Kalimpong sits at an altitude of 1,250-1600 meters and is seamlessly connected to other parts of Darjeeling district. Kalimpong, known for its scenic beauty, hospitable people, fantastic climate and central location is a popular destination of the tourists who love hill stations. For those who prefer oceans will also fall in love with this town which has a glorious history and an equally captivating present. The wonderfully snow capped peaks of the Himalayan mid ranges are most beautiful in this town and it perfectly connected to the railway station and airport being within a range of 80 kilometers. Tourists find Kalimpong to be an easily accessible hill station whose charm can mesmerize even the non-romantic treading this earth.
Kalimpong bazaar is a bustling area with a wide array of objects like hand beaten silver, Lepcha daggers, Buddhist thankas, Bhutanese weaves, Chinese lamps, being sold here. The town also boasts of religious unity where churches, temples of Hindus and Buddhists, monasteries all coexist peacefully. Gardens and alleys full of orchids, other exotic flowers and cactus nursery make it a picture perfect location for photography and painting and also movies.
The magnificent view of Kanchenjunga and other peaks like Pandim, Simbhu, Janu, Siniyolchu and Chomio Mo renders it an ethereal beauty. The peaks changing colors throughout the day from scarlet to copperish and finally white is a rare phenomenon in other parts of the world. Not only peaks you will also be astounded with Kalimpong’s natural variety in the form of forest, the valley above the Railey River and the Sinchal range covered with trees.
How to Reach Kalimpong
Kalimpong is easily accessible from Siliguri, New Jalpiaiguri Station (NJP), Gangtok and Darjeeling.
Air– Bagdogra, 60 kms away is the nearest airport. It is possible to get a pre paid taxi from the airport to Kalimpong.
Railways– You can also avail the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway facility to reach Kalimpong.
Road– Direct buses from Kolkata ply to Kalimpong at regular intervals from 6.15 in the morning to 4.15 in the evening which arrives at Teesta Bazaar. If you are traveling from Darjeeling, hire a jeep or landrover to reach Kalimpong which will take around 2.5 hours. Alternatively, buses of DGHC also ply to Kalimpong via Mongpu taking almost 3.5 hours. The route through Mongpu is enjoyable with cardamom plantations on one side and the eco tourism center called Teenchula.
Attractions & Activities in Kalimpong
Wandering around the city and trekking in the nearby mountains is an excellent activity that most tourists indulge in. Apart from the spectacular scenic beauty, Kalimpong is also famous for its places of religious interests namely, churches and monasteries.
Deolo Hill and Garden – This is a picnic spot that offers a morning view of the Kanchenjunga range. It is close to a tourist lodge, run by the Department of Tourism. Entry fee of Rs. 10 per person.
Paragliding in Kalimpong– Paragliding in Kalimpongstarts from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm depending on wind conditions. Take off point is Dello hill. There are two types of flights, Medium and Cross Country. The medium flight’s lands on Homes Ground near Dr. Grahams Homes School and the Cross Country flight’s lands on Relli River ground near Relli resort distance about 10 km. Continue Reading →
White Water Rafting – Teesta River at Kalimpong has become one of the most popular hotspots of River Rafting in eastern India. It starts from Beni, the confluence of rivers Teesta and Rangeet provides the major base of rafting. Continue Reading →
Kalimpong Golf Course – A beautiful, mountainous golf course which enjoys tourists from all over the world.
The Pine View Nursery – Also known as the famous Cactus nursery, this nursery has almost 1500 varieties of cacti ranging and other plants from the mountainous region from just Rs. 20. Entry fee: Rs. 10 per person.
Durpin Dara – This is the highest point of Kalimpong that offers a breathtaking view of the city and the fast flowing Teesta River.
Dr. Graham’s Homes – A self sufficient educational institution, located on 500 acres of land, 50 cottages with its own farmhouse, poultry, bakery, hospital and garments department. This missionary school was set up by Dr. J A Graham in 1900 as an orphanage cum school for the destitute Anglo Indian children. It is located on the way to Deolo Hills.
Mangal Dham – Mangal Dham is situated about a kilometre away from Kalimpong and spreads over an area of 2 acres. On the ground floor of this temple lies the “Samadhi” of Guruji Shri Mangaldasji. The prayer hall is on the 1st floor and the walls have of the GuruJi’s with Lodr Krishna and other scenes from Krishna Leele.
Mac Farlen Church – Mac Farlen Church was constructed in the year 1890 – 91, this magnificent building has been the landmark of Kalimpong. This church was built on 1 Nov 1891 by the Scottish Missionaries. . In the early days the sermons were in 10 different languages for the purpose of spreading Christianity.
Tsonga Gumba – This is the oldest monsatery in Kalimpong which was built in 1692. It’s also known as the Bhutan Monastery and located near to Mangal Dham.
Nature Interpretation Center – Visitors must visit at this museum for getting a good idea about the wildlife of the hills. Samples and photos of fauna like the beetles, butterflies and animals are explaining the nature and environment of Kalimpong area.
Lepcha Museum – The museum is situated about a kilometer away from the town. This museum has various articles of interest for those who want to know about the Lepcha culture and heritage. The entire are of the darjeeling and Sikkim is known as The land of the Lepchas. Various articles of worship, original lepcha musical instruments and many other articles can be seen here.
Morgan House – It is located opposite to the Golf Course. This used to be an old British property with a typical colonial architecture with a garden and views of Kanchenjunga. Now it has been converted into a hotel and run by West Bengal Tourism Department. We can enter the premises and walk around, but cannot go upstairs in the building.
Hanuman Tok – Hanuman Tok has a large statue of Lord Hanuman approximately 25 to 30 ft in height located on a hill top near to the Science City. There are fantastic views of the both sides of the hill and a nice view of Testa River can be seen along with the Himalayan range. A small temple of Goddess Durga is found right side of the statue.
Beni-the lovers point – Beni is the confluence of rivers Teesta and Rangeet provides the major base of white water rafting. Teesta River at Kalimpong has become one of the most popular hotspots of River Rafting in eastern India.
RC Mintri Road – There are a line of shops which have been there since the trade days and provides for one of the most delightful shopping experiences in Kalimpong You can get Buddhist thankas, hand beaten silver, Bhutanese weaves, Chinese lamps, Lepcha daggers, masks and a lot more stuff.
Kalimpong Market – If you want to know the Kalimpong culture, then a visit to the market is a must! This market is held only Wednesdays and Saturdays from early morning. From agricultural and farming items, homemade items, vegetables, clothes, bags, umbrellas, spices, shoes, you can get them all at the best bargain prices. One side is for clothes and likes and the opposite is full of spices, vegetables and fruits. Behind one particular side, lies a segment hidden from the regular eye. You will see few groups of people playing carom board and various card-games. With these games they enjoy the freshly made Momos, Phambi, Alu Thukpa (with soup), all of the local street delicacies.
Dharmodyar Vihar/Krukuti house
Science City – There are various examples of science-magic as we would like to call it are displayed and also has a hilltop garden with various outdoor activities like tyre ring-swings, climbing ropes , see-saws, along with models of dinosaurs like Jurassic Park.
Relli Khola River – There are so many beautiful picnic spots along the river, the most beautiful one is on the Relli bazaar. During the spring and winter many picnic groups enjoy here. You can enjoy swim or simply enjoy the river banks and the nearby forest. There is a beautiful public swimming pool at Relli bazaar by the river side.
Accommodation in Kalimpong
There are numerous hotels, suiting every budget, in Kalimpong. It is also possible to stay in retreats or guest houses located away from the city.
Along with these, you can stay different homestays around it. Nearby Icche gaon/Echhey Forest Village or Sillery Gaon at a very low price. Per head per night cost including full day food package will be in-between Rs. 900-1200.
Morgan House, You can book online directly through the WBTDC (West Bengal Tourist Development Corporations) website.
Hotel Elgin Silver Oaks, Rinking Pong Road
Phone: +91-3552-255296, +91-3552-255767
Hotel Garden Reach, Upper Cart Road, Below Bankim Chandra Park
Phone: 03552-255091, 09832040822, 09331107996
Himalayan Hotel,Upper Cart Road
Phone: +(91) 3552-255248/258602
Deki Lodge, 10th Mile, (Near Power House), Tripai Road
Manager: C.D. Bhutia / Kamal Pradhan (Asstt. Manager)
Phone: +91-3552-255095, 9434329695
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Bethlehem Lodge, David Gas Building, 10th Mile, Reshi Road
Phone: +91- 3552- 255185/255847/258798/255847/255185, +91- 9434735225, +91- 98320-96611
RANGEET LODGE, Dr. B. L. Dixit Road, Near Jubilee High School
Phone: 03552-257447/259039, 9832076147
Dew Drop Villa, Galanka Road, Hill Top
(A Himalaya Home Stay at Kalimpong)
Phone: 03552-259883, 98324 59067,97330 51821, 98325 49009
Hotel Mountain View, Kalimandir Phatak, Besides Tashi Petrol Pump, 8 1/2 Mile
Phone: +91 3552 255123/ 255440, +91 9832039412 – 8016218762 – 9434048370
Deolo Tourist Lodge, You can book from GTA tourism office. Check out Tourist Centers to know location and contacts of GTA tourism offices and how to book.
Deputy Director of Tourism, GTA Silver Fir Building, Bhanu Sarani
Phone: (0354) 2254879 / 2255351
Fax: (0354) 2254214
Indradhanush Madhuri Mintri
Phone: +91 9932893350, +3552 255697
Himalayan Hotel, Upper Cart Road
J. P. Lodge, 10 TH MILE R.C.MINTRI ROAD
Contact person: Mr. R. S. Prasad, Mr. Ravi Gupta and Sashi Gupta
(Member of HORAK & Listed in Lonely Planet)
Phone: +91-3552-257457 (O) / 260186 (PP), +91-9932332017
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org,email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hotel Oasis, Sheela Building, D.S.Gurung Road
Mr. Sudesh / Yogesh Phone: (03552) 256385 / 260030
Phone: +91 92335 55456, +91 92335 55457
HOTEL KALASH, S.D.B.GIRI ROAD (MAIN ROAD)
Fax: 91 3552 255290
When to Visit
Kalimpong receives tourists all through the year on account of its pleasant climate. However, it will be wise to avoid the monsoon months of July-Sept due to frequent landslides which may cause roadblocks.
Photo Courtesy: Kalyan Mohan Paul, Flickr/Sharat Kolke and Asim Shah 2008