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 pleasantly 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 it was 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 that remains to this day one of rich culture and religious heritage.Read More
Unlike its neighbour Darjeeling, Kalimpong was never a tea town or a resort so to speak. Indeed, it was historically more of a trading town on the vital route to Tibet. With so much history laced into the heritage of this town, many visitors may want to learn some of it during their visit. 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.
Kalimpong’s other 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 flowers production and sales. The best time to see Kalimpong in bloom is between mid-April and mid-May, when the flower festival is held.
Here are some popular itineraries that include a visit to Kalimpong
If you are planning a Kalimpong holiday, have a look at some of the accommodation that we recommend. 'Our Rating' indicates how we feel each property rates according to normal Western hotel standards. 'Local Rating' indicates how the property is categorised/rated locally:
Himalayan Hotel Kalimpong
Originally the family home of David Macdonald, this hotel has a fascinating history, which guests can immerse themselves in during their stay. The Himalayan is a charming hotel with large, traditionally styled rooms, many of which come equipped with a fire place for use during the colder months. The cuisine served at the restaurant consists of traditional Indian and Tibetan dishes. The hotel is 80 km from the airport and 70 km from the railway station.
Kalimpong Tailor made suggestions
Here are some of the recent tailor made itineraries we have created for our clients which include a visit to Kalimpong.