Deolo hill or simply Deolo as it is popularly known as one of the hills the other being Durbin Dara between which the quaint and beautiful town of Kalimpong resides. One simply cannot talk or picture Deolo without first mentioning Kalimpong. Kalimpong is a small town located in the North Bengal region of West Bengal, India. It is roughly 90kms away from its famous cousin Darjeeling. Situated at an altitude of 1250m, Kalimpong enjoys the best climate in the region.
Kalimpong’s most special feature is its flora, particularly Orchids, infinite in its variety and hues. Kalimpong is quiet, much quieter than Darjeeling. One can savor the beauty and bounty of nature here. Kalimpong has an area of about 9-sq.km and it houses a population of roughly around 40,000, comprising of people from different ethnicities. But the Indo-Nepalese, Bhutias, and Lepchas make for the majority of the small population. Unlike other famous hill stations in India, it doesn’t boast of palatial malls and sprawling promenades.
In fact, it isn’t much of a hill station than a hill town, people don’t usually come to visit Kalimpong they make it their home. Lesser-known and visited Kalimpong sits at the heart of Buddhism, elegantly claiming its place in the foothills of the majestic mountains. The reason why it is one of the most undisturbed hill stations is that not many people have explored their options beyond Darjeeling. This one is beyond trekking and mountainous expeditions and has so much more to offer.
Deolo is one of the few quintessential tourist Spots in Kalimpong and it is, therefore, a must visit for everyone. It fully amalgamates the Kalimpong experience of simplicity, stunning views and just blissful existence away from the urgency and hullaballoo of the cities. Deolo is roughly 4kms away from the main town and the drive uphill is in itself a joy to behold. One comes across many traditional Buddhist monasteries and the stunning hills of neighbour Sikkim are on full display. One of the oldest schools in Kalimpong, Dr. Grahams Homes lies on the way to Deolo.
This institute is one of the historical landmarks of this quaint town and is a tourist destination in itself. Established by Dr. John Anderson Graham in 1990, this institute occupies a prized place in the educational history of Kalimpong. Once you cross Dr. Graham’s homes you are welcomed by unending grooves of Pine Trees to Deolo. The air is noticeably a little colder and the view even better.
The Deolo tourist Lodge occupies its prized place atop the hill and the property is a sight to behold. Fortunately, the property is open to tourists as well as locals irrespective of whether you are staying in the Lodge or not. At Deolo, you are in for a treat of a lifetime – a quiet romantic evening atop a picturesque landscape overlooking the Teesta valley, followed by one of the best views of the Kanchenjunga range the next dawn – a must-try for everyone visiting Kalimpong.
A lot of tourists opt to spend at least a night at the Deolo Tourist Lodge predominantly because of the expected view the next morning and if you are lucky you may get to witness the majestic Kanchenjunga enamored in the warm golden glow of the morning sun. This view accompanied by some warm Darjeeling tea is the perfect way to start a leisurely day here. Besides the view, there are many other activities one can engage themselves in here, the horseback rides which takes you around the property is one of the major attractions.
Besides this the vast property has flower patches all around, from roses in every possible hue to lilies to Gladys flowers and Azaleas, it has it all. Seasonally you may be greeted with cherry blossoms in the perfect shade of pink.
Deolo also houses a water reservoir which takes care of the water supply of the population of this town. These water reservoirs are like large man-made ponds and previously before the Deolo Resort came into fore were the main attraction here in Deolo. Deolo is also a popular picnic spot for the tourists and the locals alike, Hordes of people throng to Deolo especially during the winter months for picnics., the reason being Deolo is just a forty minute drive from the main town and every necessary condiment required for picnics are readily available in the many roadside shops along the way to Deolo.
The atmosphere around Christmas and New Year’s Eve is almost carnival-like and is one of the best times to visit Deolo if you are one for some hustle bustle. The last few years has seen become a hub for adventure sports enthusiasts as paragliding from the Deolo hills has become one of the must-do activities for tourist and die-hard adventure sports lovers. This activity has found a lot of love and encouragement from the public and seems like it is here to stay.
The paragliding flight gives a birds-eye view of the town and the surrounding hills, valleys, and the crisscrossing rivers quite literally. It is a once in a lifetime experience. Paragliding from Deolo starts at 9:00 A.M to 4:30 P.M depending on the wind and weather condition. There are two types of flights medium and high flights of which the landing point is different but the take-off point is the same. The medium flight lands at a field near Dr. Grahams Homes while the high flight lands at Relli River Ground near the Relli River. Transportation is provided from both landing points and this activity will cost you anything from Rs 2000-3000.
Another tourist attraction, as well as a treat for children and adults alike, is the Kalimpong Science Center which is about a kilometer away from the Deolo Resort and is situated at a rather picturesque location as well. Kalimpong Science Centre has been conceived, designed and developed by the National Council of Science Museums (Ministry of Culture, Government of India). This Science Centre has been officially handed over to the Department of Education-Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council on 11th September’2007.
There are many fun and education activities one can pursue here. Besides that, the park outside offers some magnificent views and is a photographers delight. On a clear day, you can see the Damsangguri Fort as well as the settlements of Pedong and Algarah. This Science Center isn’t as large as the ones in the metropolitan cities but it makes up for it by the beauty of its location and good infrastructure. As you descend down-hill from Deolo, you will get a glimpse of the famous Hanuman Tok (also referred to as Hanuman Top). The Hanuman temple has several steps which one needs to climb in order to reach the top. The temple offers a spectacular view of the Kanchenjunga peak in its full glory. The neighboring state of Sikkim and the surrounding landscapes of lava and Kafer hills is also clearly visible on a bright sunny day.
Deolo Hill encompasses everything that you want on a peaceful holiday. It embodies what a perfect getaway should, therefore, be on the bucket list of wanderlusts the world over.