Kurseong – Land of White Orchids
Halfway to Darjeeling from Siliguri, the place of peace, serenity and the healthy climate – Kurseong is situated at an height of 4864 ft. above the sea level. It has a pleasant weather throughout the year and the winter is not severe as Darjeeling. The city is an ideal place for its secluded charm and Eagle’s Craig, which offers a commanding view of the plains below.
In local Lepcha language "Kurseong" is called "Kharsang", meaning "Land of the White Orchids". The ownership of Kurseong was handed over to the British Government in 1835 by the then Chogyal ( Monarch) of Sikkim and later in 1880 it became a favourite tourist destination for the colonial rulers of India. Due to its favourable weather condition Kurseong gradually built the reputation of an ideal place for “Sanatoriums” and the Kurseong T.B. Sanatorium was built.
The rich flora of Kurseong town and surroundings are fascinating and it has been described as a "Botanists Paradise".
Kurseong receives the highest rainfall after " Cherrapunjee " of Meghalaya – which experiences the highest rainfall in the world. Due to its abandunt rainfall it is an ideal place for growing “White Orchids” in plenty which adorn the hill slopes. Some famous tea gardens like Castleton, Makaibari, Ambotia and Gomtee are in Kurseong, which not only produce the best qualities of tea in the world but also beautify the Kurseong hills.
The natural beauty and charm of serenity attracted number of renowned personalities like Rabindranath Tagore, Atul Prasad Sen, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Sister Nivedita etc. Even Sister Nivedita had a home here. It is also said to be that Mark Twain visited this place in 1885 and spent some time here. Kursoeng boasts to be home of some renowned boarding schools.
There are number of places in Kurseong which are worth visiting…. Eagles’s Craig ( This popular land of Kurseong town located just one km above of the railway station. It is a view point with a cafeteria, a watch tower and flower garden with a water reservoir which provides the drinking water entire Kurseong town. Eagle’s Craig offers superb views of entire valley, gree carpeted tea gardens, plains of North Bengal and glimpses of Mt. Kanchenjunga, Jaun and Kabru.), Kettle Valley Picnic Spot, Dow Hill, Ambotia Shiva Mandir, St. Mary’s Hill, Bagora (Bagora is also called zero point because it is the place with the highest elevation in Kurseong. It has also has a base camp of the Indian Air Force with a helipad).
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