About Kalimpong

Places to visit in Kalimpong

Pleasant, quiet and peaceful, Kalimpong is the ideal retreat for the holidaymaker wanting to be away from the hustle and bustle of city-life. Its 1200 meter elevation ensures a pleasant climate round the year so it isn’t a problem even if you’ve set your date with this charming little town in the dead of winter. Kalimpong is situated on a ridge connecting the hills of Durpin and Deolo. Conquered from Sikkim by Bhutan in 1706, its name supposedly comes from ‘kaleon' and ‘pong' meaning ‘minister's bastion or fort' since it did have the presence of a Bhutanese governor for the period it remained under their rule. However, the Lepcha who were there long before are said to have called it ‘kalibong' meaning ‘the ridge where we play'. In 1865, after the Anglo-Bhutan War, British India brought it under its control on taking into account its advantage as an outpost for trade with Tibet, which, as a matter of fact, they did accomplish in establishing.

Till the early 1950's until China shut down Tibet's border, Kalimpong flourished as a trading post. Trade with Tibet brought in caravans of musk, hides, furs, turquoise, coral, gold, herbs and minerals of medicinal value, and especially lamb wool. Soon large go downs were built where thousands found employment in sorting, drying and baling wool that came from Tibet. In exchange, the Tibetan traders took back cloth, tea, sugar and other food produces.

Alongside the trade with Tibet, the arrival of missionaries also saw to an early expansion of Kalimpong from a sleepy hamlet to a sizeable town that it is today. Schools and hospitals were established as early as 1873, and even till today the town's reputation as an educational center is known far and wide. Of late, the descendents of early Newar settlers from the Kathmandu Valley with their keen sense for business have taken to floriculture. At a lower altitude than Darjeeling and with much less rainfall, Kalimpong has a different climate, one which has proved particularly suited to flower-growing. Indeed, the Kalimpong plant nurseries are famous throughout the world, while the hillsides in springtime are a vibrant testament to the rich natural environment of orchids and rhododendron.

Teesta Bridge:

Where the clear stream of the Great Rangeet meet the turbid waters of the gurgling Teesta in a deep gorge, with the ravine’s rocky ridge lined with deep forests-a scene of great natural beauty, has sprung a small bazaar just 3km down the Teesta Valley road. Teesta Bridge, 710ft above sea level, is the junction from where the road leads to Kalimpong, Siliguri and Gangtok.

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Kalimpong Haat Bazaar - Raja Dorji Market:

Best explored on foot, the main market place is a bustling beehive of human activity where vendors vie with each other to sell off their homegrown food produce. The ‘haat bazaar’ typifies the traditional open-air market, a venue where villagers from the surrounding area are allowed to set up temporary stalls.


Kalimpong has three very important Gompas or monasteries which display the historical journey of Buddhism. Tharpa Choling Monastery: Perched on the Tirpai Hill is the Tharpa Choling Monastery. Constructed somewhere around 1937, it belongs to the Gelukpa Sect of Tibetan Buddhism. The Tongsa Gompa: adjacent to the Tharpa Choling Monastery was set up in 1692. This monastery is the oldest one in the hill town. Zong Dog Palri Fo-Brang Monastery: was constructed in the mid- 1970s. Known for its exquisite traditional Tibetan wall paintings, the monastery situated 5kms from the town center in Durpin Dara (see below) is a wonderful window on Tibetan culture and belief.

Dr. Graham's Homes:

Dr. Graham’s Homes an orphanage cum school founded in 1900 by Scottish Missionary Dr. John Anderson Graham with 35 Anglo Indian orphan children. In due course of time, this home has grown over 500 acres of land on the slopes of Deolo Hills. Along with education, different types of handicrafts are taught to more than 1200 orphans. The dairy, bakery, poultry products of the home are very popular here. Of interest are the original buildings and chapel. The School celebrated its centenary in 2000.

Deolo Hill:

Deolo Hill is one of the two hills that the town of Kalimpong stands between. The hill is 1,704 metres (5,590 feet) above msl and is the highest point of Kalimpong town. The hill is located north east of the town. Three water reservoirs, two of which serve as the primary drinking water source to the town are present atop this hill. The town of Kalimpong, the surrounding villages of Relli valley, Teesta River and its valleys all can be viewed from this point. The snow-clad mountains of West Sikkim are also visible on a clear day from this hill. At the summit of this hill, a park built for recreation purposes which feature exotic flowers. The park is a popular picnic spot for locals as well as tourists. Near the park a Hindu temple is also a visited spot.

The Kalimpong Science Centre:

The Kalimpong Science Centre, established under the DGHC (Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council) in 2008 is a recent tourist attraction. The Science Centre, which provides for scientific awareness among the school students of the town and the locals, is located on the Deolo Hill on the way to the Deolo tourist lodge.

The Durpin Hill

Durpin Dara is one of the two hills (the other being Deolo) connected by a ridge on which the town of Kalimpong stands. The hill is 1,372 metres (4,501 feet) above sea-level and is located south west of the town. Durpin means binocular in Nepali. The hill commands a panoramic view overlooking the town of Kalimpong, the snow-clad Himalayan ranges of West Sikkim, the Teesta river and its valleys and the Jelepla Pass in the distance. A golf course is also present just off the summit. Atop the hill sits the Zang Dhok Palri Monastery which was constructed by Dalai Lama in 1976.The Indian Army has a major base atop the Durpin Hill due to its proximity to the border.

The Golf Courses

Located on the hillside on the outskirts of Kalimpong town, the Army Golf Club has a 9-hole course, which is designed to keep soldiers physically fit as part of the high altitude-training regime. Visitors can play a round of golf by paying the green fee. However, there is more to the club than golf. The fantastic views of the scenery all around makes it a great place great for photography. The club provides a good venue to relax amidst beautiful scenery.

Mangal Dham

In the year 1940, Guruji Shri 108 Mangal Dasji Maharaj arrived at Kalimpong. The impact was so deep that he decided to select this place for unfolding his cherished dreams. Dream so divine to serve the people by way of constructing schools, orphanages and temples. He was a soul so dedicated to the cause of the innocent and needy. Nevertheless ‘Mangal Dham’ is a memorial built in his divine memory. Sprawling over an area of two acres, ‘Mangal Dham’ is considered to be one of the most splendid temples in India. In the ground floor of the Dham, lies the ‘Samadhi’ of Guruji. The prayer hall is on the top floor. Both the sides of the prayer halls have a vivid picturesque story of Nijanandacharya Shri Dev Chandraji, meeting Lord Krishna, Rev. Prannathji blessing the brave Bundela Lord Chatrasal Maharaj and other scenes from the Krishna Leela.

Flower Nurseries

The climate of Kalimpong is ideal for the cultivation of horticultural plants. Kalimpong is the only place where many commercial flower nurseries are situated. It is a paradise where every nature lover and floriculturist is flattered with diverse variety of flowers produced here. The flower nurseries of Kalimpong specialize in the cultivation of exotic orchid species, including other garden varieties such as gladioli, cacti, amaryllis, anthuriums, roses, gerberas, dahlias and a whole lot more. 80% of the total gladioli in the country are produced here. This beautiful land is world famous for its orchids and a major exporter of flowers to the Northern India.

Central Sericulture Station

The Sericulture Research Institute in Kalimpong is a renowned center for the research studies in sericulture and is a place for breeding the silkworms. The center facilitates farmers to engage in sericulture. The Institute purchases the silkworm cocoons from the farmers and provide the farmers a decent way of earning from sericulture. One can visit the institute to see the different process in silkworm production and can even get a real hand experiences in the sericulture methodologies.

Kali Mandir

Kali Mandir is about 2 Km from the town . Huge statue of Goddess Kali is the main deity of this temple.

7th Mile View point

3km from the town on the way to Teesta Bazaar. Panoramic view of Teesta and Rangeet valley can be seen from here.


Twenty two kilometers to the north-east of Kalimpong and 4700ft above sea level on the Darjeeling-Gangtok road, Pedong is where West Bengal, Sikkim and Bhutan meet. Equipped with the necessities of life, bungalows, dispensary, Buddhist monastery and a Roman Catholic Mission Chapel, Pedong lives for literally one week a year-the week ending of February when the annual meal is held. For months the preparations go on , as the date approaches visitors from far and near begin to converge on this little village for the agricultural fair-when, for a week, the sleepy little village wakes to life for its’ day in the sun’. The old Bhutanese fort of Dumsong was located close by, and it was the centre of Bhutanese administration, during their rule Pedong Monastery was constructed in 1837, and retains its originality. The first catholic mission was established here in 1882 by a French priest, Father Desgodins. The chapel still stands and the mission is flourishing.


Located on a pass astride the old trade route to Bhutan, at an elevation of 2000 meters, a small hamlet, 35 km from Kalimpong, is 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, up to the 3152 meters height Racheala pass on the junction with Sikkim and Bhutan. Sherpa View Point offers good views of the snow ranges of the Chola range; including Chomalhari, on the Bhutan-Tibet border. The old Bhutanese fort, which was captured during the Doars wars, is just an hour’s drive from Lava. Treks to Samthar plateau also start from here.

Kaffer / Lolay Gaon

A superb spot to view the sunrise over the mountains to those eager to take a 59-kilometer morning drive from Kalimpong through lovely forested hills. The area itself has a heritage forest and offers fine views of the snowy Singalila Range.

Neora National Park

It is a four day trek through forests and exotic flora of the National Park, culminating in the ascent of the 3,152 meter Rache La tri-junction, to view the Chola Range. Other activities include nature and culture exploration of the Rishi Valley and remote waterfalls. a memorable experience altogether.

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