Kalimpong: Flower markets & picnicking amid majestic view of Kanchenjunga

Kalimpong, a pristine hill station in West Bengal, is located about 50 km east of the famous tourist destination Darjeeling. This hill town, overlooking the beautiful Teesta valley, is at an altitude of 1250 m above the sea level and is vibrant with bustling activities. Kalimpong is located at the foothills of majestic Shiwalik ranges in Lower Himalayas. It is believed that until the 19th century the area was ruled by Bhutanese kings and was a forward post of the Bhutanese Army.

Enshrined with ancient Buddhist monasteries, centuries old churches and exquisite revered temples, Kalimpong was earlier a part of Bhutan until it was wrested by British rulers and joined to Indian territory. The populace in Kalimpong is mostly of Nepali origin. These people migrated to this area in search of job opportunities. Enriched with lush green forests and dense plantations of tea, Kalimpong is really marvelous and awe inspiring.

Kalimpong is renowned for many high quality educational Institutions. Students throng to this town from the entire North Eastern region of India and also from neighboring countries like Bangladesh, Burma and Bhutan for higher studies.

This town is bustling with flower markets, a major source of orchid flowers in the north east. One can enjoy the view of attractive flowers placed on the sideways of the street and the fragrances of the flowers make you feel you are in an eternal destination.

Kalimpong is a breathtaking picnic spot and one can view the panoramic picture of the down valley known as Teesta Ranjit Valley from the spot known as 7th Mile View Point. This town is great for shopping. One can get items like Tibetan Jewelry, artifacts, copperware, handicraft items and many varieties of dress material.

Tourist attractions

Crockety, Kalimpong: Crockety is a bungalow built by the British wool traders in 18th century and is one of the many bungalows in the region constructed during the British Regime. The uniqueness of this bungalow is the exquisite architectural design and the breathtaking surroundings. This old fashioned and charming house stands in Kalimpong as reminiscent of the British period.

Galingka, Kalimpong: Galingka is a bungalow built during the British regime located at the majestic backdrop


of the Kanchenjunga peak, the second highest peak in the Himalayan ranges. Like Crockety, this bungalow was also built by British wool traders for their use during their trade travel. The exquisite architectural style and the picturesque surroundings make this bungalow a picnic spot for the tourists.

Morgan House, Kalimpong: Morgan house, presently a tourist lodge run by the department of tourism of Government of India, is an erstwhile bungalow built in the British Period. This was the favorite home of a wealthy Jute merchant from England. This is one of the many British bungalows in Kalimpong. The western architectural style dominates in the appearance of the building.

Nature Interpretation Centre: Nature Interpretation Centre in Kalimpong, a great idea on work, provides information on effect of human activities in the Earth’s environment. This centre was established and is managed by forest department. This centre carries out information collecting and research on flora and fauna in the hilly forests of Kalimpong and also watches human interaction with these natural gifts. It highlights the need for soil conservation, dwindling of forest wealth and saving animals and birds from extinction.

Durpin Dara Hill: Durpin Dara hill, located at a height of 1402 m, is a vantage point that gives a bird’s-eye-view of the spectacular serene mountains, plains and rivers. Durpin, meaning “binoculars” in Nepali is a great spot that offers a clear view of the majestic Kanchenjunga Mountains.

Flower Nurseries: Kalimpong is a place with lots of flower nurseries, which specialize in cultivation of exotic beautiful flowers. The largest number of commercial flower nurseries are found in Kalimpong. These flower nurseries export beautiful exotic flowers to different parts of the country. You can always visit some of the nurseries across the town and look for your collection of flowers, orchids and cacti, which are available in abundance.

Saramsa Garden: Saramsa Garden is a popular tourist spot in Kalimpong. It was constituted in year 1922 by the forest department of India. It is the home to numerous species of exotic orchids and other uncommon tropical plants of Sikkim. The garden also comprises many orchids and fruit trees.

Neora National Park: Neora National Park, spread over an expanse of about 88 square km, is located in a woody forest area near Lava in the majestic foothills of the Himalayan Ranges in Kalimpong. It was established in 1986 and is maintained by the forest department. Bhutan and the lush green forests of Sikkim border this National Park.

Catholic Church: The Catholic Church, the largest church in Kalimpong area, is a revered religious attraction. The church, built during the British rule in 1890, was constructed under the supervision of British architect Hardy from Edinburgh. This church was open to public for offering prayers in November 1891 after a religious consecration. The architectural style of the church follows the western style.

Jang Dong Palriffo BrangJang Dong Palriffo Brang (Monastery): Dalai Lama consecrated Jang Dong Palriffo Brang Gompa, also known as Durpin Monastery, in 1976 after six years of establishing it. The importance of this monastery lies with the sacred Kunguyar kept here. It contains all 108 volumes carried by Dalai Lama in his exile.

Hiking: Kalimpong is a nice spot for hiking. It offers mild to medium challenges as the altitude is only about 1500 m. Sightseeing and rafting are two important activities which can be associated with hiking. The hiking can start at the down valley and many experienced guides can offer the tourists effective tips for hiking.

Rafting: River water rafting in the famous Teesta River is a major attraction in Kalimpong. The popular rafting activities are a major attraction for adventurous tourists. Teesta River with its alpine surrounding is an ideal choice for rafting.

Teesta Bazaar: Teesta Bazaar, also known as tenth mile among local people, is the main bazaar area in Kalimpong and is named after the lifeline Teesta River of Kalimpong. The market places thrive with many handicraft items and artifacts. One can shop for all kinds of commodities in this splendid market. The worthy and costly crafted items are the main attractions in this bazaar.

Best time to visit:

Kalimpong is a nice place to visit any time of the year. But the best time is from March to May and September to December.

How to reach

By Train: The nearest rail is New Jalpaiguri, which is nearly 67 km away from Kalimpong.

By Air: The nearest airport is Bagdogra near Siliguri, which is at a distance of 79 km from Kalimpong.

By Bus: The Kalimpong city is well connected to other cities in Sikkim and the neighboring states by bus services.

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