Friday, April 15, 2011

Tourism In Kalimpong : Introduction, History, Places to visit near Kalimpong ( MacFarlane Church, Durpin Dara, Deolo Hill, etc), Map


Area :36,021 sq. km
Language:Bengali, Nepali, Hindi and English
Best time to visit:April-June
STD Code :03552

The first thing that strikes the traveler visiting Kalimpong is its quiet atmosphere. The peaceful ambience that pervades is heightened by the presence of monasteries and churches across the town. Kalimpong is also known for its bustling bazaars and traditional handicrafts. It is famous for its orchids and nurseries. Kalimpong offers panoramic view of the great Himalayan ranges that lie beyond it.


The etymology of Kalimpong has several interpretations. According to one view, Kalimpong means a place where tribesmen gather and organize traditional tribal games. The second view suggests that the name has been derived from a place in Bhutan. A third interpretation is that Kalimpong is named after Kaulim, a fibrous plant found in abundance in this region.

Until the 18th century AD, Kalimpong was a part of the Kingdom of Sikkim and was ruled by Sikkimese rulers. It was then taken over by the Bhutanese. In the 19th century, the British took over Kalimpong and merged into the present Indian state of West Bengal.

Places to visit in and around Kalimpong:

The MacFarlane Church: a testimony of the Scottish missionaries’ influence and a monument of Kalimpong’s diverse history, Dr. Graham’s Home, which was founded in 1880 by Dr. John A. Graham, is a sprawling educational institution built on Deolo Hill north of the main township. It stands testimony to Kalimpong’s European influence. It has its own dairy, bakery, poultry farm and vegetable gardens. It is a fitting example of community life, an enthralling experience indeed.

Durpin Dara: 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.

Zong Dhog Palri Fo Brang monastery: situated near Durpin Dara is another attraction of the area. Tharpa Choeling monastery, built in 1937, belongs to the yellow hut sect of lamas and is another must see. It is situated on Tirpai hill, about 2 km from the main town.

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 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.

Deolo 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 Khangchendzonga massif is a marvelous example of nature at her best, a heart stopping sight indeed.

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. It is the ground floor of the Dham, where lies the "samadhi" of their revered Guruji. 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.

List Of Hotels

Hotel Garden Reach
Hotel Tres
The Himalayan Hotel
Hotel Garden Reach
Hotel Kanhaa Deluxe
Hotel Sonar Bangla-Rishyap
The Soods Garden Retreat

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