Pelling – located in the western part of Sikkim is one of the most famous tourist destinations of the state after Gangtok. Pelling is nestled up at an elevation of 7200ft and is just 10kms away from the district headquarter of Geyzing. Gangtok is at a distance of 110km from Pelling. Pemayangtse Monastery, the oldest monastery of Sikkim is located at a km distance from the main town of Pelling. However, the USP of Pelling lies with the view of Mt. Kanchendzonga that one could catch from this place. In Sikkim, this town offers the closest view of the mighty peak and its whole range.
Sikkim, located in the northeastern part of India is the second smallest state of the country after Goa. Formerly this state was not a part of the nation and was added later to the map of the country. Considered as a brother to the seven sisters of North East, Sikkim is a beautiful state landlocked by China and Nepal. Notwithstanding its quantity of land, Sikkim is full of quality places to visit inveigling tourists from all over the world. Pelling is one such place in Sikkim.
The surrounding land of Pelling is still considered a virgin that is bathed with the beauty of alpine forests and various waterfalls. Apart from its natural beauty Pelling is also known as the base for various treks that commence from the western part of the state. Most of the locals of Pelling are Buddhists and speak in Sikkimese dialect. Apart from it some also speak Nepali, Hindi and English.
Famous for its pristine natural beauty, the locals of Pelling try to preserve the cultural and traditional values of the town. As a reason, most of the alluring tourist destinations of Pelling remain to be the natural wonders of the town. Along with the picturesque beauty and serene environment, various hotels that cater to different categories of tourist makes it the perfect tourist destination.
How To Reach
Pelling being the second most famous town in Sikkim is well connected from various parts of India. The ways through which you can get into this beguiling town are pointed below.
- You can choose to directly fly to Pakyong (PYG). Pakyong is the one and only airport in Sikkim. Pakyong Airport is at a distance of 120kms from Pelling. However. Being an airport bounded by mountains and clouds flights are not that regular to this airport.
- You can opt to fly to Bagdogra International Airport (IXB). Bagdogra is well connected with flights from Kolkata and other major cities and towns of India. This is the best way to reach Pelling by air as flights are more often to Bagdogra rather than Pakyong. Bagdogra Airport is 160kms away from Pelling. From Bagdogra, you need to hire a shared cab or your own private vehicle to Pelling.
- New Jalpaiguri (NJP) is the nearest railway station. NJP is well connected with trains from Kolkata and other major cities of the country. From NJP you need to hire a shared cab, taxi or private vehicle to reach Pelling.
- From NJP you can also hire an auto up to Siliguri and board the bus operated by SNT (Sikkim Nationalised Transport) that trots up to Pelling.
- Pelling is well connected by motorable roads. If you wish then you can also opt to drive till Pelling. However, drivers need to be firm-handed as driving in plains and hills are completely different.
- To travel within Pelling you can hire a taxi from the local taxi stand. From there you can also hire a private cab for making a trip to the sightseeing points.
- The sightseeing points are scattered throughout the town. Shared Cabs are not convenient for doing local sightseeing.
- Apart from the above, you can also hire a private vehicle for your whole journey in advance.
Best Time To Visit
Pelling being a hilly town offers you with different views during different times of the year. Depending on the view you want to catch off the best times to visit Pelling are noted below:
- One of the best times to visit Pelling are during the months of March-May. During this time the snow melts, new vegetations start to sprout giving the town a lush green colour with various flowers blooming. It is one of the best times to catch a glimpse of Mt. Kanchendzonga.
- You can also opt to visit Pelling during the months of October – November. The weather during these two months remains pleasant during the day and turns colder at night. Though you won’t find any vegetation during this time, however, you’ll experience a beautiful sight of blue sky with white cottony clouds floating in it and a clear view of Mt. Kanchendzonga. This period also offers you a mesmerising sight of the roadways as trees start to shed their leaves covering the roads with it.
- If you do have a preference for cold weather and want to experience snowfall (which is very rare though) then visit this charming town of Pelling during the months of December – February. If you are planning to visit during these months don’t forget to carry thick woollens as temperature may drop to as low as -5 degree celsius.
Places To Visit
Pelling has quite a lot of destinations for you to visit. Come, let’s take a look through the famous points of Pelling.
Located at Upper Pelling, Pemayangtse Monastery is one of the oldest monasteries in Sikkim. The monastery is situated at a distance of 2 km from the main town. The word Pemayangtse connotes ‘perfect sublime lotus’ and signifies one of the four plexus of a human body. The Pemayangtse monastery was founded in 1705. Initially, the monastery was built small and was later enlarged during the reign of third Chogyal Chakdor Namgyal. The monastery follows the methodology of the Nyingma Order of Tibetan Buddhism and supervises all other monasteries of Sikkim that follow the same methodology.
Pemayangtse Monastery is located at a hilltop overlooking the Rabdentse Ruins, another famous place of Pelling. The monastery has three storeys which house the renowned collections of Buddhist scriptures, idols and sculptures. The highlight of the monastery lies in the staggering seven tired models that depict the heavenly abode of Guru Padmasambhava at Zangtok Parli. The monastery also beholds a beautifully maintained garden adjacent to it. One can catch the view of the glorious Mt.Kanchendzonga from the monastery.
The Monastery is open from 9 AM to 5 PM and has an entry fee of 20 rupees.
Rabdentse Ruins is located just beside the Pemayangtse Monastery and is one of the most famous historical sights of Pelling. Rabdantse was founded by the 2nd Chogyal of Sikkim in 1670. Preceded by Yuksom, Rabdantse was the second capital of Sikkim during the years of 1670 – 1793. In the 18th century Nepalese army completely destroyed the former capital and now one can only view the ruins and some chortens of the city. Presently, the place has been declared as a monument of national importance by ASI and is undergoing the restoration work.
Rabdentse Ruins is a must-visit place for all the history enthusiasts as well as for the normal tourists. From Pemyangste Monastery one needs to take a hike for 1km through a well-marked road by the dense forest of chestnut trees. At the entrance of the ruins, you will spot a Taphap Chorten. The ruins of the main palace is at the centre of the fourth courtyard. Just adjacent to this is the ruins of ‘Dab Lhakhang’ where the royal families used to present incense to the deities. In addition to all such spectacular ruins, one can also get a magnificent view of Mt. Kanchendzonga from this place.
One can visit Rabdentse Ruins from 8 AM to 5 PM.
Rimbi Waterfalls is located at a distance of 12kms from the main town of Pelling. It is one of the most scenic and famous waterfalls of Pelling. The fall is formed over the Rimbi river and cascades from a great height. Just after the monsoon, the waterfall looks stunning with enough water gushing down from it. One can also visit the adjacent Rimbi river and the orange garden by it. One can visit Rimbi falls between 6 AM to 5 PM.
Rimbi River Orange Garden:
Rimbi River Orange garden is located a KM away from Rimbi Falls and 13kms away from the main town of Pelling at Rimbi village. Rimbi Orange Garden is also known as Sewaro Rock Garden and is government-funded. One will also find cardamom trees along with the orange trees in this picturesque garden. If one wishes then they can even buy orange or cardamon from this garden.
One can enjoy the solace of this place by sitting at the rocks by the river while relishing the solitude of nature and the surrounding mountain ranges. Rimbi River Orange Garden is open from 8 AM to 6 PM and has an entry fee of Rs 10.
Kanchendzonga Waterfalls is located 24kms away from Pelling. It is one of the largest waterfalls of the state and is a prime tourist location of Pelling. The waterfall was discovered in the 90s by a local tour operator. According to the locals, the fall originates at the glacier of Mt.Kanchendzonga, the 3rd highest mountain of the world thus giving it the name Kanchendzonga Falls. The fall gushes down from a height of 100 meters to a pool that flows down to a river beneath it.
To reach Kanchendzonga Waterfall one needs to climb near about 50 stairs from the main road. Once you reach the fall it will mesmerise you with its stunning appearance amidst the deep green forests. Adventure lovers can also try adventure sports like rope sliding over this fall.
Kanchendzonga waterfall is open from 8 AM to 5 PM. The entry fee for the fall is Rs 20 and the fee for rope sliding is Rs 100.
Around 25kms away from Pelling, Khecheopalri Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes of Sikkim. Also famous as Wishing Lake, it is one of the sacred lakes in the state. Located at an elevation of 6000ft this lake is an integral part of ‘Demazong’, the valley of rice. The lake is also a part of the famous Buddhist circuit of Sikkim that includes Yuksom, Dubdi Monastery, Pemayangtse Monastery, Rabdentse Ruins, Sangachoeling Monastery and Tashiding Monastery.
Formerly the lake was known as Kha Chot Palri Lake which means the abode of Guru Padmasambhava. According to the natives, the lake is shaped like the foot of Goddess Tara and it fulfils any wish made by the locals. One of the fascinating facts is that though the lake is surrounded by deep greenery, not a single leaf is found on the surface of the lake. Locals believe that the birds residing by the lakes keep its surface clean.
Khecheopalri Lake can be reached by a short hike from the well-marked entrance of the same. One can spot a Buddhist Shrine and enough prayer flags on the way to the lake. One needs to walk a few steps through a wooden boardwalk to reach the lake. Visitors need to take off their shoes before climbing the wooden boardwalk as the lake is considered sacred. A fair takes place near the lake during the months of March or April where people offer food materials to the lake and carry the lake water as a prasad.
The Lake is open for people from 6 AM to 6 PM with an entry fee of Rs 10.
Pelling Helipad is located at the heart of the town just a kilometre away from the police chowk of Pelling. The place offers stunning panoramic views of the mighty Kanchendzonga range along with all other surrounding mountains. However, the place doesn’t have any regular helicopter services. A stay at this place for quite a few minutes gives a pleasant feeling within yourself.
Located 21kms away from Pelling Singshore Bridge is one of the highest suspension bridges. The bridge is located in between the villages of Dentam and Uttarey. Singshore Bridge is the highest bridge in Sikkim and the second-highest suspension Bridge in Asia. This bridge is really an engineering marvel that connects two gorges with a height of 100 meters and a length of 240 meters.
Singshore Bridge offers an exquisite view of the nature around it. The gushing river beneath the bridge and the lush green hills all around it presents a sight to behold. With the construction of the bridge, the trekkers can now cover a long distance in a short time span. There are two small food joints for the visitors on both the ends of the bridge which serves delicious Sikkimese delicacies along with tea or coffee.
The bridge is open for tourists from 6 AM to 6 PM.
Changey Falls is located 9kms away from Pelling, on Pelling-Dentam road. It is one of the other famous falls of Sikkim. Changey Falls cascades from a height of 300 feet like a white line amidst the lush greenery. The white line of water, the green vegetation with the backdrop of towering hills offers an amusing sight for the tourists. One can visit the fall from 8 AM to 5 PM.
Sanga Choeling Monastery:
Sanga Choeling Monastery or Sange Choeling Monastery is located at a distance of 1.5kms from Upper Pelling football ground. It is one of the oldest monasteries in Sikkim. Constructed in Tibetian architecture, the monastery caught fire several times. Notwithstanding it, the monastery still preserves the several centuries-old paintings, clay statues and accessories.
One can view Pemayangtse Monastery and the surrounding green Himalayan range from Sanga Choeling Monastery. One needs to trek 1.5kms to reach the monastery through the dense green forest. Though only people from Bhutia and Lepcha communities are allowed inside, still one can cherish the beauty of the place from it’s exterior. The monastery is open from 8 AM to 5 PM.
Darap Village has recently come up as a popular tourist attraction near Pelling. Situated 8kms away from Pelling one can make a day visit or choose to spend a night at the village. One can visit Darap Village during any time of the year, however the best being winter as the sky remains clear during the winters and one can enjoy the clear view of the majestic Himalayas.
Nuzzled amongst the mighty Himalayas, Darap Village is one of the places in Pelling where one can indulge with the locals of the place and their lifestyle. The village is mainly inhabited by the Limboo’s. Other prominent tribes of the village are Bhutias, Lepchas, Tamangs, Rais and Chettris. One can also indulge in some local activities like processing cheese, churning butter or spending time with the local children. Exploring the traditional Limboo houses is another well-known activity of Darap Village.
Uttarey is located at a distance of 35kms from Pelling. One can take a day tour to Uttarey from Pelling or can wish to spend a night at this beautiful valley of Sikkim. Uttarey is close to the Nepal border and is located at an elevation of 6600ft. This village provides an alluring view of the mighty Himalayan mountains but is seldom visited by the travellers which add to the serenity of the place. During winter the surrounding mountains are capped with snow thus providing a more heavenly view. Trekkers can trek to one of the most beautiful falls, Mainbus Falls, amidst the deep green forests.
Dentam is a scenic village located at a distance of 25kms from Pelling. Tourists generally take a day tour to Dentam Village from Pelling as staying options are not available at this village. If the weather remains clear Dentam offers a persistent view of the Kanchendzonga range. The village is entirely surrounded by rhododendron forest, thus giving it a hue of colours in the blooming season. This village attracts bird watchers as various species of aves are found throughout the area. One can also visit and try their tongue on the organic cheese that is produced in Dentam Cheese Factory.
Hee Bermiok is located at a distance of 31kms from Pelling. The place is an abode of nature. Tourists can take a day trip to this place or can opt for a night stay according to their wish. The main attractions of this place are Chaya Taal, Ban Jhakri Falls, Hee Khola Water Garden, Red Panda Gate and Himalayan Botanical Garden. One can also take a walk through the villages and interact with the natives of the place.
Yuksom is a historical town in Sikkim, located at a distance of 35kms from Pelling. One can take a day tour to Yuksom from Pelling or can spend a night at this historical village according to their wish. This village is very near to Kanchendzonga and some well-known treks start from this village.
Yuksom village is situated at the Southern fringes of Kanchendzonga National Park at an elevation of 5800ft. Yuksom was the first capital of Sikkim and thus is famous for many historical events. The term ‘Yuksom’ connotes the meeting place of the three Lamas. This is the village where three Lama met and crowned the first Chogyal (king) of Sikkim. Besides, Yuksom also represents the ‘third eye of Sikkim’ and thus also has religious importance.
The village is famous for its gorgeous landscape and snow-capped mountains. Apart from this serene nature, other places of interest in Yuksom are Dubdi Monastery, the oldest monastery of Sikkim, Norbugang Coronation throne, Kathoke lake and the helipad with lovely views of the Himalayan range.
Done with all the tourist destinations of Pelling, here are some of the famous budget hotels that you can take a look at while you are at this beautiful and historical town of Sikkim.
- Hotel Garuda
- Hotel Pachu Residency
- Hotel Window Park
- Hotel Simvo