Kalimpong is a rapidly expanding bazaar town set amongst the rolling foothills and deep valleys of the Himalaya at an altitude of 1250 metres. It's attractions include 3 monasteries, an excellent private library, a sericulture centre and the fine views over the surrounding countryside. Monasteries : The Tharpa Choling Monastery belongs to the Yellow Hat sect of Tibetan Buddhism, founded in Tibet in the 14th century. It is a 40 minutes walk (uphill) from town. Lower down the hill, the Thongsa Gompa is the oldest monastery. Zong Do Palri Fo-Brang Monastery was built at Durpin Dara Hill. There are good mountain views from Durpin Dara Hill. Flower Nurseries : Kalimpong is an important orchid-growing area and flowers are exported from here to many cities in northern India. The Sri Ganesh Moni Pradhan Nursery and the Sri L.B. Pradhan Nursery are among the most important in the area. Sericulture Centre :At this centre silkworms are bred and silk is produced. This centre is on the road to Darjeeling. Nearby is the Swiss Welfare Dairy and the source of the delicious hard cheese you can buy here. Arts and Crafts : Kalimpong tapestry bags and purses, copperware, scrolls and paintings are sold at the Kalimpong Arts and Crafts Co-operative. Rabindranath Tagore has started Chitrabhanu, a home for destitute women, a Gauripur House. Crafts produced here are also for sale.



GETTING THERE AND AWAY DARJEELING - There are frequent jeeps for a back seat, and a few taxis in either direction for the three hour trip. All the transport other than the taxis leaves from the Bazaar bus stand. SILIGURI - The road to Siliguri follows the Teesta River after the bridge so it is much cheaper and quicker than going via Darjeeling. The views are magnificent. GANGTOK - Several bus companies operate this route from the bus stand. BAGDOGRA - Mintri Transport operates one bus daily to Siliguri and the Bagdogra airport.

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