( Sight Seeing
Established in 1922, the Tharpa Choling Gompa belongs to the Yellow
Hat Sect of Tibetan Buddhism, founded in the Tibet in the 14th century
and to which the Dalai Lama belongs. It's a 40 minute walk from
town; take the path to the right off KD Pradhan Rd, just before
the Milk Collection and Extension Wing Building.
Lower down the hill, the Thongsa Gompa, of Bhutanese Monastery,
is the oldest monastery in the area and was founded in 1692. The
present building is not so old - the original was destroyed by the
Gurkhas in their rampage across Sikkim before the arrival of the
Dog Palri Fo-Brang Gompa
Zong Dog Palri Fo-Brang Gompa, five km south of the town
centre at the end of the ridge, was built in the mid - 1970s at
Durpin Dara Hill and was consecrated by the Dalai Lama. There are
impressive wall paintings in the prayer room, and a rare three dimensional
mandala upstairs. Mountain views are good from Durpin Dara Hill.
This area is a big military camp, but you are free to walk or drive
Kalimpong produces 80% of India's gladiolas and is an important
orchid - growing area; flowers are exported from here to many cities
in northern India. The Sri Ganesh Moni Pradhan Nursery and the Udai
Mani Pradhan Nursery are among the most important in the area. The
Standard and the Universal Nurseries also specialise in cacti. There's
a flower festival in Kalimpong in October.
Silkworms are bred and silk is produced here. It is on the road
to Darjeeling and can be visited between 9.30 am and 4 pm.
It takes less than an hour to walk from the town centre up through
stands of bamboo to Dr Graham's Home, which was founded in 1900
on the lower slopes of Deole Hill. The school was established to
educate the children of tea workers. There are now 1300 students
and the grounds cover 193 hectares.
Enrolment is open to all, but there is a reserve quota for children
from economically deprived backgrounds. Visitors are welcome to
the turn-of-the-century school buildings, and many people picnic
in the attractive grounds.
From the school itself, it is a 40 minute walk to the summit of
Deole Hill, where there are fine views over Kalimpong.
On Rinkinpong Rd, and run by the Soil Conservation Division of the
Ministry of Environment & Forests, the centre consists of a
number of nicely put together dioramas which depict the effects
of human activity on the environment. The centre is open daily,
except Thursday, from 10 am to 4 pm; admission is free