DR GRAHAM’S HOMES
Dr Graham’s Homes formerly called the St. Andrew’s Colonial Homes was founded in 1900 by Reverend Dr. John Anderson Graham a missionary of the Church of Scotland, who settled in Kalimpong and worked with the local community for several years during the turn of the 20th century. In 1900, more than a century ago, Reverend Dr. John Anderson Graham began giving life to his dream. A dream to build an institution that manifested his love for children. A Home for orphaned and abandoned Anglo-Indian children whose only craving was for love and an opportunity to live a life of dignity. Whilst working in Edinburgh as a clerk in the Civil Service, Graham was influenced and encouraged by the Minister of his Church, the Reverend John McMurtrie, to be ordained in the Ministry of God.
On 24th September 1900, Reverend Graham realised his vision and founded St. Andrew’s Colonial Homes. The beginnings were modest – a rented building, Kiernander Cottage. There were six children – two first generation Eurasians, and four European children whose recently widowed mother became the first ever Housemother of the Homes.
The Pine View Nursery
Kalimpong Hill Station is known for its Cactus Nurseries – one of them breeding exotic and imported cacti from South America and supplying to all parts of India and abroad. Cactus is a perennial ornamental and succulent plant which has a huge market around the world these days as the plants are used commercially in parks and in landscaping.
Thousands of Cactus plants which fall under 100 varieties of cacti – all imported from Central, North and South America are cultivated at the Pine View Cactus Nursery which sprawls over 2 acres of Kalimpong landscape and grows cacti which has been collected since 40 years. This is fantastic display of rare and unusual cacti.
This nursery has won several national and international awards for breeding over 100 varieties of exotic cacti in one single place. Even if you re not interested in botany, you must visit the Cactus Nursery as when is the next time you would get a chance to see imported plants which are popular in India and abroad.
This nursery has turned into one of the major places of tourist interest. Situated in the outskirts, this nursery is home to almost 1500 varieties of cacti ranging from just Rs. 20/- to an extravagant few lakhs! This place is a must visit for all the plant lovers and has also earned a reputation as being one of the finest in Asia regarding cacti.
Deolo Hill is the highest point of Kalimpong and it located at the North East of the town. The Deolo hill top is beautifull decorated with a men made park built for the purpose of recreation for the visitors which features exotic flowers. It is an ideal place for a day picnic. A Tourist Lodge is there on the hill to stay. Staying a night to the tourist lodge is highly recommended to watch the spectacular view of Sunrise on Kanchenjunga massif.
On a clear day visitors may spellbound by watching the beauty of snow capped peaks of Himalayas which rule the entire north. View of Kalimpong town, the surrounding valleys, Teesta river dominate the beauty. At night watching the Kalimpong from Deolo hill top seems that someone fixed the heavenly stars on hills.
Three water reservoirs are there, two of which provide the purpose of primary water requirement of Kalimpong. The hill is also the highest point of Kalimpong town, with a height reaching up to 1,704 metre above mean sea level. In addition, there is a park located at the summit of this hill, which is constructed for recreational purposes.
As the name suggests, Hanuman Tok has a huge statue of Lord Hanuman approximately 25 to 30 ft in height located on a hill top not very far away from the Science City. Here fantastic views of the both sides of the hill can be seen along with the Himalayan range. A small mandir of Goddess Durga is found right in front of the statue.
Durpin Dara Hill
Durpin Dara, located at an altitude of 1,402 metre, is known for its beautiful views. It is an observatory point, which is located approximately 3 kilometre from the town. Tourists visiting this place can enjoy beautiful views of the Himalayan ranges. Durpin Dara, easily accessible by car, is the highest point in Kalimpong.
Durpin Dara offers a finest view of the plains and the mighty Teesta. The view of the entire range of mountains of the kanchaenjunga from here is superb. The beautiful buddhist monastery of ZANG-DOG PALRIFO-BRANG is mearing completion. No visit to Kalimpong would be complete without a visit to the famous Durpin Dara. 5 km to the southwest of town looms the Durpin Dara Hill, which is the highest point of the region. It was once a survey point, and hence the name which means Binocular Ridge. Towering over the town at an altitude of 1402 m the observation point offers you a breathtaking view of the Himalayan ranges and its valleys alongwith the rivers that crisscross the plains.
As you stand on this lofty point and swivel on your feet, you will get a panoramic view of the whole Chola Range of Sikkim including the Jelep La Pass. The Kanchenjunga Range can be seen on the northwest horizon while on the Southern side looms the Tiger Hill.
Far below, the rivers Relli and Ryang rush to meet the mighty Teesta near the Rambhi bazaar area. You will also get a bird s eye view of the beautiful Teesta and Rangeet rivers, the rolling Peshoke and Lopchu tea estates, the Nathu-la pass as well as the hill towns of Siliguri and Kurseong. A golf course is just below off the summit.
Thongsha Gumpha, the oldest monastery in the region of Kalimpong, located near the top of RC Mintri Road, was established in 1692. Popularly known as Bhutanese Monastery, this monastery is located near the top of RC Mintri Road. It was commissioned under the rule of Bhutan and was constructed under the guidance of the King of Bhutan.
The present Gumpha is the renovated one, which was constructed after the demolition of the original monastery by the ravage of Gurkhas in Sikkim. Reconstructed in the 19th century, the monastery consists of a prayer room that has 108 prayer wheels, all of which were personally brought by the Dalai Lama. In addition, inside the monastery there are several murals and frescos. On visiting this monastery, tourists can witness several Buddhist monks and devotees offering prayers.
Tharpa Choeling Gompa (Monastery)
Tharpa Choeling Gompa is a renowned Monastery established in 1937 by Buddhist sect Gelukpa, also known as yellow-hat. This is one of the first three monasteries built in Kalimpong and is placed on the mount of Tirpai Hills. The Gompa is surrounded by picturesque and lush green dense forests. One can view the scenic Himalayan ranges from the Gompa premises. History says that Domo Geshe Rinpoche lived in Kalimpong in 1906 when he came to India for pilgrimage and to collect medicinal plants from India, Nepal and Bhutan. At the request of the Tibetanmerchants and some Bhutanese leaders living in Kalimpong to establish a monastery there, Rinpoche instituted this monastery. Gaden Tharpa Choling monastery is a non-profitable development Association, registered under the West Bengal Societies Registration Act, 1961.
The monasteries attracts many Buddhist monks and devotees and is an ideal location for meditation. The tranquil ambience, cool and pleasant climate, unspoiled and unpolluted nature and the perfect religious atmosphere make the monastery a unique place for a stay in seclusion.
In 2005 the 14th Dalai Lama said that he had found the reincarnation of the third Domo Geshe Rinpoche in Bylakuppe through prophecy and divination. In deference to jis directives the Tharpa Choling Monastery banned the worship of Dorjee Shugden. The Monastery is under the direct supervision of the religious department and the Dalai Lama Administration.
St Theresa Church
Less than 3 kilometres northeast of the Kalimpong town square is this region s largest Roman Catholic Church – St Theresa’s Church, an ancient centuries old church, is believed to be built by local craftsmen. This church resembles monasteries and a rare view of the Tibetan architectural design can be seen on the structure of this church. The church walls are enriched with the paintings and inscriptions of Biblical themes. The scenes displayed on the walls carried biblical characters resembling the Buddhist monks. This shows Tibetan influence on the Church Architecture and no wonder then as this Church was designed and built by the locals of Kalimpong – some of them being Tibetans.
The church is located at a place from where one can get the scenic view of the distant Himalayan ranges. The spiritual ambience surrounding this old church is inviting for many devotees and one can see a constant flow of believers to this church
Zong Dog Palri Fo Brang Gompa
Zong Dog Palri Fo Brang Gompa, renowned as Durpin Monastery, is located on Durpin Hill. This monastary is nearly five kilometers south of the town centre. It is situated on the end of the ridge. This monastery after six years of its establishment was consecrated by Dalai Lama in 1976. Durpin Monastery holds important religious significance owing to sacred Kunguyar kept inside the monastery.. Nobel Laureate Dalai Lama brought from Tibet 108 volumes of the Kangyur during his exile.
A true specimen of Buddhist architectural style, this monastery has beautiful paintings on the walls and a rare three dimensional mandala. In addition, this gompa houses a main prayer hall along with upstairs that have three dimensional appearance. The scenic beauty of this place is nice with the Himalayan view and is better still from Durpin Dara Hill. Guest is free to walk or drive through it. Walk across Kalimpong town / Hikes