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Kurseong, hill station famous for tea gardens and orchid nurseries

Kurseong is a tiny hill station situated in the Darjeeling district in the Indian state of West Bengal.  Nestling in the valleys of Himalayas, and located at an altitude of 1458m, Kurseong is a nature lover’s delight and provides interesting trekking trails. This picturesque hill station can be enjoyed best on foot or by the Toy train that runs from New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling. Kurseong gets its name from the Nepali word, ‘Kharshang’ which means dawn’s pole star. Kurseong which was part of Sikkim was ceded to the British in 1835 by the king of Sikkim. It has some well reputed schools such as Goethals, Dow Hill and Victoria.

Kurseong, the land of the white orchid, has many interesting spots that attract visitors. Eagle’s Craig, a popular landmark that is one km uphill from Kurseong offers magnificent views of Teesta River, Jannu and Kabru peaks and the verdant forests of Darjeeling valley. The Netaji Kothi or summer home of Netaji Subhash is situated on top of Eagle’s Craig, though it is in a dilapidated condition. The terraces, tea gardens and orchid nurseries of Kurseong are worth visiting. Major tea estates in and around the town are Ambotica, Castleton, Springside, Makaibari, Jogmaya and Ghomtee. The Giddapahar Mandir and Ambotia Siv Mandir are the well known temples in Kurseong. Dow Hill houses the Deer Park, the Forest museum and the amusement park. The newly constructed St. John’s church is worth a visit.

Kurseong is a perfect place for a quiet and rejuvenating holiday with its mild and temperate climate throughout the year. Its peace and tranquility has attracted many important people like Rabindra Nath Tagore and Mark twain  who have  sojourned here while Sister Nivedita, the disciple of Swami Vivekananda made Kurseong her home. The beautiful tea estates and the orchid gardens provide excellent opportunities for walks.  A walk through the forest of Aranya Sarani leads to the meadows of Chimney. Kettle Valley Picnic spot at Dilaram Tea estate is a popular picnic location. As a travel destination in India, Kurseong which is just 30 km from Darjeeling and 50 km from Siliguri has great potential for development.