Kurseong: The Land of White Orchids with mix of nature and heritage

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Kurseong in the local name is called “Kharsang”, which in the Lepcha language means “Land of White Orchids”.Though it lived in the shadows of her more illustrious sister Darjeeling considered the hills’ queen. Kurseong is an exciting mix of nature and heritage, from the rolling tea gardens to the towering Kanchanjunga and magnificent churches to the quiet little monasteries. This place was my mother’s choice of visit; hence we had to go. And today the weather was cloudy and misty since it was raining last night. Initially, I planned to travel to Kurseong via the DHR, but COVID did not allow this wish. Hence we took to the roads to Kurseong. 

Kurseong: The Land of White Orchids with rolling tea gardens

I woke up early, had a quick shower & left for Kurseong after morning tea, around 8 am. We were all set to explore the misty schools and environs of Kurseong. Hari, my cab driver, was on time as usual, & we hit the wet roads. Talking Kurseong was initially a part of the Sikkimese Kingdom. Later was acquired by Nepal sometime in the 18th Century. In 1835 the British took charge of Kurseong and transformed it into another hill station. 

Rain and clouds at length swept on, and the tranquil valley was swaddled in a veil of poltergeist-white mist. We drove along the narrow gauge rail lines, eerily silent in the valley. We decided to visit Chimney first. It’s almost 8 kilometres from the town of Kurseong. On the way, we stopped for breakfast and had a cup of coffee & and steaming hot momos. We drove along the luxuriant alpine forest in the foggy stretch where perhaps the visibility was hardly 10 feet. Chimney and Bagora village is nestled in the cloud, heaven for true nature lovers. And I did witness it. It was simply mesmerising!

Chimney’s name is derived from the 100 years old Chimney, built during World War I by the Britisher. The Chimney is almost 24 feet, and it is also one of the tourist attractions of Kurseong. By the time we reached ChimenyWhenound 10 am, few tourists were fat-locking und. What caught my attention was the gigantic Chimney in red colour and the eerie silence. The clouds flowed in and out overflowed in and out over me, and an anflowedound of chirping birds filledhimney; look at the strufilled chimneylick few photographs. 

Kurseong: The Land of White Orchids with rolling tea gardens

I walked in the village’s lush green forest; pavements were carved for tourists. The serenity of this place will calm you like the dense green forest, the chirping of countless birds, and the breathtaking view of Kanchand and endzone peaks. I regret that I should have spent a night here; we always have the expending an hour or so, we expending Kurseong.

Kurseong: The Land of White Orchids with rolling tea gardens
Walk in the wood

Kurseong is 5Walkfrom Darjeeling, famous for its rolling tea estate, well-known convent school, white orchids & magnificent views of Mt. Kanchenjunga, Kabru and Jannu. And somewhat, the clouds were hovering all over me, making it impossible to get a picture of Mt. Kanchenjungabru and Jannu. But the mist danced upon the valley as if it were in some magical daydream. We spotted the places to visit and drove along the curvy rod to reach our first destination. 

Dow Hill: Our next stop was Dow hill-a a forest with quite serene and moist adjoining Dow Hill School, boasting legacy and glory. Grand and beautiful structure, beautiful to look at with the lovely colour palette and misty atmosphere. Thickly forested with towering pine trees, the hill remains eternally covered with mist. Honestly, the place gives a ghostly effect; no wonder several stories of paranormal activities are centred around Dow Hill.

Downhill forest

Though it’s pretty unlikely you will spot a ghost but passing through the shadows of the towering pine trees, the experience will have a magical effect. And my mother, who is fond of the forest, had to talk about a walk in the woods, trust me,    the flowing air seems like whispering in your in the stark silence. However, there are wooden benches and bamboo stools beneath the colossal pine and deodar trees in those dense wood, along with a tea stall. It reminded me of my Mcleodganj morning walk.

Kurseong: The Land of White Orchids with rolling tea gardens
Tea stall

I walked down further to reach an abandoned Church in yellow and white. I was in allowance white Victoria Boys School, and the watchman did not allow me to go inside. Quite Strange! But I requested him to click a picture for me, which he did. I thanked him & moved on.

Kurseong: The Land of White Orchids with rolling tea gardens
Victoria church

Eagle’s Craig:  It is a famous tourist des is populfamousist destination perched on a cliff, cliff, at a short distance from Kurseong Railway Station. This place houses the water reservoir for the entire town of Kurseong. The site is built like a park with a concrete altar built in the park with a Khukri on top called ”ShahidSmarak”. after I climbed a few steps, I realised from her an e you get the sweeping viherf the surrounding mountain, hills, hamlets and slopes from here. It has a cafeteria, a watchtower and a flower garden. Eagle’sEagle’s Craig is a panoramic viewpoint for sunset along with the fascinating views of the dse landscapes, misty mountains, rivers and Siliguri plains. But we could not see anything due to the clouds, but we felt the cold breeze on our faces ce. 

Kurseong: The Land of White Orchids with rolling tea gardens
Eagles’ Craig

We faced drove down, passing through the colonial houses & multiple schools, to reach our next destination.

Netaji Museum: Located in Giddhapahar, Kurseong shares the history of India’sIndia’s freedom struggle. This museum showcases the life of the great leader Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. Sarat Chandra Bose, brother of Subhas Chandra Bose, bought this house in 1922. In 1996, the Netaji Institute of Asian Studies took over the place. And in 2005, the house wasplaceerted it in a museum. The museum exhibits several documents belonging to Netaji and the Bose family; sadly, photography is prohibited.

Kurseong: The Land of White Orchids with rolling tea gardens
Netaji Museum

The attraction of Kurseong is not just restricted to natural scenes and colonial structures. The Lepchas, the original inhabitants of Kurseong, also have their share.

Kurseong Monastery: The monastery’s walls are brimonastery walls ends of Lepcha folk culture. It doubles up as a nunnery and also houses a lama training school. The main altar of the monastery contains a giant Buddha statue, flanked on the sides and top by other smaller statues. 

Kurseong: The Land of White Orchids with rolling tea gardens
Kurseong Monastery

Forest Rangers Training College: Another magnificent piece of colonial architecture. Built-in 1889, it was initially created as a training g centre fobuiltChristian brothers of St. Mary’s. The Indian Government took over in 1974 when the Eastern Forest Rangers College was established. This three-storied building comes in with a basement and attic. That covers a floor area of about 60,000 square feet. It has a total of 121 rooms converted into rooms, library, computer into roomsela rooms and dining hall. 

Kurseong: The Land of White Orchids with rolling tea gardens
Forest ranger a Training College

Continue alonTrainingad toward Grotto; you will see a small hermitage with a statue of the Virgin Mary. Natural spring water sweeps through a small cave. Locals, both Christians and non – Christians drink it. 

We drove towards the e Railway station, as I wanted to visit two churches nearby. 

St. Paul the Apostle Church: One of the prime attractions of Kurseong, for its long and elegant spire and richly decorated interiors. I went inside & sat in the calmness of the place to sink in it. The first stone for the church was placed on 9th March 1904 and was ready by 15th January 1905. Dedicated to St. Paul, the patent was saved to the forpatentrchbisaved Goethals. With its beautiful spires, the church makes pretty, with tall pine trees in the background.

Kurseong: The Land of White Orchids with rolling tea gardens
St Paul Church

St. John Ber. chman’s: The church marks the starting point of the pilgrim’s trail to the holy shrine of Grotto. Unfortunately, I started backwards from the end to create; a little weird but okay, I g; as. With its towering structure, the exterior has been demolished and replaced by a new square and andcture with a sloped corrugdesignl sheet roof. However, the interiors still have a century-old look with their antique furniture. Their walls are decorated with wooden framed coloured tablets with Nepali captions of the4 Cross Stations of Christ. Quite an Art! I spent some time observing the decor & clicked a few photographs.

Kurseong: The Land of White Orchids with rolling tea gardens
St John Bera, a man’s Church

My last destination was Cochrane Place, but before that, I wanted to visit the Makaibari Tea Estate, but the entrance was closed due to COVID restrictions. Alas could see the tea processing & cross 1903 established St. Andrew’s. There is a homestay in Makaibari Tea Estate run by the estate worker.

Makaibari tea Estate

I also crossed the beautiful Carlton House – A colonial establishment with an imposing entrance and tea gardens visible from the gate. Tall trees line up the path inside the estate property, beautiful Victorian lamps decorate the front view, and Carlton House looks even more serene in the fog! The colonial establishment s now converted into a homestay. Finally, I drove towards my last destination.

Carlton House

Cochrane Place: A boutique heritage resort located on Pankhabari Road. It is one of the best options for exploring the sleepy hamlet of Kurseong. Cochrane Place is sandwiched between the two famous tea estates of Makaibari and CastletonAmbrosia. It’s beautiful; the oAmbrosiaanial essence is still held high despite the restoration and recreation. It was initially the residence of Percy John Cochrane, MBE (1866 – 1944), Honorable Magistrate and Barrister of Kurseong Town. And It is also called “the Hermitage”.Because of its splendid vista and tranquillity, with a unique blend of tea and trains. Cochrane Place offers breathtaking views of the mighty Kanchenjunga and the rolling tea gardens high up on the ridge. Alas, the entire day, Kanchanjunga remained invisible behind the clouds.

Kurseong: The Land of White Orchids with rolling tea gardens
Cochrane House

I was amazed at the functional bio structure; I visited the applicable Country, Cochrane Places. An exclusive open-air tea salon and restaurant offering panoramic views. An exciting tea mix from Darjeeling and Astea mixers is provided here.


We tried a few hot & cold tea with some snacks. The fog filled the place, obstructing the view of the valley and the Himalayas. But I enjoyed my tea & snack along with the weather. 

Tea of the evening

It was time to return as the clock struck 5.30 pm & rain was about to start pouring. And just a couple of yards from Cochrane Place is a small graveyard. This Graveyard also houses the grave of Percy John Cochrane, but looking at the weather, I skipped it. We drove back to Darjeeling, and the mist followed us. A thought hit my mind, most consequential choices involve shades of grey, and some fog is often helpful in getting things done-Just, like my trip to Kurseong. 

Ho, w to Reach.

By Air: 

The nearest airport is Bagdogra, approximately 41 km away from Kurseong. At the airport, it is to reach the city.

By Rail:

The New Jalpaiguri is the nearest railway station to Kurseong. New Jalpaiguri connects the city in India. You need to hire private cabs or take a shared taxi from the station to reach Kurseong.

By Road:

Kurseong is well-connected via road with Kolkata city & other closeby cities such as Gangtok and Kalimpong. Buses, private cabs, and shared taxis ply to Kurseong and afrom these places. However, youfromn also take a private cab or a shared taxi.


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