Kalimpong nestles in Himalayan West Bengal, is a sleepy little town, once used to be the hub of the trans Himalayan trade between India and Tibet when merchants used to ferry goods by mule caravan over the Jelepla Pass on the Sikkim Tibet Border. With rich cultural and religious heritage, fascinating scenic beauty and wonderful flora and fauna, Kalimpong is an excellent spot for a quiet holiday.
Once the headquarters of a Bhutanese Governor, the world Kalim means king’s minister, Pong is the stronghold. It is also called Kalibong or the ‘black spur’ by the hill people. Kalibong in the local dialect stands for Kaulim, a fiber plant used for making paper and paper goods. This grows in abundance in this region. The hill region of this part of West Bengal with its rich culture and religious heritage, the fascinating scenic beauty and wonderful flora and fauna has immense tourist potential. The drive to Kalimpong down peshoke road is a fascinating experience, from Ghoom the road branches off to to the east, passing through virgin forest of cryptomaria and lower, down the hill, of sal, oak and maple with overhanging ferns. The forests, far richer than on the Darjeeling side of the hill, are interspersed by clearing growing the best quality Darjeeling Tea; half way down the road after passing through a world bounded by gigantic trees almost suddenly round the Rangeet and the Teesta-- and the towering mountains above, bursts into sight. From the distant depths comes the muffled roar of the mingling of the swifty flowing, turbulent blue-green waters. The road itself is an engineering feat, winding its way through, Peshoke, and Lopchu Tea Estates, it descends 6,000 feet in the last 19kilometres to Teesta Bridge; as it begins its rise,the forests on the Kalimpong side are thinner but make up the lack with the feast of colour in the flooring wild poinsettia and bougainvillea from autumn to spring.
Where the clear stream of the Great Rangeet meet the turbid waters of the gurgling Teesta in a deep gorge, with the ravine’s rocky ridge lined with deep forests---a scene of great natural beauty, has sprung a small bazaar just 3km down the Teesta Valley road. Teesta Bridge, 710ft above sea level, is the junction from where the road lead to Kalimpong, Siliguri and Gangtok.