Kalimpong in West Bengal is an unexplored and scenic destination. Kalimpong sits on two hills- Deolo and Durpin Dara hills and is not well connected by public transport. You can take a day-trip to Kalimpong from Darjeeling and cover all major points of interest. We, however, spent a couple of days there. To know about places to visit in Darjeeling, read my post things to do in Darjeeling.
Places to visit
As the major site seeing points are scattered over both the hills, walking or cycling isn’t really a viable option. Due to lack of public transport, hiring a private cab is the only option. We booked a cab for Rs.1200 to show us around Kalimpong.
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 minds. Outside of the center were sprawling lawns with sculptures that were made to explain concepts of science. It was an 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 there. There were 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, only 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
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 is a sight worth seeing. Personally, I think that they are a waste of space and bad for the environment.
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?
Finding a suitable accommodation is both difficult and expensive as Kalimpong is scattered over a large area. It may be a good idea to book a place in a good location and spend your time there, exploring the surrounding area. That is the only way of truly enjoying the nature in this 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.
There aren’t many listings on the internet. A couple of factors limited our stay to just two days. We booked a secluded place, not easily approachable except by private cab. It turned out to be quite costly and the election in North Bengal were right around the corner.
I stayed somewhere close to the 15th mile in a small quiet village setting with bamboo groves and forest all around. It was beautiful, however, there were no places to eat and the meal provided at this place were way too expensive. 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.
The place was 10 km from the center on 15th mile. The taxi stand is at 9 miles so you can calculate the distance of the place from the center 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, read more about Darjeeling in my post sightseeing around Darjeeling. You also have the option of taking a day-trip to Kalimpong 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 day-trip to Kalimpong from Darjeeling, ypu will see 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.