This week we bring you the fifth destination in Paytm’s travel series to get you on the road. Get lost in the orchid capital of the Himalayas: Kalimpong — a bustling bazaar town set among the rolling foothills and deep valleys of the mountains.
Our fifth Stop — Kalimpong
If you want a getaway from the hustle bustle of the city, than pack your bag and travel to Kalimpong. Take an overnight bus ride from Kolkata to Siliguri, and hop-on a local bus or shared cab to Kalimpong, nestled 60kms away from Siliguri. Continuing north through forested hills you arrive in Kalimpong, where ancient Buddhist monasteries dot the landscape.
Kalimpong is located on a ridge overlooking Teesta River is at an average elevation of 1250 metres and is quite close to Indo-Tibet border. It is an ideal holiday destination for people in search of peace and serenity. The stunning panoramic views of Kanchenjunga do their own to convince you and it is famous for its abundance of orchids.
The area around Kalimpong is classified as ecological hotspot, one of the only three in India. It is a major production centre of gladioli and orchids, which are exported to many parts of the world. Three hundred species of orchids are found around Kalimpong.
Kalimpong has plenty to offer for sightseeing. You can visit Monasteries and churches, explore the flora and fauna, and go around hiking and biking in the town.
The must-to-see in your list are: Zong Dog Plari Fo Brang Gompa, Deolo Hill, Neora National park and Sri Ganesh Moni Pradhan Nursery.
Zong Dog Plari Fo Brang Gompa, also known as Durpin Monastery. The monastery holds religious and historical significance as Dalai Lama spent his considerable time here during the exile period. Deolo Hill is the highest point in Kalimpong and you can have a breathtaking view of Relli valley and Teesta river. Neora National Park is spread over 88 sq km and his the home for a wide range of orchids as well as rare wild animals like red panda, tiger and the Himalayan black bear. Sri Ganesh Moni Pradhan Nursery is located on the 12th mile street and is especially renowned for its varieties of orchids.
History lovers should visit Gouripur House located at a distance of 2kms from the town. This was the favorite place of Rabindra Nath Tagore. He recited his famous poem “Janamadin” at this place.
The markets in Kalimpong are flooded with traditional handicrafts and the Arts & Craft Centre is a delight to shop. The town serves popular Tibetean delicacies like momo and thukpa. Our tip: Go around by bicycle to explore the town.
Kolkata to Siliguri is an overnight bus journey and will take between 12–14 hours. Siliguri to Kalimpong will be a 2–3 hours by road and where you will mostly travel along with beautiful Teesta River.
Happy travelling to Kalimpong!