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Pelling is the second most visited places in the state of Sikkim after the capital Gangtok, it is a little town of Sikkim and is world famous for magnificent view of the snow capped mountains of Kanchenjunga. About 133 kms away from Siliguri (West Bengal) and 125 kms from capital Gangtok this place is very well connected by road. Located at a height of 6,800 feet, it provides an excellent view of the whole snow capped and green mountain ranges comprising Kanchenjunga, Kabru, Koktang, Dom, Pandim, Zopuno, Kumbhakarna, Narsing, Siniyalchu, Rathong, Shimbho, and others.
With a very meager population Pelling is a peaceful and unruffled place and it can be visited in almost any season of the year except the monsoon. Magnificent snow peaks, terraced hillside fields of paddy and corn, refreshing greenery, brilliant falls, small streams, snow clad mountains, valleys of flowers with rich natural environs, the lakes and forest areas, it’s an ideal tourist destination. Kaluk and Rinchenpong are both the best sightseeing spots in Pelling which gives you absolute refreshment and closeness to nature. However, Monastery of Pemayangtse, Khici Pokhari Lake, Rabdentse Ruins and the Singshore Bridge are also worth visiting. Due to a good number of tourists visiting here throughout the year this place has got a helipad, shops of all varieties, restaurants serving almost all the cuisines like, north Indian, South Indian, Italian, French, Spanish etc., and a big marketplace for items manufactured locally which are not just original hand work of the Pelling people but also very cheap and worth taking home as the memorabilia.
Pemayangtse Monastery is a beautiful monastery situated in Pelling in West Sikkim. It is positioned on a hilltop which overlooks the Rebdentse ruins and is built on the highest hill in the neighbouring areas. It stands out like a castle and is a sight to behold. The scenic beauty surrounding it is mesmerizing. About 2kms from Pelling, you can take a trip to the main monastery belonging to Ngingma sect which was constructed in the year 1705 AD. One of the most ancient monasteries in Sikkim, it was established by Gyalwa Lhatsun Namkha Jigme.
The monastery was very small when it was first built then Lama Jime Pao, the third incarnation of Lhatsun Namkha Jigme renovated the monastery to a bigger size. After the renovations, alterations and additions of more rooms paintings, sculptures and statues of several idols to the monastery, it became a popular tourist hotspot. It had been the royal chantry and is maintained with good care. Pemayangtse got the modern touch 1950 onwards. In this monastery several events attract large several tourists on two different times of the year. To mark the closing of the Guru Dragmar Dance Festival every year, the 150th years old giant Thanka of Sakyamuni Buddha is showcased in front of the monastery, with a ceremony to welcome and pray for the long life for the devotees.
One of the few unexplored villages in Sikkim, Darap has retained the pristine nature of its flora and fauna over the years. It is situated at an altitude of 1600 m and the temperature here ranges from -5 to 28 degrees.
This village is in the interiors of the Himalayan belt and only recently was it discovered and prepared for tourism. The local people known as Limboos have preserved their rich culture and traditions since ages and are extremely welcoming by nature. There are a lot of tourist-related activities that can be done in Darap village like trekking, traditional house visits, handicraft making, bird-watching and visiting the caves at Kanchenjunga National Park etc.
Tshoka is a small village in the Kanchenjunga National Park in
West Sikkim. Few houses perch on a ridge with the valley
dropping down from three sides. Basically its a overnight halt
for trekkers going upto Kanchenjunga base.
Tshoka (3400m) Tshoka is one of the perfect place to watch the
sunrise over Mt. Pandim. Settlement is sparse but cultivation
of various crops in summer is a common practice. Tshoka is
about 2 km from Bakhim.
The mountain slopes are covered with thick dense forest and
exploration off the path is very difficult because of thick
vegetation, steep slopes and abundance of leeches.
This place is one of the bio-diversity hot-spots in the world,
home to several foreign east-Himalayan birds.
It lies at an elevation of 10,000 ft. It has a road access up to Hilley. An easy four kms trek from there takes one up to the Varsey Rhododendrom Sanctuary. One can also trek from Soreng and Dentam in West Sikkim. The place provides a magnificent view of the mountains.
Varsey Rhododendron SanctuaryVisitors can halt at 'Guras Kunj' trekkers' hut, managed by the Tourism and Civil Aviation Department. About the valley of flowers of Sikkim, Hugh and Colleen Gantzer, the renowned travel writers have following to say: "We, in Uttaranchal, are proud of our Valley of Flowers, but here it was'nt just one valley, it was entire hillsides after hillsides after hillsides we have marvelled at the famed wild flowers of the Swiss Alps but they paled into insignificance when compared to valley of flowers of Sikkim.
Situated close to Legship one can avail of serene white water rafting and boating facilities at the Rangit Dam, against the impressive backdrop of steep hard rocks. The Rangit Water World, a lake formed by the Rangit dam also offers swimming and angling and facilities.
Also known as Kirateshwar Mahadev temple, it is situated on the banks of beautiful Rangit river. A foot suspension bridge takes the devotees to its attractive location. People from all over the state visit this holy place of eminence. According to popular belief, whosoever worships here will earn virtues of two life times.
This Limboo temple was constructed at Martam in 1996-97 in West Sikkim, in the memory of Siri Jonga-Tey-Ongshi. His birthday is celebrated on a large scale in the month of December every year by the Limboo community, known for their ancient language, heritage, culture patterns and boom of their Chabrung. In addition, a Lomboo Culture Centre set up at Tharpu in 2003 depicts their rich culture.
Tashiding is a small village on a hilltop near Pelling. The Tashiding monastery belongs to the Nyingmapa order and is highly revered among the people of Sikkim. Build on the top of the hill and looming over the Rathong and Rangit river, the monastery can be seen from far and wide.
It is believed that even a slight glimpse of the monastery can cleanse mortals of all sins. The monastery was built during the 17th Century. There are a large number of oranges orchards and cardamoms plantations around Tashiding which can be visited from here.
Inside the monastery, a pot of holy water is kept sealed only to be revealed and its droplets given to devotees once every year at the Bumchu Festival during the 14th and 15th day of the first month of the Tibetan calendar.
Tashiding is accessible from Yuksom (16 km) and Geyzing (about 40 km). Daily, one bus operates from Geyzing to Tashiding.
Situated at a distance of 25 kms. from Pelling, it is considered to be one of the sacred lakes of the State both by the Buddhist and the Hindus. The Lake remains hidden under the rich forest cover. The birds do not permit even a single leaf to float on the lake surface.
There is motorable road from Pemayangtse right up to the lake area. For those interested in spending a night or two in the peaceful environment, a trekker's hut is available. There is also a Pilgrim Hut.
The headquarters of the West district, Gyalshing, which means the King’s Garden, is believed to have once been the royal gardens attached to the Palace at Rabdentse, Sikkim’s capital till the late 18th century. Today it is a bustling town and the main transit point to various tourist destinations of the region. Close by is Rabdentse as well as Pemayangste, Sikkim’s premier monastery. Opposite Gyalshing bazaar is the longest and believed to be the holiest, Mendang or Holy Wall, constructed by the third king, Chogyal Chador Namgyal.
About 10kms away from Pelling or a town before one arrives to Pelling is Gyalshing also known as Gyalshing Bazar, one of the oldest market established approximately about 100 years ago. This establishment was said to have been done under the initiative of the monk body of Pemayangtyse monastery for the shopping comfort of the monks and public residing in the villages around Pemayangtse. Ever since Gyalshing market was established and first few shops were opened monks could do their monastic shopping and villagers could sell their village products like crops, dairy products, vegetables in the market and buy clothing and other house hold needs. Such trends sustains till today and as usual villagers gather every Sunday to do shopping or sell their products in Gyalshing Bazar. Today the market is well equipped with shops of all kind, multipurpose community hall, library, post office, banks, police stations, eating places, lodges, internet centers, taxi terminus and foot ball ground. There is worshipping places for the people of all faith ‘Manilhagang’ where the meditation session for mostly the Buddhist women organized every year during the holy occasion called Saga Dawa that falls in the month of June and Devithan for the Hindus, church and Masjid.
The upcoming tourist spot in the western part of Sikkim, has a magnificent command over the mountain views, sunrise and sunset, flora and fauna, village tourism ,historical sites and heritage of Resum Monastery, rich forests and ample area for short treks.
At an altitude of about 5576ft, Rinchenpong is the latest addition to the tourist map of West Sikkim. The place is famous for the beautiful view of the Kanchenjunga range of mountains. Apart from the natural beauty of the surroundings, the place is also quite significant from historical point of view.
Dentam is a scenic village located 10 km from Varsey in West Sikkim District. It lies at an elevation of around 1,500 m. Dentam commands a constant view of the Kanchenjunga. The entire area is surrounded by forest of rhododendrons. Pemayangtse Monastery (10 km), Ravangla (69 km) and Hilley are nearby interesting destinations to visit. The village is an ideal spot for bird watchers and nature lovers. Trekking and mountaineering are arranged here. Accommodation is available at Pelling and Pemayangtse.