Kalimpong is one of the most frequented hill stations in the Northeast, around 50 km from Darjeeling. The place, apart from being applauded for its beautiful natural sights and Buddhist monasteries is also known for its ginger production in huge amount. Among various beautiful places to visit in Kalimpong, Dr. Graham’s Home, Mangal Dham, The Elgin Silver Oaks, Deolo Hill and Hanuman Tok are the most significant ones. For those with a religious bend, there are splendid monasteries such as Zang Dhok Palri Phodang (Durpin Dara) and Tharpa Choling Monastery. Apart from all these religious buildings and temples, Kalimpong is cactus and flower nurseries that are quite a charmer here. Overlooking the great Himalayas, Kalimpong makes for a perfect tourist holiday destination. Here is a list of some unmissable sights of Kalimpong!
Dr. Graham’s Home: Dr. Graham’s Home is one of the prime places of attractions situated on lower steep of Deolo Hills in Kalimpong. Founded by Sir Anderson in 1900s, this place is an important education hub here.
Mangal Dham: Mangal Dham is one of the most significant religious centres in the beautiful hill station of Kalimpong. The place was built in the memory of Guruji Shir Mangaldasji Maharaj who in 1940 arrived at Kalimpong and made it his home. He got several orphanages, schools and temples constructed here to serve God and humans. Spreading over an area of about two acres, the temple features a prayer hall on the top floor where idol of Raj Shyamji is placed.
The Elgin Silver Oaks: The Elgin Silver Oaks Kalimpong, was the home of a famous Jute magnate. It is now converted into a luxury Elgin boutique hotel in the Himalayas. Lounging in the landscaped gardens in a profusion of colors, one is treated to breath-taking view at the Silver Oaks, Kalimpong. The natural décor is characteristic in the imposing Kanchenjunga which can be seen on a clear day, blooming petunias and asters, the serrated violet edges of iris, iridescent butterflies flitting through colourful azaleas, drooping geraniums, proud orchids and heaven, temporarily descends on earth. Sitting in one of the quaint gazebos, the tea seems to be flavoured by the refreshing winds of the Himalayas. So make sure to visit this pure and pious spots whenever in Kalimpong. The Silver Oaks was built in 1930 and once belonged to the prominent architect Frederick Desraj who built the old Teesta Bridge.
Tharpa Choling Monastery: Tharpa Choling Monastery, founded in the year 1912 by Domo Geshe Rinpoche, is counted amongst the oldest Gelugpa monasteries in the country. Perched on a hilltop in Kalimpong, this beautiful gompa with its colourful idols of the presiding deity creates a perfect peaceful ambience. You can see magnificent Himalayas from topmost floor of the monastery. Later, several changes and additions have made to the monastery. It has now become an unmissable tourist spot of Kalimpong.
Lepcha Museum: For art and culture enthusiasts, a visit to Lepcha Museum is a must. Historically, Lepcha community is indigenous to this region and presently, they reside mainly in Kalimpong, Darjeeling, Sikkim, Nepal and Bhutan. The museum is an effort to preserve and illustrate their culture and tradition. Located close to the main town, the museum displays various articles of worship, original Lepcha musical instruments, handicraft items and manuscripts. Every piece reflects and illustrates the life, culture and tradition of the community. For those who have interest in studying heritage and old collections, Lepcha Museum is one of the essential places to visit in Kalimpong.You are lucky if you meet the 90-year-old Padmashree Sonam Tshering Lepcha who single-handedly runs the Lepcha school and the museum, one of its kind in whole of Asia. He is a wonderful musician himself and plays various wind instruments.