All Rights Reserved. Sharat Chandra Srivastava. 2011
Kalimpong is located on a ridge connecting two hills, Delo and Durpin Hill, at an elevation of 1,247 m (4,091 ft). Delo, the highest point in Kalimpong, has an altitude of 1,704 m (5,590 ft) and Durpin is at an elevation of 1,372 m (4,501 ft).
The River Teesta flows in the valley below and separates Kalimpong from the state of Sikkim. The hills are nestled within higher peaks and the snow-clad Himalayan ranges tower over the town in the distance. Mount Kanchenjunga at 8,591 m (28,185 ft) the world's third tallest peak, alongwith some smaller peaks areclearly visible from Kalimpong.
Kalimpong, from all other towns sorrounding enjoys the best climate in the region which makes it the best place to base your holiday out of. Popular spots like Lava, Lolaygaon, Pedong and Reshap are located within the Kalimpong Subdivision and are well connected by road. Day trips to Darjeeling, Gangtok, Kurseong and Mirik can also be easily arranged.
Summer: Mar to Jun 15°C -25°C.
Monsoons: Jul to Aug.
Rainfall: Average Annual 2030 mm (80 inches)
Autumn & Winter: Sep to Feb 7°C -15°C.
Places to See
The MacFarlane Church, a testimony of the Scottish missionaries’ influence and a monument of Kalimpong’s diverse history.
Durpin Hill, an observatory point from where a truly spectacular view of the Himalaya can be enjoyed. This along with the panoramic view of the Teesta and Relli rivers, and the plains far below, provide visitors with a memorable sight. The many flowers nurseries in Kalimpong are known for the diversity of Himalayan flora they house, most of which are exported. For those with an interest in floriculture, a trip to a few of these nurseries is worthwhile. ZangDhog Falri Phobrang monastery, situated at Durpin is another attraction of the area.
Gouripur House is a 10 minute walk from Komfort Inn. Though a small hill station, Kalimpong was one of the favourite place of the great Indian poet, Rabindranath Tagore, where hestayed at Gouripur House. He recited from this house on 25th April, 1940 the poem "Janamadin" through a telephone system linked with the All India Radio, Calcutta. He wrote many poems when he was residing in this house. He left this house last on 28th Sept 1954 never to return again.
Tharpa Choeling Monastery, built in 1937, belongs to the Gelugpa (Yellow Hat) sect of Tibetan Buddhism and is another must see. It is situated on Tirpai hill, about 2 km from the main town.
The Science Centre in Kalimpong was started to develop scientific attitude and temper with a view to helping children and adult to think and act rationally in a modern society. They supplement science education by providing audio-visual media through science museum, exhibition, science club etc., and by organizing teacher education, design and development of teaching aids and experimental kits for students.
Pedong Monastery: Built around 1837, is of Bhutanese origin, while a kilometer away is the historical Bhutanese fort of Damsang, an important landmark of the area before the main town of Kalimpong came into prominence. Thongsa Gompa (monastery) is also of Bhutanese origin and was built around 1692, making it the oldest monastery in the region.
Kalimpong Arts & Craft Center: founded in 1897 by Mrs. Graham, is a thriving center where carpet weaving, dyeing, painting, tailoring, leather craft and carpentry are taught, besides promoting the work of local artisans and craftsmen. The Gouripur House, a summer retreat of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, is where he penned many unforgettable poems.
Delo Hill: one of the numerous hill destinations that warrant a visit. A perfect picnic spot replete with a splendid tourist lodge, run by the Department of Tourism, DGHC. A stay here is definitely recommended as the early morning view of the sun lighting up the Kanchenjunga is a marvelous example of nature at her best, a heart stopping sight indeed.
Relli River: With picnic spots on the sandy banks of the Relli River, you can take along a picnic hamper or sample some local cuisine available in small eateries and a Wayside Inn managed by the Tourism Department. Indulge in a swim or just simply explore the banks or just bask in the sun surrounded by nature.
Mangal Dham Mandir: Sprawling over an area of two acres and built in 1993, Mangal Dham is considered to be one of the most splendid temples in India. The prayer hall is on the top floor, where the idol of Raj Shyamaji is found, flanked on either side by the Revered Prannath and Shri 108 Guru Mangaldasji. Both the sides of the prayer hall has a vivid picturesque story of Nijanandacharya Shri Devchandraji, meeting Lord Krishna, Rev. Prannathji blessing the brave Bundela Chhatrasal Maharaj and other scenes from the Krishna Leela.
Dr. Graham’s Homes: Less than an hour’s walk away from the town centre is Dr. Graham’s Home, which was founded in 1900 on the lower slopes of Delo Hill. The chapel above the school dates from 1925 and features beautiful stained-glass windows. Tourists can also visit the fine turn-of-the-century school building, and many people often picnic on the school grounds. From the school building, it is a further 40 minute walk to the summit of Delo Hill, where one can enjoy fine views of Kalimpong.
Teen Chuley View Point, Eco-Tourism Village, Ramitay View Point, Cross Hill View Point: These viewpoints around Kalimpong, provide panoramic views of the magnificent Himalayan snow peaks, the Teesta valleys, forests and rivers whcih provides excellent opportunities for photography.
Thongsa Gompa (Monastery): the oldest Bhutanese monastery in the area.
Dharmodaya Vihar: a Nepalese Buddhist temple.
Sericulture Farm: Watch silkworms being bred and silk produced as well as herbs and plants. Located on the road to Teesta, the institute can be visited between 9.30 am and 4 PM.
Flower & Cacti Nurseries: Kalimpong produces 80% of India’s gladioli and is a significant orchid-growing area and it comes as no surprise that flowers and cacti are exported from here to many cities across the world.
Nature Interpretation Centre: Located on Rinkingpong Road, this centre consists of a number of well-organised dioramas, which depict the effects of human activity on the environment. The centre is open to visitors from Friday to Wednesday from 10 am to 4 PM and admission is free.
Lava, Lolaygaon & Kafer: A single or a two day excursion to Lava with a visit to the Tibetan Monastery and a drive to Lolaygaon and Kafer, where you can walk among the tree tops on a specially built tree-top pathway.
These villages are surrounded by virgin forests and is ideal for nature exploration, bird watching, and for viewing orchids in their natural habitat. It is also the base for exploring the Neora Valley, upto the 3152 m high Rachela Pass on the junction with Sikkim and Bhutan. Sherpa View Point offers good views of the snow ranges of the Chola Range.