Snow-capped peaks dominate the horizon at this wonderfully placed hill station way up north in the Indian state of West Bengal. Kalimpong tourism is boosted by the fact that it is a majestic hill station set at 4000 feet above sea level and boasts of pristine air, brilliant holiday weather and makes for an important attractions for the family travellers and a backpacker.
Simply put, Kalimpong is situated in a way that it gives you the taste of the traditions of West Bengal which includes the art, the food and the people along with the Buddhist monastery like influence, which never allows you to forget you are at the foothills of the vast Himalayas nestled in the middle of the Mahabharat ranges.
Kalimpong has a lot to offer to the nature enthusiast with species ranging from the Clouded Leopard to the Red Panda to the Siberian Weasel to the Barking deer. A wide variety of birds can also be spotted in and around the town. If you are a little more serious, head over to the Neora Valley National Park or the Rishi Bankim Chandra Park for a day in nature’s lap.
Pine trees dominate most of the landscapes and make for an ideal picnic setting. Kalimpong exports hundreds of kinds of orchids to the whole world, so pamper your girlfriend or your spouse with some fresh flowers.
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For the culturally obsessed, head to the Lepcha Museum or the Zang Dhol Palri Phodang monastery both of which are just a kilometre away from the city centre.
No matter what your appetite for tourism is, Kalimpong tourism caters to most age groups and travel group formats. It is easy to access being proximate to the Siliguri airport, and the drive to the town is as scenic as it gets!
Communication at Kalimpong is not an issue with Broadband Internet cafes all over the place. Most hotels in the town also feature in-room high-speed Internet services.
Summer and Spring see the best of Kalimpong tourism which generates a lot of local employment for the residents. Kalimpong is also an important trade junction between India and Nepal and prospectively between India and China. Kalimpong is also an education hub for the region with students from the plains finding their way to schools in the town.
The seasonal changes in Kalimpong are gentle, and the summer and winter highs and lows are mild making it ideal for tourism. One must keep in mind the landslide threat during the monsoons and avoid travelling to Kalimpong. Most of the locals in Kalimpong are native Nepalis who migrated to the town in search of jobs in pre-independence India.
They are an open minded, happy go lucky lot and the festivals of Diwali, Dussera and Christmas are celebrated here with much pomp. Kalimpong is one of those places which exhibits Indian culture at its best despite the ethnic differences of the local populace. One must make it a point to visit Lepcha Museum and Zang Dhok Palri Phodang temple.
Cuisine of Kalimpong
On the cuisine front, one cannot escape trying the various kinds of momos (dumplings) especially the ones served on the streets cooked with chicken, beef, pork or vegetables. Thukpa is a noodle based dish and is delicious on a winter afternoon. Churpee is a form of local cheese made from Yak’s milk which can be bought at stores. Couple these foods with a serving of authentic Darjeeling tea and you are good to go!
Golfing at Kalimpong
For the rare golf enthusiast, Kalimpong features a full 18-hole golf course as well. Reviews by golfers state its one of the best golf experiences in the world! The golf course is administered by the Indian Army.
By Road: Kalimpong can be accessed via state highway 31 from Siliguri and is around an hour and a half by road. Taxis can be hailed at Siliguri airport, or a car can be booked at the town to get to Kalimpong