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General Information | Places Of Interest

  Kalimpong Places of Interest  

Kalimpong Arts and Craft Centre
The Kalimpong Arts and Craft Centre is within a walking distance from the motor stand. The handicrafts of this Co-operative Handicrafts Centre received wide recognition all over the country. Some of the things made are tapestry bags, purses, pictorial wall panels, screens, embroidered bags, scrolls etc. Work is done on Bhutanese, Lepchas and Sikkimese designed cloth which is manufactured at this centre. This institution was founded by Mrs. Katherine Graham in the year 1897. It is stated that more than 500 people used to work when it was managed by the Scottish Missionaries.


Dr. Graham's Home
Education through the medium of English was introduced into Kalimpong and this was the work of another Scotsman, the Rev, Dr. J.A. Graham. Since his first 11 years in Kalimpong he spent in routine evangelism, but later he started concerntrating more of his time on establishing an orphanage-cum-school; St. Andrew's Colonial and Industrial Settlement, now simply known as 'Dr. Graham's Home'. The first cottage to house these little unfortunate ones or orphans went up on Kalimpong's eastern hillside, Deolo in 1900 for 35 children. Kalimpong at that time was a village of about 1000 people. With the changing time Kalimpong now has a population of about 50,000 and so has Dr. Graham's changed from a entirely Christian to multi-religious. Now it has students, boys and girls, boarders and day pupils, sponsored children and fee paying children. Deolo Hill is occupied by Dr. Graham's Homes comprising some fifty cottages; it is a unique institution still supported by part by charitable collections and sponsors from all over the world.


Tibetan Monasteries
En route to the Dr. Graham's Homes are two Tibetan monasteries, the Tharpa Choling Monastery at Tirpai which belongs to the Yellow-Hat-Sect of lamas or Gelugpa Sect of the Dalai Lama. The new Buddhist Monastery, Zang-dog Palrifo Brang, completed, in 1975, is on the Durpin Dara Hill. H.H. the Dalai Lama, on his visit to Kalimpong in the year 1956 presented a set of rare manuscripts "Kangyur" of 108 volumes to the Durpin Dara Monastery. The Dalai Lama visited Kalimpong once again on May 29, 1976, for a four day visit, when he consecrated at the Durpin Dara Monastery.


Gouripur House
Gaouripur House is situated on the way to Durpin Dara about 2 km from town (now Co-operative Training Institute). Though a small hill station, Kalimpong was one of the favourite place of the great Indian poet, Rabindranath Tagore. Whenever he visited Kalimpong he stayed at Gouripur House. He recited from this house on 25th April, 1940 the poem "Janamadin" through a telephone system linked with the All India Radio, Calcutta. He wrote many poems when he was residing in this house. He left this house last on 28th Sept 1954 never to return again.


Durpin Dara
Towering over the town of Kalimpong is the Durpin Dara at an altitude of 1402 metres which offers breathtaking views. From the view point at Durpin which in fact means "binoculars" the whole Chola Range of Sikkim can be seen including the Jelep La Pass. On the Northwest horizon can be seen the panoramic view of Kanchenjunga Range. On the Southern horizon looms the Tiger Hill and between the gap in the Teesta Valley can be seen the rolling plains of West Bengal. Far down below, the rivers Relli and Ryang meet the mighty Teesta near the Rambhi bazaar area.


The Golf Courses
The Lion's Golf Course, a challenging and picturesque Army Golf Course, consisting of nine holes, has been laid by the military authorities along the most picturesque, beautiful and undulating slopes at Durpin Ridge, Opposite the historic Singamari Tourist Lodge of Bengal Government and Circuit House. About 1000 plants have been planted here.


Swiss Welfare Dairy
About four km from the town towards the Teesta and just above the Central Sericulture Station is the Co-operative Dairy called the Swiss Welfare Dairy.


Central Sericulture Station
The State Sericulture Department at Kalimpong has taken up an expanding programme of mulberry cultivation in Darjeeling Hills. Following in the footsteps of India's preceptors, medicinal plants are being cultivated among the Rauwalfa Serpentina, Digitalia, Purpurea, Atropa Acuminata, Atropa Belladona etc.


Darmodaya Vihar
The Nepalese Buddhists have a temple named the Dharmodaya Vihar which is on Rishi Road. It is the residence of Nepalese Buddhist monks. The idol of Buddha inside the temple at Dharmodaya Vihar was presented by Buddhists of Burma. It is run and maintained by the members of Kalimpong Dharmodaya Sabha. They have opened a Nursery school by the name "Dharmodaya Nursery School" in the old premises of the Vihar.

  Some Rural Areas of Kalimpong  

Located on a pass astride the old trade route to Bhutan, at an elevation of 2000 metres, a small hamlet, 35 km from Kalimpong is Lava. It is surrounded by virgin forests and is ideal for nature exploration, bird watching, and for viewing orchids in their natural habitat. It is also the base for exploring the Neora Valley, upto the 3152 m high Rachela Pass on the junction with Sikkim and Bhutan. Sherpa View Point offers good views of the snow ranges of the Chola Range. Treks to Samthar plateau also start from here.


Gitdabling - Budhabare
Budhabare is a weekly market bazar, located at Gitadabling, in the valley of the Git River. This area has scenic countryside, with forests, streams, terraced cultivation, and old style homesteads. A suitable area for easy trekking, at an elevation of 1400 metres, it offers quiet walks, old Lepcha houses, village pubs, church and a Gompa, along with an opportunity to study trival culture and lifestyle.


Lolegaon - Kafer
A forest region with exotic flora, unusual serenity, and a sunrise view of Jhandi Dara which rivals the view from Tiger Hill. Accommodation is arranged in the forest bungalow or in tents.


Samco Ropeway
Located 20 km from Kalimpong on the highway to Siliguri, this ropeway was constructed by Christian Missionaries to open up the remote Samthar Suruk region with its predominent Lepcha population. The ropeway spans 1.5 km over both the Teesta and Relli rivers. It is a breathtaking ride 120 feet over the waters of the river, with unusual views.

  Samthar Plateau
A scenic and remote plateau located south of Kalimpong at an elevation of 1400 metres is the Samthar Plateau. It is perhaps the best spot around Kalimpong, for a unique holiday. It is serene and calm, provides panaromic views of the snow ranges in an arc of breathtaking beauty - stretching from Kanchenjunga in the west to Gymochen in the east. The plateau has charming stone and thatch hamlets, terraced fields, forests and a mixed population of Nepalese, Bhutias and Lepchas. It is indeed a postcard place; no crowds, no pollution - only tranquility. For many years the only access to Samthar was through the Samco Ropeway, but now a 80 km road connects Samthar to Kalimpong.

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