20 Things To Do In Kalimpong

Things To Do In Kalimpong

Nestled in the serene foothills of the Eastern Himalayas, Kalimpong is a picturesque hill station that promises a blend of tranquility, adventure, and cultural exploration. This quaint town in West Bengal, India, is not just a scenic getaway but also a vibrant melting pot of traditions and histories. From breathtaking views to rich cultural experiences, Kalimpong offers a diverse array of activities that cater to all kinds of travelers. If you’re wondering what to do in this charming town, you’re in for a delightful journey. In this blog post, we’ll explore the top things to do in Kalimpong, ensuring your visit is memorable and full of exciting experiences.

Things To Do In Kalimpong

  1. Explore Deolo Hill

Deolo Hill, the highest point in Kalimpong, offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. It’s an ideal spot for nature lovers and photographers alike. The hill is also equipped with an expansive park that includes landscaped gardens, gazebos, and seating areas where visitors can relax or enjoy a picnic. Adventure enthusiasts can indulge in paragliding, taking off from the hill to soar over the stunning landscapes below.

  1. Visit the Tharpa Choling Monastery

Located on a serene hilltop, Tharpa Choling Monastery is a center for spiritual learning and a testament to Kalimpong’s rich Buddhist heritage. Founded in 1937, the monastery belongs to the Gelugpa sect and houses many ancient scriptures and religious artworks. Visiting this peaceful retreat not only provides insight into Buddhist philosophy and art but also offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

  1. Wander Through the Kalimpong Market

Kalimpong Market is a vibrant hub of activity where visitors can immerse themselves in local culture. The market brims with stalls selling traditional handicrafts, exotic orchids, homemade cheeses, and the famous Kalimpong lollipops. It’s a fantastic place to interact with friendly locals and pick up unique souvenirs. The bustling atmosphere and colorful array of goods make this market a must-visit for anyone wanting to experience the local lifestyle.

  1. Visit Morgan House

Morgan House is a grand colonial mansion built in the 1930s, now converted into a boutique hotel. Known for its British colonial architecture and rumored ghost stories, it provides a fascinating glimpse into Kalimpong’s past. The lush gardens and panoramic views of the Kanchenjunga mountain range are added attractions. Even if you’re not staying overnight, the house welcomes visitors to explore its grounds and enjoy a meal at the in-house cafe.

  1. Take a Riverside Walk Along the Teesta

The Teesta River, with its crystal-clear waters and surrounding lush greenery, offers a perfect setting for a peaceful riverside walk. This area is popular among nature lovers and picnickers. The riverbanks are also ideal for bird watching and fishing, with several spots offering rafting opportunities for the more adventurous. A walk along the Teesta is a refreshing way to connect with nature and experience the tranquility of Kalimpong’s natural landscapes.

  1. Explore Durpin Dara Hill

Durpin Dara Hill is another panoramic viewpoint in Kalimpong that provides stunning vistas of the Himalayan range and the confluence of the Teesta and Rangeet Rivers. The hill is also home to the Zang Dhok Palri Monastery, which was consecrated by the Dalai Lama and houses many sacred Tibetan Buddhist scriptures. A visit here offers a peaceful retreat with the added allure of spiritual significance, making it a perfect spot for reflection and photography.

  1. Attend a Flower Nursery

Kalimpong is renowned for its floriculture, especially its wide variety of orchids. Numerous nurseries can be found around the town, where visitors can see and learn about the diverse species of plants. One of the most famous, the Pine View Nursery, specializes in cacti and offers a view of over 1,500 species of the plant. Exploring these nurseries not only educates visitors about local horticulture but also provides a chance to purchase these beautiful plants.

  1. Experience a Homestay with a Local Family

For an authentic experience, staying with a local family in a homestay is highly recommended. This provides an intimate glimpse into the daily lives of the people of Kalimpong. Guests can enjoy homemade local cuisine, learn about the culture and traditions of the area, and participate in daily activities. It’s a wonderful way to connect with local people and gain a deeper understanding of the region.

  1. Hike to Neora Valley National Park

For the adventurous, a hike through Neora Valley National Park is a must. It’s one of the richest biological zones in the entire Northeast. The park is home to a vast array of flora and fauna, including the elusive red panda and the clouded leopard. Trekking through the dense forest, with its breathtaking scenery and rich biodiversity, is an unforgettable experience for nature lovers and thrill-seekers alike.

  1. Visit Lepcha Museum

The Lepcha Museum, located near the main town, offers a deep dive into the history and culture of the indigenous Lepcha community. The museum showcases traditional Lepcha costumes, musical instruments, artifacts, and manuscripts, providing visitors with a comprehensive view of the Lepcha way of life. This is an enlightening visit for those interested in the anthropological background of the region and its original inhabitants.

  1. Discover MacFarlane Memorial Church

MacFarlane Memorial Church stands as a significant landmark in Kalimpong, showcasing British colonial architecture with its beautiful stained glass windows and spired bell tower. The church, named after a Scottish missionary, provides a serene environment for reflection and is an important site for the local Christian community. Visitors often attend Sunday services to experience the vibrant community life and enjoy the church’s excellent choir.

  1. Visit the Cactus Nursery

While Pine View is famous for its extensive collection of cacti, other nurseries such as the Cactus Nursery offer unique assortments of exotic plants that thrive in Kalimpong’s temperate conditions. This specialized nursery focuses on various types of succulents and cacti, and provides visitors with a chance to learn about different species and their care. It’s a wonderful spot for gardening enthusiasts and casual visitors alike to explore and perhaps pick a plant to take home.

  1. Go Bird Watching at Galingka

For avid bird watchers, Galingka offers a splendid opportunity to spot a variety of Himalayan birds in their natural habitat. This tranquil spot, surrounded by dense forests and with a small stream running through, is perfect for setting up a day camp. Early mornings are particularly rewarding as the area comes alive with the chirping of birds, making it a peaceful retreat for nature lovers.

  1. Enjoy Traditional Gorkha Cuisine

Kalimpong offers a unique blend of culinary influences, and tasting traditional Gorkha cuisine is a must. Local eateries and homestays serve dishes like momo (dumplings), thukpa (a noodle soup), and local fermented foods like kinema (fermented soybeans). Dining here provides a delicious insight into the local culture and is a great way to connect with the culinary traditions of the Gorkha community.

  1. Participate in Local Festivals

Kalimpong is vibrant with cultural festivals throughout the year. Participating in or witnessing festivals such as Losar (Tibetan New Year), Dasain (Nepali Durga Puja), and Diwali offers visitors a colorful insight into the local traditions and celebrations. These festivals are filled with traditional music, dance, rituals, and a general atmosphere of festivity and joy, providing an enriching cultural experience.

  1. Take a Cooking Class

Kalimpong’s unique blend of Indian, Nepalese, and Tibetan influences makes it an ideal place to dive into the culinary arts. Several local chefs and homestays offer cooking classes where you can learn to prepare traditional dishes using fresh, local ingredients. It’s a fun, interactive way to spend an afternoon, and you’ll leave with new skills to impress friends and family back home.

  1. Visit the Pedong Monastery

Located a short drive from Kalimpong, Pedong Monastery offers a glimpse into the spiritual practices and peaceful daily life of the Buddhist monks who reside there. The monastery, set against a backdrop of lush greenery and mountains, is known for its beautiful murals and serene atmosphere. Visiting during prayer times can be particularly moving, offering a chance to witness the monks’ chanting and rituals.

  1. Explore Relli River Valley

The Relli River Valley provides a perfect setting for a day out in nature. You can go for a swim in the river, enjoy a riverside picnic, or simply relax by the water. For the more adventurous, there are opportunities for fishing or even camping overnight under the stars. The valley is also popular for its scenic hikes that offer beautiful views of the surrounding countryside.

  1. Attend a Tea Tasting Tour

Kalimpong is situated near some of West Bengal’s famous tea estates. Joining a tea tasting tour allows you to visit these estates, learn about the tea growing and production process, and sample different varieties of tea. This experience is not only educational but also offers the chance to enjoy some of the freshest teas directly from the source.

  1. Try Hand-Gliding and Paragliding

For thrill-seekers, Kalimpong offers excellent opportunities for hand-gliding and paragliding, thanks to its ideal wind conditions and stunning mountain scenery. There are several certified operators who provide short introductory courses and tandem flights, making it accessible even for beginners. This is a spectacular way to experience the breathtaking landscapes of Kalimpong from the air.


Kalimpong is a treasure trove of experiences, with its stunning landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and vibrant local life. Whether you’re soaring through the skies on a paraglider, savoring the flavors of local cuisine, or exploring the spiritual calm of a Buddhist monastery, Kalimpong offers something unique for every visitor. This guide to the top things to do in Kalimpong is designed to help you make the most of your visit, whether you seek adventure, relaxation, or cultural immersion. Each activity not only promises fun and excitement but also a deeper understanding of the rich tapestry that makes up this beautiful region. So pack your bags, and prepare for an unforgettable journey in the heart of the Himalayas!

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