A subdivision of Darjeeling Kalimpong is a small but beautiful settlement. It is in the district of Darjeeling in the state of West Bengal, India. Kalimpong is a pretty old town that lies in the old silk route. Silk route was actually the route in the prehistoric age through which trading and migration took place till 1947. Kalimpong is ideally located in a strategic location and it has road network with all the places of interest nearby like Pelling, Gangtok, Darjeeling, Lava, Lolaygaon, Peshok, Dooars, etc. Pelling, Gangtok, Darjeeling, Lava, Lolaygaon, Peshok, Dooars are some of the tourist hot spot of the region. Close to Kalimpong is the Neora National Park. The stretch towards any of the tourist spot nearby are scenic and the drive enjoyable hence all agents try to link Kalimpong to their packages. Kalimpong can be reached from Siliguri or Gangtok by national highway number 31 A which run along the River Teesta adding to the beauty of the drive. The lush green valleys in and near Kalimpong is soothing and it’s ideal for leisure holiday. Kalimpong is situated at an altitude of nearly 1250 meters. There are few locations nearby which offers excellent views of the Mount Kanchenjunga and the other Himalayan peaks specially Deollo. Some of the popular view points are Durpin Dara, Dr. Grahams Home, Dello and Deoro Hill. Kalimpong has several monasteries, churches and also a Kali, Hanuman temple. There are a few nurseries, a curio center, Dr Graham's home are important stops and another stop worth mentioning is the local market place. Lava is nearly 35 kilometers and is 1 ½ hours drive by car through scenic road; a small settlement with a monastery and few view point is another picturesque place. Lava also serves as the base for trekking to the Neora National Park. Lolaygaon is 25 kilometers from Lava and the road is through huge pine forest and one can view the Singalila ranges from here. Rishyap is also a nice destination nearby. Pedong is one more settlement away from the crowd
Most Popular Places in Kalimpong
Deolo hill : Deolo Hill, located to the north-east of the town, is one of the two hills in between which the town of Kalimpong stands. The hill is also the highest point of Kalimpong town, with a height reaching up to1,704metre above mean sea level. Out of the three water reservoirs located within the destination, two of which are primary source of drinking water, are located atop this hill.
From the top of this hill, tourists can enjoy beautiful views of the surrounding villages of Relli valley and Teesta River along with the town of Kalimpong. In addition, there is a park located at the summit of this hill, which is constructed for recreational purposes.
St. Teresa Church : A fascinating missionary church built in 1929 by Swiss Jesuits, St Teresa was constructed to incorporate designs from a Bhutanese gompa. The wooden apostles resemble Buddhist monks, and carvings on the doors resemble the tashitagye, eight auspicious symbols of Himalayan Buddhism. The church is off 9th Mile, about 2km from town. If it's locked, ask the next-door neighbours.
Dr. Graham Homes : This orphanage and school was built in 1900 by Dr JA Graham, a Scottish missionary, to educate children of tea-estate workers, and now has 1300-odd students. There’s a museum that commemorates Graham and his wife, Katherine. The 1925 chapel above the school seems lifted straight out of a Scotland parish, with its grey slate, spire and fine stained-glass windows.
Pine View Nurseries : Kalimpong is a major flower exporter and produces about 80% of India’s gladioli as well as many orchid varieties. Visit Pine View Nursery to gaze at its eminently photographable cactus collection.
Shanti Kunj Nursery : Kalimpong is a major flower exporter and produces about 80% of India’s gladioli as well as many orchid varieties. Visit Santi Kunj to see anthuriums and the bird of paradise flower (bulbs are also sold here).
Neora Valley National Park :This birding haven lies in the vicinity of Lava, a town about 40km from Kalimpong, and is home to red pandas, clouded leopards and countless species of woodpeckers, owls, pigeons, eagles, warblers, babblers and finches. A return taxi to the park from Kalimpong costs about ₹2000. It’s 'closedduring theheavymonsoon months.
LAVA : A journey of 105 kilometers from Siliguri via Kalimpong will take you amidst the exotic natural beauty. Located at an altitude of 7100ft, the quint hamet Lava is surrounded by large tracts of virgin forests. TheNeora Valley National Park is close by and is a wildlife reserve. The views of Jelep-la and Rechi-la passes are very attractive from this province. Lava is a quiet and romantic place as it is situated in the dense forest of Pine and Juniper. There are a huge number of orchids as well. Lava has been on the birding map for many years. The best spot around Lava for birding walk is in the Rachet Reserve Forest, Rangbang Valley, Upper Rishi Valley, and Neora Valley, providing good birding treks. Hill Partridge, Kalij Pheasant, Darjeeling Woodpecker, Great Barbet, Golden Throated Barbet, Drongo Cuckoo, Tawny Owl, Eurasian Sparrow hawk, Black Eagle, Common Kestrel, Common Green Magpie, Grey Tree pie are some important species found in the region.
Lolegaon : One of the least trodden hamlets in the hidden Kalimpong hill, Lolegaon is a stunning offbeat tourist destination. If you are looking for a break from the modernized travel destinations and want to spend few leisurely days in the vast natural canvas thrown open before you, Lolegaon is the best bet. Nestled atop a flat hill on a forested ridge at an altitude of 5500ft Loleygaon / Lolegaon is a place of ethereal wilderness and tranquility.
Basically a small Lepcha village also known as Kafer, Lolegaon is a recent inclusion in tourism map of West Bengal for its magnificent view of Greater Himalayan snow ranges that spreads over the entire horizon. Viewing sunrise over the snow peaks from Jhandidara - a wooded hilltop - is perhaps the most treasured memory of being at Lolegaon. In a clear day all major peaks of Kanchenjunga massif can be seen from here. Even the glorious Mt Everest can be seen from Jhandi Dara (Jhandi = Flag, Dara = Top) as your eyes sweep across the layers of mountains and valleys and reach the distant corner, where the highest peak in the world is touched by the first rays of the Sun.
Lolegaon is a fabulous destination for the lovers of wildlife in their natural habitat. The age-old forest of towering pine, cypress and oaks with their mossy trunk is an ideal place for watching endangered Himalayan species like black bear and mountain goats, numerous colourful birds and butterflies and rare orchids. The Heritage Forestat 10 minutes walking distance is the place to feel the exquisite wealth that nature has showered here. The hanging foot bridge over the canopy of huge trees is a special attraction. Popularly known as 'The Canopy Walk' it offers an unforgettable experience, which allows you to get close to the trees.
Lolegaon offers some exciting short treks in the remote Kalimpong hills. A day trek to Samthar or Relly in the unseen lower Himalayas can be a real opportunity to know the different aspects of lives in Indian countryside.
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