Kurseong is about 45 kilometers from Siliguri the gateway to North Bengal. The airport of Siliguri is known as Bagdogra while the railway station is known as New Jalpaiguri. It takes approximately 2 hours to reach Kurseong if you travel by Hill Cart Road, the comfortable and scenic link running parallel to the railway tracks or about one hour using the Old Army Road (Pankhabari Road), which is steeper. Kurseong is a Lepcha word (the original inhabitants of this area) and it means the white orchid of the eastern Himalayas. The name was apparently given by a European researcher who was researching on an exotic variety of white orchid that could only be found at the height of Kurseong i.e. 4500 feet from sea level. This variety of the white orchid only grows at this height; hence the name the white orchid of the eastern Himalayas. Kurseong is also known as the Land of Glorious sunsets as the sunsets are very exotic owing to the fact that as it faces the western part of the hills, the sunset is visible through a glorious mix of clouds turning crimson and yellow and red and eventually dark as the sun sets in the hills.
You can either walk or flag down mini-vans. These vans show availability if they have a sign up with their destination (for duty or reserved means you can't flag them down). From Kurseong railway station to Makaibari Tea Estate is around R60.
Kurseong is home to the costliest teas in the world. World famous Castleton, Ambotia and Makaibari tea gardens produce the most delicate aromas of all black teas known to mankind.
- 1 NSC Bose Institute of Asiatic Studies (Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Museum), Giddapahar,, Kurseong, West Bengal 734203 (Giddhapahar Area). 10AM - 6Pm.
- 2 DHR Archive, Kurseong Station. 10AM - 4PM. Located in a small room in Kurseong station, the DHR archive house several exhibits including artifacts and old photographs. A cabinet at the centre of the room displays old newspaper articles on DHR. Note that the archive mostly remains locked during the office hours. A request to the station master normally opens up the archive. Rs 10.
- 3 Makaibari, Pankhabari Rd (close to Cochrane Place, get a taxi for around ₹20 or walk 3km downhill from the train station), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. 10AM daily. Makaibari is one of the famous Darjeeling tea estates. Guided tours are given through the factory every day for free. The best time to see the tea production process is before 10AM and in the summer period (March till November). Tea can be bought after the tour in a small shop. Makaibari also runs a home-stay and there are possibilities for volunteer work. Free.
You just relax or move around the town, tea gardens or the parks. Enjoy the cool mountain breeze. The town is small, clean and relatively uncrowded.
- You can walk to Eagle's Crag (Durpin Dhara) or trek (or take a taxi) to Deer's Park. Eagles Crag provides panoramic view of Kurseong Town and the plains of Siliguri. You can view Himalayan peaks with their golden glow for sunrise.
- Trek to Balason river but take local advice for that.
- You can also visit St Mary's Hill and visit the groto church.
- Forestry museum.
- Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Museum at Kurseong railway station.
- Museum of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose on giddha pahar.
- Heritage churches such as St Andrew's church, St Paul's.
- You can also visit Deer Park which offers a peaceful respite with two historical schools located there, The Victoria boys school and Dowhill School. The water source for Kurseong is also located near Deer Park and is a popular place for picnics. There is a park there where there are some caged animals for the visitors to see. The deers roam freely in the enclosed boundary.
- This entire scenic route can be travelled (with huge pine trees on each sides and greenery and peace everywhere) from St Marys Grotto till Deer Park.
One can buy beautiful Tea from either Tea Estate's outlet countr or from shops available in plenty. Woolen garments, jackets are very attractive and can be purchased from shops located on T.N.Road.
Most of the hotels have theeir owwn resturants. Road side eateries serve popular snacks like momo and thupka.
- 1 Margaret's Deck (Tea Pot), Hill Cart Rd, West Bengal 734224 (On Hill Cart Road, just north of Tung Railway (DHR) Station), ☎ . 8AM - 6PM. Margaret's Hope exclusive tea lounge falls under the Goodricke Teapot chain of tea lounges. It is situated on an extended platform offering 270 degree views of the Goodricke's Margaret Hope Tea Estate. Although there are no views of Mt. Kanchenjungha but the deck offers a great sunset. It serves some of the most exotic teas including Muscatel. It also serves snacks, but momo is not on menu.
you can try local drinks such as "chaang" prepared from fermented millets,and tonba another local fermented drink.
Government owned Tourist Lodge and Shyams provide cosy stay.
- 1 Cochrane Place, 132, Pankhabari Road, Kurseong, West Bengal, India, ☎ , , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Former residence of British Magistrate John Percy Cochrane, the Cochrane Place Hotel is a modern day hotel with a touch of the Raj. Located just south of Kurseong on the Pankhabari Road the hotel is surrounded by rolling tea gardens. Cochrane Place is botique hotel specializing in tea. The Chai Country, the hotel's exclusive tea room serves excellent tea. It also serves excellent food combining continental and local cuisines.
- 2 Tourist Lodge, Hill Cart Rd (10 minutes walk from Kurseong station along Hill Cart Rd towards Darjeeling), ☎ . A decent, if old-fashioned, government-run lodge with nice views of the mountains. TV and extra blankets are provided, but showers are cold. Breakfast is included in the rate. The restaurant also serves a fine dinner for around R300 each. Be early as lunch time can be crowded. single R1350, double R1650.
- 3 Amarjeet Hotel, 12 T.N Road, Kurseong, Darjeeling, West Bengal 734203 (Located near the Railway (DHR) Station), ☎ . Great location and good sservice
Continue with your journey to Darjeeling (about 35 kilometers), to Sikkim or Kalimpong. To catch a train or flight, you have to go to Siliguri. Reserve cars are available from Siliguri, Kings Travels, dial-098304-28401/ 093319-39486.
|Routes through Kurseong|
|Darjeeling ←||N S||→ Siliguri → Jalpaiguri|