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KALIMPONG

 


Kalimpong
is the largest of the four sub-divisions of the District of Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council, an autonomous body within the State of West Bengal. Kalimpong lies between the plains of the Dooars and the hills of Darjeeling – Sikkim Himalayas. It is 50 kms from Darjeeling and 65 kms away from Siliguri.
Kalimpong town & the surrounding area, with its ideal location at an average of 4000 ft./1200 mtrs above mean sea level provides mild weather conditions throughout the year.
 

 
 

The Kalimpong region was once a part of the Kingdom of Bhutan. In 1865, after loosing out to an armed British intervention, Bhutan ceded the territory of Kalimpong to British India. As Tea gardens opened up in nearby Darjeeling people from Nepal migrated in search of livelihood. Some spilled over to Kalimpong. The British missionaries came in during the late 1800’s & left a legacy of good schools, high educational standards, charitable Institutions & architectural styles reminiscent of the English countryside. People from mainland India came in to settle in Kalimpong & brought with them their skills in entrepreneurship & trade. Over the years Kalimpong slowly developed into a trading center from which all trade to & from Tibet passed. This continued till the mid sixties when Tibet ceased to exist as an independent nation & the mule trains wound up.

Our advice is to take a day off for walking and visiting the local market which is known popularly in this region for its local handicraft item shops which sells Buddhist Thankas, hand beaten silver, Bhutanese weaves, Chinese lanterns, copperware, hand stitched clothing, local cheddar-type cheese and lollypops

Popular spots are situated within Kalimpong sub-division and are well connected by road from Kalimpong town to Gangtok, Darjeeling & West Bengal.

 

Sight Seeing Around Kalimpong
 

   

DEOLO HILL: The highest point within Kalimpong municipality area (elevation approximately 1650 mtrs) that provides a 360-degree panoramic view. The Khanchendzonga massif is to the north, beyond the hills of Sikkim that rise from the river valleys. A fantastic bird’s-eye-view of Kalimpong town & Durpian hill can be had from here. There is a Hotel here with a regular restaurant catering to visitors. Children can avail of pony rides here. One can spend several hours at this spot picnicking or just lazing out & soaking in the view & pure mountain air.

     
   

DR. GRAHAM’S HOME: Dr. John A. Graham, a Scottish missionary founded this Institute in 1900. This Institution built on Deolo Hill north of the main township was established as an orphanage-cum-school for destitute Anglo-Indian children. It is now a renowned regular co-educational school situated in a 500-acre campus.

     
   

DURPIN MONASTERY: A Tibetan temple belonging to the Yellow Hat sect of Buddhism. Just enroute to the Durpin monastery lays the Army Golf course, a nine-hole golf course overlooking beautiful views of the mountains. Visitors can play a round of golf here by paying a special fee.

 
       
   

MANGALDHAM: Mangaldham, constructed in memory of the late Guru Shree (108) Mangal Dasji & dedicated to Lord Krishna. Devotees, especially of the Pranami Dharma, come here from far away places.

 
   

PINE VIEW NURSERY: where one can marvel at the cacti & succulents and many other flowering plants.

 
       
   

LAVA
34 kms away from Kalimpong, Lava at a height of 7 , 755 ft. is a small hamlet, hidden in the mist & cloud all through the year. Most of the proposed treks in & around Kalimpong start from Lava. The most interesting place in Lava is virgin Neora Valey. One can also visit Lava monastery, Neora Reservoir lake, Silviculture Research Centre ( for Himalayan medicinal plants) & Nature Interpretation Centre ( for local flora & fauna).

 
   


LAVA LOLAY GAON

Whole day Excursion to Lava with a visit to the Tibetan monastery at Lava and a drive to Lolaygaon, a hamlet situated at 55 kms from Kalimpong, where you can walk among the treetops on a specially built tree top pathway. Late evening drive back to Kalimpong or stay overnight at Lava Lolay Gaon.

 
       
   

RISHYAP
10 km rough jeep drive from lava is this small Lepcha Village situated at a heigh of 8, 500 ft. Rishyap means “lofty cliff of forest of ancients trees” in Lepcha language. Snow capped mountain peaks, dense evergreen forest, terraced agricultural field are the part of Rishyap. This is a newly discovered place for tourists.