(Last Updated on : 03/02/2010)
Tourist places in Kurseong are some of the well-known tourist destinations close to Darjeeling town. Kurseong is a hill station and also a sub-divisional town situated in Darjeeling district of West Bengal. The local name of Kurseong is called "Kharsang" which in the Lepcha language depicts "Land of the White Orchids". Besides being a great tourist spot, Kurseong is also a hub for quality educational institutions.
Kurseong in West Bengal is located at an altitude of 1458 metres and is just 30 km from the tourist hub Darjeeling. It has a pleasant climate throughout the year and the winters are not as severe as Darjeeling. The best times to visit Kurseong are between March end and May and between the end of August and October.
Tourist Places in Kurseong
Eagle`s Crag is one of the prime attraction spots that are located at 1 km uphill from Kurseong Railway station. A beautiful scenic view of the Teesta River and the dense evergreen forest of Darjeeling valley imparts it to be a major attraction for the tourists. The lower summit boasts a Tourist complex with a garden and observatory Netaji Kothi. At earlier times the place served as the home of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose but now it stand as dilapidated building in a dismal condition. The tourists can enjoy trekking across Kanchenjungha, Jannu and Kabru peaks.
St. Mary Hill is located at 4 kms away from Kurseong Railway Station and it stands amidst the deep woods, which imparts it a look of an elegant mansion. It houses the Eastern Forest Rangers` College (EFRC) and earlier the campus serves as the sight for St. Mary`s seminary, the first such seminary of the east of Suez. The place also features a statue of Jesus and Mary and the newly built St. John`s Church. The church has been carved out in contemporary architectural style.
Kettle Valley Picnic Spot is located at Dilaram Tea Estate on the banks of the river Rinchengtong. It serves as an ultimate place for outing purpose and also offers a rare opportunity to play in its crystal clear waters in the backdrop of snow-clad mountains to the tourist. The Dow Hill features the Deer Park, the Forest Museum, the mini amusement park and the water reservoir. Located amidst moss-laden conifers, it is worth a visit for the tourist seeking serenity and peacefulness. The ubiquitous tea plantations surround the place. The Castleton Tea Estate, which produces the world`s most expensive tea, is located very close to this spot.
Ambotia Shiva Mandir and Gidhapahar Mandir are the two main religious spots of Kurseong. They serve as centres for religious and spiritual purpose and are located in the town. The Deer Park in Dowhill area belongs to the jurisdiction of the state forest department. It was named such because large numbers of Deer were found in the area before the threat of deforestation and poaching. Venturing inside the forest is prohibited. The forest museum is also located nearby and is overseen by the forest department. The Dowhill`s Girls School provides a glimpse of the British era with its architecture and elegance. Victoria Boy`s School was also created by the British and still maintains its Victorian looks and fame.
The grotto boasts the statue of Virgin Mary and is located in a beautiful surrounding. Devotees light candles and pray to God here. Bhangzang Salamander Lake is located 14 km from Kurseong. It is a beautiful green-laced lake that shelters the endangered species of salamanders. Bagora is also called zero point in Kurseong because it is the place with the highest elevation and also has a base camp of the Indian Air Force with a helipad.
Visiting Information on Kurseong
Reaching Kurseong is possible by all the three modes of transportation. Nearest airport to Kurseong is Bagdogra and is connected to Kolkata, Delhi, Guwahati and other places of north-eastern India by Indian Airlines, Damania and Vayudoot services. Kurseong itself is a railway station on the NJP-Darjeeling narrow guage line, also known as the Toy Train Line. And New Jalpaiguri, 57 kms from Kurseong, is directly connected by rail to Kolkata and other main places in India. Kurseong is connected by road with Siliguri (51 kms) and from there to almost all the major cities of India. Some road distances from Kurseong are Kolkata (636 kms), Guwahati (560 kms), Delhi (1359 kms) and Kathmandu (621 kms).
The best season to visit Kurseong is from September to mid June when the region experiences the most soothing climate. The summer clothing should be light woolens and heavy woollens in winter. Regional delicacies like Momo, noodles, Thukpa and Churpee are found in almost every restaurant. Shopping can be done from the stores in the town after judicious bargaining. Local handicraft specimens and woollen garments are the best items to shop here. Nepali, Hindi, Tibetan, English and Bengali are the languages spoken in Kurseong.
Tourist places in Kurseong are well known in north Bengal. After Darjeeling becoming a saturated area for tourism; Kurseong has supremely served the purpose of being an excellent excursion destination from Darjeeling.