Calm and beautiful Kalimpong
Kalimpong hill station in West Bengal is situated at the height of 1,250 meters. The feature of this beautiful hill station is its quietness. That is what a hill station should be about. A leisurely stroll through calm streets, splendid mountain chill persuading you unsuccessfully to walk fast, a cup of steaming coffee somewhere on the lawns of a restaurant on the road, returning to your hotel after a completely satisfying long trudge, waiting expectantly for lunch and finally taking the first sip of the hot soup!
Sit and watch
The Kalimpong visit is quite unlike the visits to most hill stations across the country, where the visitors, woken up early in the morning, stuff themselves with breakfast and rush out to complete the mandatory scenic spots within the time deadline. No such thing at Kalimpong. Relish here the fragrance of its famous flowers, relax in the peaceful worship places or just sit somewhere and watch the scenic beauty around and the Himalayan ranges. The 8,586-m Kanchenjunga is clearly visible from here.
Kalimpong has colonial architecture, monasteries, churches, beautiful orchids and flowering plants. Situated on a ridge, Kalimpong overlooks the Teesta River down below. Kalimpong exports flowers, orchids, tubers, flower bulbs, and rhizomes. It is renowned for its cheese, noodles and lollipops. A major ginger growing area, Kalimpong and Sikkim produce 15 percent of country’s ginger. It also has some tea gardens. The town is a religious centre of Buddhism. The Zang Dhok Palri Phodang monastery has many rare Tibetan Buddhist scriptures. Lovers of adventure and sports can opt for mountain biking, river rafting in the Teesta or go on trekking trails. The cable car ride on the Samco ropeway is about a 1.5 km long and crosses the Teesta and the Relli. It provides an astounding view of nature.
Places of interest
Among the places of tourist interest are the Catholic Church, St Theresa Church, Tharpa Choling Monastery, Thongsha Gumpha, Mangal Dham, Sarmasa Garden, Neora National Park, and the Relli river. Among the many points with a beautiful view are Samthar Plateau, Durpin Dara Hill, Deola Hill, Kalimpong Art and Crafts Centre, Nature Interpretation Centre, and the Army Golf Club.
The way to Kalimpong
The nearest airport is in Bagdogra, 80 km away. Four carriers link Kalimpong to Delhi, Calcutta, Paro (Bhutan), Guwahati and Bangkok. The closest railway station is New Jalpaiguri, which is connected with many major cities. The town is connected to cities across the country by road. Regular bus services or private vehicles link Kalimpong with Siliguri. Within the town, people prefer to walk or use bicycles, two-wheelers or taxis.
Kalimpong witnesses heavy rainfall in June and July. The winter temperature varies from sub-zero levels to 15°. The maximum summer temperature can go up to 30°C. Although the best time to visit is March to May, Kalimpong can be visited throughout the year, except at the peak of the monsoon. The families will need reasonably good protection against cold. They can check for the best thermal wear in India via online shopping and equip all members with sufficient protection to ensure that they can move around freely.