6 Best Things to Do in Pelling, Sikkim

At the foothills of Mount Kanchenjunga, Pelling has mesmerizing mountain views and a lot more. Inarguably one of the most popular tourist destinations in Sikkim, Pelling is just the place to go with your family this winter. This tourist hub spot has grown dramatically over the years, and has a number of attractions for the entire family.

Pelling is a quaint hill station snugly nestled in the hills of West Sikkim. It is a popular destination thanks to its natural scenic beauty and rich cultural heritage. Whether you are looking for relaxation or ticking things off your bucket list, Pelling has numerous experiences for every traveller.

Pelling is a perfect place to see the snow capped Kanchenjunga range, where you can capture the perfect photo. This place has infinite beauty that will hold you back for a while. Moreover, it is one of the coolest places to visit in summer. Pelling is a quaint, serene destination in Sikkim which often gets missed.

From snow-capped mountains and sparkling streams to sunsets and sightseeing places, Pelling has it all. The only two words which come in my mind to describe this place are ‘ethereal’ and ‘surreal’. You get share taxis from Gangtok to Pelling. Its a 5-6 hour journey and Pelling is beautiful on its own. If the weather is clear, you can see the mighty Kanchenjunga.

Places to visit in and around Pelling include the local monastery, the rock garden and waterfall at nearby Rimbi, the imposing double-pronged Kanchenjungha Falls, the archaic quaint Singshore Bridge, the Chhange Waterfalls and ancient Pemayangtse Monastery.

If you are an adventure seeker you are bound to love every day spent at this snow clad city that sits at an altitude of 6,800 feet. It is ideal for trekking and various mountain sports apart from being a treasure trove of stunning sights. Pelling is a really small town and can be explored on foot. Be sure to carry your camera along to capture all the magical moments at this quaint little Sikkim town.

Pelling is located at an altitude of 2070 meters. On a clear day guest can get a nice view of the Himalayan snow capped range Pandim, Khangchendzonga, Kumbhakarna, Rathong, Narsing, Zopuno, Shimbho, Sinolchu. It is one of the exotic destinations with historical sites, short trekking routes and wildlife.

Sikkim is a haven of peace and solitude. The Sikkim tour packages offer you itinerary that allows you to leisurely watch the clouds playing hide and seek during your honeymoon. You can enjoy the breeze playing with the beautiful silver fir trees, valleys rejoicing and blushing with cherry red Rhododendron. The walking trails will greet hikers with powder white Magnolias and monasteries will welcome you with deep mystic chants.

Here you will spend some time rooted to the earth, watch people leading simple stress free lives without the city madness and complexities of metro life. Sikkim is a land of charming and down-to-earth people who greet you with open arms. Let us peep at some of the best things that make Sikkim the best vacay destination.

Sikkim is an ideal vacation destination for the young and old is search of beauty, peace harmony and diversity. A getaway to Sikkim is driven by an urge to see the beautiful places, to enjoy nature at its best, to taste varied kind of meals, to experience the diversity of culture, geography, festivals, religious beliefs and ethnicity.

places to visit in pelling

1. Khecheopalri Lake

Khecheopalri Lake is one of the Buddhist holy lakes. Myth is that when a leaf falls on the water surface, it is picked up by a bird and thus the surface of the water is always leafless.

2. Kanchenjunga Falls

Near Khecheopalri monastery is the Kanchenjunga Falls, ruins of Pemayangtse monastery, and Rabdentse monastery or the Sanga Choeling and the Rathong valley with all its mountains in the background. The panoramic view from the top of the ruin to the mystical heights of Kanchendzonga ranges is something to be caressed. Wander around the helipad or shopping center.

3. Rimbi water falls

Other places of visit are Rimbi water falls, Rimbi Rock Garden. Its botanical and zoological wealth is inspiring and the panoramic view is something to be seen to be believed. Kaluk, Rinchenpong and Namchi are some of the tourists place nearby.

4. Rabdentse Ruins

Sikkim’s oldest monastery, the Sanghak Choeling monastery is not to be missed as well. After this, do visit the Rabdentse palace ruins. You must hike a kilometer (it feels a lot more than that) to reach the ruins. Rabdantse was the Sikkimese capital that was left to ruin following the wake of the Nepalese invasions.

5. Saga Dawa

While you are planning on a vacation to Sikkim try coinciding the dates with the celebration of the various unique festivals throughout the states. Some of the festivals that carry a lot of enigma and glamour should be considered before freezing the travel dates and time.

The sizzling summer festivals offer a vibrant show of Sikkim culture and tradition that can easily mesmerise tourists. The tourist enjoy in awe the spirited dancing, mellifluous songs, glitzy costume and the grandeur of the show.

This a brilliant and glittering festivals mainly for the Buddhists belonging to the Mayan Sect. This festival gives the curious tourists a chance to experience the diversity of Sikkim’s culture. It is a sacred religious festival where the Mayan Buddhists gather in temples and pay their homage to their Lord for being blessed with the gift of life.

A bright and gorgeous procession of monks travel along the streets of Gangtok chanting hymns and prayers. To add vibrancy to the festivities, brilliant masked dances are performed. This festival opens up a whole new world of tradition and culture for the tourists.

6. Hee Bermiok

Similarly, there is the Hee Bermiok Heritage and Tourism Festival which is hosted in a small village by the same name. This village is located around 120 kilometres west of Gangtok. Hee Bermiok Festival, celebrated in Summer, also offers a chance to get familiar with the culture and lifestyle of Sikkim. Taste the various different varieties of rice wine and local delicacies.

Sikkimese cuisines is much more then just momos and chowmein,there are multiple exotic local cuisines which can make your mouth water just by seeing it. Gundruk is a fermented leafy green vegetable,it is very delicious when made soupy. Churpi ko jhol is a form of Cheese when mixed with onions,chilies and tomatoes forms a thick paste can be served with rice or chapati.

Kinema is fermented soybeans (fermented by Lactobacillus) mostly prepared by Kirati group of people. Sinki is a preserved vegetable, similar to gundruk. Gundruk is prepared from leafy vegetables but sinki is prepared from radish tap roots. Sha-Faley are like fried momos shaped like a half moon, stuffed with different stuffings like Cabbages,soybeans or meat instead of veggies.

Gyathuk or Thukpa is a Tibetan noodle soup, which originated in the eastern part of Tibet. Tingmo is a steamed bread. It is sometimes described as a steamed bun that is similar to Chinese flower rolls.Best when served with aludam. Laphing is a spicy cold mung bean noodle dish. It is a street food and is also popular in some parts of Nepal. All these dishes mentioned above are the ones you can easily find in every restaurants in Sikkim.

Weather in Sikkim

Firstly choose the month you want to visit. Sikkim is pleasurable to visit in all the seasons except the monsoon as the risk of landslides become a common occurrence here. The best time to visit Gangtok is the bracing autumn that is the months of September and October and from Spring to summers that is from March to June.

Those who want to witness snowfall can visit the place in winters, January-February, a drive of 53 km from Gangtok will result in Tsomgo Lake and Nathu La Pass where you can enjoy snowfall. But not to forget you will need a permit to visit Nathu La pass.

Sikkim in summer is generally a gratifying experience with cloudy days and humid and coolly pleasant atmosphere. Plan your clothes according to weather. In May and June, days are relatively warm and these months make for the peak tourist season as it is the best time to visit Sikkim. The famous tourists hubs bustle with bunches of jovial crowds and the cities throb with life.

These months form the ideal time to explore the remote regions of West and North Sikkim which get inaccessible in the monsoon and winter months. The daily range of average temperature in Sikkim varies from around 22 degrees Celsius at the maximum level to 7 degrees Celsius at the lowest.

Choice of clothes and accessories depend a lot on the time of the year that you are planning your travel. Do check the maximum and minimum temperatures of the places in the itinerary prior to beginning your journey. During the day, rugged travel clothes such as jeans or shorts, t-shirts and light jackets would feel comfortable and suit the travellers especially if someone is planning for a hike or trek or the adventure activities.

Try layering your bodies instead of carrying too puffy or heavy jackets. For the colder nights, carry shawls, sweaters, mufflers, windcheaters, comfy trousers, walking shoes and sneakers.

Permits Required in Sikkim

To enter Sikkim, foreigners need a special permit. This permit is called Restricted Area Permit (RAP) and is free. The initial permit lasts a maximum of 30 days, and may be extended for a further 30 days up to 60 days. If once inside you want to stay longer, to extend the permit you have to go to the foreign registration office in Gangtok and in some cities in the offices of the superintendent of police.

This permit gives you the right to move practically all over the East, West and South Sikkim, and a small part to the north, to the Singhik village. You will need photos and a photocopy of your passport. You have many options to process permits, from Delhi, Calcutta, Darjeeling, or at the same border post of Sikkim in Melli. Before you could enter through Jorethang but, currently you can only enter through Melli.

Practically in all the cities or villages there are hotels, guesthouses and homestays. From Siliguri there are direct jeeps to Gangtok, so if you do not intend to stop by Darjeeling, this is your best option. Siliguri has a train station, but if you come from Delhi, Calcutta or large cities, you will stop at the NJP station, a little further away.

How to visit Sikkim

Until recently the nearest airport was Bagdogra Airport in West Bengal. This airport is 126 km away and it takes 4 hours to get to Gangtok by bus or jeep. There are direct flights from New Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta and other major cities to Bagdogra Airport. Located at an altitude of 1,700 meters, now the newly opened Pakyong airport near Gangtok is the ideal way to get there.

Though open round the year, visiting from July to November, which is best time to enjoy the Sikkim's hospitality and get to see numerous beautiful waterfalls that later disappear till Feb due to subzero temperature. And December to March, North Sikkim transforms into a different world covered in snow.
Kalyan Panja