Kurseong is a quiet township on the Siliguri
- Darjeeling highway. Parched at an altitude of 1458m (4860
ft.), the small town is noted for its secluded charm and Eagle's
Crag, which offers a commanding view of the undulating plains
below. The word 'Kurseong' mean - the place of White Orchid.
Because of its lower elevation, Kurseong
enjoys a milder and healthy climate throughout the year.
The total area of the town is about 5.05
sq Km. The peace, serenity and healthy climate attracts many
people to this place. Some of the famous poems and songs of
Guru Rabindranath Tagore were composed in Kurseong. The magic
painter Abanindranath Tagore and great composer Atul Prasad
Sen got inspiration for some of their famous works around
Sister Nivedita, the great disciple of Swami
Vivekananda made Kurseong her home. It is learnt that Mark
Twain spent some time in here in 1885, Fazlul Haque the Prime
Minister of undivided Bengal also stayed here. Netaji Subhash
Bose was interned by the colonial government for a couple
of months in 1936 in a house at Giddapahar nearby.
Eagles Craig, TV Tower and Kurseong Town
Where to Stay
There are several good tourist accommodations available
at Kurseong. WBTDC (West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation)
has its tourist lodge on the highway. This offers rooms with
excellent views. The tourism lodge is also famous for good
food and excellent Darjeeling tea that
it serves. Even if you are not staying in Kurseong, you should
stop over at the tourist lodge and spend a few minutes over
a cup of tea.
The other accommodation that we prefer here
is the Cochrane
Place. This is a boutique hotel on the outskirts of the
town on the Pankhabari road. The hotel has Tea and Toy train
as its theme. The interiors of the hotel is created with personal
care and is sure to impress anyone interested in the hills
and its history.
What to See
As the name suggests, The Eales Craig is a viewpoint
on a perched cliff about two kilometres walking distance from
the Kurseong Market. The Kurseong TV tower, which can be seen
from far and wide, is located just behind the Eagles Craig.
View of Plains from Kurseong
The formal name of this monastery is Kunsamnamdoling
Gompa, but it is more popularly called Ani Gompa, as the buddhist
nuns (ani) run the monk here.
Makaibari Tea Garden
The Makaibari Tea Garden is famous throughout the
world for its organic tea and unique management practice of
its owner Mr. Raja Banerjee. The garden is an example of sustainable
and inclusive development. The Makaibari Tea Garden can be
located through the Pankhabari road. The garden also offers
tea tourism option for visitors.
Netaji Subash Chandra Bose Museum
This Museum is located a few kilometres before Kurseong
on the Hill cart road towards Siliguri at a place called Giddapahar.
The Museum is located on a bungalow where Netaji Subash Bose
stayed at one time and the house used to belong to the elder
brother of Netaji Subash Bose.
Ambootia Tea Garden
Ambootia Tea garden can be reached through a road
that starts near the Cochrane place. There is a temple in
the garden that offers beautiful view of the surrounding hills.
You can continue to drive through the same road for a few
more kilometres to reach Balasun river.
Like most other places in the region, the New Jalpaiguri
is the rail station and Bagdogra the airport through which
you can reach here. From Siliguri there are several ways to
reach here. The main road connecting Kurseong with Siliguri
is the National Highway 55 which is officially named Tenzing
Norgey road but still commonly referred to as the Hill Cart
Road. The distance is about 47 km through this route. Another
option is the Pankhabari road, which used to be scary steep
ascent through a narrow road. The road over the years has
been widened and now this route is mostly used for one way
traffic between hill and the plains. The third route is through
Rohini and is a recent addition to the road map of the area.
This is one of the best and fastest routes to reach Kurseong.
From Kurseong the hill cart road continues to Darjeeling.
Our guests at Kurseong
The other important road around here is
the Old cart road. This road originates at Kurseong town and
goes straight up to Dowhill and then runs almost parallel
to the Hill cart road till Bagora, at Bagora the old cart
road again comes down and meets Hill cart road at a place
called Dilaram. Very few vehicles ply through this route and
it is an excellent area for touristsí activity. You can take
a walk among the fir and birch trees through peaceful villages
enjoying excellent views of the plains as well as the Kunchenjunga.
Villages in this area are also witnessing a boost in village
tourism as a number of village such as Bagora, Chatakpur and
Chimney has come into the tourism map.