Kalimpong is a beautiful hill town in the north of West Bengal. Tucked away among the mountainous ranges of the eastern Himalayas, Kalimpong is a secluded retreat. A part of Bhutan until it was wrested by colonial British and joined to Indian Territory, the hill station of Kalimpong boasts of ancient Buddhist monasteries, quaint old churches and popular temples.
Situated on the lower ranges of the Himalayas, Kalimpong offers panoramic vistas of the Teesta Rangit Valley inSikkim. Kalimpong is situated on the northern edge of West Bengal in East India. It is about 53 km from the hill station of Darjeeling.
Kalimpong was added to 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.
Kalimpong’s proximity to the Nathu La and Jelepla passes, offshoots of the ancient Silk Road, was an added advantage and it soon became an important trading outpost in the trade of furs, wools and food grains betweenIndiaandTibet. The increase in commerce attracted large numbers of migrants from Nepal, leading to an increase in population and economic prosperity. Following Indian independence in 1947, Kalimpong became part of the state 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. Both Kalimpong and neighbouring Darjeeling were major centers calling for a separate Gorkhaland state in the 1980s.
The Indian Army’s 27 Mountain Division is located on the outskirts of the town.
In and Around
Situated at a height of 5500ft, Deolo is the highest point of Kalimpong town.The view from the Hill is a fantastic one. One can see the entire kalimpong Town, the magnificient Mt.Kanchenjunga,the surrounding villages and Relli valley on one side with the Teesta River on the other. It is one of the most popular destinations of Kalimpong where views are concerned.
As the name suggests, Hanuman Tok has a huge statue os Lord Hanuman approximately 25 to 30 ft in height located on a hill top not very far away from the Science City. Here fantastic views of the both sides of the hill can be seen along with the Himalayan range. A small mandir of Goddess Durga is found right in front of the statue.
Zang Dhok Palri Phodang 1976
Also known as the Durpin Monastery, it is thelargest monastery in Kalimpong and was consecrated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama himself in 1976. It is situated at 1372 mts on the peak of Durpin hill, from where a majestic view of the town and Mt.Kunchenjunga can be seen.
This is the oldest Bhutanese monastery in the district of Darjeeling proving the presence and the hold of Bhutan over Kalimpong.. Many scholars are of the opinion that it was built around the late 1600’s.Surgeon Rennie has mentioned in his book of 1865(Bhotan and the story of the Doar war), of a monastery in KPG where 3 monks resided and he had called this monastery as Tusso Cimpa. He was referring to this monastery.
Mac Farlen Church
Ever since it was constructed in the year 1890 – 91, this magnificent building has been the landmark of Kalimpong. This beautiful 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. These were – Bodo, Nepali, Bengali, Hindi, English, Chinese, Lepcha , Sanskrit, Urdu and Tibetan.
The Morgan House or the Singhamari is one of the oldest Colonial bungalows that was built after the British opened up Kalimpong as a hill resort. It is currently under the West Bengal Tourist Development Corporation. This is a very beautiful example of a colonial past of Kalimpong.
The Haat Bazaar
If you wish to see the true culture of Kalimpong, then a visit to the Haat bazaar is a must! Almost closing in on 80 years of existence, the Haat bazaar is a vibrant and an interesting showcase of people from different backgrounds, cultures all with the sole intention of making the maximum sales. The concept of the Haat is almost as old as our combined culture.
Beni-the lovers point
This is the confluence of river Teesta and river Rangeet. The two rivers, according to local folklore are supposed to be lovers and Beni is their meeting or merging place that is why is it is also know as lovers point. On the 14th of January every year a large fair is held here. Beni is also now the Base from where River Rafting is done at the Teesta.
This beautifully constructed temple is one of the most splendid Hindu temples in Northern India. It belongs to the followers of Shri Krishna Pranami Dharma which was founded by the revered Nijanandaacharya Shri DevchandraJi Maharaj.
Dr. Graham’s Homes
This is a unique educational institute. Housing 700 boys and girls today, it is spread over a 500 acre estate complete with own dairy, poultry and bakery.
Built in 1837, this is another old monastery 26kms away from Kalimpong.
It was one of the favourite haunts of Poet Rabindranath Tagore. Now it has been converted to Co-operative Training Institute.
Brindaban Garden Nursery, Ganesh Mani Pradhan Nursery, L.B. Pradhan Nursery, Pinewood Nursery, Standard Nursery, Shangrila Garden Nursery, Twin Brothers Nursery, Universal Nursery are famous for exotic flowers like Amaryllis, Lilies, Anthuriums, Roses, Gerbera, dahlias, gladiolas as well as Orchids and Cacti.
Some 32kms from Kalimpong, Lava offers a panoramic view of Jelep La and Rechi La passes from an altitude of 7200 ft. lush green jungles around is a feast to eyes.
56kms further from Kalimpong Lolay Gaon (5500ft) commands breathtaking views of Sunrise over Kanchejungha.
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.
Kalimpong is a nice place to visit any time in a year. But the best time to visit Kalimpong is from March to May and September to December.
How to Reach
The nearest airport from Kalimpong is Bagdogra near Siliguri. From Bagdogra Kalimpong is nearly 70kms away. In the northern side of West Bengal Bagdogra is an important domestic airport, which is regularly served by flights from Kolkata, Delhi.
New Jalpaiguri (70kms) close to Siliguri is the nearest railhead from Kalimpong. This is an important railway station in the northern Bengal and also a sort of gateway to the remote northeastern India. Many important trains network among New Jalpaiguri, Kolkata (Howrah and Sealdah) and Delhi.
Siliguri serves as the gateway to reach Kalimpong. Siliguri is well connected by road to Kolkata, Guwahati, Patna. On the other hand, there is a good network of internal roads, which also link Kalimpong to Gangtok in Sikkim.
Stay / Eat
Where to Stay
Elgin Silver Oaks
Upper Cart Road,
Hotel Mountain View
8 1/2 Mile, Near Tashi Petrol Pump,
Where to Eat
Gompu’s Bar & Restaurant
Off DB Giri Road, Kalimpong
China Garden Restaurant
Lal Gulli, Near Motor Stand,
DB Giri Road, Near Town Centre,