art & Culture , kalimpong

Kalimpong is the closest Indian town to Bhutan's western border, and has a small number of Bhutanese nationals residing here. Hinduism is the largest religion followed by Buddhism and Christianity. Islam has a minuscule presence in this region, with a mosque in the bazaar area.

Popular festivals include Diwali, Christmas, Dussera or dasain in the localnepali dialect and the Buddhist festival of Losar. Languages spoken in Kalimpong include Nepali, which is the predominant language; Hindi, English and Bengali. Cricket and football (soccer) are the most popular sports in Kalimpong. In Kalimpong, Buddhism rubs shoulders with Hinduism and Christianity. Gompas, churches, temples, monks and missionaries coexist in a jovial society. Kalimpong offers Buddhist monasteries, Hindu temples, Christian Churches, flowers, orchids and exotic flora, old colonial bungalows, scenic view points and the panorama of snows. This exotic town of beautiful people, mystical and enchanting, with a rare ethnic blend of hill people, has a tradition of hospitality from the days of the mule caravans of olden days. As a melting pot of such diverse and rich cultures of the people of Bhutan, Nepal, Sikkim, Tibet, mainland India, the British and the Lepchas (original inhabitants of the region), Kalimpong evolved its own unique blend of a way of life from cuisine, culture, etc.