When scorching summer coverlet the city you reside in, it leaves you look no further than planning for an invigorating summer escape. And if you are residing in West Bengal or any of its nearby locations, nothing could be as relaxing as exploring Kalimpong.
Let’s catch a glimpse about the place before making it to Kalimpong.
Nestled in the lesser Himalayan Range and on an overlooking bridge of River Teesta, Kalimpong is a popular hill station in the state of West Bengal. Being located around 50Kms from Darjeeling, the natural magnificence of this hill station entices many vacationers from different parts of the country. Before turning to a popular holiday destination, Kalimpong used to be the commercial doorway between India and Tibet. However, this mercantile gateway was culminated after the hostilities between China and India, and China’s invasion over Tibet. Today, the township of Kalimpong stands at the side of Indo-China border, and it is the base of the 27 Mountain Division of the Indian Army.
Dates back to decade, Kalimpong used to be eminent as Kaleebung. Moving ahead, the name was converted to Kalimpong. In the words of local inhabitants, the name of this beautiful hill station was derived from a rubbery plant Kaulim, which used to grow in this region.
Cultural Spirit and People of Kalimpong:
Despite being one of the popular hill stations in the Indian state of West Bengal, the region is an abode to many Bhutanese, Nepalese, non-native immigrants and Buddhist monks. Hence, several monasteries can be spotted here serving the spiritual teachings to the people who are in the quest of serenity. The local inhabitants of Kalimpong mostly speak Nepali. In addition, languages like Bengali, Hindi and English are also spoken here. Kalimpong is also quite popular for hosting orchids and many other nurseries.
The people of Kalimpong are quite generous by nature and rich by religion. Starting from famous Buddhist festival of Losar, Diwali, Dussera to Christmas, they show a true spirit of religious harmony by celebrating all these festivals with great gusto.
Seasonal Climate of Kalimpong:
Kalimpong is known for its enchanting climate throughout the calendar. Summers in Kalimpong last for three months (March-May) with a temperature always under 30°C. From June to September, the region witnesses frequent rainfalls, which often result into landslides. Winter encloses the city in the month of December and lasts here till February. During winter, visitors can experience a delightful weather here with temperature around 15°C or less.
Best Time to Visit:
Being one of the popular hill stations, Kalimpong is worth visiting all round the year. However, the perfect time to reveal the best out of the place is during summer and winter. This is the peak season when tourists can enjoy here a pleasant staying.
Places to See:
Dotted by lush bush and scenic splendour, the picturesque environs of Kalimpong allure its visitors to flock here time and again. Here’s what you can’t afford to miss when in Kalimpong:
Exploring a majestic aura in the midst of natural abundance and leaving the acme of Kanchenjunga at its backcloth is always an eternal experience. Stepping into Galingka, leaves you spellbound with its mesmerising natural environs. Galingka, basically a bungalow, which was built times back by the British wool traders is a must visit in Kalimpong. This eye-catching bungalow is delimited by beautiful garden embellished with aboriginal trees and vibrant flowers. The architectural brilliance of Galingka takes hardly a moment to leaves you a long-lasting impact. An interesting fact about the site is that initially no garden was there around the bungalow. However, considering the growing footfalls of the British officials to this summer hill-resort, a garden was also adorned around Galingka. You can visit here from 9AM to 5PM, and the entry does incur some nominal fees.
Besides being a captivating tourist spot, Galingka also boasts some comfy accommodations for visitors. Some additional attractions around the site include Neora Valley National Park, Pine View Nursery, Morgan House, Durpin Dara Hill, Nature Interpretation Centre, Tashiding etc. the site is equally popular for rafting and hiking.
#Tharpa Choling Monastery
Perched on the knolls of Tirpai, Tharpa Choling Monastery is one of the popular and first three monasteries of Kalimpong. Constructed way back in 1937 by Buddhist sect, Gelupka, the divinely ambience in the monastery plunges you to a different level of tranquillity all together. Apart from its spiritual significance, Tharpa Choling Monastery also offers you a picturesque vista of the Himalayan range. The monastery is also eminent as the “yellow-hat”. So during your Kalimpong trip, make sure to visit this religious site in no doubt.
Before leaving India, the British has left several praise-worthy marks of their presence in this country. And guess what; most of their amazing architectural brilliances still grab the attention of millions of visitors and admires globally. The Crockety Bungalow in Kalimpong is one such example of their architectural brilliance. Akin to Galingka, this bungalow was also constricted by the British wool traders. Today, this exotic bungalow and its surrounding exquisiteness amaze the visitors at first go. You can visit Crockety all round the calendar. However, during monsoon the bungalow doesn’t see frequent footfalls, as this is the time when the region witnesses intense rainfall.
#Durpin Dara Hill
Visiting a hill station is always awe-inspiring during sweltering summer. Located nearly 3Kms from the town and positioned at an elevation of more than 1,000 metres, Durpin Dara Hill is one of the leading attractions in Kalimpong. Being the highest observatory point in Kalimpong, scaling the Durpin Dara Hill offers you an astounding panorama of Himalayan range and the vista of nearby plains along with River Teesta. This site is an absolute delight for adventure freaks and nature buffs.
Situated in merely 2Kms reach from the main town, you get to explore one more key attraction in Kalimpong. Gouripur House is quite popular for its significant link with legendary Indian poet, Rabindranath Tagore. This is the house where the great poet has stayed during his visit to Kalimpong in 1940 and recited “Janamadin” (a poem called Birthday), which was aired on All India Radio from this Gouripur House. During his stay at this house, the poet has written plenty of poems. It is said that, Tagore visited to Gouripur House for the last time in 1954. Since then, this place has turned to a significant attraction for visitors.
Well, these are some of the key attractions in Kalimpong. There are several other interesting places as well that you may visit during your trip. Some of these include Deolo Hill, Dr. Graham’s Home, Mangal Dham, Flower Nurseries, Pedong Monastery, Lolegaon etc.
Things to do:
Apart from taking pleasure from the natural beauty of this hill station, Kalimpong is equally tempting for food, shopping and adventure activities. Let’s take a look at some of the interesting things that one can enjoy from:
#Food Taste and Shopping
Kalimpong is laid out with various Tibetan platters like Thukpa and Momos. In addition, several eateries are also there around the city where you may get served some vegetarian and non-vegetarian delicacies. Being located close to Darjeeling, you can also relish a cup of refreshing Tea in Kalimpong.
Markets in Kalimpong are often crowded by visitors who flock here to purchase bag full of goodies. Two popular markets here are located at Rishi Road and 10th Mile, where you can purchase variety of goods like local Tibetan handicrafts, vibrant paintings, souvenirs, wood carvings, woollen clothing and much more.
If there lies an adventure freak in you, and you are still in the quest of doing something audacious, Samco Ropeway may be idyllic for you. Perched over two rivers Teesta and Relli, Samco Ropeway is a 1.5 Kms long ride offering you some thrilling experiences in Kalimpong. It is said that Samco Ropeway was built way back by Christian missionaries to help the Lepcha people while crossing the rivers. This is something you will thoroughly enjoy during your voyage to Kalimpong.
In addition, there are several pinnacle points as well around the mountainous range where you can go for trekking and hiking activities.
How to go:
If you are excited and already made your mind to make it to Kalimpong, here is how you can reach there:
By Air: For air travellers, the nearest airport is Bagdogra, which is connected to different cities like Kolkata, New Delhi and Guwahati. From airport, local taxi/cab can easily be availed for Kalimpong.
By Train: The nearest railhead is in New Jalpaiguri (NJP), which is located nearly 70Kms away from Kalimpong. There are several direct trains from Assam, Delhi and Kolkata that takes you through NJP. From NJP station you may hire a taxi to reach Kalimpong. Some of the major trains on this route are Ghy Rajdhani, Porvotr S Krnti, Mas Njp Express and Sikkim Mahananda Express.
By Road: Thanks to the great roadway connectivity between Kalimpong and its neighbouring destinations like Kolkata (around 620Kms), Siliguri (around 68Kms), Darjeeling (around 49Kms), Bagdogra (around 75Kms), NJP (around 72Kms), and Gangtok (around 74Kms). From these places you will find regular state transports and private vehicles to reach Kalimpong. Wonderful sceneries on the go leaves you spellbound.
Places to Stay:
Being one of the popular hill stations in West Bengal, Kalimpong is frequented by numerous tourists all round the year. Hence, fulfilling their amenities with quality accommodations is one of the upmost priorities for tourism authority. Over the time, several luxurious hotels and resorts are set up here for visitors.
Some of the comfy accommodations in Kalimpong are listed here for you:
#Kalimpong Park Hotel
Rinkingpong Road, Kalimpong,
#Summit Barsana Resort & Spa
Barsana Phatak, Near Childern Park,Upper Cart Road.
Opposite Art Gallery,
Kalimpong, India 734301
#Zambala Guest House
Lava Road, Algarah
Kalimpong, India 734301
Ringkingpong Road, Below Kpg College,
Kalimpong, India 734301
Kalimpong, India 734301
#The Sood’s Garden Retreat
8.5 Milestone, Rishi Road,
Kalimpong, India 734301
Note: Depending upon your requirements and amenities you avail, the charges may vary from hotel-to-hotel. However, you can easily avail a comfortable place to stay in Kalimpong within the price range of INR 450 to INR 3500 and above.
Kalimpong, a home to diverse range of flower nurseries, breathtaking mountains, architectural brilliances of the British and spiritual monasteries, make this place a perfect holiday destination in the Indian state of West Bengal.