Sikkim Pelling Kaluk IMG 0403


Monasteries and Mountains
A glorious sunrise over the towering snow peaks; series of rolling hills stretching across the horizons and basking in the morning haze; monks in maroon robes; monasteries in the mist; thickets of dark mossy pines frequently washed by fog and clouds – Pelling presents a perfect romantic retreat in the western corner of Sikkim.
High Mountain peaks adorned with the crowns of snow shoot up through the clouds, forming the backdrop of Pelling, serene and dominating. A small hamlet in West Sikkim, not known to the outside people before the 21st century, is now a popular tourist destination. Pelling is known for Mt Kanchenjunga's prized view – the third highest peak in the world along with its associated group of mountains in the Greater Himalayan ranges.
Pelling, also known as Pemayangtse, is one of the oldest settlements under the King or the second Chogyal of Sikkim, who built his kingdom in Pelling during the seventeenth century. The famous Pemayangtse Monastery and Sangacholing monastery were also built at that time. The ruins of the palace of Chogyal, known as Rubduntse Palace, are still there in Pelling, which is now a popular tourist attraction.
The central hub of Pelling is a tiny area of approx three square Kilometre. It has several tourist hotels, food joints, shops selling stationeries and handicrafts, an internet café, and a tourist information centre, and all are placed on both sides of the main road of Pelling. There are no significant activities in the central hub of Pelling. However, it offers many options like nature excursions, biking and hiking, birding opportunity, village experience, monastery visit, mountain photography, meditation, and leisure.
Tourism over the last decade has changed the economy of Pelling. Tourism is now the primary source of income for the locals, who mainly depend on the hotel industry, transport and restaurant. The villages surrounding the tourist hub has its agricultural areas to grow rice, vegetable and maize. Before the introduction of tourism, Pelling's primary occupation was cultivation and cattle farming. The monasteries have a significant influence on the life of the inhabitants of the area. Buddhism is the main religion, and many villagers are associated with the monastery for their study.

Activities in Pelling

Mediation in Pelling
  • Mediation in Pelling - Due to the pristine and unspoiled nature, Pelling is also chosen as a preferred meditational retreat. Small hikes from the main centre will take you to the uninhabited areas in the higher ridges or sacred caves. Just camp and spend days meditating in nature without any human presence. The isolated monasteries on top of the hills can also be ideal meditation centres.

Hiking in Pelling
  • Hiking in Pelling - Situated on top of a forested hill at an altitude of 7175Ft / 2150M, Pelling is recently developed as a tourist destination. Fabulous mountain views and nature hiking options attract considerable tourists from different parts of India and abroad. MORE

Pelling Monastery
  • Pelling Monastery - They breathe history. The old monasteries of Pemayangtse and Sangacholing are almost as ancient as the introduction of Buddhism in Sikkim. The ruins of Rabdentse – the second capital of Sikkim's former kingdom (1670 – 1814) – are again a history. In recent times, the places are popular tourist hubs, which are very much on the Buddhist pilgrimage circuit with sacred caves and lakes and waterfalls. MORE

Village tour in Pelling
  • Village tour in Pelling - Many small villages surround Pelling. These villages dotting the hill slopes are mainly the old settlement of the Bhotia community and Lepcha Tribe – an ethnic group in the region. These villages' beautiful settings with their colourful traditional culture and pristine lifestyles make Pelling an ideal village tourism destination in Sikkim. Several picturesque villages like Darap, Dentam and Hee Barmoik offer homestays for the tourists where you can have an authentic village experience by staying with the villagers and participating in their daily activities.

Bird Watching in Pelling
  • Bird Watching in Pelling - Pelling with a rich forest cover offers a good bird watching experience. The sub-tropical broad-leaved forests between 1000M and 2000M give you an excellent birding opportunity. Several threatened and rare species of birds are spotted in these areas, including some endemic species like Chestnut-breasted Partridge (Arborophila mandellii), and Rusty-bellied Short-wing (Brachypteryx hyperythra) and Fire-throat (Luscinia pectardens). The upper ridges in Pelling leading to Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary and Kanchenjunga Biosphere Reserve with its moist evergreen canopy are some of the delightful bird habitats. They are among the Important Birding Areas in Sikkim.

Attractions in Pelling

  • Pemayangtse Monastery

    Pemayangtse Monastery in Pelling in West Sikkim is undoubtedly one of the most important and vastly discussed Monastery in Sikkim among the Buddhist people. Lama Lathsun Chempo, a revered saint from Tibet belonging to the Nyingmapa sect of Buddhism, built Pemayangtse Monastery more than 300 years ago.

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  • Sangacholing Monastery

    The oldest among all Sikkimese monasteries, the Sangacholing Monastery, literally "the place of secret spell", is a prime pilgrimage centre for the Buddhists in Pelling. It is built on a remote hilltop overlooking the forested valleys and snow peaks and is about a 30min uphill walk from the central tourist hub of Pelling. The monastery was built during the late 17th Century by Lhatsun Chempo, a revered Tibetan Lama who pioneered Buddhism in Sikkim. Because of its remoteness and historical importance, Sangacholing Monastery has earned high regard among Buddhists.

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  • Khecheopalri Lake 

    Khecheopalri, which means in Tibetan Language' A Palace of Flying Meditating (female) Deities', is the holiest lake in West Sikkim with many myths, legends, and folklore.

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  • Rubduntse Ruins 

    Surrounded by dense forests on top of a hill overlooking a broad valley and mountains lays a palace that dates back to more than 300 years. Rubduntse - the second capital under the Chogyals of Sikkim built in the year 1670 is now in ruins. This capital was shifted in 1714 with the invasion of the Nepalese Army. The palace's main structure, which is now protected and maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India, is a lovely place to visit while staying in Pelling.

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  • Kanchenjunga Water Falls

    Kanchenjunga Waterfalls on the Yuksom and Pelling route is a prime tourist spot. The foamy water rushes down from 300ft on the granite rock and creates tiny water droplets and fogs around the place. You cannot see the Kanchenjungha Falls from the road, but with a careful walk of a few meters on the slippery rocks, you can reach the falls' base.

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  • Rimbi Water Falls

    Rimbi Waterfall is just 13kms from Pelling on the road to Yuksom and is a photo stop point for all tourists travelling on this route. A long powerful column of water falling from an inaccessible rocky cliff is a joy to watch. Rimbi is a small village with a mini hydel power station, one of the oldest in Sikkim built in the early 70s. The Rimbi waterfall is in its full strength in summer and becomes weaker in winter.

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  • Darap Village

    Scattered in a lush green valley Darap is a small mountain village for the Limbo community in West Sikkim. At a distance of 8kms from Pelling, which is considered a central tourist hub in Sikkim, Darap offers a sharp contrast in providing an alternative tourism concept for many interested travellers looking for a rural Sikkimese experience. At 1600m above sea level, Darap, with its scenic surroundings and lovely climate, is a place to escape from the rush of so-called popular tourist hubs and witness authentic village life.

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  • Dentam Valley

    Dentam in West Sikkim is a picturesque valley at an altitude of 1500Mt or 4600ft above sea level. The flat terraced cultivation land of rice and maize surrounded by high mountains provides a nice photography break for the tourists who mainly visit this area from Pelling on a day tour.

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  • Sinhsore Bridge & Sangey Water Falls

    Shingsore Bridge is considered the second-highest suspension bridge in Asia, with a height of 100m from the river bed. The bridge over the deep gorge of Shingsore River, a tributary of River Rangeet, connects Uttaray, the last big village in West Sikkim, with the rest of the Sikkim. At a distance of about 25kms from Pelling, this bridge is a popular tourist attraction.

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Hotels and Stays






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Pelling is well connected with other parts of the state and the neighbouring state of West Bengal. The Airport is Bagdogra in North Bengal is 145kms by road and takes about 5hrs to reach. The major railhead is Siliguri – also known as New Jalpaiguri Station is 140kms from Pelling. Pelling is under the West District of Sikkim, and the district headquarter is Gaylshing, or Gezing is 9kms from here. Gezing is the main trading centre in West Sikkim with a police station, administrative houses, a busy market area, schools and a college.
The state capital Gangtok is 135kms via Melli and 115kms via Rabangla. There is no rail or air routes in Pelling, but helicopter service sometimes connects this area with Gangtok during an emergency or used for special tourist request. Several roads link this town to other important tourist destinations in the surrounding areas like Darjeeling and Kalimpong in West Bengal, Yuksom in West Sikkim, and Rabangla in South Sikkim, bringing Pelling into the famous tourist circuit of Darjeeling-Sikkim.

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