PELLING, West Sikkim
Around 10 kms from Gyalshing (District Headquarter), Pelling is today emerging as the second biggest tourist destination in the state after Gangtok. Although in itself it is little more than a strip of road lined with hotels, its main USP is the breathtaking view it offers of the Khangchendzonga and surrounding ranges, as well as the easy access it provides to tourist spots in the area.
Pemayangste monastery is less than a kilometre from Pelling, while a 40 minute walk on the hill opposite the monastery takes you to Sanga Choling monastery built in 1697, one of the first in the state. Pelling’s serene environment and picturesque setting is perfect for nice nature walks and small treks. A destination for all seasons, Pelling has hotels and resorts catering to all budgets.
Named after the guardian deity of Sikkim, Khangchendzonga Festival is held at Pelling every year. It offers a host of fun activities like white-water rafting on the Rangit, kayaking, promotional trekking, mountain biking, sightseeing, traditional sports and bird- watching.
The festival also includes Flower exhibitions, traditional crafts and ethnic food and costume stalls. Cultural folk dances and music add colour and sound to the festivities. The festival is aimed at balancing all diverse aspects of the area to produce a holistic package showcasing its potential for tourism.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
Anytime of the year except the rainy season would be best time to visit this place. If the sky is clear, you will get a pleasing and soul fulfilling view of Mt. Kanchenjunga from Pelling.
HOW TO GET THERE
Airways: The nearest airport is in Bagdogra, West Bengal about 5 hrs drive from Gangtok, 12 km west of Siliguri and about 140 km from Pelling. Sikkim also has got its first commercial airport at Pakyong, East Sikkim but weather hampers the operation of this airport most of the time. If you are lucky enough you can get a flight directly to Pakyong.
Railways: The nearest railway station is New Jalpaiguri (NJP) in West Bengal which is about 136 km from Pelling. You can take a taxi to reach Pelling via Jorethang, which takes about 5 hours.
Roadways: Pelling is about 10 km from Gyalshing, the West District Headquarter and about 134 km from Gangtok, the capital city.