Kalimpong Travel Guide
The best place for Chinese food, for miles around, is China Garden, tucked in near the bus stop. They make a great Mei Foon and their Chicken Drumsticks are worth the inevitable queue during tourist season. A tip, though. Hit the place before 8 p.m. as this city shuts down early.
For the best momo, it's Gompu's -- you can also get a very decent lunch or dinner at this place. The place stays open until 9pm. For veg momos you should visit Unique, Shikhar, Mohan Daju and all the hawkers(thela walas),you pay just Rs.5 and enjoy 4 steaming momos.
You'd miss something if you didn't spare time for a quiet, very British afternoon cuppa at Himalayan Hotel.
A good lace for affordable drinks and food is King Thai.
For Indian food,try out The Room With A View Restaurant of The Sood's Garden Retreat located at 8.5 Miles,Rishi Road.The Indian Cuisine is the best available in the town.
See the birthplace of a famous Mumbai editor, Prachie Jindal.
You can shop around in the few touristy shops in the main bazaar. Don't hesitate to bargain -- you can haggle quite a bit if you want to. Or if you are adventurous, just walk a bit more to the wholesale market (just around the corner from the main street). Its fixed price, but you won't get a better deal anywhere else in town. To buy clothes all you have to do is to visit R.C, Mintri road full of marwadis, and you just can't stop yourself from purchasing for yourself something that is made for you. Don't leave kalimpong without tasting locally made lollipops.
For your house, try Tashi Takgye, at 10th Mile, Rishi Road, near Power Station for shopping. It has loads of varieties at unbelievable prices. You can get paintings, statues, wall hanging-almost everything for your house. Its the wholesale supplier/importer/exporter for the northern region. Prices here are usually 2-3 times cheaper than anywhere else
get there and around
get there and around
Kalimpong is located off the National Highway 31A (NH31A), which links Sevok to Gangtok. The NH31A is an offshoot of the NH 31, which connects Sevok to Siliguri. These two National Highways together, via Sevok, links Kalimpong to the plains. Regular bus services and hired vehicles connect Kalimpong with Siliguri and the neighbouring towns of Kurseong, Darjeeling and Gangtok. Four wheel drives are popular means of transport, as they can easily navigate the steep slopes in the region. However, road communication often get disrupted in the monsoons due to landslides. Within the town, people usually traverse by walking. Residents also use bicycle, two-wheelers and hired taxis for travelling short distances.
The nearest airport is in Bagdogra near Siliguri, located about 80 kilometres (50 mi) from Kalimpong. Indian Airlines, Jet Airways, Air Deccan and Druk Air (Bhutan) are the three major carriers that connect the airport to Delhi, Calcutta , Paro (Bhutan) , Guwahati and Bangkok (Thailand). The closest major railway station is New Jalpaiguri, located on the outskirts of Siliguri, which is connected with almost all major cities of the country.
Places to visit
places to visit
There is very little to see in the town except to wander around and enjoy the lack of tourists Darjeeling is plagued with. There are a number of religious sites to see, including the Catholic church and Zong Dhog Palri Fo Brang monastery which, after a pleasant 2km walk from town commands wonderful views of Kalimpong and the mountains.
Deolo Hill one of the numerous hill destinations that warrant a visit. A perfect picnic spot replete with a splendid tourist lodge, run by the Department of Tourism. A stay here is definitely recommended as the early morning view of the sun lighting up the Khangchendzonga massif is a marvelous example of nature at her best.
Kalimpong is a hill station in the Mahabharat Range (or Lesser Himalaya) in the Indian state of West Bengal. It is located at an average elevation of 1,250 metres (4,101 ft).The town is the headquarters of the Kalimpong subdivision, a part of the district of Darjeeling. The Indian Army's 27 Mountain Division is located on the outskirts of the town.
Kalimpong is known for its educational institutions many of which were established during the British colonial period. It used to be a gateway in the trade between Tibet and India prior to China's annexation of Tibet and the Sino-Indian War. Kalimpong and neighbouring Darjeeling were major centres calling for a separate Gorkhaland state in the 1980s.
Until the mid-19th century, the area around Kalimpong was ruled in succession by the Sikkimese and Bhutanese kingdoms. Under Sikkimese rule, the area was known as Dalingkot. In 1706, the king of Bhutan won this territory from the Sikkimese monarch and renamed it Kalimpong. Overlooking the Teesta Valley, Kalimpong is believed to have once been the forward position of the Bhutanese in the 18th century. The area was sparsely populated by the indigenous Lepcha community and migrant Bhutia and Limbu tribes. Later in 1780, the Gorkhas invaded and conquered Kalimpong. After the Anglo-Bhutan War in 1864, the Treaty of Sinchula (1865) was signed, in which Bhutanese held territory east of the Teesta River was ceded to the British East India Company. At that time, Kalimpong was a hamlet, with only two or three families known to reside there. The first recorded mention of the town was a fleeting reference made that year by Ashley Eden, a government official with the Bengal Civil Service. Kalimpong was added to district of Darjeeling in 1866. In 1866–1867 an Anglo-Bhutanese commission demarcated the common boundaries between the two, thereby giving shape to the Kalimpong subdivision and the Darjeeling district.
After the war, the region became a subdivision of the Western Duars district, and the following year it was merged with the district of Darjeeling. The temperate climate prompted the British to develop the town as an alternative hill station to Darjeeling, to escape the scorching summer heat in the plains. Kalimpong's proximity to the Nathula and Jelepla passes, offshoots of the ancient Silk Road, was an added advantage and it soon became an important trading outpost in the trade of furs, wools and food grains between India and Tibet. The increase in commerce attracted large numbers of migrants from Nepal, leading to an increase in population and economic prosperity.
The arrival of Scottish missionaries saw the construction of schools and welfare centres for the British. Rev. W. Macfarlane in the early 1870s established the first schools in the area. The Scottish University Mission Institution was opened in 1886, followed by the Kalimpong Girls High School. In 1900, Reverend J.A. Graham founded the Dr. Graham's Homes for destitute Anglo-Indian students. By 1907, most schools in Kalimpong also started offering education to Indian students. By 1911, the population had swelled to 7,880.
Following Indian independence in 1947, Kalimpong became part of the state of West Bengal, after Bengal was partitioned between India and Pakistan. With China's annexation of Tibet in 1959, many Buddhist monks fled Tibet and established monasteries in Kalimpong. These monks also brought many rare Buddhist scriptures with them. In 1962, the permanent closure of the Jelepla Pass after the Sino-Indian War disrupted trade between Tibet and India, and led to a slowdown in Kalimpong's economy. In 1976, the visiting Dalai Lama consecrated the Zang Dhok Palri Phodang monastery, which houses many of the scriptures.
Most large houses in Kalimpong were built during the British era. In the background is Mount Kanchenjunga.
Between 1986 and 1988, the demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland and Kamtapur based on ethnic lines grew strong. Riots between the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) and the West Bengal government reached a stand-off after a forty-day strike. The town was virtually under siege, and the state government called in the Indian army to maintain law and order. This led to the formation of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council, a body that was given semi-autonomous powers to govern the Darjeeling district, except the area under the Siliguri subdivision. Since 2007, the demand for a separate Gorkhaland state has been revived by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha and its supporters in the Darjeeling hills. The Kamtapur People's Party and its supporters' movement for a separate Kamtapur state covering North Bengal have also gained momentum.