Kalimpong General Information
- Area 8.68 sq. km
- Population 38,832
- Altitude 1,250 meters above sea level
- Languages Bengali, Nepali, Hindi and English
- STD Code 03552
- Best time to visit April-June
Introduction to Kalimpong
Set in beautiful wooded mountains Kalimpong is a remote hill station about 80 kms from Darjeeling is known for its beautiful orchids. The Tharpa Choling monastery has a library of Tibetan manuscripts and thankas, which can be visited. Kalimpong also offers pleasant hikes and walks through rice fields and tea fields around the town. Kalimpong’s attractions include three Buddhist monasteries, spectacular churches, an excellent private library for the study of Tibetan and Himalayan language and culture, a sericulture centre and a fine view of the surrounding countryside. Kalimpong is an important orchid-growing area and flowers are exported from here to various countries. The Sri Ganesh Moni Pradhan Nursery and the Udai Mani Pradhan Nursery are among the most important in the area. There’s a flower festival in October. it has a well laid-out golf course near the Durpin Dara Monastery. The monastery was built in the mid-1970′s at Durpin Dara and consecrated by the Dalai Lama. The view from here is breath taking. The nine-hole golf course at Senchal ( near Darjeeling) is one of the highest in the world.
Places of Interest:
Tharpa Choling Monastery
Situated on Tirpai Hill, Tharpa Choling Monastery was built around 1937. The monastery belongs to the Gelukpa Sect of Tibetan Buddhism, the sect to which the present Dalai Lama belongs. The monastery has a library of the Buddhist manuscripts and thangkas (picture or representation of a deity on cloth).
Zong Dog Palri Fo Brang Monastery
Built in the mid-1970s, the monastery lies at about 5 km south of the town centre at Durpin Dara Hill. The monastery was consecrated by the Dalai Lama. It houses impressive wall paintings and a rare three-dimensional mandala (a Hindu or Buddhist graphic symbol of the universe). From this monastery, one can get a panoramic view of the town and the surrounding areas.
The museum is located in Bag Dhara and exhibits manuscripts and other objects of the Lepchas.
Durpin Dara Hill
The highest point is the Durpin Dara Hill offers a breathtaking view of the plains below. Some of the places that can be viewed from here include the Teesta and Rangeet rivers, western Sikkim, the Kanchenjunga peak, Peshoke and Lopchu tea estates, Nathu-la pass and the towns of Siliguri and Kurseong.
Dr. Graham’s Home
Situated in a 500-acre estate on the slopes of Dealo Hills, Dr. Graham’s Home is an educational institution founded as a home and school for orphan children by Dr. John Anderson Graham, a Scottish missionary, in 1900. Started with just six students, the school today has over 1,200 boys and girls and is among the better-known public schools of the region. The school is self-sufficient and has its own dairy, poultry and bakery. Every year in the month of May the school organises a May Fair. The original buildings and chapel in the school complex present an interesting sight.