Kalimpog is a hill station in the Indian state of West Bengal. It is located at an average elevation of 1,250 metres (4,101 ft) Kalimpong subdivision of Darjeeling Distract. The most widely accepted origin of the name Kalimpong is "Assembly of the King's Ministers" in Tibetan, derived from kalon and pong It may also be derived from the translation "ridges where we play" from Lepcha, as it was known to be the region's traditional tribal gathering for summer sporting events. People from the hills also call the area Kalibong.
Tourism is the most significant contributor to Kalimpong's economy. The summer and spring seasons are the most popular with tourists, keeping many of town's residents employed directly and indirectly.
Kalimpong is known for its educational institutions many of which were established during the British colonial period. It used to be a gateway in the trade between Tibet and India prior to China's annexation of Tibet and the Sino-Indian War. Kalimpong, located on a ridge overlooking the Teesta River, is a tourist destination owing to its temperate climate and proximity to popular tourist locations in the region. Horticulture is also important to Kalimpong: it has a flower market notable for its wide array of orchids; nurseries, which export Himalayan grown flower bulbs, tubers and rhizomes, contribute to the economy of Kalimpong. Home to ethnic Nepalis, indigenous Lepchas, other ethnic groups and non-native migrants from other parts of India, the town also is a religious centre of Buddhism.
Best time to visit:
The most popular seasons in Kalimpong are summer and spring. Advance booking during this period helps ensure a smooth stay. March to May and October to December are the best times to visit Kalimpong.
How to Reach:
• By Car: The Kalimpong city is well connected to Siliguri (65kms) and Sikkim (37 kms)
• By Train: The nearest rail is New Jalpaiguri (73kms). This is well connected to most of the major cities in India.
• By Air: The nearest airport is Bagdogra (80kms), This airport is connected to Kolkata, Delhi and Guwahati. International travelers can get connecting flights from Kolkata or Delhi. Both are well connected with many cities in India and abroad.
Sightseeing tour in Kalimpong:
Durpin Dara :Towering over the town of Kalimpong is the Durpin Hill, the top of which offers breathtaking views of rolling plains of Siliguri and the Tista and Rangit valley. On the northwest horizon can be seen the panoramic Kanchendzonga range and on the east the Chola range on which lies the Nathula pass. On the southern horizon looms the Tiger hill. On the Durpin Dara Hill is nestled a beautiful golf course with gently rolling slopes.
Zong Dog Palri Fo Brang Monastery: Zong Dog Palri Fo-Brang Monastery was consecrated personally by the Dalai Lama in 1976. It contains the Kanguyar, in 108 volumes, brought by the Dalai Lama when he fled Tibet. Excellent view point for snow and valley views.
Golf Garden:The Army Golf Course in Kalimpong was built by the Army with a dual purpose of keeping the Army soldiers acclimatized for high-altitude soldiering as well as to provide a healthy leisurely sport for the Amy Personnel.
Handmade Paper Factory: local people collect some plant skin from nearest jungle, the plant known by Orgely. At first dry plant skin boiled into caustic soda and make pest after with pest prepare paper, after complete the processing use as a note book, lamp shade, calendar, envelop etc.
Pine view Nursery: Kalimpong Hill Station is known for its Cactus Nurseries - one of them breeding exotic and imported cacti from South America and supplying to all parts of India and abroad. Cactus is a perennial ornamental and succulent plant which has a huge market around the world these days as the plants are used commercially in parks and in landscaping.The Pine View Cactus Nursery has been in existence in the late 1960s and was established by Mohan S Pradhan as a hobby which today has become a well-earning business.Thousands of Cactus plants which fall under 1500 varieties of cacti - all imported from Central, North and South America are cultivated at the Pine View Cactus Nursery which sprawls over 2 acres of Kalimpong landscape and grows cacti which has been collected since 40 years. This is fantastic display of rare and unusual cacti. This nursery has won several national and international awards for breeding over 1500 varieties of exotic cacti in one single place. Even if you are not interested in botany, you must visit the Cactus Nursery as when is the next time you would get a chance to see imported plants which are popular in India and abroad.
Thongsa (Bhutan) Monastery: The Thongsha Gompa being constructed by the King of Bhutan in 1692 is the oldest Bhutanese Buddhist Monastery in the Kalimpong region. There was an even older Gompa originally in the same spot but that got demolished in the Gorkha-Sikkim strife in the early 1600s post which the current Gompa that stands now was built in its place.
Dharmodaya Vihar:It’s a nepali Buddhist Temple situated on the Rishi road and a stones throw away from the town. The statue of Buddha was donated to this temple by the Burmese Buddhists. The library of the temple is well stocked with books some of them very old.
Dharmodaya Vihar Temple s presiding deity is Lord Buddha. The temple is home to many Nepalese Buddhist Monks. The Temple also has a Library that houses many old and new Buddhism related books in many languages such as English, Bengali, Hindi, Pali and Nepali. This Temple also has its own monthly publication.
Mangal Dham:Mangal Dhaam was recently constructed as the place of worship. This is a marvelous piece of architecture. The temple has been built in the memory of the late Guru Shree 108 Mangal Dasji. The samadhi of the Guruji is located within the temple.
Tharpa Choling Monastery :Tharpa Choling Monastery belongs to the Gelukpa sect and is on the way to Dr. Grahm Homes. Tharpa Choling Monastery was built in 1937 and is the repository of old scriptures and documents.
Dr. Grahams Homes: Dr. Graham's Homes Campus was founded by Reverend Dr. John Anderson Graham - who worked as a clerk in the Civil Service in Edinburgh prior to establishing the institution. His interest in serving in an overseas mission to serve the poor and the underprivileged brought him to Kalimpong in 1889 along with his wife Katherine. It was here at Kalimpong that Dr. Graham decided to provide a home for the destitute children of the Kalimpong, Darjeeling, Siliguri and the Dooars regions. He started his mission with 7 orphans who were provided food, clothing and shelter and today this home has become a residential Public School with about 800 students.
Tourists often enjoy the peaceful and beautiful hilly environment of the Campus by picnicking on the Campus which the school does permit on request. The well-laid out walkways through the lush green landscapes appears just too beautiful to describe.
Deolo View Point : Delo View Point is situated at the top of Deolo Hill at 1914 metres. This beautiful nature park offers one of the best views of Mt. Kanchenjungha and River Teesta. A picturesque bungalow with landscaped gardens and children’s park in Delo is the only accommodation here. The main town of Kalimpong is only 6 kms from Delo Hill. Spending a weekend savoring the majestic views of the Himalayas and lazing around the gardens is the usual activities you can enjoy here. However, adventure seeking souls can also enjoy paragliding in Delo.