Pelling is a small charming town located in the state of Sikkim, India. It is renowned for its stunning views of the snow-capped peaks of the Kanchenjunga in the Himalayas and offers a serene and tranquil atmosphere. With its serene ambiance, pristine natural beauty, and a plethora of attractions, Pelling has become a popular hill-station destination for nature lovers, adventure enthusiasts, and those seeking tranquility amidst the mountains.
Location of Pelling
Situated at an elevation of around 2,000 meters (6,800 feet) above sea level, Pelling is located in the West Sikkim district of the state. It is positioned in close proximity to other popular destinations in Sikkim, such as Gangtok (the capital city) and Yuksom. Pelling’s strategic location provides easy access to stunning natural landscapes, including the Kanchenjunga mountain range and various scenic viewpoints. Pelling serves as the central hub from where you can explore the awe-inspiring tourist attractions of West Sikkim.
Places to Visit in and around Pelling
Pemayangtse Monastery is a renowned Buddhist monastery that holds significant cultural and religious importance. Dating back to the 17th century, this ancient monastery is known for its exquisite architecture, intricate woodwork, and stunning religious artifacts. The monastery provides a serene and spiritual ambiance, attracting visitors who seek tranquility and a glimpse into the rich Buddhist heritage of the region. From its elevated location, Pemayangtse Monastery offers breathtaking views of the surrounding valleys and snow-capped Himalayan peaks, making it a must-visit destination for travelers exploring Pelling.
The Rabdentse Ruins, declared a site of national importance by the Archeological Survey of India, hold immense historical significance as they were once the capital of the Kingdom of Sikkim. Dating back to the 17th century, these ancient ruins offer a captivating window into the region’s rich past. Surrounded by lush greenery, the site exudes a serene and picturesque ambiance, inviting visitors to explore its remnants. Beyond its historical allure, the Rabdentse Ruins also provide breathtaking panoramic vistas of the encompassing valleys and majestic mountains, making it an essential destination for history enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.
Tucked away just 8 km from Pelling in the enchanting landscapes, Darap Village is a hidden gem that offers a glimpse into the traditional rural life of the region. This quaint village is known for its warm hospitality, vibrant culture, and serene surroundings. Darap is a village filled with charming traditional houses, terraced fields, and friendly locals going about their daily routines. Darap Village is swiftly gaining popularity as a sought-after homestay destination for tourists exploring Pelling. This charming village is home to a diverse mix of ethnic communities, including Bhutias, Tamangs, Chhetris, Gurungs, and more.
Sanga Choeling Monastery
Located on a ridge top above Pelling, Sanga Choeling Monastery holds a significant place among the oldest monasteries in Sikkim. It sits approximately 7 kilometers (4.3 miles) away from Pemayangtse Monastery and can be reached by embarking on a steep hilly track, winding through a lush forest cover. The monastery, built in the traditional Tibetan architectural style, is adorned with ancient paintings, accessories, and clay statues dating back to the 17th century. As a revered site within the heritage circuit, it attracts devout Buddhist followers. Access to the inner sanctum is restricted to men, with only members of the Bhutia and Lepcha communities allowed entry.
Sewaro Rock Garden
Sewaro Rock Garden, also known as Rimbi Orange Garden, is a well-known attraction in Pelling, developed by the Sikkim Department of Tourism. Located at a distance of 13 kilometers (8 miles) from Pelling and just 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) from Rimbi Falls, this government-funded orange garden has gained popularity as a picturesque picnic spot. The garden also provides additional amenities for visitors to enhance their experience. A swimming yard and a cafeteria are available, catering to the recreational needs and refreshment requirements of the guests.
Singshore Suspension Bridge
Singshore Bridge, located approximately 5 kilometers from Pelling, stands as a remarkable engineering feat. As the highest bridge in Sikkim and one of the tallest gorge bridges in Asia, it has become a captivating attraction for visitors exploring Pelling. The bridge is nestled amidst lush green hills adorned with picturesque waterfalls, creating a breathtaking backdrop for travelers. Serving as a vital connection between two gorges in the western part of Sikkim, this suspension bridge is an architectural marvel. Standing on Singshore Bridge, travelers are treated to unparalleled views of the surrounding scenery, encompassing verdant hills, cascading waterfalls, and the serene natural beauty of Sikkim.
Located near Darap Village, approximately 5 kilometers from Darap Village and 12 kilometers from Pelling, Rimbi Waterfalls stands as a picturesque attraction in the vicinity of Pelling. Renowned as one of the famous waterfalls in Pelling, it holds a prominent place among the top sightseeing destinations in the area. As the waterfall flows, it transforms into the Rimbi River, an idyllic spot that attracts both locals and tourists alike. The serene ambiance and the crystal-clear waters of the river offer a perfect setting for various recreational activities.
Chenrezig Statue and Pelling Skywalk
Experience the awe-inspiring Chenrezig statue and glass skywalk in Pelling, Sikkim. The tallest Chenrezig statue in the world stands tall at 137 ft (42 m), while the glass skywalk offers breathtaking views of the Pelling Skyline and Kanchenjunga mountain range. Located at 7,200 ft (2,195 m) above sea level, this unique attraction provides a serene and blissful experience amidst the Himalayan landscape. Don’t miss the chance to witness the beauty of the Teesta and Rangeet rivers as you stroll along the transparent walkway. For those seeking a truly remarkable adventure, a visit to the Chenrezig statue and Skywalk is an absolute must.
Yuksom, a picturesque village nestled in the stunning landscapes of West Sikkim is located just 40 kilometers from Pelling. It is home to the revered Dubdi Monastery, built in 1701, which holds great importance in Buddhist pilgrimage. This serene village is renowned for its lush greenery, panoramic mountain views, and pristine lakes, considered among the cleanest in Sikkim. Yuksom holds a significant place in Sikkimese history, as it witnessed the crowning of the first Chogyal and has served as the first capital of the Kingdom of Sikkim. Yuksom, with its rich history, charming ambiance, and access to breathtaking natural wonders, invites travelers to embark on an unforgettable journey of exploration and tranquility in the heart of Sikkim.
Situated in the enchanting hill town of Pelling, Sikkim, lies the magnificent Kanchenjunga Waterfalls, located just 10 kilometers from Yuksom and 24 kilometers from Pelling. This awe-inspiring waterfall stands as one of the largest and most captivating in all of Sikkim, making it a prominent attraction among Pelling’s tourist destinations. A visit to Kanchenjunga Waterfalls is a must when exploring Pelling, as it offers a truly mesmerizing experience. The splendor and glory of Kanchenjunga Waterfalls are unrivaled, making it an ideal spot for a peaceful picnic with family and friends. The surrounding landscapes and the cascading waters create a serene ambiance, inviting visitors to bask in the beauty of the surroundings.
Located 32 km from Pelling, Khecheopalri Lake is a must-visit destination for all tourists seeking an unforgettable nature experience. The Khecheopalri Lake was formed over 3500 years ago by an ancient glacier, making it a unique and fascinating natural wonder. Despite its growing popularity, this lake in West Sikkim remains relatively unknown and is an ideal destination for those looking to escape the crowds. In addition to its breathtaking beauty, the Khecheopalri Lake is also the site of a yearly religious fair, taking place between March and April. Visitors are asked to remove their footwear before entering the lake and exploring the surrounding greenery.
Best Time to Visit Pelling
Pelling can be visited year-round, but the best times are mid-February to May and September to December. These months offer pleasant weather for sightseeing and outdoor activities. The winter months of January to mid-February are cold, but with proper clothing, it can still be enjoyable.
No matter the time of year, Pelling welcomes travelers with its natural beauty, rich heritage, and serene ambiance. Whether you prefer the blossoms of spring, the pleasant autumnal colors, or the cozy winter vibe, Pelling has something to offer in every season, ensuring a memorable and enjoyable trip.
How to Reach Pelling
The closest airport to Pelling is Bagdogra Airport in West Bengal, approximately 160 kilometers away. This well-connected airport provides regular flights to major cities in India, including Mumbai, Delhi, and Kolkata. From Bagdogra Airport, you can easily reach Pelling by hiring a private taxi or opting for shared taxi services.
For travelers heading to Pelling, the nearest railway station is the New Jalpaiguri Railway Station in Siliguri, West Bengal, situated approximately 136 kilometers away. This well-connected railway station offers easy access to major cities like Kolkata, Mumbai, and Delhi. Upon arrival, private taxis can be hired directly from the station. Alternatively, for shared taxi services, a short 6-kilometer journey to Siliguri is required.
To reach Pelling from Gangtok, which is located 131 kilometers away, the most convenient route is to first travel to Gangtok and then continue by road to Pelling. This scenic drive allows visitors to enjoy the picturesque landscapes as they journey from Gangtok to Pelling.
Pelling enjoys excellent road connectivity with all the major cities and towns in the Sikkim region. Cities such as Darjeeling, Siliguri, and Gangtok are well-linked to Pelling through a network of roads. However, it is worth noting that the road from Siliguri is steep, making it more convenient to hire a private taxi for a comfortable journey. Shared taxi services are also available for those seeking a cost-effective option to reach Pelling. Whether you choose private or shared transport, traveling by road allows you to relish the scenic beauty of the region as you make your way to this charming town.
Foreigners looking to visit Zuluk are required to obtain a Protected Area Permit (PAP) from TIC Pelling after clearance from Home Department, Forest Department, and Army through registered Travel Agencies.. More details on how to obtain a Permit have been discussed in our previous article.