Situated at an altitude of around 1250 metres amongst the rolling foothills and deep valleys of the Himalayas, the scenically beautiful and remote hill station of Kalimpong affords a pleasant, mild climate.
Until the 18th century AD, Kalimpong was a part of the Kingdom of Sikkim and was ruled by the rajas of Sikkim, until taken by the Bhutanese. In the 19th century, the British took over Kalimpong and merged it into the present Indian state of West Bengal, a region of rich culture and religious heritage. However, unlike its neighbour Darjeeling it was never a tea town or resort. Indeed, it was historically a trading town on the vital route to Tibet.
Kalimpong’s attractions include three monasteries including Tharpa Choeling, Tongsa and Zong Dog Palri Fo-Brang, a handful of ancient churches and a colourful bazaar area known as Tenth Mile bulging with Tibetan and Buddhist curios and handicrafts. Kalimpong is also renowned for its horticulture, with some 50 nurseries devoted to orchid and other flower production and sales. The best time to see Kalimpong in bloom is between mid-April and mid-May, when the flower festival is also held.
Set amongst landscaped gardens south of Kalimpong is the Himalayan Hotel – a museum of sorts and functioning hotel as well as the home of the MacDonald family. David MacDonald assisted the 13th Dalai Lama to escape Tibet in 1910 and served as British Political Officer in Sikkim.
To get you started with planning your holiday to Kalimpong, we have showcased below some popular itineraries requested by our clients which we hope will inspire your visit to India
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