Kalimpong Surrounded by mountains, a small hill station Kalimpong is around 67 km from Siliguri. Kalimpong derived its name from ‘Kalon’ means King’s minister and ‘Pong’ means the stockade. Thus, a stockade of the King’s minister. Local people also pronounce it as ‘Kalayboong’ or the ‘Black spur’. According to some Kalimpong derive its name from a tree Kahlyem-Kung (in Lepcha language). Kalimpong situated at an altitude of 1250 m. provide a great panoramic view of Himalayas. Being a historical town, kalimpong offers many places to visit like Deolo, Durbin dara, Dr. Graham,s Homes etc. The attraction of this place also includes monasteries, churches and temples. Kalimpong is famous for its indigenous arts and crafts. Kalimpong has developed good silk trading business with Tibet till 1950. Until the 18th century kalimpong was a part of Sikkim. It was then taken over by the Bhutanese. In the 19th century Kalimpong became a part of Darjeeling district.
Tourist Attractions in Kalimpong :
The tourist attractions in Kalimpong are Thongsha Gompa, Zong Dog Palri Fo-Brang Monastery, Tharpa Choling Monastery, Nature Interpretation Centre, Mangal Dhaam, Colonial Bungalows, Dr. Graham's Homes Campus, Kalimpong Arts and Crafts centre, Dharmodaya Vihar, Kali Mandir, Gauri Pur House. There are some panoramic snow views of Kanchenjunga, Siniolchu, Paunhari, Lama Anden, Chola, Nathu La, Jalep La and Gymochen peaks. The best view points are Durpin Dara and Deolo View Point.
Thongsha Gompa :
Below the Tharpa Choling Monastery is Thongsa or Bhutan Monastery. Thongsha Gompa is the oldest Gompa built during the Bhutanese period, in 1692.
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.
Zong Dog Palri Fo-Brang Monastery :
Zong Dog Palri Fo-Brang Monastery was consecrated personally by the Dalai Lama in 1976. It contains the
Tharpa Choling Monastery Kalimpong :
Kanguyar, in 108 volumes, brought by the Dalai Lama when he fled Tibet. Excellent view point for snow and valley views.
Nature Interpretation Centre :
Nature Interpretation Centre is operated by the Forest Department. Nature Interpretation Centre focuses on flora, fauna and local people interacting with ecology.
Army Golf Club :
Army Golf Club, hewn out of a hillside, to keep officers fit for high altitude soldiering. Excellent angle for photography of Durpin Monastery from 3rd Green.
St. Teresa Church :
St. Teresa Church was built by local craftsmen to resemble a Gompa. It has wood carvings adorning the walls, depicting biblical scenes, in which personalities resemble Buddhist monks. It is an interesting example of Tibetan influences.
Flower, orchid and exotic flora nurseries :
The name of Kalimpong has become synonymous with flower nurseries many of which abound here. Gladioli, orchids, cacti, amaryllis, anthuriums, roses, gerberas, dahlias and other exotic plants are grown in a number of flower nurseries in Kalimpong, mainly for export. The weather and the soil of Kalimpong are very conducive to the growth of orchids, roses, gladioli and dahalias.
Colonial Bungalows :
Colonial Bungalows were built by British wool traders during the "Raj" period, located on Rinkingpong and Hill Top Roads. These include Surya Sadan, Crockety, Galingka, Morgan House, Tashiding, Ringking Farm. Of these, Morgan House and Tashiding, now Government Tourist Lodges, can be viewed.
Mangal Dhaam :
Mangal Dhaam was recently constructed as the place of worship. This is a marvelous piece of architecture. The temple has been built in the
Colonial Bungalow Kalimpong :
memory of the late Guru Shree 108 Mangal Dasji. The samadhi of the Guruji is located within the temple.
Dr. Graham's Homes Campus :
Dr. Graham's Homes Campus was started in 1900, by Rev Dr. John Anderson Graham as an institution to house and educate offspring of British planters and local women. It is now a public School. The School celebrates its Centenary Year in 2000, with most functions focussed around 24th September.
Deolo View Point :
Deolo View Point is situated at the top of Deolo Hill at 1914 metres, overlooking the town of Kalimpong. The top of which is the highest point in Kalimpong. There are excellent views of snow peaks, Kalimpong town and the Teesta Valley. Two big reservoirs here are the source of water supply to the town of Kalimpong below.
Kalimpong Arts and Crafts centre:
Situated near the bus stand in the heart of the town, this institute produces and sells a wide variety of handicrafts which includes wall scrolls, dolls and masks. Founded in 1897 by Mrs. Catherine Grahm, its purpose was to promote and propagate local handicrafts as well as provide employment. It is good place to purchase souvenirs to take back home.
Dharmodaya Vihar :
This is 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.
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.
Kali Mandir :
Kali Mandir, the Hindu temple has a statue of Goddess Kali and is about 2 Kms away from the town.
Gauri Pur House :
Gauri Pur House, situated about 2 kms. from town on the way to Durpin Hill, now accommodated the Cooperative Training Institute but has old stories to tell. It was the favorite retreat of none other than the Nobel laureate and poet Rabindranath Tagore who wrote many of his works here.