Gandhi Jayanti Weekend: 5 Hill Stations To Visit Near Kolkata

From well-known to the offbeat, here are some destinations in the foothills of the Himalayas in the east that make for quick weekend getaways from Kolkata

With Gandhi Jayanti around the corner, it may be a good idea to take off time from work for a long weekend break. We have put together a list of hill stations in the Eastern Himalayas that are perfect for a short break.


Darjeeling is one of the most popular hill stations in the East. The eponymous town in the Himalayan foothills is a combination of colonial tradition and contemporary living, surrounded by plantations that produce the "champagne of teas." Reaching Darjeeling via a ride on the famous "toy train" is an adventure in itself, with breathtaking mountain views, forests, waterfalls, and cosy cottages along the wayside. Sometimes the toy train and the motorable road run alongside one other, evoking memories from classic Bollywood films Aradhana, Parineeta, and Barfi. You can ride the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR), which is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, between Darjeeling and Ghoom. Stroll around Chowrasta or the Mall for an incredible glimpse of the Kanchenjunga snow peaks. Explore the rows of curio stores, cafés, and diners, stop by the Oxford Bookstore, and get some tea at Nathmulls. Keventers, located just off the Mall, is well-known for its English breakfast buffet. Read more about discovering local Darjeeling experiences here.


Kalimpong is located about 70 km from Darjeeling on a ridge that connects two hills, Deolo and Durpin, that overlook the Teesta River. In Kalimpong, noted for its flower and orchid nurseries, Buddhist monasteries, historic churches, and temples coexist. The busy bazaar harkens back to when Kalimpong was a vital trading post on the way to Tibet. With its Colonial bungalows and quaint hotels, Kalimpong still evokes memories of the British era. Built by British wool traders, most of these buildings are located on Rinkingpong and Hill Top roads. Read more about it here.

The tea estates of Kurseong
The tea estates of KurseongSubhamwiki1984/WikiCommons


Kurseong's core hub is a lively bazaar, and the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway runs straight through it. Kurseong is home to several prestigious residential schools, including Victoria School, Dow Hill School, and Goethal's Memorial. There are various peaceful treks along the lush hillsides adorned with wisteria and pale-blue hydrangea, past the main school campuses. The trek to Nagri Spur, with its spectacular views of the tea plantations and woodlands, is a wonderful alternative. Eagle's Craig offers breathtaking views of the Teesta River and the lowlands. You can also walk up the main ridge to Ghoom through the woodlands. Read more about it here.


The hamlets of Lava and Lolegaon are located far from the crowds of the more popular town of Darjeeling. Visit the tranquil Kagyu Thek Chen Ling Monastery in Lava. The monastery's stunning red buildings are covered in mist. An hour's drive from Lava takes you to the Lepcha settlement of Lolegaon. There are several minor treks and paths in and around Lolegaon, the most notable of which is the canopy walk, a network of interconnected hanging footbridges in the forest.


Rimbik is a small village in the Singalila National Park region, perched on a hill above the Ramman River. One of the last large hamlets on the Bengal side of the border, it is often regarded as a hub for hikers trekking to Singalila National Park and Sandakphu. Rimbik is also the starting point for a number of treks, including Srikhola and Gurdung. Those seeking excitement can also walk to Sandakphu, one of the more difficult routes in eastern India. You could also try trekking from Rimbik to Darjeeling through Lodoma, Jhepi, and Bijanbari, crossing the Rangeet along the way.

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