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Kanika Nevatia Oct 17 2014

10 reasons to visit Kalimpong

Debangana Sen Oct 17 2014
1 person found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

Though Kalimpong in West Bengal, has a lot going on for it, here’s presenting the top 10 reasons to visit Kalimpong. A part of the Darjeeling District, this hill station is unsurprisingly resplendent with natural beauty. And there’s a lot more in store for you here.


Kanchenjunga viewed from Kalimpong (from the official Facebook page)


Nature

Nestled in the verdant mid-ranges of Himalayas with a stunning backdrop of the snow-capped peaks and (of course) Mount Kanchenjunga, Kalimpong is a guaranteed treat for any nature lover. What you can expect is a picture postcard view of dense forests, deserted trails lined by towering trees, mountains and valleys sprinkled with wildflowers (especially during Feb-April). Delo House is the best spot to experience the magic of this hill station.


Kalimpong panorama (by Anuj Kumar Pradhan)


Wildlife

Being such a beautiful nature spot, it automatically follows that Kalimpong will have a decent size of wildlife residing within its lush territories. You can easily spot a red panda, Himalayan tahr, barking deers and goral gaurs. However, the region is also known to contain clouded leopard, Asiatic black bears and pangolins, which might be a tad more harder to spot. As far as the avifauna is concerned, you might catch glimpses of woodpeckers, orioles, partridges, sunbirds, flycatchers, pheasants and warblers. Avail one of the Kalimpong packages, if you are visiting the town shortly and wish to explore of the natural wealth of the region.


A red panda (by Harlequeen)


Heritage

The colourful history of Kalimpong Town is reflected in many of its buildings and customs. You can find an interesting mix of Bhutanese, Tibetan and colonial architecture. Some places not to be missed are: Tsonga Gumba (oldest Bhutanese monastery in the district), Lepcha Museum, Macfarlane Church, Tharpa Choling Monastery and Zang Dhok Palri Monastery.


Tharpa Choling Monastery (by rajkumar1220)


Tea


The entire Darjeeling Himalayan hill region is world famous for its tea. And Kalimpong contributes upto 4% of the total production. You will find most of the tea gardens on the western side of the Teesta River. Spread as far as the eye can see, the lush emerald beauty of the tea gardens are a delight to visit. This area is also famous for its ginger and orange production.


a tea flower (by Kristian Frisk)


Flowers


Kalimpong is more famous for its flower export industry. During season, you will come across numerous commercial flower nurseries and kiosks that display a beautiful and exotic array of flowers. Of these, orchids and gladiolus are predominantly displayed. You can also buy the rare Himalayan flower bulbs.

An indigenous orchid (by Alberto Salguero)


Food


For those willing to experiment, the region offers a very different and delightful cuisine that is both simple and appetising. You should try the cheese, momos and thukpa and lollipops! Speaking of cheese, this is the only place in India where you’ll get aged cheese—an almost European-like hard cheese with a mild flavour. In fact, the cheese itself is one of the top 10 reasons to visit Kalimpong. A majority of the eateries in Kalimpong serve the local cuisines. Take a halt from the tour schedule and relish the savories.

Thukpa (by Heidigutierrez)

China Garden serves the best chicken lollipops and mei foon (thin rice noodles served with vegetables and/or meat) that you’ll ever taste. Make sure you reach before 8 PM or you’ll have to suffer through long queues or possible disappointment, as the town closes down quite early. For momos, Gompu is your place.


Hiking

This is also an awesome place for hikers. Kalimpong is gradually evolving a hiking culture to attract more tourists. You will find flyers circulating in almost every hotel with names of tour operators printed on them. If you wish to go solo, you can pretty much go in any direction. There are enough woods surrounding the town and numerous quaint villages that make for a lovely day trip. And if you wish to go the extra mile, a trek to Pedong, or the 3 km trek from Lava to Rishop are both highly recommended. If possible try and spend a night or two at these places—they are totally worth it.

A scenic route in Kalimpong (by Tanmoy Bhaduri)


Adventure

Hiking is not the only activity you can try out here. From Paragliding and white-water rafting to golfing and fishing, Kalimpong presents a lot of recreational activities. You can also take a ride on the Samco Ropeway that’ll take you all the way to Siliguri. The views are simply unmatched and unforgettable. Here is a list of more things to do in Kalimpong.

White water rafting (by Rob Chandler)


Art and Craft

This pretty hill station can be a shopper’s paradise. You will find endless number of kiosks selling a wide range of traditional handicrafts, embroidered items, copper ware, scrolls, wood-carvings, bags and purses with tapestry work, Tibetan jewellery, paintings and artifacts. You must pay a visit to the Tashi Takgye (Colour House) located on Rishi Road, close to the Power Station. The prices here are usually 2-3 times cheaper than anywhere else in Kalimpong.

A Buddhist mandala (by Rfdarsie)


Ethnic Diversity

Kalimpong is well known for its cultural and ethnic diversity. Though it is predominantly populated by Nepalese, you will also find various indigenous ethnic groups like Bhutias, Sherpas, Tamangs, Limbus, Rais, etc. Other non-native groups include Bengalis, Biharis, Chinese, and Tibetans. All these groups and communities lend their own colours and culture to the eclectic cultural pot of Kalimpong.

Limbu women (by Ashishlohorung)

Additionally, since Darjeeling is just 21 km from Kalimpong, so you can also include the popular hill station in your Kalimpong tour. Hire one of the Kalimpong to Darjeeling cabs; it takes a little more than 30 minutes to cover the distance.
These were the top 10 reasons to visit Kalimpong. So pack your bags and get ready to make memories of a lifetime!

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