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Frequently visited by several tourists as one of the most beautiful hill station in India, Kalimpong is indeed a serene and magnificent town amongst the lower hills of the Himalayas. The town is actually a connecting point of Deolo Hill and Durpin Hill. The excellent view of world’s third highest peak Mt Kanchenjunga, raging rivers, green forests, beautiful scenario of valleys from viewpoints drags the people from all over the world.
Darjeeling used to have over 100 tea-gardens once, but today only around 87 of them are operational, covering an area of 46,950 acres. Over 50,000 workers serve in the plantation and factories of these tea estates. Tea has been a very important part of making a great reputation of Darjeeling because of the world famous aromatic tea which is cultivated here.
Lava is a perfect place for the local tourists for a weekend trip. It is located at the altitude of 7200 ft on the old trade route to Bhutan. Lava is a place with sublime natural beauty and serenity. Neora Valley National Park and Rachela Pass are easily accessible from here.
It is another beautiful location near Kalimpong is Loleygaon. It is around 24 km away from Lava and most of the tourists cover both these places in a single day. Apart from the scenic beauty of the Himalayan hills, this place is famous because of beautiful deep jungle.
Located at an altitude of 8500 ft, Rishop is at around 2 hours driving distance from Kalimpong. Very few places are there like Rishop that offers a 360 degree clear view of the Himalayan region. As a part of Neora Valley, it also executes variety of flora and fauna.
Trip to Pedong is a day’s trip from Kalimpong towards Lava. This place, having a historical importance too with natural beauty, offer chance to some short trek routes to Nathu La and Jelep La.
Needless to say, ‘the city of flowers’, Kalimpong is loved by tourists for executing huge number of flowers of different colours and species. Kalimpong produces 80% of India’s Gladioli and having numerous nurseries which produce and export exotic flowers like Roses, Gerberas, Dahlias, Amaryllis, and Lilies etc. along with some beautiful varieties of orchids and cacti.
This is a famous school in Kalimpong, established by Dr. John Anderson Graham, a Scottish Missionary with six orphans. Dr. Graham’s Home is a self sufficient School with its own Hostels, Cottages, Stuff Quarters, Chapel, Farmhouse, Workshop, Hospital, Bakery, Dairy, Poultry etc. A festival called ‘May Fair’ is organised every year by the school management.
On the top of Durpin Dara, there is a monastery, built during the mid seventies. Zong Dog palri Fo-Brang Monastery was consecrated by the Dalai Lama and is finely decorated by impressive wall paintings with a rare three dimensional Mandala upstairs.
Deolo Hill is a great place for a day’s out and to observe the surrounding hills, jungle, Teesta and Relli rivers, towns and villages of Kalimpong. People also arrange for picnics in this spot.
Since its establishment, the Gaden Tharpa Choling Monastery is increasing the consciousness about Buddhism among local people. It has vast historical significance with old scriptures and statue of Lord Buddha.
A type of herb from the species Daphne, known as Argalee (local name) or Lokta (in Nepal), is found in the area between 2000 m and 3000m of Himalayan region. The locals here use a part of this herb to manufacture handmade paper in Japanese style. Lampshades, bags, writing pads, envelopes, notebooks, files, greeting cards, wedding cards etc. are made with differently coloured and designed papers.
Trongsa Gumba is the oldest monastery in Kalimpong. It was built during 1692, near the Mangal Dham, a Hindu temple covering an area of 2 acres. It was built in memory of Guruji Shri Mangal Dasji Maharaj, who created orphanages, temples and schools and dedicated his life in social welfare.
Lepchas are said to be the original inhabitants of Darjeeling and Sikkim. If you ever desire to study about their culture and lifestyle or something else, Lepcha Museum has various articles of interest about people of this community and their lives, their worship style, their original instruments etc.
Neora National Park preserves large variety of flora and fauna. Spreading over 90 sq km of rocky terrain, dense forest and undisturbed natural environment, the park provides shelter to many endangered animals like red panda, black bear, golden cat etc. along with a huge number of birds.