The Land of White Orchids: Kurseong

The Land of White Orchids: Kurseong
Panoramic view of Kurseong Town, Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Tucked away in the interiors of Darjeeling, this quaint little town is the getaway we're longing for

Rangeet Ghosh
June 04 , 2020
12 Min Read

Located just 32 kilometres from Darjeeling, Kurseong or what is locally known as  “Kharsang”, is a misty dream of a town. Best known for its British-era schools, pine forests, lush green tea gardens and the famous Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, this tiny little town owes its exotic vibe to the glorious sunsets, visible through the rolling clouds that turn crimson, yellow and eventually a shade of red. Cut off from the mainstream tourist circuit and away from the hustle and bustle of city life, Kurseong has a lot to offer.

Kurseong Town

 
 
 
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Eagle’s Craig

A short walk from the Kurseong railway station, Eagle’s Craig is set atop the Kurseong Hills. Offering magnificent views of the sunset, the surrounding tea gardens, hamlets and Kurseong town, this popular tourist viewpoint is straight out of our dreams. On a clear day, you might even get a  splendid view of the Kanchenjunga mountain and the Teesta river. With a small cafeteria and a watchtower, this is one of the most-visited places in Kurseong by travellers and locals alike.

The watchtower at Eagle's Craig provides picturesque views of sunset

 
 
 
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Dowhill

Considered one of the most haunted places in India, Dowhill’s eeriness adds to its charm. Covered in misty pine forests, Dowhill eco-park is one of the most beautiful places in the district. Home to several British-era schools like Dowhills Girl’s School and Victoria Boy’s School, it also houses a forest museum and the Dowhill Park (previously known as Deer Park).

 The misty Pine forests of Dowhill

Dowhill Road, previously known as Old Military Road

Mist covered Dowhill Road running through the Dowhill forest

Dowhill Girl's School

Bagora

Located at an altitude of 7,100 feet, this quaint hamlet is the highest point in Kurseong and is often referred to as the zero point. Nestled amidst pine forests and rhododendron shrubs, Bagora is the epitome of serenity. There are a number of treks that one can undertake from Bagora. You can hike through the forests to Mongpu or Ghoom or trek as far as the Tiger Hill in Darjeeling, if you are feeling adventurous enough.

 The quaint hamlet of Bagora

Panoramic view of Bagora Village

 
 
 
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Chimney

Located around 8 kilometres from Kurseong, Chimney gets its name from an isolated dilapidated chimney that was built by the Britishers in 1839 on the Dowhill Road (previously known as Old Military Road). The meadows of Chimney offers picturesque views of the surrounding hills.

View of the Kanchenjunga Range from Chimney Village

 
 
 
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Tea Estates

Kurseong is home to some of the most prestigious and fabled tea estates in the world, including Makaibari, Castleton, Goodricke, and Springside. These prestigious tea gardens are the producers of the highest quality of the famous Darjeeling Tea. One can opt for a tour of these gardens and some estates even offer lodging in the British-era bungalows.

Two mean picking tea leaves at Makaibari Tea Estate

Women working on the slopes of Makaibari Tea Estate

 

 
 
 
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Toy Train

You could also hop onto the famous Darjeeling toy train from Kurseong station for a jolly ride to Darjeeling. A Unesco World Heritage Site, the trains run along the Hill Cart road and pass through the famous Batasia Loop and Ghoom, which is the second highest railway station in the world. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway offers both diesel as well as steam locomotives and is a testament of architectural and engineering brilliance.

Steam Engine Toy Train of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

Toy Train running along the Hill Cart Road

 
 
 
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