Kalimpong • West Bengal, India

Discover the Tapestry of Kalimpong: Traverse through time with the venerable Thongsa Gompa Monastery, explore the intricate details of Durpin Monastery, and delve into the vibrant cityscapes and bustling markets of Kalimpong, West Bengal. Witness a unique blend of history, spirituality, and culture in a concise video of under 9 minutes. Experience the richness of a town that once served as a nexus between India and Tibet and now stands as a testament to resilience and faith. Join us in this enlightening journey to the foothills of the Himalayas.

This film was made on the basis of photos and videos taken during the trip Buddhist India • Sikkim • Bihar • West Bengal (EN)

vimeo chapterA click on this icon above displays the list of chapters of this film about West Bengal • northeastern state of India in India. A click on a dot goes directly to a chapter.

Reading the text below will help you better understand the cultural context of the images in this video.

00:51 • Thongsa Gompa monastery

02:40 • Durpin monastery • Zang Dhok Palri Phodang

05:19 • city and market


History of Kalimpong

Kalimpong, whose old name was Dalingkot, was an obligatory crossing point between India and Tibet before the latter's annexation by China.

Kalimpong offered the same attractions to the British working in the Calcutta furnace, namely a much more temperate climate, and many of them built holiday homes there. Kalimpong thus went from a hamlet of a few houses to a prosperous town.

The turbulent history of the region in the mid-20th century has largely shaped the city. Besides the independence of India in 1947, the major event in the region was the annexation of Tibet by China in 1959. After independence, Kalimpong was attached to the state of West Bengal and the The annexation of Tibet drove out many monks who took refuge, among other places, in Kalimpong.

Monasteries in Kalimpong

The monks who fled the TIbet took with them many Buddhist scriptures and they had to build temples and monasteries to shelter them.

Among these temples and monasteries, two are particularly noteworthy.

Thongsa Gompa Monastery

Thongsa Gompa Monastery is the oldest in the Kalimpong region. Nicknamed the "Bhutanese Monastery", it predates the expansion of the city during the British era. Its construction dates from 1678, but the monastery has been repeatedly renovated or rebuilt.

Durpin Monastery or Zang Dhok Palri Phodang

Zang Dhok Palri Phodang Monastery is much more recent than Thongsa Gompa, since it was built by Tibetan refugee monks after the 1959 uprising. It was consecrated in 1979 by the Dalai Lama. This monastery houses the precious Buddhist scriptures carried away by Tibetan monks fleeing their country in 1959. The temple has 108 volumes of the Tibetan canon, known as Kangyur, which means "the translation of the word" (of Buddha).

about the place, Kalimpong:

Kalimpong is a small town of less than 50,000 inhabitants in the state of West Bengal, at the foot of the Himalayas in India. The origin of the name is controversial but this one is sympathetic: "Assembly of the ministers of the king" in Tibetan.

Kalimpong was successively part of the kingdoms of Sikkim and Bhutan and when the British took possession in 1864, Kalimpong was only a small hamlet of a few houses.

prayer wheels, Kalimpong, West Bengal • India

What's the weather like in Kalimpong?



 - YouTube video library - Anamalie, (© Anamalie by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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Artist: http://incompetech.com/)

 (Inde)  - Les Traditions Rituelles des Bonpos Tibétains - Chant de Louange Dédié à la Divinité Protectrice Midu, Ocora (558622)

 - YouTube video library - Evil March, (© Evil March by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Source: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/index.html?isrc=USUAN1100727

Artist: http://incompetech.com/)


Disclaimer: Despite its appropriateness, copyright issues prevent the use of indian traditional music in "Kalimpong • West Bengal, India", hence the use of royalty-free music. Despite our careful selection, some might regret this decision, which is necessary to avoid potential lawsuits. Although difficult, this decision is the only viable solution.

young monk in front of the Tongsa Gumba monastery, Kalimpong • India • West Bengal

young monk in front of the Tongsa Gumba monastery

large prayer wheels in front of Tongsa Gumba, Kalimpong • India • West Bengal

large prayer wheels in front of Tongsa Gumba

at the market, Kalimpong • India • West Bengal

at the market

Zang Dhok Palri Monastery, Kalimpong • India • West Bengal

Zang Dhok Palri Monastery

Kalimpong, West Bengal, India

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