Kalimpong Sightseeing | Kalimpong

Kalimpong Sightseeing | Kalimpong

Kalimpong is a hill station in the Mahabharat Range (or Lesser Himalaya) in the Indian state of West Bengal. It is located at an average elevation of 1,250 metres (4,101 ft). The town is the headquarters of the Kalimpong subdivision, a part of the district of Darjeeling. The Indian Army's 27 Mountain Division is located on the outskirts of the town.

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 prior to China's annexation of Tibet and the Sino-Indian War. Kalimpong and neighbouring Darjeeling were major centres calling for a separate Gorkhaland state in the 1980s.There has been a Rotary club in Kalimpong since 1993.

Kalimpong, located on a ridge overlooking River Teesta, is a tourist destination owing to its temperate climate and proximity to popular tourist locations in the region. Horticulture is also 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 ethnic groups and non-native migrants from other parts of India, the town also is a religious centre of Buddhism. The Buddhist monastery Zang Dhok Palri Phodang holds a number of rare Tibetan Buddhist scriptures.

Name origin :

The precise etymology of the name Kalimpong remains unclear. The most widely accepted origin of the name Kalimpong is "Assembly (or Stockade) of the King's Ministers" in Tibetan, derived from kalon ("King's ministers") and pong ("stockade"). It may also be derived from the translation "ridges where we play" from Lepcha, as it was known to be the region's traditional tribal gathering for summer sporting events. People from the hills also call the area Kalibong ("the black spurs").

According to K.P. Tamsang, author of The Untold and Unknown Reality about the Lepchas, the term Kalimpong is deduced from the name Kalenpung, which in Lepcha means "Hillock of Assemblage"; in time, the name was distorted to Kaleebung and later corrupted to Kalimpong. Another possible derivation points to Kaulim, a fibrous plant found in profusion in the region.

Kalimpong Weather:

Kalimpong has five distinct seasons: spring, summer, autumn, winter and the monsoons. The annual temperature ranges from a high of 30 °C (86 °F) to a low of 9 °C (48 °F). Summers are mild, with the an average maximum temperature of 30 °C (86 °F) in August. Summers are followed by the monsoon rains which lash the town between June and September. The monsoons are severe, often causing landslides which sequester the town from the rest of India. Winter lasts from December to February, with the maximum temperature being around 15 °C (59 °F). During the monsoon and winter seasons, Kalimpong is often enveloped by fog.

Fast Fact of Kalimpong:


3.5 sq. miles




Max 27oC - Min 7oC


Max 15oC - Min 7oC

Best time to visit Kalimpong

March - mid June, September - December


Tropical in summer and woolen in winter.

Languages Spoken:

Gorkha, English, Bengali, Hindi.

How to reach Kalimpong:

By Air:

Siliguri's Bagdogra airport is the nearest - 80 km away. Taxis can be hired at the airport for Kalimpong. The trip takes around 3.5 hours.

By Rail:

The nearest railway stations are Siliguri Junction ( 68 km ), and New Jalpaiguri ( 77 km ). Railway tickets for trains ex-New Jalpaiguri/Siliguri can be purchased from the Railway Out Agency, Motor Stand, Kalimpong.

By Road:

Bus & Jeep There are frequent jeeps for the three hour trip to Darjeeling. The buses are so much less frequent, slower and more uncomfortable that it's hardly worth the small cost saving. All transport, other than taxis, leaves from the Bazaar bus stand.

Kalimpong Sightseeing:


Established in 1922, the Tharpa Choling Gompa belongs to the Yellow Hat Sect of Tibetan Buddhism, founded in the Tibet in the 14th century and to which the Dalai Lama belongs. It's a 40 minute walk from town; take the path to the right off KD Pradhan Rd, just before the Milk Collection and Extension Wing Building.

Lower down the hill, the Thongsa Gompa, of Bhutanese Monastery, is the oldest monastery in the area and was founded in 1692. The present building is not so old - the original was destroyed by the Gurkhas in their rampage across Sikkim before the arrival of the British.

Zong Dog Palri Fo-Brang Gompa, five km south of the town centre at the end of the ridge, was built in the mid - 1970s at Durpin Dara Hill and was consecrated by the Dalai Lama. There are impressive wall paintings in the prayer room, and a rare three dimensional mandala upstairs. Mountain views are good from Durpin Dara Hill. This area is a big military camp, but you are free to walk or drive through it.

Flower Nurseries:

Kalimpong produces 80% of India's gladiolas and is an important orchid - growing area; flowers are exported from here to many cities in northern India. The Sri Ganesh Moni Pradhan Nursery and the Udai Mani Pradhan Nursery are among the most important in the area. The Standard and the Universal Nurseries also specialise in cacti. There's a flower festival in Kalimpong in October.

Sericulture Research Institute:

Silkworms are bred and silk is produced here. It is on the road to Darjeeling and can be visited between 9.30 am and 4 pm.

Dr Graham's Home:

It takes less than an hour to walk from the town centre up through stands of bamboo to Dr Graham's Home, which was founded in 1900 on the lower slopes of Deole Hill. The school was established to educate the children of tea workers. There are now 1300 students and the grounds cover 193 hectares.

Enrolment is open to all, but there is a reserve quota for children from economically deprived backgrounds. Visitors are welcome to the turn-of-the-century school buildings, and many people picnic in the attractive grounds.

From the school itself, it is a 40 minute walk to the summit of Deole Hill, where there are fine views over Kalimpong.

Nature Interpretation Centre:

On Rinkinpong Rd, and run by the Soil Conservation Division of the Ministry of Environment & Forests, the centre consists of a number of nicely put together dioramas which depict the effects of human activity on the environment. The centre is open daily, except Thursday, from 10 am to 4 pm; admission is free.

Kalimpong Hotels:

Kalimpong Park Hotel, Kalimpong
Cloud Nine, Kalimpong
Alkananda Guest House Hotel, Kalimpong
Windsongs - A Luxury Purlieu, Kalimpong
Himalayan Hotel, Kalimpong
Hill Top Tourist Lodge, Kalimpong
Garden Reach Hotel, Kalimpong
Tres Hotel, Kalimpong
Silver Oaks, Hotel, Kalimpong

Resorts in Kalimpong:

Soods Garden Retreat, Kalimpong
Alkananda Guest House Hotel, Kalimpong
Munal Lodge, Kalimpong
Pine View Resort, Kalimpong
Orchid Retreat, The, Kalimpong
Wiaba Village Resort, Kalimpong
Komfort Inn, Kalimpong
Suryaloke Cottage, Kalimpong
Deolo Resort

History of Kalimpong:

Until the mid-19th century, the area around Kalimpong was ruled in succession by the Sikkimese and Bhutanese kingdoms. Under Sikkimese rule, the area was known as Dalingkot. In 1706, the king of Bhutan won this territory from the Sikkimese monarch and renamed it Kalimpong. Overlooking the Teesta Valley, Kalimpong is believed to have once been the forward position of the Bhutanese in the 18th century. The area was sparsely populated by the indigenous Lepcha community and migrant Bhutia and Limbu tribes. Later in 1780, the Gorkhas invaded and conquered Kalimpong. After the Anglo-Bhutan War in 1864, the Treaty of Sinchula (1865) was signed, in which Bhutanese held territory east of the Teesta River was ceded to the British East India Company. At that time, Kalimpong was a hamlet, with only two or three families known to reside there. The first recorded mention of the town was a fleeting reference made that year by Ashley Eden, a government official with the Bengal Civil Service. Kalimpong was added to district of Darjeeling in 1866. In 1866–1867 an Anglo-Bhutanese commission demarcated the common boundaries between the two, thereby giving shape to the Kalimpong subdivision and the Darjeeling district.

After the war, the region became a subdivision of the Western Duars district, and the following year it was merged with the district of Darjeeling. The temperate climate prompted the British to develop the town as an alternative hill station to Darjeeling, to escape the scorching summer heat in the plains. Kalimpong's proximity to the Nathula and Jelepla passes, offshoots of the ancient Silk Road, was an added advantage and it soon became an important trading outpost in the trade of furs, wools and food grains between India and Tibet. The increase in commerce attracted large numbers of migrants from Nepal, leading to an increase in population and economic prosperity.

The arrival of Scottish missionaries saw the construction of schools and welfare centres for the British. Rev. W. Macfarlane in the early 1870s established the first schools in the area. The Scottish University Mission Institution was opened in 1886, followed by the Kalimpong Girls High School. In 1900, Reverend J.A. Graham founded the Dr. Graham's Homes for destitute Anglo-Indian students. By 1907, most schools in Kalimpong also started offering education to Indian students. By 1911, the population had swelled to 7,880.

Following Indian independence in 1947, Kalimpong became part of the state of West Bengal, after Bengal was partitioned between India and Pakistan. With China's annexation of Tibet in 1959, many Buddhist monks fled Tibet and established monasteries in Kalimpong. These monks also brought many rare Buddhist scriptures with them. In 1962, the permanent closure of the Jelepla Pass after the Sino-Indian War disrupted trade between Tibet and India, and led to a slowdown in Kalimpong's economy. In 1976, the visiting Dalai Lama consecrated the Zang Dhok Palri Phodang monastery, which houses many of the scriptures.

Between 1986 and 1988, the demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland and Kamtapur based on ethnic lines grew strong. Riots between the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) and the West Bengal government reached a stand-off after a forty-day strike. The town was virtually under siege, and the state government called in the Indian army to maintain law and order. This led to the formation of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council, a body that was given semi-autonomous powers to govern the Darjeeling district, except the area under the Siliguri subdivision. Since 2007, the demand for a separate Gorkhaland state has been revived by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha and its supporters in the Darjeeling hills. The Kamtapur People's Party and its supporters' movement for a separate Kamtapur state covering North Bengal have also gained momentum.

Geography of Kalimpong:

The town centre is located on a ridge connecting two hills, Deolo Hill and Durpin Hill, at an elevation of 1,247 m (4,091 ft). Deolo, the highest point in Kalimpong, has an altitude of 1,704 m (5,591 ft) and Durpin Hill is at an elevation of 1,372 m (4,501 ft). The River Teesta flows in the valley below and separates Kalimpong from the state of Sikkim. The soil in the Kalimpong area is typically reddish in color. Occasional dark soils are found due to extensive existence of phyllite and schists. The Shiwalik Hills, like most of the Himalayan foothills, have steep slopes and soft, loose topsoil, leading to frequent landslides in the monsoon season. The hills are nestled within higher peaks and the snow-clad Himalayan ranges tower over the town in the distance. Mount Kanchenjunga at 8,598 m (28,209 ft) the world's third tallest peak, is clearly visible from Kalimpong.

Kalimpong has five distinct seasons: spring, summer, autumn, winter and the monsoons. The annual temperature ranges from a high of 30 °C (86 °F) to a low of 9 °C (48 °F). Summers are mild, with the an average maximum temperature of 30 °C (86 °F) in August. Summers are followed by the monsoon rains which lash the town between June and September. The monsoons are severe, often causing landslides which sequester the town from the rest of India. Winter lasts from December to February, with the maximum temperature being around 15 °C (59 °F). During the monsoon and winter seasons, Kalimpong is often enveloped by fog.

People and culture of Kalimpong:

The majority of the populace are ethnic Nepali, having migrated to Kalimpong in search of jobs while it was under British rule. Indigenous ethnic groups include the Newars, Lepchas, Bhutia, Sherpas, Limbus, Rais, Magars, Gurungs, Tamangs, Yolmos, Bhujels, Sunuwars, Sarkis, Damais and the Kamis. The other non-native communities are the Bengalis, Marwaris, Anglo-Indian, Chinese, Biharis and Tibetans who escaped to Kalimpong after fleeing the Communist Chinese invasion of Tibet. Kalimpong is home to Trinley Thaye Dorje—one of the 17th Karmapa incarnations. Kalimpong is the closest Indian town to Bhutan's western border, and has a small number of Bhutanese nationals residing here. Hinduism is the largest religion followed by Buddhism and Christianity. Islam has a minuscule presence in this region, mostly Tibetan Muslims who fled in 1959 after Chinese invasion of Tibet. The Buddhist monastery Zang Dhok Palri Phodang holds a number of rare Tibetan Buddhist scriptures. There is a mosque in the bazaar area of Kalimpong.

Popular festivals include Diwali, Christmas, Dussera or dasain in the local nepali dialect and the Buddhist festival of Losar. Languages spoken in Kalimpong include Nepali, which is the predominant language; Lepcha, Limbu, Tamang, Kirat, Hindi, English and Bengali. Though there is a growing interest in cricket as a winter sport in Darjeeling Hills, football still remains the most popular sport in Kalimpong. Every year since 1947, the Independence Shield Football Tournament is organized here as part of the two-day long Independence Day celebrations. Former captain of India national football team, Pem Dorjee hails from Kalimpong. A popular snack in Kalimpong is the momo, steamed dumplings made up of pork, beef or vegetable cooked in a wrapping of flour and served with watery soup. Wai-Wai is a packaged snack made of noodles which are eaten either dry or in soup form. Churpee, a kind of hard cheese made from yak's or chauri's (a hybrid of yak and cattle) milk, is sometimes chewed. A form of noodle called Thukpa, served in soup form is also popular in Kalimpong. There are a large number of restaurants which offer a wide variety of cuisines, ranging from Indian to continental, to cater to the tourists. Tea is the most popular beverage in Kalimpong, procured from the famed Darjeeling tea gardens. Kalimpong also has a golf course besides Kalimpong Circuit House.

The cultural centres in Kalimpong include, the Lepcha Museum and the Zang Dhok Palri Phodang monastery. The Lepcha Museum, situated a kilometre away from the town centre showcases the culture of the Lepcha community, the indigenous peoples of Sikkim. The Zang Dhok Palri Phodong monastery has 108 volumes of the Kangyur, and belongs to the Gelug of Buddhism.

Kiran Desai's 2006 Booker Prize-winning novel, The Inheritance of Loss, set in Kalimpong the 1980s, tells the story of a retired judge's family and their neighbours, with the Nepalalese insurgent movement led by the GNLF. It was reported that some Nepalese, led by author D B Gurung, were angered by what were allegedly negative stereotypes of Indian Nepalese people in the novel.

Flora and fauna of Kalimpong:

The area around Kalimpong lies in the Eastern Himalayas, which is classified as an ecological hotspot, one of only three among the ecoregions of India. Neora Valley National Park that lies within the Kalimpong subdivision and is home to tigers. Acacia is the most commonly found species at lower altitudes, while cinnamon, ficus, bamboo, cacti and cardamom, are found in the hillsides around Kalimpong. The forests found at higher altitudes are made up of pine trees and other evergreen alpine vegetation. Seven species of rhododendrons are found in the region east of Kalimpong. The temperate deciduous forests include oak, birch, maple and alder. Three hundred species of orchid are found around Kalimpong, and Poinsettia and sunflower are some of the wild species that line the roads of Kalimpong.

The Red Panda, Clouded Leopard, Siberian Weasel, Asiatic black bear, barking deer, Himalayan Tahr, goral, gaur and pangolin are some of the fauna found near Kalimpong. Avifauna of the region include the pheasanta, cuckoos, minivets, flycatchers, maynas, orioles, owls, parakeets, partridges, sunbirds, swallows, swifts and woodpeckers.

Kalimpong also has over forty-six nurseries which mainly cultivate gladioli which account for 80% of India's production and orchids, which are exported to many parts of the world. The Rishi Bankim Chandra Park is an ecological museums within Kalimpong. Citrus Dieback Research Station at Kalimpong works towards control of diseases, plant protection and production of disease free orange seedlings.

Kalimpong Map:

Kalimpong Photos:

Kalimpong, Kalimpong Hotels, Kalimpong Map, Kalimpong Sightseeing, Kalimpong Photos, Kalimpong Weather, History of Kalimpong, Lava Kalimpong, Kalimpong Schools, Resorts in Kalimpong and much more

Darjeeling Tourism | Darjeeling Weather

Darjeeling Tourism | Darjeeling Weather

The origin of the name “Darjeeling” is most likely from the Tibetan words ‘Dorje’ which means ‘thunderbolt’ and ‘Ling’ which means place or land. Quite literally, it is the ‘Land of the Thunderbolt’. Originally, this was the name given to a Buddhist monastery atop the Observatory Hill which over time became the name of the whole surrounding area.

Darjeeling with its natural beauty provides a wide variety of activities from liesurely scenic walks to more gruelling activities such as trekking and river rafting for the adventurous ones. Discover the many nuances of Darjeeling and get complete information on your travelling needs to Darjeeling and its resources online. Continue exploring the site or drop us a message if you have questions or feedback.

Darjeeling Weather:

Religion in Darjeeling:

Hinduism, Buddhism and to a certain extent Christianity are the predominant religions practiced by people of Darjeeling. One can expect to find inter-faith places of worship like the Mahakal Temple, the Hindu temple at Dhirdham or the various Tibetan Buddhist monasteries like Bhutia Busty Monastery, Yolmowa Buddhist Monastery or Aloobari Monastery, Yiga Choling Monastery or Ghoom Monastery and the Dali Monastery. Darjeeling also counts the Japanese Peace Pagoda as one of its major tourist attractions. The town also has many churches built during the British era.

Languages used in Darjeeling:

Nepali is the main language used in Darjeeling with Hindi, English and Bengali being the other languages understood by the locals.

The People, Culture & Festivals in Darjeeling:

Darjeeling truly has a diverse community of people consisting of the Lepchas (the original inhabitants), the different dialect groups of Nepali Gorkhas who form the majority, Tibetans, Bengalis, Biharis and Marwaris to name a few.

These diverse communities create a lively cultural environment with their sumptuous food, colorful festivals, music and dances. Explore the sub-sections below:

People of Darjeeling:

Lepchas were the original inhabitants of Darjeeling and Sikkim but they constitute a minority of the population in present Darjeeling.

Nepali Gorkhas constitute the majority of the population of Darjeeling today. They come from different castes and dialect groups like the Gurung, Tamang, Limbu, Rai, Mangar, Newar, Sherpa and Thami communities.

The Tibetan community is a relatively new addition to the population formed when thousands of Tibetan refugees settled across Darjeeling district in 1950 when China annexed Tibet.

The rest of the population is a mix of people who are from the plains of India like the Bengalis, Biharis and Marwaris.

Culture of Darjeeling:

Darjeeling is very diverse in terms of culture including music, dance, food, festivals and rituals.

Music plays a major role in the lives of Darjeeling residents and almost everyone can play a musical instrument or two.

Darjeeling is home to musical stalwarts from Nepali singers such as Aruna Lama, Gopal Yonzon and Amber Gurung to Louis Banks, the `Godfather of Indian jazz’ and Prashant Tamang, the winner of Indian Idol 2007.

Traditional dances in Darjeeling include the jhaure dance, chutkay dance, maruni dance and Tamang selos which find their origins in Nepal. Other forms of dance include the Tibetan Chaam performed with elaborate costumes and masks during the eve of Losar, the Tibetan new year.

Undeniably, the most popular food of Darjeeling is the momo. Momos are steamed dumplings stuffed either with pork, beef or vegetables and served with a spicy chili and tomato paste along with soup. Another popular dish is the thukpa, which is a noodle dish with meat and/or vegetables in soup. Apart from these dishes, the restaurants in Darjeeling offer a wide variety of traditional Indian, continental and Chinese cuisines to cater to different palates.

Tea obviously is the most popular beverage. However, a visit to Darjeeling wouldn’t be complete without tasting chhang, a local millet beer.

Major Festivals of Darjeeling:

Darjeeling is home to many different communities and religions. Many festivals like Dasain, Tihar and Losar are celebrated by locals with much pomp and gaiety.

January – February:

Maghe Sankrati is the Nepali New Year’s Day which is the first day of the Nepali month, Magh that falls in the mid of January. This is considered to be the coldest day of the year so people look forward to the coming of warmer weather, better health and prosperity. It is celebrated by eating yam and the elders blessing the younger ones by putting a small piece of yam on their foreheads. The next Maghe Sankrati falls on January 14, 2009.

Losar or Lhosar is the Tibetan New Year. It is celebrated for 15 days with the main celebrations happening within the first three days. Tibetans celebrate it with new clothes and good food. The eve of Losar is marked by the Chaam (Tibetan Costume and Mask Dance) in most monasteries to ward off the negativity of the Old Year. On this day, the Dali Moastery performs a special Chakrasambhara (Mandala) prayer with a colorful Mandala. The 15th day of Losar sees special religious ceremony called the Cho-Nga Cho-pa where monks create large butter sculptures and light hundreds of butter lamps to dispel darkness in the world. The next Losar falls between January 27 and 29, 2009.

March – April:

Chaite Dasain:

This festival is considered to be the original dasain of the Nepalis. However, this festival has lost its relevance in present times. The next Chaite Dasain falls on March 26, 2009.

Ram Nawami:

This Hindu festival marks the birth of Lord Rama who was the son of King Dasharatha of Ayodhya. Rama is revered by the Hindus and is considered to be an incarnation of Vishnu. The next Ram Nawami falls on April 3, 2009.

May – June:

Saga Dawa:

It literally means ‘fourth month’ and on the 15th day of this Tibetan calendar month, the Tibetans celebrate Buddha’s birth and the day when he died and attained Nirvana. The next Sagadawa falls on May 27, 2009.

Asar ko Pandra:

This is the 15th day of the Nepali calendar month, Ashar. Nepalis eat curd and chewra (beaten rice) because they believe that Goddess Parbati gave Lord Shiva curd and chewra on this day and if you eat the same on this very day you will get salvation.

Farmers usually plant paddy on this day with much festivities as this date also marks the beginning of Monsoon. The next Asar Pandra falls on June 29, 2009.

July – August:

Birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama: The birthday of His Holiness is celebrated on July 6. The year 2008 marks the 73rd birthday of the Dalai Lama.

Shrawan Sankranti:

This is the first day of the Nepali month Sawan or Shrawan. People pray to the ‘devi’ (young goddess) to eradicate scabies and other skin diseases. The next Shrawan Sankranti falls on July 16, 2009.

Chokhor Duchen:

This festival commemorates the Buddha’s first sermon and the teaching of the Four Noble Truths. The next Chokhor Duchen falls on August 5, 2008.

Naag Panchami:

The literal translation is Naag meaning ’serpent’ and ‘Panchami’ can be traced to the word ‘paanch’ meaning ‘five’. It falls on the 5th day after the full moon. On this day, priests visit Hindu households offering a special prayer and sticking a picture of snakes with Lord Vishnu at the door as a symbol of protection. The next Naag Panchami falls on August 6, 2008.

Tendong Lho-Rum-Faat:

This festival is celebrated by the Lepchas and it marks the rising of the Tendong Hill in Sikkim to save the Lepcha people from a great flood. The next Tendong Lho Rumfaat falls on August 8, 2008.

Kushe Aaushi:

On this Nepali Hindu festival, priests go door-to-door giving out Kush grass which signifies the presence of Lord Vishnu. The next Kushe Aaushi falls on August 31, 2008.

September – October:

Teez or Teej:

The festival of Teez or Teej is celebrated by Chettri and Brahmin castes of Nepali women. The married women fast to honor of Lord Shiva for health and vitality of their husbands. Unmarried women fast to get a good husband in the future. The next Teez or Teej falls on September 2, 2008.

Biswakarma or Viswakarma Puja:

Lord Viswakarma is the Hindu God of machines and trade tools. On this day workers and professionals worship their tools of trade and they generally do not operate these tools on that day in respect of Lord Biswakarma. The next Viswakarma Puja falls on September 17, 2008.

Dasain or Dashain:

This is the biggest festival of Nepali Hindus and is celebrated with great enthusiasm in Darjeeling. This festival usually falls in late September or early to mid October. The next Dasain or Dashain falls on October 9, 2008.

November – December:

Tihar or Teohar:

This is another important festival of Nepali Hindus which starts with the Kag (Crow) Tihar when crows are fed because they are considered to be the messengers of the Lord of Death, Yama. The second day is the Kukur (Dog) Tihar when dogs are fed because they are believed to be the guardian of Yama. The third day is Laxmi (Goddess of wealth) puja also known as the Gai (Cow) Tihar when the cow which symbolises wealth is fed and worshipped. In the evening, houses are decorated with garlands and oil lamps are placed on doors and windows and often people indulge in gambling. Also in the evening, groups of girls visit homes to sing the praises of the Goddess (Bhaileni) and they are given gifts of money and sweets. The fourth day of Teohar is celebrated differently depending on people’s specific community. On the last day of Tihar, Bhai Tika is celebrated when the sisters pray for their brother’s long life and protection from from Yama Raj, God of the underworld. The next Tihar or Teohar falls between October 26 and 30, 2008.

Lhabab Duchen:

This is a Buddhist festival celebrated by the Tibetans to observe the descent of Buddha from heaven back to earth. The next Dasain or Dashain falls on November 19, 2008.

Adventure Sports in Darjeeling:

Jungle Safaries:

Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary:

In North Bengal, the great expanse of Terrai grasslands is held by Jaldapara Sanctuary intersected with raverine forests, dry mixed forests and wet-forests. Rhino and Asiatic elephant's favourite homes are the tall riparian grasslands lined with bamboo clumps. Various other kinds of species like the python, monitor lizard, cobra, kraits and frogs are available for visitors to see. On approach, Hog Deer, a typical animal of short grasslands quite often shoots out of cover in small groups.

The sambar conceals itself in a good shrubby undergrowth. The cheetal is confined to the edge - areas between treelands and grasslands. Gaurs - Indian bison - can be found roaming over grasslands and forest. A tiger or leopard may be found on the sandy banks of a stream. Ride on elephants gives an exhilirating experience at Jaldapara.

Rain Forests of Dooars:

Jungle Safari in the District of Darjeeling - Rain Forests of Dooars Dooars is self explanatory meaning the 'gateway'.Specifically meant to be the gateway to Bhutan, it is now the gateway to the Indian states & districts of Assam, Sikkim and Darjeeling. Here the streams mature into rivers, rhinos and elephants have their say and its a place where the Himalayas meet the plains.

A never ending stretch of virgin forests is crisscrossed by the river Teesta and her tributaries with motorable roads cut through deep forests, rich with fauna and flora. Mauve hills stand at the end of velvet green plains. The forests echo with the melody of birds. There are various wildlife sanctuaries, national parks, trival settlements and valleys carpeted with tea gardens.

The Indian bison or Gaur can be said to be omni present. A prominent glance of the endangered species, one horned rhino, is possible at Jaldapara and Gorumara. The Royal Bengal Tiger can be seen at Mahananda and Buxa with other numbers of the cat-family. Small tribes like Rava, Mech, Kora, Munda etc. are found in between. Toto, the smallest surviving tribe also exists.


Jungle Safari in Darjeeling District at GorumaraThe reception of the National Park with ringing temple bells, typical sounding crickets is fantastic. Comprising of 80 sq. kilometers including the upper Tondu reserve and Chapramari wildlife sanctuary, Gorumara is unique for its diversity. This is the most vital migratory corridor of the Asiatic Elephant - the myth of this forest prayed as Mahakal Baba or Lord Shiva. A temple in Darjeeling at the Observatory hill is solely dedicated to Mahakal Baba and the locals say that it is "Chetcheti" meaning very holy and whatever you wish for, your wishes will be granted. It claims to be the home for one horned Rino and the Indian bison. Bird watching is one of the best pastimes.

Mountain Biking in Darjeeling:

Bike and Trek tour ( Singalila Tour)

Darjeeling bike tours
Day 01 - Arrival from IXB to Darjeeling
Day 02 - Darjeeling
Day 03 - Darjeeling to Maneybhanjyang - can be done by bike
Day 04 - Maneybhanjyang drive (using a landrover to Megma 11kms) - and then use a bike to drive to Gairribas.
Day 05 - Gairibas to Sandakpu ( driving and using bike at certain places.)
Day 06 - Sandakpu drive to Phalut ( bike can be used and with the help of porters at some place)
Day 07 - Phalut trek to Samanden
Day 08 - Samanden trek to Shrikohla
Day 09 - Shrikhola use a bike to travel to Rimbick
Day 10 - Rimbick (either take a vehicle and drive straight to Darjeeling or continue the tour) use a bike to Lhodoma and to Jhepi
Day 11 - Jhepi use a bike to Bijanbari valley
Day 12 - Bijanbari use a bike or drive to Darjeeling (some place"s gradient is little steep)
Day 13 - Darjeeling drive to Bagdogra airport.

Note :

On this route the highest point reached is Sandakphu (12000 ft), porters and camping staff has to be used, plus use of landrovers (4 wheel vehicles) are necessary, good moutain bikes are needed, a professional guide is needed.

Bike Tour ( Darjeeling region)

Sikkim Bike tour

Day 01 - Arr from IXB and drive to Siliguri
Day 02 - Siliguri drive to Dudi and then use a bike to travel towards Mirik. 24 kms metalled road, gradient ok - Hotel
Day 03 - Mirik use a bike to travel to Jore Pokhari ( Above Sukhia Pokhari) 23 kms metalled road, gradient ok - Forest Lodge
Day 04 - Jore Pokhari use a bike to travel to Darjeeling 19kms metalled road, gradient ok - Hotel
Day 05 - Darjeeling sightseeing ( can be done in bike) Hotel
Day 06 - Darjeeling use a bike to travel to Tiger hill and camp over there. 11kms slightly uphill from Ghum - highest darj ridge. - camp
Day 07 - Darjeeling use a bike to travel to Mangmaya camp ( 27kms ) metalled road and slightly down hill - Camp
Day 08 - Mangmaya to Teesta bazar (14kms to Teesta) by bike or trek for hour and half down hill. and raft on river teesta (camp in the Dovan meeting place of river teesta and rangit) Down hill to Teesta - Camp
Day 09 - Teesta Bazar use a bike to Kalimpong or drive to Kalimpong. 16kms metalled road. uphill - Hotel
Day 10 - Kalimpong use a bike to drive to Lava ( 37 kms) mostly level road - Camp & use forest bungalow
Day 11 - use a bike to drive to 30 kms from Lava to Gorubathan (down hill metalled road) - Camp & use forest bungalow
Day 12 - Drive from Gorubathan to IXB airport - 76 kms ( 4 to 5 hours drive)

Note :

Kindly note that the above regions are in Darjeeling District. The whole route provides visit to Tea Gardens, Jungle, country side, village, small towns, lakes, moutain view, etc. We have mentioned hotels or camps at respective places. Most of the places are camps and food is cooked by our own staff. They will travel on one jeep. As per the number we will have a backup vehicle. The highest point reached in this journey is at an altitude of 8500 feet. (Tiger hill). This tour would be a great tour if tried.

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White Water Rafting in Teesta | White Water Rafting in Teesta & Rangeet River

White Water Rafting in Teesta | White Water Rafting in Teesta & Rangeet River

White Water Rafting is an Adventure Hill Sport, which is relatively new in the Darjeeling Hills having introduced in 1991. Since then the sport has gained immense popularity all over the region. Beckon the strong hearted as Darjeeling is also home to the mighty River Teesta and Rangeet whose turbulent currents make a formidable challenge to even the seasoned rafter. There is however a wide range in the intensity of the rapids making it adequate for all, the young and the aged to enjoy the spectacular scenery while leisurely snaking down the river. The Dept. of Tourism, DGHC has successfully promoted this sport and has acquired well trained members and quality equipment ensuing a safe and pleasant ride to all visitors.

Tourist should spare a day during their stay in Darjeeling and take a one and half hour drive down to Teesta Bazar to enjoy this Hill Sport. "Assumption of Risk and Release" bond has to sign before undertaking the trip.

The Teesta River, is the main drainage of Sikkim, Darjeeling, and Kalimpong Hill Region. It has been graded on the International scale at Grade 4. The icy cold waters of the rugged Teesta have a series of rapids with varying intensity, and character. It offers one of the finest rafting stretches. The Rangit, a tributary of the Teesta, has more turbulent waters. With its multi-dimensional rapids, it offers a challenge to more experienced rafters.

On both the rivers, the riverbanks have deep forests, with some patches of terraced cultivation, and small villages. Plenty of white sandy beaches exist, offering good campsites. Rapids of classification 2 to 4 are interspersed with placid floats, making rafting an enjoyable experience.

Foreign Tourists in Darjeeling

Foreigners are required to carry their passport as it has to be produced while signing the "Assumption of Risk and Release" bond and also before crossing the Teesta Bridge.

Checklist for White Water Rafting

  • Set of dry clothes
  • Extra pair of sneakers, waterproof, sandals, canvas shoes
  • Sun cap, sun glasses
  • Half pants, Swim suit.
  • Water bottle
  • Sun tan / Sun block lotion
  • Towel
  • Dry Shoes and socks
  • Warm Jacket
  • Personal toiletries
  • Specific medicine
  • Flash light

White water rafting in Darjeeling got its name from the white foam produced from the water as it gushes over the rocks and boulders. In Teesta rafting is confined to the winter months, between October and April. Spring or early summer is ideal for river rafting. Paddle rafting and oar rafting can be done in the Teesta River.

Caution for Water Rafting:

Alochol is not permitted at least six hour prior to the river trip. People suffering from epilepsy, weak heart condition or any other serious aliment are discouraged from rafting. Accomodation can be availed at Chitrey Wayside Inn for overnight stay.

Formalities for Water Rafting:

All foreign clients are to carry their passport which will be required at the ‘Teesta Bridge’ while crossing and also enter details of the same on Bond Form.


Persons suffering from weak heart conditions, epilepsy, expecting mothers and those with serious ailments are not permitted to go rafting.

Consumption of any intoxicant is not permitted. Age limit 14 years on all sections except the float trips, where it is relaxed to 10 years.

Non-swimmers are welcome but may be restricted to certain sections of the river, on the advice of the River Guide/Trip Leader.

Course for White Water Rafting:

For non-swimmers:

1. Melli to 29th Mile (1.5 hours).

2. Melli to Kalijhora (3 hours).

Only for swimmers:

1. Tarkhola to Malli (2 hours).

2. Tarkhola to 29 Mile (3 hours).

You can know more about of Darjeeling at http://darjeelinginformation1.blogspot.com/

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Darjeeling To Kanchenjunga Trekking | Trekking in Darjeeling | Darjeeling Trek | Kanchenjunga Trekking

Darjeeling Kanchenjunga Trek:

From Darjeeling hills where tea plantations stretch as far as the eye can see, to Sikkim, an ancient Himalayan kingdom of Tibetan culture, this trek offers breath-taking views of the Himalayan range from Cho Oyo to Kanchenjunga. At first through luxuriant rhododendrons, pines, spruces and giants magnolias forests, then through green meadows and yak pastures, the trek leads us towards east Sikkim, close to the Nepali border.

Along the Onglakhing glacier moraines and Samity sacred lake, we climb up to Gocha La pass, highlight of this magnificent itinerary, where we will savour the breath-taking scenery of the Talung glacier and the impressive east face of the third highest summit in the world, Kanchenjunga (8586m). We are surrounded by Rathong (6679m), Kabru (7338m), Talung (7349m) to the south, and Kirat Chuli (7365m) and Pyramid Peak (7123m) to the north. The way ack via a recently opened path, goes through lush green jungles overgrown with lianas and orchids.

Darjeeling Kanchenjunga Trekking Tours

Day 01:

Arrive Delhi, where you will be met and transfered to your hotel. (Hotel B&B)

Day 02):

Delhi – Bagdogra (by plane) – Darjeeling (2130m) by car.

Arrive Bagdogra Airport and drive to Darjeeling, charming 4-hour journey, through Assam tea plantations and tiny villages takes us to Darjeeling. Built on top of a ridge, Darjeeling faces the Himalaya and is a popular destination for Westerners and Bengalis alike. Overnight in Darjeeling.

Day 03): Darjeeling visit.

We could take an early trip to Tiger Hill to see the sunrise. Afterwards we visit the famous Ghoom monastery that enshrines an image of the Maitreya Buddha (the coming Buddha). Later on we can visit the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and tea plantations. Overnight in Darjeeling.

Day 04): Darjeeling – Manay Bhanjang ( 2134m. 1h 30) by car – Tonglu (3070m)

Early morning drive from Darjeeling to Manay Bhanjang. The trail overlooks the Bengali plain south, and we have tantalising glimpses of Kanchenjunga ahead, as we zigzag through rhododendrons.

Day 05): Tonglu – Garibas (2620m) in 4h.

We take a mossy paved path, that snakesthrough a succession of forests and hamlets, giving way, from time to time, to spectacular mountain sceneries.

Day 06): Garibas – Sandakphu (3640m) in 4h 30 min.

We steadily climb to join the ridge trail towards Kalpokhari. Afterwards we start a long and steep climb onto the Singalila ridge that leads us to Sandakphu. A remarkable 360 ° view from the top.

Day 07 ): Sandakphu – Phalut (3600m) in 6h.

We walk to a prominent viewpoint for the magnificent sunrise over the Kanchenjunga, Jannu, Everest, Lhotse, Makalu and Cho Oyo. Throughout the day, there are ever-changing views: yak herds, silvery pine forests, tiny lakes ringed with grass, and the snow-capped Himalayan range in the background.

Day 08): Phalut – Raman (2560m) in 5h.

A pleasant descent through the woods takes us to Gorkhey (2500m) then we climb up towards Raman.

Day 09): Raman – Rimbik (2280m) in 4h.

We pass through numerous villages and cross the Sri Khola over a remarkable suspension bridge.

Day 10):

Rimbik – Pelling by car (9h)

Day 11): Pelling – Pemayangtse – Yuksam by car (2h).

2.5 km from Pelling, we will visit the Pemayangtse monastery. Perched at 2800m, it is one of the oldest and most impressive gompas in Sikkim.

Day 12): Yuksam - Tsoska (3030m) in 6h.

The trail leads up the Rathong valley, through thick, semi-tropical forests. Afterwards a steep climb takes us to the tiny Tibetan village of Tsoska. The landscape has now changed into pine, rhododendron and magnolia forests. We get excellent views of the entire Himalayan range and Kanchenjunga.

Day 13): Tsoska – Dzongri (4020m) in 5h.

A steep trail zigzags up through temperate forest and large clusters of rhododendrons, to the vast clearing of Phedang. During April and May, the spectacle is gorgeous, as the land becomes a mass of flowers (400 species have been listed so far). After 300m, we follow the ridge to Dzongri, a pasture area for Yuksam yaks from April to October.

Day 14): Dzongri – Thangshing (3930m) in 4h.

We descend through rhododendron forest towards the the glacial Prek river. We establish our campsite on the grassy pastures of Thangshing. The southern ridge of Kanchenjunga and the Onglakhing glacier are visible directly ahead and there are close-up views of Pandim.

Day 15): Thangshing – Samity Lake (4200m) in 3h.

A pleasant walk below the west side of Pandim, through dwarf azaleas and rhododendrons to Zemathang. We take our first footsteps on the Onglakhing glacier, and climb up to the shores of the Samity lake, reputed to be the sacred source of the Prek river. Ringed by prayer flags, the lake reflects Forked Peak, Kabru North, Gocha Peak and other snow-capped peaks.

Day 16): Samity Lake – Gocha La (4940m) – Thansing in 7h.

We have to leave quite early this morning, as fog and clouds descend on the pass shortly after sunrise. The track to Gocha La climbs steeply through moraines. From the pass, ringed with colorful prayer flags, we can see Kanchenjunga and beyond that, the Talung glacier.

Day 17): Thangshing – Lam Pokhari (4230m) in 5h.

After a steep descent, we climb through alpine areas and pass by tiny lakes.

Day 18): Labdang– Tashiding (1740m) in 5h.

An easy walk, in an atmosphere becoming more humid and heavier as we descend.

Day 19): Tashiding – Martam by car (4h).

We visit the Tashiding monastery, one of the most isolated in Sikkim, perched on the top of a hill set between two rivers.

Day 20): Martam – Gangtok by car (1h).

En route we visit Rumtek monastery, reputed for its religious Tibetan art. Visitors are welcome to attend prayers. Afternoon at leisure in Gangtok.

Day 21):

Gangtok – Bagdogra (by car) – Delhi (by plane). (Hotel B&B)

Day 22):

At leisure in Delhi. Safety day for your international flight. (Hotel B&B)

Day 23):

Transfer to airport and fly back home.

You can know more about of Darjeeling at http://darjeelinginformation1.blogspot.com/

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