Kalimpong - a perfect getaway to bust the Covid stress among the quaint

If you are bored of confining yourself in the house and thinking of planning a vacation right now, Kalimpong can be a great choice, to spend some quality time with family and relieve the stress of the past few months, as the town, along with Darjeeling in the East is opening up to tourists again.

 

The COVID-19 pandemic had thwarted everyone’s vacation plans in 2020. Summers, which earlier meant trips to Darjeeling or Puri were terminated and the new ‘stay at home’ routine was adopted this year.  COVID-19 had forced people into isolation and had compelled them to live a cramped existence. The increasingly monotonous lifestyle had also taken a toll on the mental health of the people.

However with the lockdown being lifted gradually across the country, people have started venturing out from their homes to indulge in long-awaited weekend gateways. Despite the fear of COVID lurking in the back of the mind, people are beginning to plan vacations while embracing the ‘new normal’.

If you are bored of confining yourself in the house and thinking of planning a vacation right now, Kalimpong can be a great choice, to spend some quality time with family and relieve the stress of the past few months, as the town, along with Darjeeling in the East is opening up to tourists again.

Kalimpong is a beautiful small town near Darjeeling. It was previously a centre for Indo-Tibetan trade where goods came from or went to Tibet by mule caravans over the Jelepla Pass. Now this sleepy serene town has become a great attraction for visitors who might shun the hustle bustle of Darjeeling or Gangtok to unwind amidst the bounty of nature. There are numerous places to visit in Kalimpong. As the summer months have gone, soon autumn leaves would colour the town, a fine time to walk around the hills and visit these quaint attractions of the place.

1. Dharmodaya Vihar – A Nepalese Buddhist temple with library containing rare books on Buddhism, is now a recognized centre for Buddhist scholars all over the world.

2. Dr. Graham’s Homes- One of the oldest orphanage cum school for destitute Anglo Indian children was set up Dr. J A Graham in the year 1900. The missionary co-educational school is a famous destination for visitors.

3. Morgan House- Built on top of a hill, Morgan House is a brilliant example of colonial British architectural style which offers a majestic view of Mt. Kachenjunga. It has been converted into a tourist lodge and is quite a popular choice for accommodation.

4. Deolo Hills- Highest point of Kalimpong at an altitude of 5,500ft is major tourist spot of Eastern Kalimpong.  The popular tourist destination decorated with well-maintained garden offers spectacular views of Mt. Kachenjunga, Durpin Hill and Kalimpong Township.

5. Durpin Monastry/ Zang Dhok Palri Monastry- It is a sacred hilltop Buddhist Monastry consecrated by the Dalai Lama. A major religious Buddhist attraction, established in 1970, stores ancient paintings and rare documents of Buddhist history.

6. Gaden Tharpa Choling Monastry-  This Gelugpa monastery was founded in 1912. This is one of the oldest monasteries which earlier facilitated education of monks coming from Tibet, Mongolia and other neighbouring countries.

7. Nature Interpretation Centre- The popular tourist spot offers rare insights of the flora and fauna of Kalimpong region. The place also harbours a museum focusing on ecology and environment.

8. Pratima Tagore House- Built in 1943 by Pratima Devi Tagore houses many memories of Noble Laureate Rabindranath Tagore. Presently, the government runs a training centre for women at this popular tourist spot.

9. Lepcha Museum- It is a museum which has tried to preserve the culture and traditions of the Lepcha community. Handicraft items, manuscripts and musical instruments are some of the displayed items in the museum.

10. Catholic Church- The church offers an amalgamation of Buddhist faith with Roman Catholicism, reflected in their various artifacts. A visit to Catholic Church, will be an enriching and a wholesome experience for tourists.

 

First Published:Sept. 16, 2020, 2:45 p.m.