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Kalimpong Tourism And Travel Guide
8.8° C / 47.8° F
October to December
1 to 2 Days
Bagdogra Airport (79 kms)
New Jaipalguri (71 kms)
Situated at an altitude of 1200 meters, about 50 km from the popular tourist destination of Darjeeling in West Bengal, Kalimpong is ideal for a great weekend getaway. It is where people from southern parts of the state seek refuge during the sweltering summer months. The pleasant and cool climate all through the year accounts for the hill station’s appeal. Though a small sleepy town, there are a number of activities tourists can indulge during their stay. Here is a snippet of travel guide to show you the tourism prospects in Kalimpong.
How to Reach
The closest airport to Kalimpong is Bagdogra Airport about 79km from the town. It is one of the 3 airports in the state and the only one in north Bengal. The airport helps to connect this part of the state with the capital city of Kolkata and with rest of the country. Tourists can take direct flights to Bagdogra or taking a connecting one from Kolkata. From airport tourists can hire taxis to reach Kalimpong.
The New Jaipalguri Railway Station is located 71 km from Kalimpong and is the closest railway station it has. New Jaipalguri is well connected by trains from Kolkata and other neighboring cities and states. From the station, tourists can avail of taxis to reach their destination.
Kalimpong is well connected by roads from Darjeeling, Siliguri, Gangtok, Bagdogra and the state of Sikkim. The road journeys from here are beautiful as travellers get treated to some amazing visuals of the surrounding landscape, mountains, forests, rivers and meandering brooks. It is worth the drive.
Kalimpong is a small town and exploration by foot is highly recommended. The beautiful hilly roads lined with rhododendrons and towering oak and birch trees bring tourists close to nature. Fresh mountain air is great for those polluted city lungs. Taxis and auto rickshaws are also available moving around the town.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
Spring (March to April):
Unlike most places in India, Kalimpong enjoys a beautiful spring. It lasts for about two months and temperatures never go beyond the 24-degree mark. Skies remain clear for most parts, trees are in full blossom and you can get a great view of the Kanchenjungha ranges.
Summer (May to June):
Summer also lasts for two months in Kalimpong from May to June and unlike the greater part of West Bengal that suffers from sweltering heat, Kalimpong weather is cool and pleasant. This makes it a coveted destination for tourists and is considered peak season. Hotels are fully booked and if you are planning a trip book well in advance to avoid disappointments.
Monsoon (July to September):
Like most hill stations, Kalimpong too receives considerable amount of rainfall accompanied by landslides and mudslides. Monsoon is not the ideal time for visiting Kalimpong as tourists can get caught in the landslides and also not much sightseeing is possible because of incessant showers.
Autumn (October to November):
Kalimpong enjoys a delightful autumn. Monsoon departs, leaving behind radiant blue skies and dazzling snow-capped mountains. It is one of the best seasons to visit and explore Kalimpong. The freshness in the air is intoxicating and extremely appealing. Temperature varies between 11°C and 22°C. It is one of the best seasons to visit Kalimpong.
Winter (December to February):
Winters in Kalimpong are chilly but temperatures never go below 7°C. Skies continue to remain clear, no rains, and it is a good time to explore the town. The tourist footfall is also considerably less during these months.
Things to Do
River Rafting in Teesta:
River Teesta and Rangeet gush down from the Himalayas. They help to create stretches with rapids which are great for rafting. These rapids are well suited for both beginners and advanced rafters. Triveni, confluence of rivers Teesta and Rangeet and River Teesta in Melli are the places that are ideal for rafting.
Visiting Flower Nurseries:
Kalimpong is known for its beautiful flowers and there are stunning varieties of flowers everywhere. From Gladioli, Anthuriums and cacti to orchids, roses and many more adorn the town. The place has some lovely nurseries where you will find varieties of flowers displayed. It is a visual treat for tourists.
Paragliding in the Hills:
Deolo Hills offer great opportunities for paragliding. Depending upon the winds, paragliding services continue from morning till afternoon. It is amazing to see the stunning mountains, forests and the surrounding landscape from atop.
There is a strong Buddhist influence in the region and the tourists will come across some lovely monasteries in the town. Zang Dhok Palri Phodang, Tharpa Choling Monastery, Thongsa Gompa are really beautiful. Peace and calmness fills the mind as you cross the threshold of these spiritual centers and it is great for a moment of solitude with yourself.
Eating in Kalimpong
While there are no expensive or fine dining outlets in the town, the street food is delicious. There are several eateries and cafés that you will come across here. They serve some of the best Bhutanese, Tibetan, Thai and Chinese cuisines. A taste of these dishes bursting with flavors is all you need for a happy soul. Those steaming hot momos and thukpas on cold wintry evenings can outshine any five-star dining experience any day.
Shopping in Kalimpong
There are no huge malls or supermarkets in this small sleepy town. There are small market areas and weekly bazaars which sell everything from garments, shoes to handicrafts and other essential commodities. There are small handicraft and handloom shops from where you can pick up a souvenir of your trip.