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Tourist Places To Visit In Kurseong
While most feel that Kurseong is an obscure road village on the way to Darjeeling, on the contrary, it is a bustling township in Darjeeling district. Kurseong is blessed with amazing landscape, sprawling lovely tea gardens, varied flora, and fauna, a number of enthralling viewpoints temples, churches, temples etc. Tourists have many places to visit here before moving on to Darjeeling and other neighboring towns and districts of North Bengal. Fairly well connected with most parts of the state, Kurseong is a must-visit place while on a trip to the hills of Bengal.
Eagle Craig is a beautiful garden located atop a hill with a stunning viewpoint. There is a narrow lane next to Kurseong station that takes tourists to the viewpoint. It is 25 minutes of walk. The garden boasts of flowering plantations and the greenery is pleasing to the eyes. There is a watch tower which offers tourists a fascinating view of the surrounding mountains and the plains as well. However, to get a clear unobstructed view of the surroundings it has to be a clear day. Most days are cloudy and foggy which can prevent proper viewing. On the hilltop in the garden one comes across a concrete alter with a Khukri or traditional Nepali knife placed in it. This altar was constructed in memory of the Gorkhas who lost their lives in the 1988 unrest.
Dow Hill is one of the several hills across which Kurseong is spread out. This is a beautiful hill that has a section with dense forest cover and it is not surprising to spot leopards here once in a while. Apart from the forest the hill also houses a forest museum, historic schools, parks, and some enviable viewpoints. The Dow Hill has a number of attractions that make it one of the most-visited tourist spots in Kurseong. We will discuss some of these attractions below.
Dow Hill Park
The Dow Hill Park is also known as the Deer Park. This is because of a fair number of deer that have been spotted here over the years. However in recent times due to increased deforestation, the number of deer has dwindled, unfortunately. The name was accordingly changed. There is a forest adjacent to it that has a large fenced area for spotting deer. Most of the deer are found here and tourists are allowed to venture only till the fenced area but not allowed to enter the forest.
Dow Hill Forest Museum & Rest House
Museum-lovers can drop into the Dow Hill Forest Museum. The museum has different species of flora and fauna growing in and around the region, displayed here. The museum has been restored and renovated and is open daily for enthusiasts.
The Forest Rest House is a lodging option for tourists which can be booked only through the forest department of Kurseong. It presents a lovely opportunity to spend some quiet and tranquil moments in the wilderness surrounded by the dense Dhupi forest. Listening to the chirping of birds breaking through the all-pervading silence is an experience. The rest house is surrounded by towering pine trees and flowering plantations.
Girls & Boys School at Dow Hill
These are heritage boarding schools that were built during British times. They boast of lovely colonial architecture. The Dow Hill Girls School stands amidst a beautiful setting. From here one gets a stunning view of the Himalayan range and is surrounded by sprawling lush green vegetation. Both the Dow Hill Girls School and Victoria Boys School function under the state government and boast of a high standard of education. They offer both day schooling and boarding facilities for students. Take a stroll through the schools to get a feel of the colonial era and get treated to some amazing views from here.
Giddapahar View Point
When in a hill town the one thing that you find plenty are viewpoints which give tourists a magnificent view of the surrounding vegetation, countryside, mountain ranges, the plains, and the valleys. Kurseong too has a number of lovely viewpoints the Giddapahar Viewpoint is located few kilometers from the town and can be reached by a 15-minute drive by car. There is a stairway leading from the roadside up to the viewpoint. There is a gate and then tourists have to climb a few stairs to reach the elevated spot. On a clear day, tourists are treated to a spellbinding view of the Himalayas and the valleys.
Ambootia Shiv Mandir
The Ambootia Shiv Mandir is located within the Ambootia Tea Estates. It is one of the most well-known and popular temples in Kurseong. Apart from the obvious religious reasons, the Ambootia Shiv temple is more popular for its scenic beauty and the scenic surroundings. The luscious tea estates sprawled across acres of land and the greenery creates a fascinating setting for the temple. It is a must-visit destination for tourists, for even the less religiously inclined.
Churches in Kurseong
As a summer retreat of the British, Kurseong has a fair number of colonial structures, buildings and churches. The churches with their stunning Gothic architecture and towering spires dominate the entire town of Kurseong. There is the St. Paul the Apostle Church located at a short distance from the Kurseong railway station and one of the chief attractions of the town. St. John’s Berchman’s Church is the next stop, located at the foot of St. Mary’s hill. The exteriors of the church have been reconstructed though the interiors still retain the old world charm.
Like most of the hill towns in North Bengal, Kurseong also boasts of some stunning tea gardens and estates. Taking a stroll through acres of sprawling luscious green tea estates can be extremely refreshing and rejuvenating. The two big tea estates here are Ambootia and Makaibari. Here tourists are given guided tours of the gardens where they can interact with the tea workers, learn more about the history of the estates and about how tea is grown and processed. Tourists can even take part in tea-tasting sessions as well which can be rather entertaining and interesting.
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Museum
The museum is a historic building that is associated with memories of the two Bose brothers, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and Sarat Chandra Bose. Purchased by elder brother Sarat Bose in 1922, the latter had resided here briefly for two years. Later Subhash Bose was placed under house arrest in this building for 7 months. Years later in 1996 the Government of West Bengal renovated and restored the building and transformed it into a museum. The museum today houses documents, artifacts and articles belonging to Netaji. This museum will be of interest only to those keenly interested in Indian history.