Kalimpong
 

Kalimpong Fact file

Area: 3.5 Sq. miles
Altitude: 1250 metres (4100 ft)
Population: 40,000 (approx)
Climate
Summer: 27C Max - Min 17.2C
Winter: 15C Max - Min 7.2 C
Rainfall: 86.20 inches annually
Best Season
March to mid June & September to December
Clothing: Tropical in summer and light woolen in winter | Language Spoken: English, Gorkha, Bengali & Hindi


At an altitude of 1250m, Kalimpong’s location is ideal for a pleasant , relaxed getaway. Its clement weather has made Kalimpong’s orchids and gladiole well renowned.

Up to the early 1700s, the Kalimpong area was part of the Sikkim raja’s domain.In the early 18th century, the Bhutan king also took it over. In 1865, after the Anglo-Bhutan War , it was annexed to Darjeeling. Scottish Missionaries came here in the late 1800s. The town thrived as a wool trading center with Tibet till 1950s. Today it’s a quiet hill resort and a haven for retired people.

Tharpa Choling Gompa

This monastery belongs to the Yellow Hat (Gelugpa) sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Founded in 1937, it is the repository of old scriptures and docments.

Zong Dog Palri Fo Brang Gomapa

It was built in the mid-70s at Durpin Dara Hill and was consecrated by the Dalai Lama. The gompa is worth a visit for its impressive wall paintings in the prayer room, and a rare three-dimensional mandala upstairs. The mountain views are amazing from Durpin Dara Hill. Here the lofty mountain ridges stand, proud and imposing.

Flower Nurseries

Kalimpong Flower Nurseries

Kalimpong is famous for its flowers and nurseries. The region produces 80% of India’s gladioli and is a significant orchid-growing area. Entire hillsides are blaze with colour during the season.

Sericulture Research Institute

At this institute silkworms are bred and silk is produced as well as herbs and plants. Locate on the road to Darjeeling, the institute can be visited between 9.30 am and 4 pm.

Dr. Graham’s Home

Dr Grahams Homes is a complex for orphans and other deprived children which was founded in 1900 on the lower slopes of Deolo Hill. The chapel above the school dates from 1925 and features beautiful stained-glass windows. Tourists can also visit the fine turn-of-the-century school building. From the school building, it is a further 40 minute walk to the summit of Deolo Hill, where there is a Tourist Bungalow and one can enjoy fine views of Kalimpong from here.

Nature Interpretation Centre

Located on Rinkingpong Road, this centre consists of a number of well-organized dioramas, which depict the effects of human activity on the environment. The centre is open to visitors from Friday to Wednesday from 10 am to 4 pm .

Lava & Kaffer

Lava, situated 30 km east of Kalimpong, is a small village with a Kagyupa gompa. A good time to pay a visit to this town is Tuesday, which happens to be market day. One can also see the summit of Kangchenjunga from Kaffer and is best viewed at sunrise.

Durpin Dara

Monastry at Durpin Dara   Monastry at Durpin Dara

About 5 km from main town, Durpin Hill offers breathtaking view along the Chola range of Sikkim including the Jelepla pass. On the northwest horizon can be seen the panoramic Kanchenjunga range while on the southern horizon looms the Tiger Hill.

Kalimpong Arts & Craft Centre

Situated in the heart of town, this institute produces and sells a wide variety of handicrafts including wall scrolls, masks, jewelry and other artifacts. It was founded in 1897 by Mrs. Catherine Graham with the objective to promote and propagate local handicrafts as well as provide employment opportunities to locals.

Thongsa Gumpa

This monastery is of Bhutanese origin and built around 1692. It is the oldest in Kalimpong.The original structure was destroyed in the inter-clan wars before the British arrived

Catholic Church

The Catholic Church, the largest church in the Kalimpong area, is a revered religious attraction. The church, built during the British rule in 1890, is constructed under the supervision of the British architect Hardy from Edinburgh. This church was open to public for offering prayers in November 1891 after a religious consecration. The architectural style of the church is the one following the western style.

This church benefits the local Roman Catholic populace and has strong influence in the social and cultural activities of the region. The church attracts thousands of devotees all through the year.

Crookety House

Where Helena Roerich, A Russian herbologist and healer came to live with her son Yuri, the Director of the Uruswati. ResearchInstitute, in the year 1947 till her death on 5th April 1955. Helena was the wife of the celebrated Nicholas Roerich, the great Russian Artist, Philosopher and a writer. Helena wrote a number of books including Agni- Yoga.
Her two sons Yuri and Suyatoslav Nikolayevich purchased some land on top of Durpin Hill and built a Stupa in the year 1970 in her memory. The Durpin Monastery next to the Stupa possesses copies of the published writings of Helena that were donated by the Agni-Yoga Society of New- York. Suyatoslav was married to Devika Rani, the first lady of silver screen and grand niece of Noble Laureate Rabindra Nath Tagore.

Macforlane Memorial Church

This imposing Gothic edific built on a hill is visible from many parts of Kalimpong town. The foundation stone was laid on 24th February 1890 by of Melrose. The church opened its door for public worship on 1st November 1891. The church is built in the memory of Reverend William Macforlane.

He was a Scottish missionary who came to live in Kalimpong in 1879 and died on 15th February 1887 at the age of 47.

Mangal Dham

This temple is constructed in the memory of late Guru Shree Mangal Dasji and dedicated to Lord Krishna. Devotees, specially of Pranami Dharma from far away places come to this mandir for prayer and darshan. Services – Orphanage, School, Hospital and Publication of Literature.

Rishyap

Rated as the best and ultimate site in the kalimpong area, it is situated at the height of 8250 ft. About 10 kms away from lava and 28 kms away from Kalimpong. Jeepable roads reach until the last four Km(Up Hill), however electricity has not reached here giving it a medieval sort of charm. The local sherpas and Lepchas have built small cottage type tourist accommodation here. The Department of Tourism, DGHC is keenly promoting this area as a tourist destination. A magnificent view of Himalayas can be seen from here along with a view of the Nathula Pass, Tin Simana, Gangtok and Tibet Hills.

Local Weekly Market

Weekly Markets in Kalimpong which are open on Wednesdays and Saturdays are good places for the Soveigner hunter. Kalimpong offers and wide range of traditional handicrafts to the traveler. Wood carvings, embroidered items bags and purses with Tapestry work, copper ware, scrolls, Tibetan Jewellery and arte facts things that can be picked up from shops and markets across the town.

Pedong Monastery

Pedong Monastery, located at a distance of 20 km east of Kalimpong, is a monastery of Buddhist origin. Built by Bhutan's king in 1837, this monastery is located only a kilometre away from the historical Bhutanese fort of Damsang. This fort was an important landmark of the entire area before the town of Kalimpong came into existence. A large number of old paintings are displayed in this monastery.