KALIMPONG: The City OF Mountains
Kalimpong is a hill station in the foothills of Eastern Himalayas, and classified ecological hotspot. The Delo Hill of Kalimpong is on an edge sitting above the splendid view of the Teesta River. This offbeat travel destination is easily reachable from Darjeeling.
Kalimpong is a hub of cultural heritage as well as trendy spots, wildlife to adventure; the place is energetic and loaded with lovely scenes. Diverse wildlife and vibrant vegetation is the focal fascination of Kalimpong. Neora Valley National Park is home to tigers. Summer is best season to visit to Kalimpong. The Tibetan food and handicrafts contribute a large share in the markets and places to eat in Kalimpong.
Are you a “Nature Lover”, here are some reasons why you must visit Kalimpong…
One must plan their vacation to Kalimpong as it is a place totally worth visiting. Here are some reasons why you should visit Kalimpong right now:
- Kalimpong is a small town nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas; it is an absolutely amazing treat for any nature lover, giving a stunning view of the snow-capped Himalayan Mountains and Kanchenjunga. One must visit Deolo hill in Kalimpong and get completely mesmerized by the breath-taking view.
- Kalimpong being an amazing nature spot, it is also a home to sizable amount of great wildlife around Kalimpong. Being a part of the Neora Valley National Park, the forests around Kalimpong is also home to endangered species like the Red Panda, Himalayan Tahr, and barking deer. It is popular for the beautiful avifauna like the Himalayan woodpecker, flycatchers, pheasants and warblers.
- Have a mesmerizing experience by visiting cactus nursery in Kalimpong; here one can see so many varieties of cactus plants that are maintained in a place located in a high altitude.
Flower- Flower everywhere; won’t you want to visit here?
- Kalimpong is really popular for its floriculture industry. It is a large hub of nurseries, which is open for tourist view where one can see the various collections of beautiful and exotic flowers and floral plants. Kalimpong is popular for its Orchids and gladiolus.
- One can enjoy here by taking a ride to Durpin Dara or Durpin hill which is the highest point in Kalimpong and have the stunning view of Kalimpong town and also it has a great view to take photographs. The Durpin Monastery, the oldest Buddhist monastery is also located in Kalimpong and is a beautiful and iconic symbol of Kampong’s cultural heritage.
Wanna go hiking?
- Kalimpong is indeed a hiker’s paradise. It is surrounded by various forests and villages which makes it a perfect spot for hiking. Almost every hotels and travel agencies in town organize trekking and hiking trips around Kalimpong. One could also take a hiking trip to Pedong or hike from Lava to Rishop which is totally worth it.
Keep calm and go shopping @Kalimpong!!
- Kalimpong is a perfect place to buy souvenirs and indeed a shopper’s paradise. With an Indo-Tibetan mixed culture in Kalimpong, taking a walk towards shops in Kalimpong town will make you come across various Tibetan shops selling Indo-Tibetan souvenirs including decorative items, handicrafts, embroidered items, paintings, ornaments, bags and artifacts which could be priceless to take home making it great souvenirs.
- Kalimpong is a great place but it is even greater when it comes to food. There are lots of restaurants and street food stalls that would drive your taste buds crazy with the amazing momos, thukpas, chicken lollipops, cheese, etc.
- Kalimpong is also known as the land of cultural and ethnic diversity. It is predominately populated by Nepalese and a lot of ethnic groups like Lepchas, Bhutias, Sherpas, Rais, Limbus, etc. A lot of non-native groups like Bengalis, Biharis, Tibetans and Chinese also reside here. All these groups make Kalimpong a hub for its beautiful ethnic and cultural diversity.
- Kalimpong is known for its various famous monasteries, which are spread all across the region and present an ideal place for spiritually inclined people. The oldest monastery in Kalimpong is Thongsa or Tongsa Gompa which was built in 1692. It’s also known as the Bhutan Monastery and located close to Mangal Dham. This is an ideal place for meditation and the Buddhist monks everyday offer prayers in this monastery.
Mangal Dham, the famous temple of Kalimpong. It is an excellent temple built in the memory of late Guruji Mangal Dasji and dedicated to Lord Krishna. Devotees come from faraway places.
Kalimpong is also known for the handmade paper industry; visitors are welcome to drop into this small unsigned workshop to see traditional paper-making processes, from boiling and pulping of the local argayli (Daphne) bush to sifting, pressing and drying. This paper is used to block-print monastic scriptures, but it is also sold as notebooks and cards. Morning is the best time to see production. It’s a 15-minute walk from town, on the right side of the road.
Kalimpong is famous for its haat bazaar; On Wednesdays and especially Saturdays, this normally quiet bazaar roars to life with a plethora of merchandise ranging from food and textiles, to objects of daily life and sundry other knick-knacks.
Row- Row- Row your boat, gently down the stream!!
Teesta River Rafting at Kalimpong is the one of the best thing among the to-do list when in Kalimpong. The rafting trips are Teesta river starts mostly at Melli Bridge and culminate at Geilkhola in Kalimpong. Get ready for the excitement and roller coaster rapids on the Teesta River exploring the mesmerizing beauty of North East region of India.
While visiting Deolo Hill one cannot miss Hanuman Tok which is located very close. Hanuman Tok is about 5 km from Kalimpong town and the drive is hassle-free. Taxi drivers are well versed with this area hence they know where to park the car and one can enjoy the views and click pics.
What is life but one grand adventure!!
- Kalimpong is the best spot for adventurous people. Kalimpong is not only famous for hiking but it is a great place to visit if one is seeking for some thrill whether be it paragliding, white-water river rafting, golfing, fishing or taking a long jungle camping.
Quick Guide to visit Kalimpong:
Places to visit:
Neora Valley National Park
Teesta River Rafting
Best Time to visit Kalimpong:
Summer season- The temperature is always under 30°C from March to May. So the mild breeze would not trouble visitors much for sure. The temperature is always under 30°C from March to May. So the mild breeze would not trouble visitors much for sure
Monsoon season– From the month of June to September usher the monsoon season. Frequent rainfalls are the main sign of the season. Sometimes it causes landslides blocking the streets. So it can either be the loveliest or the worst for the visitors.
Winter season- The duration from December to February is most enjoyable and best season to visit Kalimpong with temperature less than 15°C and reaching a minimum of sub-zero temperature.
Kalimpong by Air:
Nearest airport-Bagdogra Airport, Siliguri
Kalimpong by Bus:
Top buses to Kalimpong– Siliguri to Kalimpong
Top buses from Kalimpong- Kalimpong to Siliguri
Kalimpong by railways-
The bordering rail is New Jalpaiguri, which is almost 77 km away from Kalimpong.
List of things to be there in your backpack:
- Medicines: Carry your first aid kid. The air is very thin on the top, so if you are asthmatic/ have breathing problems, make sure you carry appropriate medicines. The roads are tricky, and if you are not used to it, so something to combat the motion sickness and to stop vomiting would be preferable. Other essentials like pain killers, antibiotics, etc. should be included. Women should carry pads, or whatever they use, as a precaution.
- Food: If you are not used to North- Eastern food, or are not open to trying out new cuisines, do pack some dry food items like Biscuits/ Cookies, as it might be difficult to get perfect Indian food for you.
- Documents Needed: Carry photocopies of your identity proof, passport size photographs and essential travel contact book. At many places, you will be asked to take permits, so you will require these documents.
- Clothes: Carry enough inners to last without washing. It is very cold there, and even if you manage to wash, it won’t dry. Carry a minimum of a pair for a day, especially socks, as they tend to get soiled fast. Carry scarf/ muffler, ear muffs, etc. If you are going to be travelling by train, and are unable to procure an AC ticket, please carry enough blankets. It gets very cold at night.
- Camera: Take pictures of every beautiful moment of your trip so that you can relive the fond memories later. Don’t forget to pack spare batteries and an extra memory card.
- Comfortable Walking Shoes: A trip to the hills calls for long walks and exciting activities like hiking, mountain climbing, etc. Make sure you carry a comfortable pair of walking shoes to avoid sore feet and blisters. When travelling to a destination where there is snow, it is recommended that you carry snow boots that prevent you from slipping.