India has always carried thousands of years of rich cultural and natural heritage, 86 national parks, 448 wildlife reserves, more than 2.4 million temples, mosques and churches, majestic forts and palaces, the Great Himalayas, vast coastline and many attractions including, one of the seven wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal. Step into a world of splendid colors, wide-open spaces and exotic cultural treasures. We want to invite you to a dream vacation in India.
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Kalimpong is a hill station in the Indian state of West Bengal. The precise etymology of the name Kalimpong means Land of Kings. Kalimpong is known for its educational institutions many of which were established during the British colonial period. It used to be a gateway in the trade between Tibet and India before China's annexation of Tibet and the Sino-Indian War.
Horticulture is important to Kalimpong: It has a flower market notable for its wide array of orchids; nurseries, which export Himalayan grown flower bulbs, tubers and rhizomes, contribute to the economy of Kalimpong. Home to ethnic Nepalis, indigenous Lepchas, other ethnic groups and non-native migrants from other parts of India, the town is a religious centre of Buddhism. The Buddhist monastery Zang Dhok Palri Phodang holds a number of rare Tibetan Buddhist scriptures.
The Kalimpong Science Centre, established under the DGHC (Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council) in 2008 is a recent tourist attraction. The Science Centre, which provides for scientific awareness among the students of the town and the locals, is on the Deolo Hill on the way to the Deolo tourist lodge.
There are some really interesting places to visit such as Gauripur House (home of the great Bengali poet Ravindra Nath Tagore), Mangal Dham a temple, Deolo the highest point in Kalimpong offering a guest house with spectacular vistas. Biking is possible as the the traffic is not intense and its really enjoyable to view the beautiful scenery, and the kindhearted people living in the outskirts.
There are a number of religious sites to see, including the Catholic church and Zong Dhog Palri Fo Brang monastery which, after a pleasant 2km walk from town commands wonderful views of Kalimpong and the mountains. Dr Graham's Homes, a school perched on the Deolo hill, is a must-visit for the Scottish architecture of its buildings and the pleasantness of the huge campus.
This is a unique educational institute. Housing 700 boys and girls today, it is spread over a 500 acre estate complete with own dairy, poultry and bakery. Dr Graham's Homes formerly called the St. Andrew's Colonial Homes was founded in 1900 by Reverend Dr. John Anderson Graham a missionary of the Church of Scotland, who settled in Kalimpong and worked with the local community for several years during the turn of the 20th century. In 1900, more than a century ago, Reverend Dr. John Anderson Graham began giving life to his dream. A dream to build an institution that manifested his love for children. A Home for orphaned and abandoned Anglo-Indian children whose only craving was for love and an opportunity to live a life of dignity.
On 24 September 1900, Reverend Graham realised his vision and founded St. Andrew’s Colonial Homes. The beginnings were modest – a rented building, Kiernander Cottage. There were six children – two first generation Eurasians, and four European children whose recently widowed mother became the first ever Housemother of the Homes.
Durpin Dhara is the highest point in Kalimpong that offers a breath-taking view of the rolling plains and the mighty Teesta. Zong Dog Palri Fo-Brang Monastery is located here. Durpin Dara is a observatory point and one of the two hills ( another one is Deolo Hill) connected by a ridge on which Kalimpong town is situated. Durpin Dara is about 3 kms away and located south-east of the town commands an awe – inspiring view of Mt. Kanchenjunga and other snow capped Himalayan peaks. Panoramic view of Kalimpong town with Darjeeling and Sikkim hills, lush green vallies, icy rivers such as Teesta, Riang and Relli, distance view of Jelep-La offer a breath taking experience. A golf course is just below off the summit.
Situated near the bus stand in the heart of the town, this institute produces and sells a wide variety of handicrafts which includes wall scrolls, dolls and masks. Founded in 1897 by Mrs. Catherine Grahm, its purpose was to promote and propagate local handicrafts as well as provide employment. It is good place to purchase souvenirs to take back home.
Thongsha Gumpha monastery of Bhutanese origin was built in the year 1630 and is the oldest monastery in this region. This monastery is located near the top of RC Mintri Road. It was commissioned under the rule of Bhutan and was constructed under the guidance of the King of Bhutan.
The present Gumpha is the renovated one, which was constructed after the demolition of the original monastery by the ravage of Gurkhas in Sikkim. Reconstructed in the 19th century, the monastery consists of a prayer room that has 108 prayer wheels, all of which were personally brought by the Dalai Lama. In addition, inside the monastery there are several murals and frescos. On visiting this monastery, tourists can witness several Buddhist monks and devotees offering prayers.