( General Info)
is a bustling and rapidly expanding, though still relatively small,
bazaar town set among the rolling foothills and deep valleys of
the Himalayan at an altitude of 1250m. It was once part of the lands
belonging to the rajas of Sikkim, until the beginning of the 18th
century when it was taken from them by the Bhutanese. In the 19th
century it passed into the hands of the British and thus became
part of West Bengal. It became a centre for Scottish missionary
activity in the late 19th century, and Dr Graham's orphanage and
school is still running today.
Kalimpong's attractions include three monasteries, a couple
of solidly built churches, an excellent private library for the
study of Tibetan and Himalayan language and culture, a sericulture,
orchid nurseries and fine views over the surrounding countryside.
Although not many travellers bother to visit Kalimpong, there's
enough here to keep you occupied for a couple of days, and for the
energetic there's some good trekking.
The most interesting part of a trip to Kalimpong is the journey
there from Darjeeling via the
Teesta River bridge. If you have no permit for Sikkim then the town
is worth visiting just for the journey.
Orientation and Information
it's a much smaller town than Darjeeling, Kalimpong follows
a similar kind of layout, straddling a ridge and made up of a series
of interconnected streets and steps.
Life centres around the sports ground and east through the market,
The bus stand and Chowrasta is also a busy area, and it's here that
you find most of the cheap cafes and hotels. The Central Bank of
India is at the north end of Main Rd; most major travellers cheques
Area: 3.5 sq. miles
Summer (Max 27 0 C) (Min 17 0 C) Winter (Max 15 0C) ( Min
Season: March - Mid June, September - December
Tropical in Summer and Woolen in Winter
Spoken: Gorkha, English, Bengali, Hindi