Nestled in the foothills of the
Himalayans, Kalimpong town itself is the headquarters of the
sub-division. Kalimpong compares favourably with the other
hill stations of India - advantaged with its moderate
climate, good residential facilities, electric supply,
schools and hospitals with relaxed surroundings atmosphere
and magnificent panoramic views.
Kalimpong town is scattered along a ridge saddle at an average elevation of 1150 mts o 1450 mts - with the best vantage view points being the two hill tops of Deolo ( 1704 mts) & Durpin (1372 mts) a short distances North & South of town respectively. The view facing due south east is of the rolling hills merging with the plains of South Western 'Doors' of Bhutan & India (Jalpiguri plains) ; Facing East - we see the commence of the Rangola Range of Bhutan , Richa la ( 3152 mts ) of Neora Valley National Park - Kalimpongs tri-junction point with Bhutan , Sikkim & West Bengal ; Facing North East - direct view of the 2 Tibetan (Chinese ) passes into India through Sikkim) Jelep la ( 4702 mts ) & Nathu la ( 4649 mts ) into the Chumbi Valley of Tibet ; Facing north a chink visible of Gangtok town ( mts ) & the entire 180 Degree pararnomic view of the Choten Nigna range of Sikkim Himalayas with Kanchenjunga massif peaking at 8,686 mts., to claim worlds 3rd highest peak - Guardian deity of Sikkim, in its majestic towering height- floats over the clouds with other giants like Kabru 7338 , Pandim 6691 & Siniolchu 6888 mts; Facing North west the Eastern Nepal Himalayas ; Facing West - the commencement of the Singali la range - Phalut ( 3596 mts ) the Tri junction of Nepal , Sikkim & Darjeeling Hills, Kurshong's merger with the plains of Siliguri ; Facing South - Kalimpong sub division hills merging with the Bengal plains of Siliguri
Sightseeing in & around Kalimpong
Twice a week there is a very interesting gathering on Wednesdays and Saturdays in the main market place haat bazar. The convergence of the sellers from rural ethnic groups in their traditional dresses and costumes makes this weekly haats charming.
Cottage industries managed by people of Tibetan origin manufacturing noodles & incense sticks.
Silver smiths mostly the Newars ( Sakyas ) & Kamies communities can be seen working on ethnic hand-crafted items.
Kalimpong is the wholesale market - supplying Tibetan Buddhist religious & cultural items to the Eastern Himalayas
The Cottage Industry manufacturing Handmade paper & it's by products is best in the region.
There are many Religious institutes, schools & spaces are dotted around Kalimpong ,all of which have played an important part towards the development of Kalimpong. Interestingly - many are almost adjacent to each other, living in great harmony.
Tours & short hikes :
Delho view point & picnic spot in the beautifully landscaped Garden of the luxury tourist lodge
Durpin view point & visit to 'Zang Dhok Palri Phodang' Ningpa kargu Buddhist Monastery, built in 1976.
Floricultural nurseries specializing in cacti , foliage plants , Seed culture , Orchids & Plants for Cut-flowers.
Diary's producing Cottage cheese - the Swiss method.
Adventure & eco tourism:
Slowly but steadily Adventure & eco friendly tourism is seeping into Kalimpong's programme. Trekking and rafting have already been introduced and adventure lovers from all over the world are all very excited at the prospect of a whole new area opening up for them.
Picnic posts on the river banks of Teista , Reyang & Relly are great for a days outing or night camping sits
Rafting is done on the Teista river.
Trekking into the Neora Valley National park is an adventure. It is the oldest reserve forest in India & the only remaining representative sample of moist deciduous monsoon forest of West Bengal Himalayas.
Venture walks to the ethnic villages in deep rural areas like - Gumba Dara, Gitdubling - Budhabare & Suruk - Shamthar, is a delighting.
Religious institutes & spaces:
Tibetan Buddhist Monasteries of all the 3 sects of Gelupa, Ningpa & Kurgupa are dotted around Kalimpong.
The oldest being 'Tongsa Gumba' built in the heart of town - sometime during the last quarter of the 17th Century by the Bhutanese Kargu sect. Some estimate it was completed in the year 1692.
'Tharpacholing' 1 /12 km from town on Thripi Hill is a Gelupa sect Monastery built in 1962.
'Zang Dhok Palri Phodang' 3 kms from town at Durpin Hill top ( also a view point ) is a Ningpa sect Monastery, built in 1976. These are to name a few.
Christina Missionary have contribute significantly to Kalimpong society.
MacFarlane Church & Scotties University Missionary Institute (SUMI) established in 1887 is just above the town - imparts education from primary level till high school to over 5,000 boys.
Dr Grahams Homes, established in the year 1900 is a 500 acre - self contained school located on the lower slopes of Deolo hill (also a view point & picnic spot in the well established landscaped garden of the Tourist Lodge).
2 kms off Kalimpong town is the Roman Catholic church for the local catholic community , schools & establishments of - St. Augustans ( boys ) school , St Josephs ( Girls ) Convent & St. Philomena ( girls ) school , The Culinary Girls Collage , Noviciate for Sisters & Mend Rasa for brothers, are all within the vicinities expansive area.
Mother Teresa's missionary of Charity Church & Shelter for the poor, on the Relly road just below town
Adjacent to it is the Elsadhi church of
Kali Mandir - temple of Goddess Kali is much visited by the Bengali & other Hindus ( mostly east Indian ) community is 500 meters ahead of the Roman catholic church.
Thakur Bari - a general Hindu temple housing a host of Hindu gods & goddesses is in the heart of town - below the State Bankl of India
Mangal Dham is one of the most splendid Hindu Temples in Northern India belonging to the followers of the Shri Krishna Pranami Dharma.
In the main town is the Muslim Moask
The one moosks is located in the heart of town - just below the Hindu temple of ' tharket Bari '
Local Cottage industries
In 7th Mile , Rishi road ( towards Tista river) - Papu's Diary makes cottage cheese & lollypop. The owner & workers of this cottage industry were originally traines in the Swiss diary by father Butte. "DGH"
Agriculture and Industries
Agriculture is the main occupation of the people. The crop grown includes maize, millet and rice. Cinchona, potatoes, oranges, cardamoms besides a large variety of vegetables is grown with success. The wonderful climate is not only suitable but also very conducive to countless species of plants that abound in these hills; one has to visit the world famous the nurseries of Kalimpong to see and believe. With the passage of time even foreign countries and multinationals are now pouring into Kalimpong to exploit its floriculture resources.
Educational Facilities :
Kalimpong has a very good reputation for being an excellent educational centre. The initial steps to promote education in the area were taken by the missionaries particularly the Scots and the Swiss. It was due to their efforts that today Kalimpong is in a position to offer first class education to both boys and girls. The Schools attract a large number of students from Nepal, Bhutan, Bengal, Bihar, Sikkim, North India and the North Eastern states.
Traveling to Kalimpong:
From Siliguri : Tourist coming to Kalimpong via Siliguri can either hire a taxi or a bus. They are available at New Jalpaiguri (nearest rail head - 75 kms). Time taken 3 1/2 hrs.
From Bagdogra (nearest air terminal - 80 kms). Time taken 3 1/2 hrs. From Siliguri town 67 kms.
From Darjeeling : Either by jeep/bus. Time taken by jeep/car 2 hrs. Distance 55 kms.
From Gangtok (Sikkim) : Car/jeep/bus. Time taken 3 1/2 hrs. Distance 84 kms.
Kalimpong is well connected by metallic roadway. In addition Kalimpong is also the centrally located town between Siliguri (Bagdogra Airport & NJP Railway station), Darjeeling & Gangtok with regular Bus, Jeeps & Van plying in-between. The chart below is a guideline to travellers & rates mentioned are NOT fixed but normal approximates which may fluctuate upon the season & circumstances during the visit.