Kalimpong – A Complete Travel Guide

Kalimpong - A Complete Travel Guide

Table of Contents

About Kalimpong

Kalimpong is a small hilly hamlet in West Bengal, about 52KM from Darjeeling. The main town sits at 4091Ft, on a ridge connecting two hills – Deolo and Durping. Deolo Hill is the highest peak of Kalimpong. The town is surrounded by the towering peaks of the Eastern Himalayas and overlooks the Teesta River and its valleys. 

Formerly known as Dalingkot, the town is the headquarters of Kalimpong district and a part of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration. In Tibetan, it means “Assembly of the King’s Ministers”. When it was under the Sikkimese rule, it was called Dalingkot, which means “an isolated place.” Then there are local derivations of the name. The hill people call it Kalempung or “the black spurs”. 

This handy Kalimpong tour guide details out the treasures of Kalimpong that every traveler must experience. 

What is Kalimpong famous for?

Kamlimpong’s population is majorly Lepchas, Nepalese, Bengali, along with its original inhabitants of 20+ indigenous ethnic groups. During the colonial days, in the 1800s, the British established many monuments, missionaries, educational institutes, and those structures remain iconic to Kalimpong.

This collage of cultures has heavily influenced the lifestyle, art, food, and history of Kalimpong, making it a unique community in itself. The scenic environment, a temperate climate all year round, and endless views of the Himalayas are what makes Kalimpong famous.

Places to visit in Kalimpong

With a host of Kalimpong places to visit, there’s always something for every kind of traveler. Here are some of the best of Kalimpong sightseeing that you cannot miss. 

Deolo Hill 

Deolo Hill
Deolo Hill 
  • How to Reach – This famous view point is located at 10KM from the town bus station. You can hire a local cab or rent a two-wheeler to reach.
  • Timings – 6AM-6PM
  • Entry Fee – INR 20
  • Time Required – 1-2 Hours

Tharpa Choling Monastery 

Tharpa Choling Monastery
Tharpa Choling Monastery 
  • How to Reach – The ancient monastery is located at 2KM from the bus station. You can walk or rent a local car to reach. 
  • Timings – 9AM-6PM
  • Entry Fee – Free
  • Time Required – Less than 1 hour

Zong Dog Palri Fo Brang Monastery

Zong Dog Palri Fo Brang Monastery
Zong Dog Palri Fo Brang Monastery
  • How to Reach – This monastery is located at 5Km from the bus station. You can book a local cab to reach there.
  • Timings – 9AM-5PM
  • Entry Fee – Free
  • Time Required – Less than 1 hour

MacFarlane Memorial Church 

  • Timings – 9AM-5PM
  • Entry Fee – Free
  • Time Required – 1-2 Hours

Pine View Cacti Nursery 

  • How to Reach – The popular cacti nursery is located at 2.5KM from the bus station. You can easily book a cab to reach there.
  • Timings – 9 AM – 5 PM, Closed on Sundays
  • Entry Fee – INR 20
  • Time Required – 1-1.5 Hours

Lepcha Museum

  • How to Reach – The museum is located at only 1 KM from the bus station. You can easily walk or trek to reach there.
  • Timings – 10.30AM – 4.30PM (Monday to Friday), 10AM – 12PM(Saturdays), Closed on Sundays
  • Entry Fee – NA
  • Time Required – 1-2 Hours

Dr. Graham’s House 

Dr. Graham’s House
Dr. Graham’s House
  • How to Reach – The famous tourist spot is located at 5KM from the town center. You can book a cab, rent a local car or two-wheeler to travel.
  • Timings – 2PM-5PM
  • Entry Fee – Free
  • Time Required – 1-2 Hours

Kalimpong Science Center 

  • How to Reach – The science and technology center is located at 9KM from the bus station. You can book a cab or rent a local car to reach
  • Timings – 10 AM – 4.30 PM, Closed on Mondays
  • Entry Fee – Rs. 10 for Science Observatory & Rs. 30 for 3D Movie Theatre
  • Time Required – 1-2 Hours

Nature Interpretation Center/Forest Museum

  • How to Reach – The museum is located at only 1KM from the town bus station. You can easily walk or take the local bus to reach there.
  • Timings – 10AM-4PM
  • Entry Fee – NA
  • Time Required – 1-2 Hours

Places to visit near Kalimpong

Apart from the popular Kalimpong tourist places, there are many offbeat places in Kalimpong to see and explore. Include these destinations in your list of Kalimpong sightseeing places.  

Teesta River Rafting 

Teesta River Rafting
Teesta River Rafting 
  • How to Reach – The rafting site is at 18KM from Kalimpong town. You have to book a cab or rent a local car for the day to and back from there.
  • Timings – Sunrise to Sunset (March-June, September-November)
  • Entry Fee – INR 1500-3500, camping separate.
  • Time Required – 4-6 Hours/half day

Neora Valley National Park 

  • How to Reach – The natural reserve sits 36KM from the town. You can book a cab or rent a local car for the day to reach and explore the park.
  • Timings – 8AM – 12PM, 1PM – 4PM (Closed on Thursday)
  • Entry Fee – INR 100 
  • Time Required – 2-3 Hours

Lamahatta Rose Garden & Trail 

Lamahatta Rose Garden & Trail
Lamahatta Rose Garden & Trail 
  • How to Reach – Lamahatta sits at 30KM from the town. You can take the local bus or book a cab for the day to reach. 
  • Timings – Sunrise to sunset
  • Entry Fee – INR 10
  • Time Required – 4-5 hours/half day

Lolegaon Canopy Walk 

  • How to Reach – Lolegaon sits at 30KM from the town and the best way to go there is to book a cab or rent a car from Kalimpong.
  • Timings – Sunrise to sunset
  • Entry Fee – INR 25
  • Time Required – 4-6 Hours/half day

Best time to visit Kalimpong

Sitting on the lower ranges of Eastern Himalayas, Kalimpong weather can be defined as a classic mountain weather. The region is covered with mist and fog most parts of the year. Winters and monsoon are extremely wet and chilly. So, the best time to visit Kalimpong is in spring, between March and May, when the temperature is slightly higher and you can easily explore the outdoors. You can also visit between September and November. 

[Also Read: This travel influencer explored offbeat North Bengal in a ten-day road trip]

Things to do in Kalimpong

Kalimpong tourism is not just about ancient structures and nature spots. To truly experience the beauty of this hill town, you have to engage in different activities, apart from exploring the popular tourist attractions in Kalimpong. 

Credit: Riddhi Debh Youtube Channel
  1. Browse and shop at Haat Bazaar, the largest marketplace in the town. The bazaar operates bi-weekly and is run by farmers and traders from nearby villages, who come to vend locally grown produce, clothes, spices, handcrafted goods, and other agricultural products. 
  2. Explore the sister town of Darjeeling, the most popular tourist destination of North Bengal. Darjeeling is famous for local sightseeing, Himalayan treks, nature walks, and more. 
  3. Visit the quaint and quiet village of Chuikhim, 50KM from Kalimpong, a small community of Lepchas and Nepalese locals. The village offers great walks through alpine forests and wooded trails, and a great experience to live among locals and sample home-grown, organic produce. 
  4. Visit the Himalayan Handmade Paper Mill and witness the traditional paper-making process and/or shop for locally made paper and products sold there. They also offer workshops on how to make handmade paper.
  5. Take a paragliding tour around the Deolo Hills and experience breathtaking views of the Himalayan peaks and surrounding valleys. The flight ranges from 10 minutes to an hour, depending on wind condition and you can choose from high-fly or medium. All sessions are guided by certified paragliders and trained instructors. 

How to reach Kalimpong

By Train

There is no railway station in Kalimpong owing to its steep terrain. The nearest railway station is in New Jalpaiguri. There are frequent trains from all major cities in India like Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Bangalore, Cochin, Chennai, etc. From there you can rent a car to reach the town.

By Road

Kalimpong is well-connected to neighboring states and major cities of West Bengal by road. There are regular state-run and private buses to Kalimpong from Kolkata, Siliguri, Darjeeling, New Jalpaiguri, and Kurseong. You can also book an outstation cab or rent a car from any of these places to reach Kalimpong. 

By Flight

The nearest airport is Bagdogra Aiport in Siliguri, 43KM away from Kalimpong. You can fly to Bagdogra from anywhere in West Bengal or other major towns/cities in India and then rent a local car or book an airport taxi to reach Kalimpong in two hours. 

Places to stay in Kalimpong

Like its scenic beauty and colorful local culture, your stay is also an essential part of the tour. Most Kalimpong hotels and resorts offer great accommodation, amazing views, and not to mention authentic local food. To make your vacation complete and memorable, find a stay at some of the best resorts in Kalimpong. 

Here are some of the best hotels in Kalimpong that can make your trip special – 

  • Sinclairs Retreat 
  • Summit Barsana Resort & Spa
  • Park Hotel 
  • The Elgin Silver Oaks
  • Morgan House Tourism Property 
  • Greystone Boutique Hotel
  • Mayfair Himalayan Spa Resort 
  • The Yaksha Retreat & Spa

Places to eat in Kalimpong

Although a part of North Bengal, Kalimpong food is a canvas of its own. Different local communities, immigrants, and the erstwhile colonial groups have contributed to the varied kinds of restaurants in Kalimpong that you find today. 

Sample the local flavors at some of these best restaurants in Kalimpong – 

  • Za Khang Authentic Bhutanese Restaurant
  • Art Café 
  • Solba Dhim Restaurant 
  • Roxberry Pub & Caf 
  • Lee’s Restaurant 
  • Tiffany Restaurant 

Download our Savaari car Booking app for a smooth and pleasant journey. 

A quick summary
Kalimpong - The Complete Travel Guide
Article Name
Kalimpong - The Complete Travel Guide
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Kalimpong is a small hilly hamlet in West Bengal, about 52KM from Darjeeling. The main town sits at 4091Ft, on a ridge connecting two hills – Deolo and Durping.
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Reading between lines - the ones that rhyme, on a journey with no stop sign.

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