Kalimpong is a small beautiful bazaar town set on the foothills of the Himalayas. It falls under the district of Darjeeling in West Bengal and is a perfect getaway for a city dwellers. Visit the old monasteries, churches, and other sightseeing spots;.Visit Kalimpong and pick from the best hotels in Kalimpong.
Set in the mystic hills of the Shivalik ranges of the great Himalayas, Kalimpong is a beautiful little town falling under the Darjeeling district of West Bengal, India. It is a bustling bazaar town home to the indigenous Lepchas and Gurkhas and most known for the Buddhist Monasteries, old colonial churches, and world class boardings and schools. Over looking the roaring Teesta River, it is one of the most scenic places in the country naturally splendid enough to get one mesmerized and wanting to come back again.
Darjeeling the district headquarter and also a highly popular hill station is about 50 k.m. from Kalimpong. There is an excellent motorable road scenic and connecting the two hill stations. Roads are the most popular ways to access the hill town. There are large numbers of taxis and jeeps running between Kalimpong and nearby Himalayan towns. Siliguri, a city about 80 k.m. away is the prime gateway to access the hill station. On the outskirts of the city lies the New Jalpaiguri Railway Station, which is the nearest railway station to Kalimpong connecting it to rest of India. It is also possible to get into the tourist town via flights. The Bagdogra Airport, located near Siliguri is the nearest airport and has flights from major Indian cities serving it on regular basis. It is best to avoid the monsoon season as the roads often get blocked because of landslides. The good thing is that there are a number of hotels in Kalimpong that offer transportation services provided one has done advance booking of the rooms.
There are various schools of theories on the meaning of the name “Kalimpong”. The most popular being the “land of Kings” and “hillock of assemblage”. It is believed that the Lepchas (original inhabitants of the place) used to gather in the place for summer sporting events every year. From the belief derived the name Kalenpung, which got distorted to Kalebung and finally contorted to Kalimpong. The place remained under the reign of Sikkimese and Bhutanese till mid-19th century, until the British annexed the place and included it in Indian territory. They used the town as a summer retreat and significantly colonized the areas. They also built several schools and churches which stand today as the mute testimonies of the era of their dominance.
For a tourist there is plenty to explore, discover, and relish. Culture is an important aspect here. The place is known for its colorful festivals and events. The Gompas, temples, and churches are significant constituents of the town’s culture. Buddhist and Christian influence is easily visible everywhere. Visiting the monasteries, churches, and temples is a popular activity amongst tourists. Another popular trend amongst the tourists while they are in Kalimpong is trying the exotic Himalayan cuisine. The specialties of the place are Momo, Thukpa, Wai Wai, Churpee, and Darjeeling tea.
The regular itineraries of Kalimpong tour are: Deolo Hill, Cactus Nursery, Golf Course, Dr Graham’s Homes, Tashi Takgye, Reshi Retreat & Farmhouse, Tharpa Choeling Gompa, Tongsa Gompa, Brang Gompa, Durpin Hill, Nature Interpretation Center, and the main bazzar. All the sightseeing spots are easily accessible from the main bazaar area. It is also the place that has the highest concentration of restaurants, lodges, and budget hotels in Kalimpong.
The best time for planning a tour of the place is during summers. December month is also quite popular as it is the month where falls Christmas Eve, New Year, and many other events celebrated in Kalimpong with utmost joy and fervor.
Author Bio: Sandeep is an experienced travel writer and enthusiast blogger. He has explored many known and less-known places in India in the last 10 years. His experience adds to his expert knowledge on the best hotels, different travel routes through trains, flights, and road. He also specializes in off-beat places to eat and stay at. He also advises amateur tourists on travel tips.