Kalimpong has come a long way since 1865, when it was just a small hamlet of 3 to 4 families having few cows. At present it has a population of about 70,000. Prior to 1864, the information cannot be authenticated as accounts are contradictory and vary from source to source. Due to this reason, even the etyonology of its very name Kalimpong is not clear and has various theories. From the Lepcha sources, "Kalenpung" means Ridges Where We Play. In Tibetan translation it means The Stockade of Kings Ministers, and the hill people also call "Kalimpong" as "Kalibong" meaning "Black Spurs".
Ever since it was constructed in the year 1890 - 91, this magnificent building has been the landmark of Kalimpong. This beautiful church was built on 1 Nov 1891 by the Scottish Missionaries. In the early days, the sermons were in 10 different languages for the purpose of spreading Christianity. These were Bodo, Nepali, Bengali, Hindi, English, Chinese, Lepcha , Sanskrit, Urdu and Tibetan.
This is the oldest Bhutanese Monastery in the district of Darjeeling, proving the presence and the hold of Bhutan over Kalimpong. Many scholars are of the opinion that, it was built around the late 1600's. Surgeon Rennie has mentioned in his book of 1865 (Bhotan and the story of the Doar war), of a monastery in KPG where 3 monks resided and he had called this monastery as Tusso Cimpa. He was referring to this monastery.
Nature Interpretation Centre in Kalimpong, a great idea on work, provides the great information on effect of human activities in the Earth's environment. This centre is established and managed by forest department. This centre carries out information, collecting and researching on flora and fauna in the hilly forests of Kalimpong and also watches the human interaction with these natural gifts.
Dalai Lama consecrated Zong Dog Palri Fo-Brang Gompa, also known as Durpin Monastery, in 1976 after six years of establishing it. The importance of this monastery lies with the sacred Kunguyar kept here. It contains all 108 volumes carried by Dalai Lama in his exile. This Gompa is a specimen of Buddhist architectural-style, with spectacular painting on the walls. This Gompa encloses a main prayer hall and an exceptional upstairs appear, in a three dimensional view.
Situated about a kilometer from town , this musuem has various articles of interest for those who want to know about the Lepcha culture and heritage. The entire area of the Darjeeling and Sikkim is known as "The land of the Lepchas". Various articles of worship, original lepcha musical instruments and many other articles can be found here.
Also known as the famous Cactus nursery, 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 lacs! 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.
The Morgan House or the Singhamari is one of the oldest Colonial bungalows, that was built after the British opened up Kalimpong as a hill resort. It is currently under the West Bengal Tourist Development Corporation. This is a very beautiful example of a colonial past of Kalimpong.
Situated at a height of 5500ft, Delo is the highest point of Kalimpong town. The view from the Hill is a fantastic one. One can see the entire Kalimpong Town, the magnificient Mt. Kanchenjunga, the surrounding villages and Relli valley on one side with the Teesta River on the other. It is one of the most popular destinations of Kalimpong where views are concerned.
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 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.
A very new addition to the tourism of Kalimpong is the Science City. Located less than a kilometer away from Delo Hill, this is a place which is of tremendous joy specially to the children.
Dr. J. A. Graham is one of the pioneers of the development of Kalimpong ever since its beginning. It was through him that, Kalimpong gained popularity throughout Europe. On 24 Sept 1900, an area of 100 acres was granted by the British to Dr.Graham for his project of the St. Andrews colonial homes.