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Things To Do In Kalimpong
Kalimpong is the perfect summer getaway for the people suffering from extreme heat and humidity of the plains. A small quite town surrounded by mighty snow-capped mountains, deciduous forests of oak, maple, birch strewn with beautiful species of rhododendrons. It is a picturesque setting with some lovely monasteries, churches and stunning view of the surroundings. There are a number of activities tourists can indulge in during their stay in Kalimpong.
Kalimpong to Samthar is one of the most beautiful trekking trails you will come across in the area. The trekkers are treated to stunning visuals of the surrounding forests, small brooks, and mountains. It is 80 km and 6 hours trek and once trekkers reach Samthar Plateau they can get fascinating view of the undulating slopes, terraced lands for agriculture and lush greenery all around.
The more adventurous ones can try out paragliding which starts at Deolo Hills. Depending upon the wind conditions paragliding services are offered between 9:00 in the morning till 4:30 in the afternoon. There are two types of flights, medium and high. They have same starting point but with two different landing points. It is an amazing experience to catch a glimpse of the beautiful landscape below.
River Rafting in Teesta
For any rafting enthusiasts visiting Kalimpong or Darjeeling, they can indulge in river rafting in the extremely rough Teesta River. The river gushes down from the Himalayas and creates stretches with rapids which are great for rafting. It is ideal for both the novice and the expert rafters. There are two places where rafting is carried out: the confluence of rivers Teesta and Rangeet, known as Triveni and River Teesta in Melli.
Explore Flower Nurseries
For plant and flower lovers, Kalimpong is the place to be. It is often referred to as “The Land of Bengal’s Beautiful Flowers.’ There are flowers everywhere. Gladioli, cacti, Orchids, Anthuriums, Roses and many more are found in abundance. There are some beautiful flower and cacti nurseries all over Kalimpong where tourists can drop in for a visual treat. The most famous among them is the Universal Nursery which is located about 3 km from the town center. These nurseries are engaged in exporting plants and exotic species of flowers.
This beautiful hill station boasts of some beautiful monasteries as Buddhism is popularly practiced here. There is Zang Dhok Palri Phodang also known as Durpin and Lava Monastery consecrated in 1976 by Dalai Lama and is the biggest monastery in Kalimpong. It has beautiful architecture and lovely paintings and the sense of peace engulfs you as you enter the premises. Apart from this there is the Tharpa Choling Monastery and Thongsa Gompa, the oldest monastery in the area. It has 220 prayer wheels and it is beautiful.
Sightseeing & Photography
A hill station offering a stunning view of the famous Kanchenjangha Ranges of the Himalayas is perfect for sightseeing and photography. Pick up you camera and go exploring through the winding hilly roads. Visit the Deolo Hills and Sherpa viewpoint which offers a magnificent view of the Kalimpong town, the Himalayas, valley and rivers. Capture those beautiful rhododendrons that line the roads and those stunning oak and birch trees that tower over. The fresh mountain air and sights to cherish, Kalimpong is the perfect hideout for city dwellers.
Tasting Kalimpong Local Cuisine
No matter where you go, tasting the local cuisine is a must. The food of every region of India is bursting with flavors and has something new to offer in terms of taste and variety. Kalimpong is no different. There may not be too many restaurants or fine dining facilities available but their street food tastes amazing. There are some beautiful eateries and cafes where you can get a taste of Tibetan, Thai, Bhutanese and Chinese cuisines. The steaming hot momos and thukpas on a cold wintry night is soul warming. Try out Gompu’s Bar & Restaurant for their oversized pork momos, Za Khang for authentic Bhutanese dishes and Lee’s for their Chinese cuisine and you will not be disappointed.
Shopping in Kalimpong
A small quaint hill station that it is, Kalimpong does not have those huge malls or supermarkets lining the streets. There is the Rishi Road market that is quite famous here. In the 1900s during trade with Tibe through the Silk Route, lots of goods were stored here. There is the Haat Bazar or weekly markets held on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 7:00am to 6:30am. There are all sorts of merchandises sold here. There are handicraft and handloom shops in Kalimpong from where tourists can pick up something as a souvenir of their trip.