Kurseong is a gorgeous hill station in West Bengal located at an altitude of 1,458 meters. It is just 30km from Darjeeling, making it rather accessible for those who want to hop hills. For those who cannot deal with the harsh winters of Darjeeling, Kurseong is the place for you. The local name of Kurseong is ‘Kharsang’ which means the ‘Land of White Orchids’. The ownership of Kurseong was handed over to the British Government in 1835 by the erstwhile Chogyal (Monarch) of Sikkim and then in 1880 it became a favourite tourist destination among the colonial rulers of India.
The charm is intact even today; there’ so much to see and do in this beautiful hamlet. You could start with Salamander Lake, located 14km from Kurseong. Back in the day, it was a favourite place of the British for boating, but today it is a beautiful green-tinged lake that shelters the rarest and most endangered species of salamanders.
For adventure lovers, Kurseong is the right place, as it offers various treks and hikes; be it a walk in the tea garden or hiking through lush green Cryptomaria Japonica forests. Recently new adventure sports have been added to Kurseong such as Hot Air Ballon and Rock Climbing, making it an even more coveted place for a getaway. There’s also White Water Rafting in river Tista here, which has gained tremendous popularity among the enthusiasts. The series of rapids of varying intensity and character in river Tista, makes the sport here quite challenging.
The Dowhill Park was earlier known as the Deer Park since you could find lot of deers here. However with deforestation, it is a thing of the past. Located on top of Dow Hill, the fenced park itself is quite small. You’ll see a great variety of flora here, and when you want to soak in all the beauty, there’s a gazebo in the park where you can sit and relax.
The nearest airport to Kuseong is Bagdogra. There are direct flights here from Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati and other major cities of India. There are a number of transport facilities available from Bagdogra to reach Kurseong.