Kalimpong hill town is worth visiting due to its charming beauty and attractive culture. People of various religions are living in unity and harmony without any discrimination based on creed, religion, or language. The popular language is Nepali, but tourists can speak English, Bengali, Limbu, and Lepcha. To reach Kalimpong, the nearest airport is Bagdogra International Airport, which is just 10 km from Siliguri, and buses or cabs are readily available for Kalimpong. The nearest railway station is Jalpaiguri railway station, which is 70km from Kalimpong. In this article, we will discuss 7 places to visit Kalimpong that you must add to your itinerary.
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Kalimpong is located on the north edge of West Bengal in the foothills of the Himalayas and is just 53 km away from the popular hill station, Darjeeling. Kalimpong is also a famous hill station and has spectacular views of snow-cladded Himalayan mountains. This hill resort is situated east of the river Teesta, and the destination has great tourist attractions due to multiple reasons, such as its dense forest, which is unaffected by pollution, back view of the Himalayan mountains, vast green meadows, and chilling weather, which make it popular among tourists. This town is also well known for various handicrafts, among which Tibetan and Lepcha jewelry, wooden carvings, metal crafts, and wooden masks are in high demand.
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What is the best time to visit Kalimpong?
Kalimpong is an attractive hill station, especially for couples looking to spend their honeymoon in a clean and picturesque town. It can be visited throughout the year, but March to May and then September to December are considered the ideal months to visit this amazing tourist attraction.
1. Delo Park
Delo Park is situated on top of Deolo Hill. Kalimpong is situated between two hills, Durpin and Deolo, and Delo Park is situated 10 km away from the local bus station at Deolo hilltop. This hill is 1704 meters above sea level and is considered the highest point in Kalimpong. From this highest point, you can enjoy a 360-degree view of Kalimpong, the river Teesta, and the villages of the Relli valleys. There are 3 water reservoirs on this hill, and 2 are used to provide water for the whole of Kalimpong town. This park is my favorite among places to visit Kalimpong.
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This park is an excellent place to visit for a family picnic, as on this high peak, the park has a garden full of thousands of types of plants and flowers that give you fresh air to enjoy, and you can enjoy leisure time in natural beauty. For adventure seekers, the park has facilities for horseback riding, paragliding, and trekking.
A signboard for “I Love Kalimpong” is in the center of the park that illuminates the night and is a great point to capture beautiful pictures with this nice background. There is also a restaurant to enjoy food and to take a stay on this top to enjoy the beauty of the surroundings. Tourists can also take a visit to Hanuman Temple and Shiva Temple, located on this hilltop. Overall, this park is a must-visit picnic spot in Kalimpong with family and friends.
The park opens from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. for a whole week, and as an Indian, you have to pay INR 20 rupees as entry charges, but as a foreigner, you have to pay INR 50. Horse riding is available only in 100, and for paragliding, the charges are INR 3500. These prices can change with time.
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2. Neora Valley National Park
Neora Valley National Park is 30 km away from Kalimpong town and a haven for bird lovers and nature enthusiasts. Here you will find a chance to spot wildlife up close. This park is named after the river Neora, which flows through it. The dense forest of the park is popular due to its diverse flora and fauna living in their natural habitat in a picturesque place.
This park has the rare and elegant species of red panda, leopard cats, and various birds, such as owls, pigeons, woodpeckers, and butterflies, in abundance. It can also be watched in this wildlife sanctuary. The alluring voices of chirping birds and colorful butterflies attract thousands of visitors each year. Here, you can take a jeep safari with a guide to explore the park in an illustrative way.
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Due to heavy rain in the monsoon season, this park remains closed from June 15th until September 15th. Otherwise, you can visit this amazing park throughout the year. However, to watch the mesmerizing view of butterflies, the spring season is best when flowers bloom fully, and the chances of spotting this colorful creature are enhanced. This park is a rich biological zone in Kalimpong district and favorite among places to visit Kalimpong.
The visiting hours of this park are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and INR 130 entry charges are applied for Indian tourists, but foreigners have to pay INR 1500 for entry. Jeep charges are applied separately.
3. Teesta River Rafting
On the list of among places to visit Kalimpong and things to do, river rafting is the most popular and enjoyable water sport for adventure lovers. Teesta River is a leading destination for this whitewater rafting. Thus, the experience is full of excitement and thrill as you will enjoy the beautiful scenery of high mountains covered with lush green plants on both sides of the river.
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During this trip to the river, tourists also enjoy spotting various species of fish and birds. Pristine white water with full sunshine and mesmerizing views of mountains is a lifetime adventure to experience in Kalimpong. The best season to enjoy this rafting is from March to June, as the weather in these months becomes moderate. In the monsoon season, this adventure is not suitable due to heavy rainfall and slight storms, and in cold weather, it can also be inconvenient.
There are various points from which you can start your rafting tour, but generally, the most popular track for non-swimmers is from Melli Bridge to Geilkhola. This route is 12km long and takes 1 to 2 hours to cover. The price for river rafting depends on the route length, duration, and number of people at one time. Apply sunscreen to your face to avoid the effects of sun rays during rafting, and wear comfortable clothes so that you can move easily without any hassle.
4. Morgan House
Morgan House is a commendable place for a cozy stay in a picturesque location and very close to Durpin Dara Hilltop. Due to being located on the top of a mountain on the golf course of Kalimpong, this hotel gives a spectacular view of the entire valley. Lush green gardens and tall trees make it quite scenic and peaceful to stay.
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This lodge was built in the 1930s for a British couple who used this property to spend the summer months in this chilly area and often used it for parties. But later on, after 1947, this property was handed over to the government. Now, the West Bengal Tourism Department Corporation looks after this property, and it’s a great attraction for tourists to stay during their trip to Kalimpong.
This is an affordable accommodation option, and the room service is also excellent and favorite among places to visit Kalimpong. The entire building consists of rooms and 6 cottages with an online booking facility. Food quality is also excellent and affordable. This tourist lodge has a Kalimpong cantonment area in its surroundings. In the past, it was known as Singamari Tourist Lodge or Durpin Tourist Lodge.
5. Pine View Nursery
Pine View Nursery, or you can also say Cactus Nursery, due to its extensive collection of cacti, is a must-visit place in Kalimpong, especially for plant lovers. This nursery is just 2.5 km away from Kalimpong bus station on Atisha Road. The beauty and attraction of this spot is a wide and unique species of cactus.
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It was established by a single person, Mr. Mohan Spradhan, in 1971. He left his orchid business and focused his passion on cacti by collecting various types of cacti from all over North and South America during his business trips and then planting all these on his horse farm.
Due to its large collection, this nursery is known as the largest collection of cacti in the whole of Asia, and it has more than 1500 species of this unique plant. Due to its achievements, it has been awarded various national and international awards. The whole nursery is spread over 2 acres, and a resort is also inside it that provides accommodation and food for visitors.
You can also buy some unique plants from this nursery. It opens from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the entire week, and there is only an entry fee of INR 20.
6. Kalimpong Science Centre
Kalimpong Science Centre, or Kalimpong Science City, is situated near Deolo Hill and 9 km away from Kalimpong bus station. This science centre is a must among places to visit Kalimpong and is amazing to visit, especially since it is beneficial for students and children, as inside the museum, you will get to know about a lot of scientific knowledge.
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The museum has various scientific objects and observations on its premises, and a 3D movie theater is also there to present the shows on scientific knowledge. This museum was built in 2008 by the National Council of Science Museums in West Bengal, and its main purpose was to promote knowledge about scientific research to all local people. From this museum, you can enjoy a scenic view of Kanchenjunga Mountain.
This spot also provides information about the lives of various scientists and their work in this field. Amidst the lush green surroundings, this place gives ample time to walk and observe the museum. In outside gardens, various outdoor activities are available for children, such as swings, sea saws, climbing ropes, and huge dinosaur statues that are placed in the garden to make it interesting for visitors.
This science center is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. On Sunday, it remains open for 24 hours, and then on Monday, it remains closed. Entry fee is INR 10 for observing the objects in the museum, and for 3D theater, charges are INR 30 per head.
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7. Lepcha Museum
Lepcha Museum is situated 1km away from Kalimpong bus station and is a visiting place for those who want to know about the culture and traditions of the Lepcha community, as it is the only Lepcha Museum that Shri Sonam Lepcha developed, which was handled single-handed until his death. He died on July 30, 2020, due to a cardiac arrest.
It was an effort to preserve the culture and history of the Lepcha community, who were originally residents of Kalimpong but later resided in Darjeeling, Nepal, and Bhutan. This museum has a treasure trove of Lepcha musical instruments, manuscripts, and handicrafts. Surrounded by the Himalayas, this place is a great attraction for tourists. You should always make a priority to add this museum among places to visit Kalimpong.
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Despite being old, Shri Sonam was also an expert in playing musical instruments. He was awarded a Padmashree in 2007, Banga Bhushan, and several other awards due to his contribution to folk music. This place is the best place to learn about the Lepcha community and presents a lot to explore. The place also has scenic beauty due to its pristine location.
The museum has visiting hours from 10:30 to 4:30. It remains closed on Saturday and Sunday.
Which cuisine is famous in Kalimpong?
The cuisine of Kalimpong has delicious Indian food, and local dishes are also delightful. Generally, thukpa, sephale, shel-roti, and different types of sauces are famous in Kalimpong. From these food items, Thukpa and Momos are considered a specialty of the town. Churpee is also a famous cuisine that is made of special cheese made from Yak’s milk.
What is the specialty of Kalimpong?
Kalimpong is famous for its natural beauty and serenity. It has various types of flowering plants, and roses, orchids, and gladioli cacti are the special attractions of the town. Its main popularity is due to Pine View Nursery, which has the widest collection of cactus species in Asia.
Who discovered Kalimpong?
In 1865, the town was under the control of Bhutanese and Sikkimese rulers and was known as Dalingkot, but in 1706, when the Bhutanese took full control, they named it Kalimpong, and the Lepcha tribes were the main population in the town.
Which is the last village in Kalimpong?
Todey-Tangta are the last villages of Kalimpong district, and these villages are situated near the Bhutan border. Due to their closeness to the Bhutanese border, these villages are also great tourist attractions, as they find the fusion of Indian and Bhutanese cultures.
This is all about the 7 best places to visit Kalimpong, a must-visit hill station full of natural beauty. The calming and soothing environment of this town gives you endless adventure and ample time to spend with your loved ones, far from the crowded city areas. During your visit to Kalimpong, take your identity documents with you because, at various tourist points, you have to show a valid identity for a permit.
Take your camera with you because this trip will be a fantastic combination of natural beauty and serenity, and you will get a lot to capture with your camera. Plan your next trip to Kalimpong, as it is not a destination to spend holidays, but it’s a place to view things uniquely with rich historical backgrounds.
Stay tuned for more adventure guides from Salam Travellers.