Depart for Kalimpong after breakfast. The drive is just three hours. Set in beautiful wooded mountain scenery, little visited Kalimpong was once the meeting point of the “Three Closed Lands” on the trade route to Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan.
Five kms south of the town center, the Zong Dog Palri Fo-Brang Gompa, was founded in the mid 1970’s by the Dudjom Yeshi Dorje, the former head of the Nyimgmapa sect, and was consecrated by the Dalai Lama. Locally the Gompa is referred to as “Drupin” meaning binoculars referring to the fabulous views from the top. Of particular importance in this monastery is the three-dimensional Mandala, one of only three in the world. The others are in Taiwan and Spiti in Himachal Pradesh. You will also see the large statue of Avalokitesvara, the Buddha of Compassion, with 1000 arms, each of which has an eye in the palm.
Time permitting, you may also like to visit Dr Graham’s Home. This stop makes a good break from monasteries. Built on the lower slopes of the Deola Hills, the turn of the century buildings and chapel cover 477 acres. Originally started for the children of tea laborers, it began with just six students. Today they have approximately 1500, though preference is given to children from economically deprived families. It is an interesting place to walk around, and to avoid disruption of classes, you can only visit the Kindergarten section. It is fun to just sit in the sun and watch the kids playing a competitive game of basketball. A climb or drive to summit reveals great views of Kalimpong spread out below.
After lunch, continue on to Siliguri which is approximately two and a half hours away.
Overnight at hotel.