Love at First Sight – Pelling

Pelling is a beautiful, small hill station nestled at an altitude of 7200 ft in the Western part of the Indian state of Sikkim. Since Kanchenjunga from Pellingthe past few years, the place has gained much popularity among tourists making it the second biggest tourist destination of the state after Gangtok. The rise in prominence of this hill station is mainly because of the jaw dropping views of Kanchendzonga and surrounding ranges which it offers. One of the closest views of the Himalayan ranges dressed up in snow can be witnessed from Pelling. It also serves as the base of several trekking routes in West Sikkim. Yuksom, another small town in close proximity to Pelling is the base camp for trekking to Mt. Kanchendzonga and Goecha La. This part of India sees a large influx of mountaineers, trekkers and hikers from all parts of the world.

Most of the people in Pelling are followers of Buddhism and it is also home to two ancient Buddhist Monasteries (Pemayangtse Monastery and Sanga Choeling Monastery) of the state. Pemayangtse Monastery, a three storied structure with religious teachings inscribed in the form of wall paintings and sculptures were built in the 17th Century. The Monastery which is around 2.5-3 kms from Upper Pelling may be reached by motorable vehicles. You may also take a walk through the well paved motorable road passing through alpine forests to reach the place. Sanga Choeling Monastery is another religious institution situated on the top of a mountain within the jurisdiction of Pelling. It is at an accessible distance of 4km from the town of Pelling and requires a steep uphill walk of 1 hour. The monastery provides a panoramic scenic view which is a visual treat to the eyes.

A part of the Sanga Choeling Monastery

A view from the compound of Sanga Choeling Monastery

A few minutes of healthy walk from Pemayangtse Monastery will take you to Rabdentse Ruins. This place had a palace a few centuries ago and until 1814 it was the capital of Kingdom of Sikkim. With the invasion of the Gurkha army, the palace was destroyed and at present only the ruins of the capital of the Kingdom Sikkim exists here. There are few lakes around this place.

Other places which one shouldn’t miss are Kanchenjunga waterfalls and Khecheopalri Lake. The waterfall is believed to be one of the most beautiful waterfalls of Sikkim and is at a distance of 25 km from Pelling. Khecheopalri Lake located at an altitude of 5600 ft and 34 kms Northwest of Pelling is a lake of religious importance both for Buddhists and the Hindus of the region. Local followers of both religions consider it to be sacred wish fulfilling lake. The place is covered with rich thick forest cover. This is a favourite place of migratory birds and if you love to photograph birds you will love this place. There are many aquatic species which can also be seen inside the Holy Waters of this lake.

Golden Sunbath, Khecheopalri

A Bamboo Guitarist at Khecheopalri

Pelling has a helipad and this region also offers great views. However, helicopter services are not regular. A week long tourism festival is organized in Pelling every year in the month of December.

Mount Narsing from Pelling

Mount Narsing as seen from Pelling

Access: Pelling is very well connected by road with Siliguri and Gangtok. Siliguri is at a distance of 133 kms while Gangtok is about 125 kms from Pelling. Jeep services are available from either of the cities. You may also take a bus for Pelling which leaves from the SNT Bus Terminus of Siliguri.

Accomodation: Pelling has a wide range of hotels with different budgets. You may select any one of them which suits your pocket.

Luxury Hotels:

The Chumbi Mountain Retreat (03595 258241, 03595 258242, +91 9933126619)

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Elgin Mount Pandim (03595 250756, 03595 250753)


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Budget Hotels:

Hotel Dragon Inn, Lower Pelling (Contact: Toy +91 9832946400)

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