Many of you may not be familiar with kalimpong and think this might be another small roadside village on the way to Darjeeling. Well many years back it was actually a small hamlet, but over the years its has grown into a bustling township. Today it's a sub division of Darjeeling district. Spread of kalimpong is much more than what it may seem.
And the spread is beyond the township to lovely tea gardens along the mountain slopes, forests with many different flora & fauna, quaint villages and so on. And expectedly, there are many view points, tea estates, temples & churches, museums, as well as famous historic schools that were setup during the British colonial days.
You can easily spend two to three days in kalimpong and remain immersed with its attractions. There are plenty of local taxis available near the station and market area all of who will be willing to take you for local sightseeing tours. There are half day and full day local tours depending on what you want to cover. Talk to a couple of local drivers before you finalize one ... the rates vary and some can and do ask for too much.
The word kalimpong means – the place of White Orchid. Because of its lower elevation, kalimpong enjoys milder and very healthy climate throughout the year.
It is the peace, serenity and the healthy climate that attracted many a great person to this place. Some of the famous poems and songs of Guru Rabindranath Tagore were composed in kalimpong. The magic painter, Abanindranath Tagore and great composer Atul Prasad Sen got inspiration for some of their famous works around kalimpong. Sister Nivedita, the great disciple of Swami Vivekananda made kalimpong her home. It is learnt that Mark Twain spent some time in kalimpong in 1885, Fazlul Haque the Prime Minister of undivided Bengal also stayed here. Netaji Subash Chandra Bose was interned by the colonial government for a couple of months in 1936 in a house at Giddapahar near kalimpong.