Kalimpong Calling: Your Gateway to Serenity and Adventure in the Himalayas

Nestled in the lap of the Himalayas, between Darjeeling and Gangtok, Kalimpong beckons with its serene landscapes and adventurous spirit. Kalimphong is a picturesque, serene, and relatively little-known hill station with a cultural patchwork of Nepali, Tibetan, Chinese, Bengali, Bihari, and Anglo-Indian. A unique variety of speech and cuisines is formed here, the experience of which makes a visit to Kalimpong unique. As your premier guide to this enchanting destination, we invite you to explore the myriad facets that make Kalimpong an unparalleled retreat for those seeking tranquility and excitement in equal measure.

Kalimpong Calling: Your Gateway to Serenity and Adventure in the Himalayas

Embracing Nature’s BountyKalimpong Calling: Your Gateway to Serenity and Adventure in the Himalayas

Kalimpong, with its lush greenery and panoramic views, is a haven for nature enthusiasts. The meandering Teesta River, snow-capped peaks, and dense forests create a tapestry of breathtaking scenes. Exploring the vibrant flora and fauna in the Neora Valley National Park or taking a leisurely stroll through the Kalimpong Flower Nursery promises a sensory delight that’s hard to match.

Cultural KaleidoscopeKalimpong Calling: Your Gateway to Serenity and Adventure in the Himalayas

Immerse yourself in the rich cultural tapestry of Kalimpong. The town’s history is etched in the architecture of its monasteries, such as the Zang Dhok Palri Phodang, which exudes a sense of peace and spirituality. The Morgan House and MacFarlane Memorial Church bear witness to the colonial influences that have shaped Kalimpong’s unique identity.

Kalimphong is spread over only 9 square kilometers. The people here speak at least a dozen dialects and languages like Bengali, Tamang, Limbu, Lepcha, Kirati, Nepali, English, Rai, Urdu, Bhojpuri, Sherpa, and Hindi. The reason for this diversity is the periodic political handover of Kolimpong.

Kalimpong’s Historical Tapestry: From Dalingkot to a Cultural Melting PotKalimpong Calling: Your Gateway to Serenity and Adventure in the Himalayas

The town was known as Dalingkot when it was a mere settlement about three and a half hundred years ago. It was a province under Sikkim. Sikkim was then not a part of India but an independent monarchy. Dalingkot has had an influence over the years, as there is a large population of various ethnic Nepalese natives. In the early eighteenth century, the King of Bhutan incorporated Dalingkot into his kingdom and named it Kalimpong. People of the Lepcha, Kirat, and Bhutia tribes of Bhutan came and settled there. Again in 1864 AD, the army of the British East India Company invaded Bhutan and included Kalimpong in Bengal. As a result, a slow influx of Hindu Bengalis and Muslim Bengalis started in this town.

Kalimpong’s Evolution: From Trading Post to Hill Station Haven

Kalimpong Calling: Your Gateway to Serenity and Adventure in the Himalayas

By the mid-19th century, Kalimping had become an important trading post between India and Tibet. Tibetan nomads began to visit there regularly. The white bureaucrats of British India began to develop Kalimpong as a hill station due to its generally pleasant climate, situated in the mountains at about 1,250 meters (4,100 feet) above sea level. Houses were built to stay here in the summer. After the arrival of Scottish missionaries in Kalimpong, churches and schools were built, which can still be seen today. After the establishment of the first school in 1870 AD, the English language grew in popularity in Kalimpong. Some Scottish and English bureaucrats married local women. Over time, their children were called Anglo-Indians.

Kalimpong Calling: Your Gateway to Serenity and Adventure in the Himalayas
Buddhist monks (Courtesy: Gettyimages.in)

When India gained independence and the country was partitioned, unbroken Bengal was divided into West and East (East Pakistan, which is present-day Bangladesh). Kalimpong is in the West Bengal region of India. Many Urdu-speaking Muslim Bengalis lived in that geographical area. Hence, Urdu had little influence in towns like Kalimping.

Years later, in 1959 AD, when the Red Army of China invaded Tibet, the Tibetan priest Dalai Lama came to India with some followers. In his wake, many other Tibetan refugees settled in various towns in India, one of which was Kalimphong.

Kalimpong Calling: Your Gateway to Serenity and Adventure in the Himalayas
Dalai Lame (Courtesy: https://www.gettyimages.in/)

It is only as a result of many such incidents that happened in a long history that people of various ethnicities are found in Kalimpong today. Just 50 km from Darjeeling and about 80 km from Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim, Kalimping is truly ‘colorful’, as there is a deep influence of the traditional colorful painting of Tibet. It is a Buddhist monastery decorated with many colors. Moreover, colorful graffiti murals can be seen everywhere on the walls of the city. All around, mesmerizing views of the Himalayas, beautiful views of Kanchenjunga, lush green forests, turquoise waters of the Teesta River, etc. all add color to the small world of Kalimpong. Let’s take a look at the places of interest here.

Deolo View Point

Kalimpong Calling: Your Gateway to Serenity and Adventure in the Himalayas
Deolo Point

The highest of Kalimphong (1704 m/91 feet), this place is best for enjoying panoramic views. The Himalayan mountain range, wide valleys, the Teesta River flowing through it, and Kanchenjunga Ice Peak can be seen from here. If you go with good binoculars, you can spend hours observing the subtleties of natural beauty. Deolo View Point has a tourist lodge managed by The Gorkha Hill Council and a beautiful garden in front of it, adorned with a variety of colorful flowers. Another place to drop off is The Hill Top Tourist Lodge, which is managed by the West Bengal Tourism Department. Sports like horseback riding and zorbing are available here. Those looking for more thrills can also experience paragliding. A 30-foot-tall statue of Lord Hanuman is placed in Hanuman Tonk near Deolo Hill. Ascending the stairs, one can see amazing views of Mount Kanchanjunga.

Durpin Buddhist Monastery

Kalimpong Calling: Your Gateway to Serenity and Adventure in the Himalayas
Durpin monestry

Located at a distance of five kilometers from the main town and built in 1937 AD, this Buddhist monastery is named after the hill called Durpin Hill. Prayer wheels are lined up at the entrance to the monastery, decorated in colors like red, brown, green, and gold.
Devotees enter after turning them around by hand. When the Dalai Lama came to India from Tibet, he brought with him some rare Buddhist scriptures. When he visited Duripan Math in 1972 AD, he gifted 108 volumes here, which have been carefully preserved today. Open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Durpin Monastery is worth seeing for its colorful murals. One can climb the steps on one side of the monastery to reach the terrace, and from there, one can enjoy a unique view of Kalimpang town, the flowing waters of the Teesta and Reang rivers, green valleys, tea plantations, and the Himalayan mountains.

Morgan House

Kalimpong Calling: Your Gateway to Serenity and Adventure in the Himalayas
Morgan house

This building, built during British rule (1930s), is of Victorian construction. It was prepared by George Morgan, an Englishman who traded heavily in indigo in Bengal, where he lived with his wife. The Morgans had no children, so the building came into the hands of the trust after his death. Post-independence, Morgan House was taken over by the Government of India, and over time, the West Bengal Tourism Department converted it into a hotel. According to folklore associated with this historic building, Mrs. Morgan’s spirit is said to be wandering here. Talk to a local about the Morgan House, and he’ll tell you a sensational story about a supposed ghost. Such fabulous incidents have put Morgan House on the tourist map today. Many people spend the night here, motivated by magical events. Not Mrs. Morgan’s, but visions of ethereal natural beauty can also be seen here.

Pine View Nursery

Kalimpong Calling: Your Gateway to Serenity and Adventure in the Himalayas

This private nursery was started in 1971 AD on top of a hill in Kalimpong. The variety of beautiful flowers of different colors here is astounding. Also known as a cactus nursery, this nursery center has a collection of many varieties of rare species of cactus. Most of the varieties are imported from North, Central, and South America. No nursery in the whole of Asia has such a variety of cactus, which are available for sale here, with prices ranging from Rs 20 to Rs 200,000. A visit to Pine View Nursery is a must for an impressive collection of home decor leaves and various strange cactus.

Dr. Grahams Homes

Kalimpong Calling: Your Gateway to Serenity and Adventure in the Himalayas
Dr Morgan’s house

Like several other hill stations in India, Kalimpong also has schools dating back to the British era. Every year, thousands of children get an education in the best schools here. Graham’s Homes is one such notable school, founded in the year 1900 by Dr. J.A. Graham for the poor, needy, orphans, and Anglo-Indian children. Graham himself was a missionary and settled in Kalimpong. Today, Grahams Homes is a modern boarding and day school. The school, which started with a small building and 35 students, today has a sprawling green complex of 500 acres. Many students study in about 50 rooms at the school. On the way to Deolo Point comes Grahams Homes, which can be visited.

Jalep La View Point

Kalimpong Calling: Your Gateway to Serenity and Adventure in the Himalayas
Jalep la view point

At one time, a hill pass called Jalep La was regularly used in Indo-Tibet trade. As a witness to history, a scenic tourist attraction called Jalape La View Point has been created at the site. The confluence of the Teesta, Reang and Raili rivers is visible from here. Just below Jalep La, just outside Kalimpong, lies the beautiful Manmecho Lake. There are residences of retired officers of the Indian Army in the vicinity.


Lepcha Museum

Kalimpong Calling: Your Gateway to Serenity and Adventure in the Himalayas
Lepcha Museum

This museum can be visited to learn about the Lepcha tribe and their culture, mainly living in places like Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim, Darjeeling, and Kalimpong. Lepcha instruments and handicrafts are displayed in the museum.

Kalimpong: A sophisticated art town

Kalimpong Calling: Your Gateway to Serenity and Adventure in the Himalayas

Kalimpong has a close relationship with arts and crafts. People of Nepali and Tibetan origin here know how to make innovative products from bamboo. There are many stalls and shops of such things in the market. Traditional handicrafts include hand-woven jackets, hats, backpacks, shoulder bags, purses, and wallets. Some locals here have also excelled at painting. The fascinating paintings here that adorn the walls of the house are mainly based on subjects like Tibetan scenery, snowy mountains, yak, Buddhist monastery, Buddhist lama, Lord Buddha, and devotees with prayer wheels in hand.Kalimpong Calling: Your Gateway to Serenity and Adventure in the Himalayas

There is a subtlety in it that keeps the eyes of the art lover hooked. The art of Kalimpong is not limited to paper and canvas. Rather, it spills over even the city walls. When you go for a walk, you can see beautiful graffiti on the walls of public buildings. Modern machines are used to make paper today, but the hand-made paper industry is still active in Kalimphong. Paper made from this art is known as hill paper. The tradition of paper-making is maintained by an organization called the Himalayan Handmade Paper Industry. The paper produced here is used for printing Buddhist scriptures. In addition to this, notebooks and cards are also available for sale. This place can be visited as well.

Adventures Await

For thrill-seekers, Kalimpong is a playground of possibilities. The Teesta River offers white-water rafting opportunities that promise an adrenaline rush against the backdrop of pristine nature. Trekking trails like Deolo Hill and Durpin Dara offer not only physical challenges but also unparalleled vistas that reward the intrepid explorer.

Rafting, paragliding and trekkingKalimpong Calling: Your Gateway to Serenity and Adventure in the Himalayas

Adventure lovers have a lot to explore here. The river Teesta, for which the town of Kalimpong is known, is also famous for rafting. A slow river rafting staring from Meli Bridge accelerates at Galkhola in Kalimping. Daring and exhilarating river rafting along the rushing Teesta remains a memorable experience. Another unforgettable experience is paragliding. One can witness the mesmerizing views flying like a bird in the air. The forests around Lava and Lolegaon, near Kalimpong, are a fun place for nature lovers and trekkers. A hanging pool has been built on the trees in the dense forest of Lolegaon. The thrill of walking on it is a two-and-a-half-hour journey from Kalimpong. From there, one can travel for an hour to reach Lava, where the Lava Buddhist Monastery is located.

There are many other places to visit in Kalimpong. Wandering aimlessly to see the ‘various’ people of the hills and colorful art is fun in itself. For those who are not in the mood for sightseeing after reaching Darjeeling, Kalimpong is a must-try option to enjoy nature, art, and taste.

Culinary Delights: A Gastronomic Journey

Kalimpong’s culinary scene is as diverse as its landscapes. The local delicacies, infused with Himalayan flavors, are a treat for the taste buds. Indulge in traditional momos, thukpas, and the delectable phagshapa. Visit the bustling marketplaces to savor the authenticity of Kalimpong’s gastronomy, a melange of Tibetan, Bhutanese, and Sikkimese influences.

Customary cuisines of Kaliompg

Kalimpong Calling: Your Gateway to Serenity and Adventure in the Himalayas

Nepali, Tibetan, and Chinese dishes in Kalimpog are sure to test the taste buds of food lovers. Additionally, the bakery items here are unique. Knowing (as well as enjoying) the new varieties of pickles will surprise you. Usually, traditional pickles contain carrots, bananas, mangoes, and gunda (gumberry). Kalimpong pickles, on the other hand, are made up of mushrooms, soybeans, a cheese made from soybean milk called tofu, chillies, radishes, meat, and fish. A woman named Renu Pradhan has gained a lot of reputation in the pickle business. Dale type of rare hill chilli pickle is sold at Rs 600 per kg in her shop. Momos is a known dish of Kalimping, seen everywhere in the city. So now momos have become accessible in every city, but the villages of north-east India are the best place to enjoy authentic momos.Kalimpong Calling: Your Gateway to Serenity and Adventure in the Himalayas

A cheese called Churpi is a specialty of Kalimpong, which is made from the milk of a strong-built animal called Yak. Tourists coming here also try a local dish called thupka. Thupka is a different type of noodles, also known as noodle soup. Various species of the Hansraj plant (Adiantum venustum) grow in the Himalayas. The shoots of one of these plants (Ningro in the local language) are eaten by the local people. The buds are fried in small pieces with a paddle in a small pan and are accompanied by Churpi cheese, garlic paste, and chillies.

An intoxicating drink called chang, served in a bamboo cup, is popular here. Generally, such drinks are served chilled, while Chang is a warm drink made with finger millet. Besides, darjeeling tea, which is produced in large quantities in the surrounding gardens, is freely available in Kalimping.

The perfect time to visit:

The best time to visit Kalimpong is between March and June. Though the weather here is pleasant all year, any time will be suitable to visit this place.


The nearest airport to Kalimpong is Bagdogra, at 76 km. Trains are available to New Jalpaigudi from the main cities of India. Kalimpong is 75 km from there. Kalimpong can be reached from both of them through taxis or buses. A road trip in a car is also available from Darjiling and Gangtok. The distance is 50 km and 80 km, respectively.

Where to Stay: Luxury Amidst NatureKalimpong Calling: Your Gateway to Serenity and Adventure in the Himalayas

There are several options for accommodations available here. Choosing the right accommodation is crucial to enhancing your Kalimpong experience. The Silver Oaks, with its panoramic views and luxurious amenities, stands out as a testament to blending comfort with the natural surroundings. Wake up to the majestic Kanchenjunga from your window and unwind in the evening with a cozy fireplace—a perfect complement to your Himalayan adventure.

Practical Travel Tips

To ensure a seamless journey, consider the following tips:

Weather Wisdom

Kalimpong Calling: Your Gateway to Serenity and Adventure in the Himalayas

Pack accordingly, as the weather in Kalimpong can vary. Summers are pleasant, but winters can be chilly, necessitating warm clothing. Monsoons, while bringing lush greenery, might affect travel plans due to heavy rainfall.

Local Etiquette

Respect the local customs and traditions. When visiting monasteries, dress modestly, remove your shoes, and maintain a quiet demeanor. Engaging with the locals respectfully enhances the cultural exchange.

Adventure Precautions

Kalimpong Calling: Your Gateway to Serenity and Adventure in the HimalayasFor adventure activities, ensure you are physically prepared. Rafting and trekking require a reasonable fitness level, so it’s advisable to assess your capabilities before embarking on these adventures.

Plus, know this: Kalimpong has an average of 100 days of rain a year, so carry an umbrella and raincoat when traveling.

This hill station is a pleasure to explore on foot, though private as well as shared taxis are very accessible.

From New Jalpaiguri to Kalimpong, the drive through Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary offers a delightful experience of the wilderness. There is a chance of spotting a deer or an elephant on this scenic route.

Kalimpong Market offers a variety of warm clothes. Apart from this, handicraft items and paintings are also sold.

In Conclusion

Kalimpong is not just a destination; it’s an experience. From the tranquility of its natural landscapes to the thrill of its adventure offerings, every moment spent here is a memory etched against the backdrop of the mighty Himalayas.

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Hey, fellow explorers! I'm the mind and heart behind "Voyage Vista." I started this travel blog to share the incredible stories of my journeys. "Voyage Vista" is your ticket to diverse cultures and landscapes, offering a glimpse into my adventures through storytelling and visuals. More than just a blog, it's a platform that advocates for responsible travel and community engagement. Exciting collaborations with travel brands and features in magazines have turned "Voyage Vista" into a dynamic online community. Join me at voyage-vista.com for a quick getaway and some inspiration for your next adventure!

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  1. Kudos to the author for skillfully bringing Kalimpong to life in this travel piece! The engaging narrative and beautiful imagery made me feel like I was right there, experiencing the magic firsthand. Truly appreciate the writing skills that turned this article into a captivating journey. Inspired to explore Kalimpong, thanks to your talent!

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