Things To Do In Kalimpong, A Paradise For Nature Lovers
Kalimpong is a tiny hill station nestled in the northern region of Darjeeling in the state of West Bengal. Surrounded by majestic mountains, lush tropical gardens, and crystal-clear lakes – Kalimpong is a paradise for people who love nature. Whether you are an adventure lover, want to enjoy the sweeping views of the mountains, eat mouth-watering food, or visit the beautiful temples and monasteries – there is no dearth of things to do in Kalimpong.
Top 6 Things to do at Kalimpong
1. Visit the beautiful Deolo Hill
Deolo Hills, the highest point in Kalimpong offers you a chance to witness the majestic views of the valley from a staggering 1700 meters. You can even identify the tiny villages and gorgeous cities located near the town from here, and if you are chasing some thrilling adventures – make sure you try paragliding, trekking, and horse riding.
The hills are surrounded by a freshwater reservoir where you can enjoy a small picnic with your family or loved ones. There’s also a recreational park at the top which is perfect for admiring the captivating vistas around. If you want to catch the best views, make sure you go to the hill at sunrise when the stunning tangerine ball rises from the horizon.
2. Witness the most unique flowers in Cactus Nursery
One of the largest commercial flower nurseries in Kalimpong, the Cactus Nursery features a vast collection of exotic flowers and gorgeous plants that will take your breath away. It’s a wonderful place for kids to learn about nature and conservation, as the nursery houses some of the rarest orchid plants and cactuses in the country.
The complex is flanked by majestic hills and panoramic views. Most of the tourists come here to enjoy the natural beauty and serene environment. You can also find exotic colourful flowers near the nursery.
3. Soak in the breathtaking beauty of Durpin Dara Hill
Duprin Dara Hill, located in the South of the town, is the second highest mountain range in the region. The hill offers panoramic views of the scenic landscapes, justifying the meaning of its name in Nepali- binocular. From here, you can witness the untouched beauty of the Kanchenjunga Mountain range, further adorned by the rivers Teesta and Rangeet. You can also capture the magnificent views of the neighboring areas like Peshoke tea estate, western Sikkim, Takdah cantonment, Nathu-la, Tiger hill top, Siliguri, Kurseong, among others.
This is also home to the Durpin Monastery which is known to leave its visitors spellbound with intricate prayer wheels and two strikingly large cylinders that fill the air with melodic bells with every turn. You can also see the very rare Buddhist manuscripts on Tibetology that His Holiness the Dalai Lama presented on visiting Kalimpong in 1956.
4. Explore Zong Dog Palri Fo Brand Gompa
The ancient Buddisht monastery built in 1975 under the guidance of His Holiness the Dalai Lama is a testament to the stunning Buddhist architecture. The monastery holds a special place in the hearts of devotees of the religion and people often come here to enjoy the serene and spiritual environment of this place.
Zong Dog Palri is a major religious center in Kalimpong and displays over 110 published texts, along with many ancient paintings related to the religion. The sculptured walls and pillows are worth admiring, but you will also get a chance to connect with your soul and mind.
Located 50 km from Darjeeling, Crockety is a British cottage initially built in the pre-independence era. At some point during the early 1900s, Crockety functioned as a trade house and acted as a hub for wool merchants from all over the world. The architectural style of the building shows a unique confluence of British motifs with traditional elements, and the cottage is surrounded by lush green, well-maintained gardens and lawns. It receives tourists all over the year because of its mesmerizing beauty and rare location.
The cottage offers an awe-inspiring view of the valleys. If you love photography or are a nature enthusiast, Crockety is well worth a visit.
6. Visit the haunted Morgan house
We have all watched movies where an old house in the hills is haunted by ghosts. Now you can visit a house that is believed to be haunted in reality. The colonial house built by Mr. and Mrs. Morgan in the early 1930s is such an example. The locals have numerous legends about the house and its ghosts, hence the name – Morgan House.
But the main reason you should visit this building is its stunning architecture and precious location. Inspired by colonial elements, the style of the building is worth admiring. And it sits right in the lap of gorgeous hills, so you can enjoy the beautiful landscape around too. Witness undulating hills and walk through the mesmerizing coniferous forests nearby to get a dose of unadulterated nature.
Since its conversion into a hotel, Morgan House is run by West Bengal Tourism Department. You can still enter the complex and take a walk around, but you cannot go upstairs.
Best time to visit Kalimpong
The weather in Kalimpong usually remains pleasant and lovely throughout the year in Kalimpong. But the best time to visit the hill station is between March and May, that is during the summer.
Since the town is perched at a height of 1250 meters above sea level, it receives heavy rainfall from June to September which can lead to cancelled flights, landslides, and road blockages. This is why some travelers consider the monsoon months risky for visiting this place. On the other hand, from October to February, the temperature drops below sub zero and there may be snowfall too. If you don’t mind the cold, you can visit Kalimpong during this time, but make sure you carry snuggly jackets and sweaters with you.
Weather is the most ideal in the months from March to May when the temperature is a pleasant 15-25 degrees and it is neither too cold, nor too hot to enjoy the lovely sights. A cool breeze can be felt during summer, and you will also get to enjoy clear views of the Kanchenjunga mountain – something that is impossible during the other two seasons.
Where to eat in Kalimpong
Famous for momos, thukpa, and finest Darjeeling tea – Kalimpong has a variety of local food options. Here are some of the best restaurants where you can enjoy these delicacies:
1. King Thai
offering Chinese, Thai, and Indian cuisines, King Thai is an elegant property where you can eat without burning a hole in your pocket.
2. China Garden Restaurant
This cozy place has a peppy vibe and is located near Motor Stand. It serves Chinese dishes like Chicken Drumsticks at affordable prices.
3. Fresh Bite Restaurant
Enjoy Indian and Continental dishes like Miso soup and Crispy bacon strips at this lovely restaurant in Town Center.
Enjoy unique Chinese dishes at this beautiful restaurant with all red interiors. Famous items include mum wontons, also known as dumplings fried in egg and mun chu nyuk which is essentially red pork.
5. Ni Hao Restaurant
Enjoy the sizeable portions of Chinese food at this laid-back restaurant which is located just a few minutes from Rishi Road. If you do go here, make sure you try chow mein and the handmade noodles.
How to reach Kalimpong
The city does not have an airport of its own. The nearest airport is Bagdogra airport in Siliguri, which is 43 kilometers from Kalimpong. You can get flights from all major cities to Bagdogra airport, and from here you can take a taxi to Kalimpong. It will take 2 hours for a taxi to drop you off in Kalimpong.
The city is also connected to Gangtok, Darjeeling, and Siliguri via motorable roads. In fact, a road trip is highly recommended from Darjeeling, as it offers sweeping views of the hills. The nearest railway station to Kalimpong is in New Jalpaiguri which is 72 km away. It is connected to all major Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore among others.
The long-forgotten town of Kalimpong is ideal for enjoying the unadulterated natural beauty, without having to deal with crowded tourist attractions. The beautiful town is dotted with verdant greenery, deep woods, and rice paddies that will take your breath away. Enjoy lovely views of Kanchenjunga mountain covered with pristine white snow and explore the attractions and vantage points all around the town. Happy vacationing!