddhist gompas. Ages back in 1835, this place was handed over to the British by the king of Sikkim. Over the periods of time, gradual footfalls of visitors brought Kurseong into the notice of several other voyagers. However, the significant transformation of this hill station was noticed in 1880, when Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) Toy Train service was incorporated on that region. Today, the natural exquisiteness of Kurseong entices plenty of travellers from different parts of the country. You can find here a wide range of orchids, which add more magnificence to the natural galore of this hill station. Abundance of white orchids around the area gave Kurseong a new identity as the ‘Land of White Orchids’.
Being perched at low altitude, Kurseong witnesses a moderate weather all round the calendar. Summer hits the region in the month of March and it lasts here till May. During summer, maximum temperature around the place can be felt somewhere 20°C, which is idyllic for a soothing summer escape. July is known for the heaviest rainfall in Kurseong. After monsoon, winter blankets the hill station in the month of December and lasts here till February. Winters are quite arid here with a minimum temperature of around 5°C or less.
Best time to visit:
Kurseong is an all season place for travellers. However, to emerge the best out of it, the place can be visited from March to June and from September to December.
Key attractions of Kurseong:
Having depicted the scenic beauty of this hill station, there are several places as well that you must to see in and around Kurseong. Let’s catch a glimpse of seven popular tourist destinations in Kurseong:
It is said that every hill station is best explored when you reach its acme. Enclosed with breathtaking natural vista, eateries and busy markets, Eagle Craig could be one of the leading attractions in your enchanting retreat to Kurseong. This point offers you a splendid panorama of Siliguri plains, lively Teesta River blending with lush bush environs. A mesmerising view of snow-clad Kanchenjunga and cluster of clotted clouds makes this place a worth visiting destination in Kurseong. Being perched at an elevated point, the surrounding areas of Eagle Craig is absolute delight for trekking and hiking enthusiasts. In addition, presence of vibrant garden, tourist complex and observatory around the spot plunge to you a different level of excitement all together. If you happen to scale atop Eagle Craig during daylight or after dusk, make sure you witness the magnificent sunrise and sunset view from this amazing location. So going with Eagle Craig is never a bad idea to start your excursion.
Kurseong is laid out with several attractions for visitors. Deer Park is one such worth visiting attractions that you should travel by. Located in the Dow Hill area, this park is popular for boasting a diverse range of deer. This park is also popular as Satellite Park or Dow Hill Park. Deer Park is an absolute delight for children who thoroughly enjoy the gathering of deer amidst the pine trees. Besides, the park also houses some endangered species of birds and animals. Deer Park is also a favourite destination for wildlife photographers.
#Ambhotia Shiva Temple
Located near the Ambhotia tea estate, this temple is one of the top places to see in Kurseong. As the name suggests, this is a religious shrine devoted to Lord Shiva. Ambhotia Shiva Temple is visited by many Hindi devotees from different places like Myanmar, Bhutan and Nepal. Despite being a popular religious site, visitors also flock around the temple to take pleasure from its surrounding nature. There are several orange orchards as well near the temple, which offers you a picturesque vista. So if you want to experience any such location where scenic beauty goes hand-in-hand with spiritual significance, look no further than Ambhotia Shiva Temple.
The religious sites in Kurseong drags equal amount of tourist attention, and Jagdish Mandir is one such addition to that list. Constructed nearly 300 years back by Pareek brothers of Mokala, Jagdish Mandir is one amongst the popular tourist places to see in Kurseong. As the name suggests, this temple is dedicated to Lord Jagannath. Upon visiting the holy shrine, you can spot two idols of Lord Jagannath inside the temple. The local inhabitants of Kurseong hold a great belief towards Lord Jagannath and the same can best be witnessed on the eve of Rath Yatra. Apart from the scared idols, the wooden architectural brilliance in the temple complex equally arrests the attention of all visitors. If you happen to be there, don’t afford to miss the Atka Prasad, which is a must try at Jagdish Mandir, Kurseong.
Apart from its natural abundance, Kurseong is also quite popular for hosting a rich variety of spiritual existence. Probably this is why you may witness here several temples, churches and Gompas. In Kurseong, mass populace are of Buddhist community. Hence, availability of Buddhist monasteries around the city is nothing to get surprised of. If you rove around Dow hill Road in Kurseong, you will come across Buddhist Gompas, which is visited by plenty of travellers. People also flock here to take some valuable lessons on the Buddhist culture. The overall tranquillity and spiritual ambience inside the Gompa leaves you completely spellbound.
# Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Museum
Located around 4Kms reach from the main city, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Museum is an offbeat site that you may explore during your stay in Kurseong. As the name suggests, this museum was established dedicated to India’s mysterious freedom fighter Subhash Chandra Bose. Times back, this place used to be the house of Subhash Chandra Bose’s elder brother. Moving ahead, the place was further converted to a museum. Today, you can witness here some of the rare belongings of Subhash Chandra Bose. The museum exhibits an array of articles, documents, artefacts and atypical photographs of this legendry freedom fighter. People with great interest towards Indian history will enjoy exploring this museum to a great extent.
One more quill to the natural landscape of Kurseong is its tea estates. When in Kurseong, make sure you don’t miss two of the popular tea gardens Ambootia and Makaibari. If you avail the guided trip amidst these gardens, you can have a close observation of the tea testing activities. In addition, you may also involve into an interactive session with the workers. Doing this will let to unveil many unexplored tales about the workers, their work style, history of these tea gardens and much more unknown facts. The entire guided trip around the tea garden may pocket you somewhere INR 500. Plunging into the refreshing greeneries is absolutely an exciting experience to behold.
These are the top seven tourist destinations or places to see in Kurseong. After exploring these beautiful destinations, you may also plan exploring two of its adjoining attractions namely; Darjeeling and Kalimpong.
How to reach Kurseong?
On enquiring how to reach Kurseong, this place is well-accessible from various parts of the country through the following means of transport:
By Air: For air travellers, the nearest airport is Bagdogra. There are several popular carriers that fervently ply between Bagdogra and many other major Indian cities. From Bagdogra airport, you may hire a cab or get into a shared taxi to reach Kurseong. By road the distance between Bagdogra and Kurseong is nearly 40Kms that can be travelled in approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.
By Train: Thanks to the Himalayan Railway for connecting Kurseong to Darjeeling (around 30Kms) and Siliguri (around 37Kms). Located around 52Kms from Kurseong city, the closest railhead is New Jalpaiguri (NJP), which is well-connected to many other major destinations like Guwahati, Bhubaneswar, Delhi and Kolkata. Travellers may also get into a toy train from NJP to reach Kurseong via Siliguri. From NJP railway station, you can hire taxi or get into a bus to travel further.
By Road: The road connectivity between Kurseong and its nearby destinations is quite convenient. There are several private and public transports that connect Kurseong to many important destinations like NJP, Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Gangtok and Siliguri. Additionally, one can also share a jeep from Siliguri and NJP to reach Kurseong. If you want to travel by bus from Siliguri, take a bus from Hill Cart Road. This route from Siliguri will take you to Kurseong via Sukna. Captivating nature across the route will make you completely enthralled on the go.
Places to stay:
Kurseong is gradually turning to a popular hill station in West Bengal. Consequently numbers of visitors are also taking the pace in exploring this beautiful hill station. Hence, it is an essential part for a tourist to keep a tab on some of the comfy staying options while holidaying here. In Kurseong, you may find various decent hotels and homsestays at affordable price that may range between INR850-INR3500.
Some of these are listed here for your convenience:
70, P. B. Road, Kurseong, Darjeeling,
West Bengal, India 734203
#Constantia Cottage Homestay
122 Ab Path, Fatak Dara,
Kurseong, India 743203
#Aastha Hotel and Restaurant
Hill Cart Road, Kurseong,
West Bengal 734203
#The Amarjeet Hotel
12 T.N Road, Kurseong, Darjeeling,
West Bengal 734203
132, Pankha Bari Road, Fatak Dara,
Kurseong, West Bengal 734203
Kurseong is undoubtedly a must stopover destination while planning a trip to Darjeeling. Many travellers even enjoy exploring the travel trio of Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong. The scenic grandeur and serene environs of Kurseong make you soon fall in love with this startling hill station. The more you start exploring the place, greater you feel its charm. So Kurseong is a great summer escape for travellers in the Indian state of West Bengal.