Kalimpong

Kalimpong is in Darjeeling district in the northern part of West Bengal, India.

Get in

Kalimpong is accessible mainly by Jeep, due to the winding mountain roads. There is frequent transportation to and from nearby cities such as Darjeeling and Gangtok (Deorali Bus Stand), where one can book a 3.5 hour ride by shared Jeep for ₹130. Booking is not required ahead of time, but is advisable if it is urgent.

In addition to Jeeps, regular buses provide direct access to and from the transportation hub Siliguri for ₹130 and a 3 hour trip, or even slightly further to New Jalpaiguri Railway Station for ₹140 and an extra 10-20 minutes from Siliguri. The nearest airport from Kalimpong, Bagdogra Airport, is also close to Siliguri and can be accessed from there by taxi.

Get around

Kalimpong is a small and walkable city. The main form of transportation within Kalimpong is taxi and auto-rickshaw. The main bus stand is located close to Damber Chowk.

See

Kalimpong has less to see than Darjeeling but is, in comparison, quiet and pleasant to walk around and explore. There are a number of religious sites to see, including Zang Dhok Palri Phodang monastery, Tharpa Choling Monastery, Mangal Dham and MacFarlane Church.

There is also Gauripur House (home of the great Bengali poet Ravindra Nath Tagore) and Graham's House, a complex with a large school, Christian church and several homes in the English style.

Kalimpong is situated between two hills which, on a clear morning, provide views of Kanchenjunga. Deolo Hill provides the most sweeping panoramic views and also has a guesthouse. Durpin Dara is the other hill, which has the Zang Dhok Palri Phodang Monastery.

The climate of Kalimpong is ideal for the cultivations of horticultural plants. There are various nurseries here which house varieties of exquisite orchids, gladioli, marigolds, amaryllis and many other flowers. Some nurseries here are:

Kalimpong has many temples, churches, monasteries and one mosque too. Some major ones are:

Mangal Dham

With lush greenery and a refreshing climate, time well spent in Kalimpong is in wonderful parks, gardens and amidst serene hills

Deolo Hill

There are also some historical British colonial houses and other sites of historical importance in the town some of which have been transformed into lodges:

Morgan House

One can also pay a visit to some school campuses and appreciate the architecture and look of these institutions left by the founder Europeans such as:

Other notable places to visit are -

Pinewood Cactus Nusery

Do

Buy

The shops in Kalimpong traditionally serve the local economy. Most of the Tibetan shops along 10th Mile Rishi Road, and R.C. Mintri Road.

The Haat Bazar, just off Relly Road, down the hill from the bus stand, occurs every Wednesday and Saturday and is a vibrant market with mainly clothing and vegetable stands. Food stands serve plates of momo for ₹10, as well as a delectable local pasta.

Don't hesitate to bargain -- you can haggle quite a bit. Or if you are adventurous, just walk a bit more to the wholesale market (just around the corner from the main street). Its fixed price, but you won't get a better deal anywhere else in town. To buy clothes all you have to do is to visit R.C. Mintri road full of marwadis. Don't leave Kalimpong without tasting locally made lollipops.

Tashi Takgye (Colour House) 03552-256897/9434007076, at 10th Mile, Rishi Road, about 1km from Damber Chowk. This is a fixed price shop with extremely reasonable prices. You can get paintings, statues, wall hanging, knives, porcelain, crystal, thankhas, dragons, items made from bone, masks, souvenirs, etc. It's the wholesale supplier/importer/exporter for the northern region. Prices here are usually 2-3 times cheaper than anywhere else in the region.

Thangka House on 10th Mile, Rishi Road. This shop contains small souvenirs, as well as beautiful art such as thangkas and authentic hand paintings. They also have postcards and an assortment of prints for sale, which are cheaper than the hand paintings.

Eat

For veg momos you should visit Sagar, Evergreen (on the Main Road), Unique, Shikhar, Mohan Daju and all the hawkers (thela walas).

Kalimpong produces the only aged cheese made in India. It's delicious: the texture of a hard European cheese and a mild, almost parmesan-like flavour

Drink

There are a few bars in town, or just buy something from the liquor shop around the main stand near the bazaar.

Sleep

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This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Friday, March 04, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.