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Things To Do In Kurseong
Kurseong is a beautiful quaint hill town located in the northern parts of Bengal. It lies in Darjeeling district and is known for its charming scenic beauty. Being blessed with a pleasant and cool climate all through the year makes Kurseong a lucrative travel destination for tourists. Kurseong is easily accessible from all parts of the state and different parts of the country by means of air, rail and roads accounts for their increasing popularity. It has some lovely places to visit and things to engage in during one’s stay in the town. Let us quickly take you through all the activities you can indulge in Kurseong.
Take a Ride on Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Toy Train
The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway which is popularly referred to as the Darjeeling toy train is one of the greatest attractions of Kurseong. It helps transport passengers from the lower areas of the Eastern Himalayas up to the plush green tea estates and hills of Darjeeling. The ride is a fascinating one as the tourists are treated to some stunning spectacle of the surrounding landscape. The travel travels 80 km from New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling through Siliguri, Kurseong and Ghoom. Winding its way up the undulating terrain the toy ride journey is extremely enjoyable. The train was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999.
No hill town visit is complete without a tour of the different viewpoints. These are the primary attractions in hill stations which give you a view of the surrounding landscape, snow-capped mountain peaks, forests, valleys and plains. Kurseong too boasts of a number of stunning viewpoints which are a must-visit. Eagle Craig is a garden on a hilltop offering stunning view of the surroundings. It has a garden that has flowering plantations and a watch tower. The Giddapahar viewpoint is another stop for the tourists. A flight of steps from the roadside take tourists to the viewpoint from where they can catch a glimpse of the mountains and the valleys. Tourists must be fortunate to have a clear day to be able to get a good view though.
Tea Estates of Kurseong
When we talk about North Bengal the first word that comes to the mind is not mountain or hills but tea. This is because this entire region is famous for producing some of the best tea in the world. There are sprawling tea gardens and estates stretching across acres of land. The lush green tea gardens are a sight to behold. Kurseong too boasts of two extremely famous tea estates, Ambootia and Makaibari. Tourists are given guided tours of the tea estates where they learn about how tea leaves are grown, picked and processed. One can visit the tea factories as well and see how different qualities of tea is grown and made. Tourists can also attend the tea-tasting sessions which can be very interesting indeed.
Visit Dow Hill
Dow Hill is one of the several hills across which Kurseong is located. It is a beautiful hill with a dense forest cover. There are a number of buildings and attractions here that are of interest for the tourists. There is a Deer Park, now referred to as the Dow Hill Park. One can spot herds of deer here. However over the years owing to deforestation the number of deer has dwindled and now they are found in a fenced area adjoining the forest. Tourists are not permitted to enter the forests. There is a Dow Hill museum which might of interest to museum lovers. One can find different species of flora and fauna displayed here. The Dow Hill Rest House is a lodging where people can stay with prior approval from the forest department of Kurseong. Nestled in the lap of nature, the rest house is the perfect hideout one needs. The Dow Hill also houses two heritage boarding schools dating back to the colonial era. There is the Dow Hill Girls School and the Victoria Boys School. The schools boast of brilliant colonial architectural features and tourists can also get a fascinating view of the Himalayan range from here.
Pay a Visit to the Netaji Museum
For history and museum lovers, Kurseong has another attraction that many may not be aware of. There is a house belonging to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s elder brother Sarat Chandra Bose. He himself had resided here for a brief time and later Netaji was placed under house arrest here for 7 months. Years later the Government of Bengal took over the building, restored and renovated it and converted it into a museum. Here one can find interesting materials, documents and artefacts belonging to the two Bose brothers. A visit to the museum is worth it as both of them are highly venerated and respected in Bengal for their immense contribution to freedom struggle.
Water rafting in Teesta is an extremely popular activity that enthusiasts can engage in during their stay in Kurseong. It was introduced in Darjeeling more than a decade back and since then it has attained much popularity. There are several private organizations and government bodies who have set up these facilities. Owing to its series of rapids of varying intensity River Teesta is graded IV on an international scale which is not bad at all. For the strong-hearted ones, Kurseong beckons you to have a go at water rafting.
Over the years in an attempt to woo tourists, Kurseong has introduced a number of adventure sports. Its terrain has also facilitated activities like rock climbing, hiking, trekking, hot air balloon rides etc. Trekking and hiking here is a fascinating experience here owing the lush green cover. Hiking through the forests and the undulating terrain is an amazing experience and the best way to experience the beauty of nature. The fresh mountain air is relaxing and rejuvenating.
Tour of the Churches
Kurseong has a sizeable Christian population and owing to the strong colonial influence the hill town has a number of beautiful churches. The Gothic style of architecture that dominates these churches is quite fascinating. The tall spires of the churches tower over the surroundings and create a picturesque setting amidst the green forests and mountain ranges. St Paul the Apostle Church, St John’s Berchman’s Church, Grotto and Catholic Church in St Mary’s Hill are some of the most popular ones. Visit the churches to get a feel of the old colonial charm and how they blend beautifully with the surroundings.
Eating in Kurseong
Unlike Darjeeling there are no big restaurants or eateries in Kurseong. This is primarily because the sleepy little hill town does not experience the kind of footfall which Darjeeling does. Tibetan influence in food is too strong to ignore. The Thukpa noodle soup and steamed momos are a hot favorite here and warm the soul on cold wintry evenings. The Tourist Lodge which is operated by West Bengal Tourism Department houses a multi-cuisine restaurant that is quite popular here. For tea lovers, Kurseong is heaven as you get to taste some of the finest quality tea in the world. Kurseong is also one of the two places where you can get Muscatell organic tea.