Durpin Monastery, West Bengal, India

Kalimpong’s largest monastery, formally known as Zangtok Pelri Phodang, sits atop panoramic Durpin Hill (1372m) and was consecrated by the Dalai Lama in 1976. There are impressive religious murals in the main prayer room downstairs (photography is permitted), interesting 3D mandalas (visual meditational aids) on the 2nd floor, and stunning Khangchendzonga views from the terrace. Prayers are held at 4pm.

The monastery is located about 5km south of the town centre, and is most easily reached by taxi (₹250 drop). It’s a pleasant downhill walk back to town, passing the army golf course. Stop for a drink at charming Morgan House, now a WBTDC hotel. A viewpoint about 300m below the gompa looks north towards the Jelep La and south over the Relli and Teesta rivers.

Visit India Epic India Route © Monika Newbound

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