Kalimpong is the largest of the three sub divisional towns in the Hills of the District of Darjeeling. It is situated on the Hills on the left bank of the River Teesta and shares its borders with Sikkim and Bhutan.
Kalimpong compares favourably with the other hill stations in India. Infact it had advantages over most with its mild climate, good residential facilities, almost round the clock electricity, good schools and hospitals, clean surroundings, relaxed atmosphere and its magnificent view of the Himalayan range and nearby hills. The best vantage points are the two hills, Deolo (1704 mts) and Durpin (1372 mts), a short distance north and south of the town. From here one can see the spurs and ridges of the lower hills rise and merge with the massive blocks of Kanchanjunga and the other peaks of North and West Sikkim. As the eyes pan to the north, the ranges that can be seen in order are the Singalilla Ridge (3603 mts), Phalut 93594 mts), Kabru (7315 mts), the mighty Kanchanjunga (8579 mts), Simvu (6827 mts), Siniolchu (6888 mts), Lama Angden (5867 mts), Kanchanjan (6919 mts), Black Rock (5334 mts), Nathula (4390 mts) and Jelepla (4386 mts). Down below in the valley flows the swift Teesta River – the river of moods. The Rungeet River is to the west, a river that has its source in the Singalilla and which joins the Teesta about 3 Kilometer above the Teesta Bazaar.
Kalimpong town itself is the headquarters of the Sub-Division of the same name. The town is not compact or concentrated but scattered along a ridge from an elevation of approx. 1150 mts to 1450 mts. The bazaar is the seat of the saddle, to the north is Dr. Graham’s Homes and Deolo and the south the Development Area and Durpin. The bazaar has been built in a very haphazardous manner on either side of the Main Road for a distance of 5 km. Walking down the Main Road from the police Station, one can find on both sides of the road, shops dealing in clothes, hardware, photography, footwear, handicrafts, newspapers, books, medicines and articles of interest to the tourists.
Continuing along the Main Road, one comes to the 10th mile, where shops are mainly run by Marwaris and Tibetans. About half way down the 10th mile lower rode, a number of sheds built on concrete plinths and with corrugated roofs can be seen. This is the very interesting, Kalimpong Haat Bazaar, which is held twice every on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The convergence of the sellers from various rural ethnic groups in their local traditional dresses and costumes make these Weekly Haats a very big tourist attraction. On a Weekly Market day one can buy everything one needs in the way of food-stuff.
The motor stand is in the heart of the town and was built quite a few years ago. Below the motor stand is the Mela Ground, which gets its name from the Mela (fair) which used to be an annual feature but which has long since been discontinued. At the enterance of the Male Ground from the motor stand is a gate to commemorate the historical and important date of 15th August 1947, the day if India’s Independence. It has a statue of the Fatherb of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, on top of it, in a pensive and thoughtful mood, below which is inscribed in Hindi, ‘Unity, Love, Service’.
The hills surrounding Kalimpong are mainly agricultural regions. The lush green terraced fields, the traditional dressed villagers and the very magnificently beautiful view all around, is a delight to see. This is where the actual fun of being in Kalimpong is. The rustic and peaceful surrounding and the panoramic view of the lower hills merging with the massive blocks of the Himalayan range makes one’s holiday in Kalimpong something to be treasured for a life time.
Adventure tourism is slowly but steadily becoming a big attraction in the Kalimpong region. Trekking, Mountain Biking and Rafting have already been introduced and adventure lovers from all over the world are all very excited at the prospect of a whole new area opening up for them. The foundation for the opening of Kalimpong as an adventure destination has been layed but still a lot of ground work is to be done before Kalimpong can compare with Darjeeling or West Sikkim.
Kalimpong has come a long way since the time when it was a small hamlet of 3-4 families, to the hustling and bustling town it is now. Gone are the bullock-carts, gone are the thatched roofed huts, gone are the narrow muddy paths and in their place Kalimpong has now become a town of approx. 65,000 people with all modern facilities. In spite of the outwardly change, the charm, remoteness, peace and mystic still remain the same.