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For art enthusiasts, Lepcha Museum of Kalimpong is a must visit

1 May, 2020 04:52:15
For art enthusiasts, Lepcha Museum of Kalimpong is a must visit

Some places are defined by their breath-taking picturesque landscape, while some for their historical tales and others for their rich indigenous art and culture. Kalimpong of North Bengal has it all. An amalgamation of varied cultures as different hill tribes have lived in this area for centuries. One among them are the Lepchas, who are said to have migrated centuries ago from either Myanmar or from Mongolia. But they have over decades turned into locals, after settling down in Kalimpong, Sikkim, Darjeeling and adjoining areas.


Lepchas have a very rich tradition of art and culture and they have been able to hold on to that over the years. To preserve that heritage, 90-year-old Padmashree Sonam Tshering Lepcha single-handedly built a local Lepcha school and the Lepcha Museum, so that future generations get to know of their heritage. Lepcha Museum of Kalimpong happens to be one of its kind in the whole of Asia. Incidentally, this was all possible due to Sonam Lepcha, who himself is a wonderful musician and plays various wind instruments.


Located close to the main town, the museum displays various articles of worship, original Lepcha musical instruments, handicraft items and manuscripts. Every piece reflects and illustrates the life, culture and tradition of the community. For those who have interest in studying heritage and old collections, Lepcha Museum will just be the right place to spend a day going through the various artefacts. You can enjoy the historical tales of this amazing community with rich culture, language and heritage. Sonam Tshering Lepcha, was also awarded the Banga Bhushan award and is a noted folk song and dance teacher of the area. If you are lucky he might personally guide you during the visit, play folk tunes and sing too!


The building also houses the Lepcha school and the museum is on the first floor. You will be mesmerized by the number of wind instruments that the museum harbours, all made and used by the community. You can regale with stories, songs and music as you browse through the history of the community and even of related tribes of the Himalayas. It will indeed be a delight!

How to reach:
Any train from Kolkata to NJP. Kalimpong is around 3 hours drive from NJP. The museum is close to the city centre

Story Tag:
  • Lepcha Museum of Kalimpong, Tourist spots in North Bengal

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