I absolutely love hill stations and therefore, whenever I get an opportunity, I escape to the beautiful Darjiling or Sikkim. However, this summer, I wanted to explore a hill station that is remote, quaint and less populated. So, my pick was Kalimpong, which is located a few kilometers away from Darjiling.
View of Kalimpong from the balcony of my hotel room
So, we took a train from Kolkata to New Jalpaiguri Station. After reaching the station, we hired a private car to Kalimpong. It took around 3 hours to reach our destination. The first thing that attracted me in Kalimpong is the wide range of flowers found there, especially orchids.
Orchids of various colors stole my heart and awakened the poet in me
There were orchids of various colors and shapes in Kalimpong. There was a garden in the hotel where we stayed and the various flowers blooming there mesmerized me completely. In our 3 days stay, wherever I went, one thing was common in every nook and corner of Kalimpong and that is the large variety of orchids.
The beautiful colors in Kalimpong can cheer anyone up!
The temperate climate, the cool winds of the mountain, the tranquility and the beauty of the place made me fall in love with Kalimpong instantly. The native people staying there, known as Lepchas are extremely soft spoken and polite. They spend most of their time gardening, cleaning and listening music.
I got to know from the manager of my hotel that Kalimpong is famous for its colonial architecture. The large houses of Kalimpong were all built during the British era. I got fascinated and visited the Morgan house which is a classic example of colonial architecture in Kalimpong. The Morgan House is majestic and has a beautiful sprawling garden. Now, the place is converted into a guest house and run by the department of West Bengal Tourism.
The Morgan House had an old world charm
Just opposite to the Morgan House, is the magnificent Army Golf Course. The spectacular golf course can be seen from the WaterShed View Point.
It was cloudy when we reached the Watershed View Point
On reaching the WaterShed View Point, I was speechless for a few seconds. The wind ruffling my hair and the tranquility of the place filled me with reverence. I kept gazing at the place, sipping a hot cup of tea. I must mention that WaterShed View Point serves one of the best tea I ever had.
Wish I could gaze at this place for 2 weeks, take inspiration by bits and write an entire book!
We could see many people playing golf at a distance. As I was basking in the glory of Nature, I thought that if only I would be staying for 2 weeks in this place, I could have completed writing an entire book. Yes, the place was not only beautiful, but also very inspiring.
Ticket to fulfill a dream
Next, we headed to the Kalimpong Paragliding Society to fulfill one of my dreams: the dream to fly. They charged around 3000 INR for a15 minute flight. It is expensive, but extremely safe. A trained pilot accompanied me who advised me to relax. He told me that it is just like sitting in a car where the pilot will control the paraglider. I just have to enjoy my flight.
Just before taking off
I felt a little jittery before we were about to take off, but then I decided to let go off my fear. I closed my eyes and after a minute, when I opened my eyes, voila! I was flying in the sky. That was one of the most incredible moments of my life. I felt thrilled, happy, excited, emotional and speechless, all at the same time.
I became one with the wind and the sky and the next ten minutes of my life was like doing meditation. I was not thinking of anything but was just living every second of my life. I could feel every heartbeat of mine and once again, I fell in love with life.
I felt like a bird, I felt so alive and liberated.
After landing down, we headed to Deolo Hill, which is a 8-acre lush green parkland with beautiful flower gardens and breathtaking views of Durpin Hill and Kanchenjunga. Deolo Hill is located just ten minutes from the Kalimpong Paragliding Society. In fact, when I was flying in the sky, I could see the Deolo Hill clearly.
After flying in the sky for fifteen minutes, I craved for the ground.
Needless to say, The Deolo Hill was extremely picturesque. I started singing and dancing as soon as I reached there. We could also see plenty of paragliders in the sky from Deolo Hill. The flowers, greenery and the cool breeze made me want to stay there forever.
Some places are so peaceful that you feel like residing there forever
Even after coming back home, I realized that I have left a small part of my heart in Kalimpong. Somewhere amidst the orchids...somewhere within the innocent smiles of the local people there...somewhere in the sky during Paragliding...somewhere at WaterShed View Point gazing at the golf course and sipping tea...somewhere in Deolo while clicking pictures...I fell in love with this beautiful remote hill station of West Bengal.
Dear Kalimpong, I heart you!
This blogpost is written as a part of #BloggerDreamTeam -Food & Travel Carnival.
It is written under the theme of TRAVEL: Unforgettable Travel Stories.