I visited Kalimpong for a couple of days with my mother in April 2019. Kalimpong is still quite unexplored and scenic. However, we did not explore it. We rented a cab and went sightseeing. Many people do the same as a day trip from Darjeeling. A couple of factors limited our stay to just two days. The place that we had booked was very secluded and turned out to be quite costly and the election in North Bengal were right around the corner.
Kalimpong sits on two hills Deolo and Durpin Dara hills.
Places to visit: We booked a cab for Rs.1200 to show us around Kalimpong.
1.Hanuman Tok: The first place we visited was Hanuman Tok. The views from this small garden are beautiful. A larger than life statue of Lord Hanuman stands at the top of the garden. Next to it is a Durga Mandir and a small monastery as well.
2. Science city: Entrance fee: Rs.20/person, Ticket for 3D show: Rs.30/person
A number of working models, some not working any longer, were at display to explain the concepts of Science to young mind. Outside of the centre were sprawling lawns with sculptures that were made to explain concept of science. It was very interesting and an immersive experience. The 3D show was worth watching. It was just 5 minutes long. You can easily spend at least a couple of hours or more if you are traveling with kids. There were also models of different types of dinosaurs with their characteristics, size, diet etc listed beside each. It could be of interest for kids who are fascinated by dinosaurs.
3. Delo Park: Entrance fee: Rs.10/person
A beautiful park with sprawling lawns and flowers, Delo Park is a treat to the eyes. A number of trails offering views of untouched pine forests and bamboo groves, break off from the park and you can follow those trails for solitude. A lodge has been built there and you can book a room there. I recommend that you do it because rooms in Kalimpong are already quite expensive and this place seemed quite reasonable in comparison. I did not see the rooms though, i only looked at the price list that was posted outside this place. If you have time, you can even spend a day there, exploring the trails and just sitting there soaking in the beauty.
4. Cactus park: Entrance fee:Rs. 20/person
It is basically a nursery with many different kinds of cactus are displayed in green houses.
5. Macfarlane Memorial Church: Probably one of earliest churches in the region, the church was badly damaged during the 2011 earthquake. It has now been restored.
6. Golf course: Lush green golf course surrounded by mountains can be seen from one of the cafetarias. It is a sight worth seeing.
7. Durpin Monastery/Zang Dhok Palri Monastery: A beautiful three storied monastery sits on the Durpin Dara hill, one of the two hills on which Kalimpong is located. It contains many important Buddhist scrolls from Tibet.
Where to stay?
To be honest, I couldn’t figure out much in my two days there so please let me know of a nice location if you have an idea. It is a district spread out over a vast area. The central area is very congested and I wouldn’t recommend staying there. There are small settlements all across the district and you can choose to stay there. I particularly like one called Sherpa village, close to Hanuman Tok. I stayed somewhere close to the 15th mile in a small quiet village setting with bamboo groves and forest all around. It was beautiful but there were no places to eat and the transportation to and from this place to the main city was very expensive as was the accommodation itself. The owner was quite intent on getting out as much money from us as he could. Kalimpong is expensive. The place was 10 km from the centre on 15th mile. The taxi stand is at 9 miles so you can calculate the distance of the place from the centre this way.
How to reach?
The closest airport is Bagdogra. you can take a bus or taxi from Siliguri. The nearest train station is Jalpaiguri. I went there from Darjeeling. We took a shared cab from the shared taxi stand for Kalimpong which cost us Rs.150/person. You can also reserve a cab but that would be more expensive. On our way from Darjeeling to Kalimpong is a beautiful park , the picture of which is posted below.
If you have your own cab, do visit this beautiful park and if you know the name of the park, please let me know in the comment section.