Darjeeling AND Gangtok -- KURSEUNG

Kurseong is a hill station (and sub-divisional town) situated in Darjeeling District of West Bengal, India. Located at an altitude of 1458 metres (4864 ft), Kurseong is just 30 km from Darjeeling. It has a pleasant climate throughout the year and the winters are not as severe as Darjeeling.

The local name of Kurseong is called "Kharsang" which in the Lepcha language means "Land of the White Orchids". Kurseong is 47 km from Siliguri and is connected to the city by road and the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. The nearest airport is at Bagdogra.The nearest major railway station is New Jalpaiguri [NJP], which is about 53 kilometers from Kurseong. The town is based mainly on schools and tourism. The best times to visit Kurseong are between March end and May and between the end of August and October.

Kurseong was ceded to the British Empire by the chogyal (monarch) of Sikkim in 1835. Later in 1880, the small hamlet became a tourist destination for the colonial authorities and was a preferred place for sanatoriums where the sick would recuperate.

Kurseong is developing as a quiet hill station. Tea gardens include Castleton, Makaibarie, Ambotia and Goomtee. These tea gardens also offer 'bed and breakfast' type accommodation in workers quarters, etc. Kurseong was a rest town and medical town during the British days, with a TB Sanatorium and various villas and bungalows.

The toy train station is the nucleus of the town. The train tracks run through the length of the town.

Religious sites: 1. The Ambhotia Shiva Temple.
2. Giddapahar Durga Mata Mandir.
3. Jagdish Mandir on Bank Road (on way to the Eagle's Craig). This temple has very old idols (almost 300 years old) of Lord Jagannath.
4. St. Paulseak Church on Hill Cart Road, Near St. Joshephs School.
5. Buddhist Gompa in Montieviot.
6. Buddhist Gompa in Dowhill Road.
7. Juma Mosque in Hat Bazaar.

Natural Sites:

1. Eagle's Craig.
2. Deer Park - Now known as DowHill Park, on the DowHill Road.
3. The Kholas (Water Falls - Springs) like Whistle Khola (named by the Britishers, as there is a bend and the toy train whistles when passing through it.)

Museums: 1. Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Museum and N S C Bose Institute of Asiatic Studies, hosted in the house of his elder brother, Sarat Chandra Bose, are situated at the Giddhapahar Area. Netaji was interned in this house by the British Govt. in the late thirties. The house now displays photocopies of the exchange of letters between Netaji and his would be wife, Ms. Emilie, many rare photographs of his Indian National Army (INA), other memorabilia of the Indian Freedom Movement and a few personal belongings of Netaji and the Bose Family.

Other Sites: 1. Chimney: A walk or ride through the forest of Cryptomaria Japonica on the road, now called Aranya Sarani, leads to the vast open meadows at Chimney. The curious name of the place is reminiscent of the days, when there was a Bungalow here on the only road (Old Military Road) leading to Darjeeling. A long, dilapidated chimney, standing all alone, is the only remnant of the bungalow now.