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About Pelling

Pelling is located in West Sikkim District of the state of Sikkim. It is located at an altitude of 7,200 feet. The town offers an enchanting view of Kangchenjunga, the third highest peak in the world. It is the closest one can get to the mighty Kangchenjunga from a cozy hotel room. This hill station is emerging as the second most popular tourist destination in Sikkim, after Gangtok.

History

About two centuries ago, Terton Pema Lingpa, a Buddhist monk built a Buddhist monastery at the foothills of Kangchenjunga. The monastery was known as Pemachoeling Gompa. The Gompa turned to ruins after a while due to lack of care and maintenance. The town of Pelling (an abbreviated form of Pemachoeling) is named after the Gompa. Two other Buddhist monasteries of Pemayangtse and Sangacholing are also located near Pelling. 

 How to Reach?

The town is located at a distance of 10 km from the district headquarters of Geyzing. A regular bus service connects the two towns. Pelling is 115 km away from Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim. The nearest airport to Pelling is Bagdogra (IXB) which is located at a distance of 135 km. Pelling has a helipad where helicopters fly in from Gangtok, but the helicopter services are not regular. New Jalpaiguri (NJP) is the nearest railway station, which is 130 km from Pelling.

Best time to Visit

Pelling is a tourist destination for almost all seasons. The best time to visit Pelling is October to mid-June. The roads in the area deteriorate during monsoons which lasts from July to September. The weather in the area is generally quite unpredictable and it can change from warm and sunny to damp and cloudy within a very short period of time.

Clothes to be carried

The maximum temperature in summers rise up to 25 degrees C and the minimum temperature falls to the freezing point during the winters. The place is warm and pleasant in summers and cold in winters. It is advisable to carry light woolen clothing in summers and heavy woolens during winters.

Places to visit

Pelling town itself has only a few houses, hotels and eating places constructed on both sides of the road. The place is considered a paradise because of the scenic beauty of the area around Pelling and the magnificent view of the mighty Himalayas. Some of the places of tourist interest in and around Pelling are as follows:-

Pemayangtse Monastery Pemayangtse (the perfect sublime lotus) is a monastery of Nyingma-pa sect and was built in 1705. It is a three-story building and houses a great collection of paintings and sculptures.

Sangachoeling Monastery Sangachoeling Monastery was built in 1697 and is the oldest monastery in Sikkim. It is located a little above Pelling.

Khecheopalri Lake It is a sacred lake with religious significance. The lake is very scenic and surrounded by thick forest from all sides.

Rabdanse Ruins Rabdentse was the second capital of the former kingdom of Sikkim from 1670 to 1814. The Gorkha Army destroyed the capital city. Only ruins and foundations of the city remain.

Sewaro Rock Garden The state tourism department has developed a rock garden near the Karchen hydro electricity powerhouse. It has now become a very popular picnic spot for tourists.

Local Population or demography The permanent settlers are the Bhutias, Nepalese and Lepchas. Most of the people of Pelling are Buddhists and speak Sikkimese. English, Hindi and Nepali are also spoken in the town.

Summary

Pelling is fast emerging as a very popular tourist destination because of the wide variety of tourist activities like mountain biking, rock climbing, village tours, meditation, bird watching, nature walk, and cultural tours that are on offer here. It is also a great place to undertake mountain treks in the Himalayas.

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