Things to Know about magnificent PellingNergal Scott
The pleasant little town of Pelling is famous for magnificent views of the snow-capped Kanchenjunga range, the third highest peak in the world
Pelling is about 130 km away from Siliguri and 115km from Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim, and is well connected by bus and jeep services. The Placid town pulls most of the visitors for its representative status in history, nature and culture of the state of Sikkim.
Situated at an altitude of 6,800 ft, Pelling offers good view of the entire Kanchenjunga mountain range including Koktang, Kumbhakaran (Jannu), Rathong, Kabru, Kabru Dome, Kanchenjunga, Pandim, Siniolchu and others. This is as close as you can get to the Kanchenjunga range without leaving the material comfort of good hotels. Due to its advantageous location, many hotels and lodges have come up in and around Pelling catering to varied tastes and budgets.
As is true for the entire state of Sikkim, weather here is unpredictable in nature. Weather in Pelling may change from Bright and sunny to clouded and gloomy in a matter of minutes. The cloud and sun plays a contineous game of hide and seek creating a mesmerizing environment for the traveller.
April, May and June are the summer months in the plains and high season at Pelling as people try to avoid the excessive heat of the plains and find comfort in the mountains. Weather during this time is pleasant with average temperature around 15 to 20 centigrade.
July to September is the rainy season, and it rains quite heavily here. Landslide is common and occasionally Pelling may not be accessible by the main road. This is the low season and hotel and tour costs come down sharply. So if you are looking for a budget friendly tour and don’t mind carrying an extra umbrella, you may consider Pelling most suitable for you during this season.
October – November is the festival season in India and again a high tourist season in the hills. Pelling weather around this time is similar to the Summer months. But visibility is better with great views of the mountain range available during most of the days.
December – March are the cooler months with temperature going below 10 degree. Most international tourists visit here around this season. Indian visitors not afraid of a little chill, may enjoy Pelling during the winter months. The best part of this time is post monsoon visibility remains excellent and since it is not a very high season, you can enjoy travel without having to hustle with other toursts.
There are two common tours for Pelling Sightseeing. When you take a package tour from us, one of these sightseeings is always included. One is a half day Pelling Sightseeing tour and the other is a full day tour.
Tourist staying at Pelling only for one night takes the half day tour and post lunch travel to their next destination. You have several options for this.
Pemayangtse Monastery: Pemayangtse literally means ‘Perfect Sublime Lotus’. This is one of the oldest and most important monasteries of Sikkim. Founded in 1705, this monastery belongs to the Nyingma-pa sect. The three-storied building of the monastery houses a good collection of wall paintings and sculptures. On the third floor of the monastery, there is a seven-tiered painted wooden model of the abode of Guru Rimpoche, complete with rainbows, angels and the whole panoply of Buddha and bodhisattva. In January/ February every year, a religious dance called ‘Cham’ is performed in Pemayangtse.
Sanga Choeling Monastery: Sanga Choeling Monastery is located on the top of the mountain behind the town of Pelling. The distance to the monastery from town is about 3 km. The road is not motorable and one needs to take a 45 minute walk through a quite path to reach the monastery. As a result a visit to Sanga Choeling Monastery is not part of any of the regular itinerary. But if you have time and energy, the effort of the uphill walk is well rewarded with great views of Pelling and surrounding hills including great views of Mount Kanchenjunga that can be seen from the monastery compound.
Built in 1697 the Sanga Choeling is one of the oldest monasteries in Sikkim. Sanga Choeling means ‘the island of esoteric teaching’. This Gompa is another of Lhatsun Chenpo’s creations, and is highly venerated among the Nyingmapa. Gutted by fire, it has been rebuilt and houses some of the original clay statues.
This monastery is the second oldest in Sikkim. Since the place can only be reached on foot, even during high tourist season, the monastery is not crowded. One can still enjoy the great views among tranquillity.
Khecheopalri Lake: Khecheopalri Lake is considered one of the most sacred lakes of Sikkim. The lake remains hidden under rich forest cover. It is believed that birds do not permit even a single leaf to float on the lake surface. Your visit to Pelling is incomplete without a tour to this lake. more
Rabdentse Ruins: This was the second capital of the erstwhile kingdom of Sikkim after Yuksom Things to Know about magnificent and till the year 1814 A.D., the king of Sikkim ruled the state from this place. Today, Rabdentse ruins lie hidden from the main road at a walking distance from Pelling and the Pemayangtse monastery. It can be approached by following a footpath which branches off the main road.
The scenic view from the top of the ruin scanning across deep valley to the mystic heights of Kangchenjunga ranges is something to be cherished and etched in memory.