Peaceful Pelling - PartI
If you are amongst those who like quiet places away from the maddening crowd, a trip to Pelling in West Sikkim, India will be an ideal getaway. It is a tourist destination, which offers a perfect location for leisure holiday, trekkers and adventure seekers and can be visited throughout the year except in the rainy season (June to August).
Situated at an altitude of over 2,000 m (7,200 feet), the town of Pelling is located at a distance of 10 km from the district headquarters of Geyzing. It is known for its scenic locations, pleasant summer, chilly winter and natural beauty. Pelling is famous for its closest view of the world’s third highest mountain range -‐ Mount Kanchenjunga and surrounding snow-‐capped Himalayan ranges including Koktang, Frey, Rathong, Kabru, Talung Kanchenjunga, Pandim, Jopuno, Tinchikhang and Narsing. It also acts as a base camp for high altitude treks to Dzongri and Goechala.
Pelling is well connected through railways, roadways and airlines. Our 3 hours trip started from Ravangla through winding roads and unending hill slopes, covered with Alpine forests. Tourists can reach Pelling from state capital Gangtok (115 km) and Siliguri in North Bengal (about 135 km), which has the nearest rail connection. The nearest airport is Bagdogra near Siliguri and buses are available from Siliguri via Jorethang, Kalimpong and Namchi.
Beside the beautiful views of the mountains, Pelling offers cultural diversity and rich history. In addition, several breathtaking tourist attractions like local monastery, rock garden and waterfall near Rimbi, the double-‐pronged Kanchenjunga Falls, Singshore Bridge, Changey Waterfalls and Khecheopalri / Khechuperi Lake and ancient Pemyangtse / Pemyangshi Monastery make Pelling a perfect place to visit.
One can pick from various hotels and lodges situated in and around Pelling with tourist facilities. We were quite surprised to see multi-‐cuisine restaurants and fast-‐food corners, offering mouth watering delicacies like thukpas and steaming momos. There were even internet centers and few curio & gift shops selling tribal jewellery, woolen garments and local bamboo products.
The ever helpful local people are from mixed communities of Bhutias, Lepchas, Tamangs and Limboos, involved in cattle farming and cultivating maize, millet, paddy, wheat and cardamom (being the cash crop of the area).
Regular sightseeing trips from Pelling are arranged for the tourists. After consultation with our guide, we decided to do the sightseeing in 2 days with a visit to the Pemyangtse Monastery, Rabdentse Ruins, Singshore Bridge, Alpine Cheese Factory and Changey Falls on the first day and covering Rimbi and Kanchenjunga Falls, Rock Garden and Khechuperi Lake the next day.