Located in the western part of Sikkim, Pelling is a quaint little town that is nothing short of paradise. The beautiful green pastures that are spotted with magnanimous waterfalls, ruins of a time long gone, and the splendid scenery of the Kanchenjunga mountains are all things that make this little town worth the hype. The best part is - since this place is still relatively untouched by the crowds of capitalism, it’s a clean, serene, and fog-filled visual treasure trove.
Well, we can go on and on about how beautiful this town is. However, there are a few places that will be the cherry on top of the cake. So, here are some of the most beautiful places to visit in Pelling!
Pelling is home to a lot of Buddhist followers and monks, and it sees a lot of visitors coming in to find a new light in terms of spirituality. If you’re someone like that, or just want to see the beautiful architecture that makes the monasteries in this area as majestic as they are, Pemayangtse Monastery is a great place to start.
This monastery was designed and built in 1647 by Lama Lhatsun Chempo. It has been in service since then and has withstood many calamities like earthquakes. You can still see the scars of those events on the walls of the monastery. Once you are done seeing the place from the inside, you can go out and enjoy the architecture, or go on the Rani Dhunga Jungle Trek. If you happen to be in the area in February, you can also check out the Cham Dance Festival and shake a leg with the locals.
Also Read: 7 Best Places To Experience Diwali In India
Giving the scenery a beautiful point of focus since the 17th century, the Sangachoeling Monastery is a very important stop for the Buddhist pilgrims. The thing is, if you’re visiting the monastery, you’ll have to trek through the mountains to reach this monastery. However, the other-worldly beauty of the monastery and its surroundings make it worth the effort, even if you aren’t very spiritual.
The inside of the monastery has some exquisite and antique paintings, statues, scriptures, and clay figurines that are known to be as spiritual as you can imagine a monastery at the very top of a ridge to be.
Considered to be one of the most important parts of the Buddhist pilgrimage circuit in Pelling, Tashiding Monastery is the visual and physical definition of the word serene since 1641. It’s located between Rangeet River and Rathong Chu, giving it a backdrop of an exquisite landscape. This place is also known for its meditative vibe.
If you plan on visiting Tashiding Monastery, we recommend you do it with the aid of a local guide. This monastery has a lot of history and very rich insight can be gained from the legends and stories that the locals can tell. Moreover, if you visit Pelling between February and March, you might get to witness the Bhumchu Festival in all its glory, where a lot of Buddhist traditions, along with the holy water inside the monastery, are put on display. However, these are not the only monasteries in the area. Find more of them here - 7 Monasteries In Sikkim To Visit For A Tranquil Holiday.
Located about 10 kilometers away from the town of Pelling, Changey Waterfall is one tourist attraction that you cannot afford to miss. It is surrounded by a horde of villages, giving it a vibe that is unique only to itself. Moreover, this waterfall starts at a height of 300 meters as a white wall of water, disappears into the dense greenery surrounding the falling water, and reappears from two corners that make it seem like open doors to paradise.
If you’re in the vicinity, after you’re done sitting, hiking, or even rappelling around the waterfall, you should check out the cheese factory in Dentam Village. It might sound mundane to some, but it is an experience worth having.
Also Read: Best Places To Go Paragliding In India
Rimbi Waterfall is another beautiful spot near Pelling. The waterfall here is huge and is surrounded by a green cover that is nothing short of impressive. It’s also a great resting spot on the way to Khecheopalri and Yuksam.
Once it falls, the Rimbi Waterfall turns into the beautiful Rimbi River. The beginning of it is a foamy white pool that only grows in glory. The locals living around the river frequent its banks to fish. This brings us to an exclusive delicacy. Assala is a variety of fish found only here and the local preparation is known to blow minds.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can go fishing yourself! However, it is recommended that you don't go around here during monsoon season, since the current in the river rises to dangerous levels sometimes.
Also Read: Best Places To Go Mountaineering In India
Darap is a culturally rich place that is known for its natural beauty and welcoming locals. Located about 8 kilometers away from Pelling, this village is also growing in popularity amongst travelers. That’s owing to the beautiful homestays in the area that allow you to mingle with the people and actually experience their culture firsthand.
After all, living in a house with the people, eating from the same kitchen, and playing with the children have to leave a long-lasting impression. That being said, you can also get a place for yourself in this village to just kick back and relax. The natural beauty, combined with the serenity and the involving culture gives Darap a high spot on the list of places to visit near Pelling. That being said, if you want to visit a few of the calmer water bodies in the area, check these out - 5 Tranquil Lakes In Sikkim.
For almost two centuries between 1670 and 1814, Rabdentse was the capital of Sikkim. This was a beautiful place that was turned into ruins during the Nepalese invasion in the 18th century. A lot of the monuments like monasteries and houses were left undone. However, even today, the Rabdentse Ruins exuberate beauty that is incomparable in every sense of the word.
At the entrance of these ruins, you are greeted by large chestnut trees. Upon walking further, you’ll see three large stones, or Namphogang, that mark the spot where judges would present their final statements regarding any dispute. These beautiful ruins are taken care of by the Archeological Survey Of India. So, it is under a lot of care as well. Moreover, it is just a walk away from the Pemayangtse Monastery.
Attached to the royal garden of Rabdentse, Geyzing, or Gyalshing in the local dialect, is a very popular tourist attraction in Pelling. It is famous for its market area and the handicrafts and handmade products sold there.
Other than the colorful shops of souvenirs and similar things, you can also visit the equally colorful farmer’s market and take a look at the fruits and other food items. The best part is that this entire market is for the people, by the people. So, if you manage to get somebody from Pelling to tell you about it, you’re in for a treat!
Yuksom is a little ways away from Pelling, about 40 kilometers away. However, if you’re visiting Pelling, you have to visit Yuksom. This town is blessed with spectacular biodiversity and is home to many beautiful Buddhist monasteries, including Dubdi Monastery - a very important spot for Buddhist pilgrims.
The other-worldly combination of monasteries and exquisite green cover makes this place one of the best in the area for a relaxing, disconnected vacation away from everything. However, if you’re the more adventurous kind, you might also enjoy activities like rock climbing, rappelling, and trekking. In fact, the Yuksom-Dzongri trek, the famous high-altitude trek that goes along the Rathong Chu River starts here itself.
Located about halfway between Pelling and Gangtok, Ravangla is a spot that takes you to a different world altogether. Of course, you have the standard green cover and biodiversity that Pelling offers. But, all of it is amplified and if you are the kind to spend time with nature, you might never want to leave.
This town has amazing views of multiple peaks like Kanchenjunga, Pandim, Siniolchu, and Kabru, along with some of the most mesmerizing fauna. Birds like the verditer flycatcher, cuckoo, babbler, and hill partridge grace the mighty rhododendron forests. These forests have more than a few colors that the sprinkled orchids add to the scenery.
If you’re the kind to want an adrenaline rush to go with your share of serenity, you can go for activities like rock climbing, rappelling, and trekking, too! Speaking of trekking, the one toward Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary also starts from Ravangla.
Also read: Sikkim Travel Guide
About 30 kilometers away from Pelling, Kanchenjunga Falls is one of the most well-known tourist attractions around Pelling. It’s believed that this waterfall is fed by the melting snow on the Kanchenjunga mountain, from where it travels to this place and turns into a 100-foot fall of crystal clear water falling into a milky white pool.
The rocky path that leads to the waterfall is a treat in itself. It puts you in the lap of nature, gives you some amazing shots for photography, and the adrenaline junkies have the option of going rope sliding. Not just that, if you visit the place in monsoon, it really looks like a piece of paradise. Regardless of which season you visit this place in, we don’t have to tell you to be careful.
Kanchendzonga, or Kanchenjunga, National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that covers approximately 849 sq. km., right beside the town of Pelling. You can go on a trek around the national park via one of the three routes. The first one takes you through Yuksom - Tshoka - Dzongri, the second one will take you through Bakim - Dzongri - Thangshing - Samuteng - Goechala, and the third one takes you through Dzongri Base Camp - Rathong - Khangerteng.
Depending upon which route you take, you might take anywhere between 6 and 8 days to complete the whole trek. However, you might get to see animals like Musk Deers and Snow Leopards in their natural habitat and you’ll definitely see the gloriously enormous peaks up close. So, albeit with a local guide, a trek around Kanchendzonga National Park will encapsulate all the adjectives that are used in reference to the beauty of this place.
To tie it with a bow, Pelling is one of the many places in Northern India that are as close to paradise as you can get. However, the combination of history and culture with natural beauty is what makes this place so special. You can go here to just chill or literally hang off of cliffs. We recommend going here during the summers so that you can visit every place with the utmost ease. However, Pelling calls to the traveling all year round. So, go whenever you feel like it. But, do so very carefully. Cheers!
Is Pelling Worth Visiting?
Pelling is a town in the state of Sikkim that is known for its natural beauty and cultural heritage. You can experience natural wonders like lakes, waterfalls, and exquisite fauna. Additionally, you can also engage in activities like shopping as well as adventure sports and even visit a few places that give you a wide insight into the history and culture of the place.
Why Is Pelling Famous?
Pelling is famous for its combination of natural beauty and cultural as well as historical monuments. Places like Kanchenjunga Falls, Khecheopalri Lake, Rabdentse Ruins, Pemaygantse Gompa, and Sangacholing Monastery make this place absolutely worth visiting.
How Many Days Are Enough For Pelling?
Considering the extensive green cover and historical or cultural monuments around the town, you can take about 20 days and still miss out on some things. However, you can cover a good bit of the essence in about 3-4 days.
Is There Snowfall In Pelling?
No, Pelling does not usually receive snowfall. However, it is surrounded by Himalayan peaks, which along with its own altitude, make this a rather cold place.
What Is The Highest Bridge In Sikkim?
The Singshore Suspension Bridge in Pelling is the highest suspension bridge in Sikkim. It’s also the second-highest suspension bridge in the Indian subcontinent. At over 100 meters in height, this bridge has become a tourist attraction too.
How Far Is Darjeeling From Pelling?
Darjeeling is 68 km away from Pelling.
Which Are Some Beautiful Places To Visit In Pelling?
Some beautiful places to visit in Pelling are Pemayangtse Monastery, Sangachoeling Monastery, Changey Waterfall, and Darap Village.