Pelling is a small town in the west part of our beautiful Northeastern state of Sikkim. Pelling is known for its rich heritage, culture, and historical places in the entire town. Pelling has got some of the oldest Monasteries in Sikkim - Sanga Choeling Monastery, Sangachoeling Monastery, Khecheopalri Lake, Pemayangtse Monastery, Rabdentse Ruins, Tashiding Monastery, Dubdi Monastery which has a lot of cultural influence on the people of Pelling and these are the prime attractions.
I wanted to plan a holiday and was exploring some of the best places which are not very famous yet have a lot to offer to the visitors. I did a lot of research on the internet, asked my friends about it so got some names like Kasol, Kufri, Mcleodganj. I compared the destinations as per the variety and offerings. So search for the perfect next destination concluded with Pelling. There are multiple reasons behind it as this place is full of greenery and I like doing some adventure activities while going out on a trip being a fun-loving person so I shortlisted this small town. The first thing I did was to apply for a leave from my office for a week. Then I contacted one of the trusted travel agents to make the booking arrangements from flight to hotels and sightseeing. It was time to pack bags, I kept some warm clothes, DSLR is must when you are traveling, trekking shoes, trekking gear, backpack, some basic medicines, my ID proof for showing in the hotel and airport and travel guide for Pelling.
Then I went to the domestic airport in New Delhi and took a cost-effective Indigo flight to Bagdogra Airport in Sikkim. When we took off from Delhi the sky was not clear I could feel a lot of pollution which was causing hindrance in the view however once we reach Sikkim the sky was crystal clear I could see the beauty of the place. I was very excited about this trip as I finally got a plan for a long time. It just took 2 hours to reach Sikkim and some more time in clearance.
Once I came out of the airport weather was completely different from what I left in Delhi. There was a proper taxi stand from where we can hire a taxi as per our destination, one thing was clear that there is no possibility of bargain neither they will overcharge you as they have fixed rates for every destination you go for. I took a taxi and told the driver to take me to Pelling. The Airport is 142 Km from the town and the route goes through Siliguri, so viewed the scenic beauty of this amazing city. The travel time to reach Pelling was approximately four and a half hours, my driver was a great person as I started the conversation with him he started pouring me with Information. He kept on guiding me about the specialty of the area we are passing through. Once we reached Pelling and I stepped out I could feel the mildly cold breeze, the weather was thrilling I was very happy that I choose the right destination. It was around the evening and going to be dark in some time I checked in to the Hotel which was prebooked with the assistance of a reliable tour agency. The Hotel was nice with all the basic facilities which one looks for. Then I decided to find a restaurant which has a bar facility so that I can get relaxed. I didn't need to explore much and easily found Masala Restaurants & Bar upon reaching there I came to know that it is there since 2005. I wanted to try some delicious local and traditional dishes as I read a lot about their taste and healthy as well. They were offering a Chaang a local drink which is quite famous that too in a bamboo container which sounded cool so I ordered one and it was nice. Apart from it they are a multi-cuisine restaurant and offer Indian, Chinese, Sikkimese cuisines. Post enjoying the Momos, Thukpa and after satisfying my starve I came back to the hotel to stay overnight.
On the second day, post the toothsome morning meal, our cab arrived at the Hotel gate and we were ready to explore this marvelous small town. The routes were mostly between the lush greenery and forests and our first stop was Rimbi Waterfall. The milk-like water makes this place important to be there on your itinerary. This beautiful waterfall forms the Rimbi river which is cherished by the locals and travelers by performing swimming and fishing and various other recreational activities. This is around 18 km from Pelling, I was refreshed with the cool breeze and looking at the height of the waterfall then I decided to take a dip, the water was chilling at one moment I felt I got frozen and mind you my trip was in March. Well then I clicked some memorable pictures as you can miss out on such locations. There was another location which is Rimbi Rock Garden which is more of a picnic spot if you are visiting with family you can spend some enjoyable time here. Our next stop was Khecheopalri Lake is a must-visit place that is around the mountains and it is known to be a sacred lake. Also it is said that you would not find even a single leaf of the trees around as whenever a leaf goes into the lake then the birds around will take it from there. If you are lucky you may witness this amazing cleaning by the birds. There are multiple stories around the lake being sacred and the shape of the lake is like a foot which is said to be the foot of Lord Shiva or Goddess Tara Devi if viewed from Arial view. The cab left us some distance from the lake as we need to trek the rest of the distance, you will walk between the awesome orange garden from where you can also buy them. I enjoyed every moment of my stay here and yes took a secret wish, as well as the natives, say god always revert on wishes offered here.
Then it was time to move to the Kanchenjunga Fall. This is one of the must-visit places if you are planning a trip to Pelling. The water comes right from the Himalayas creates soothing music you can ignore. The way to the waterfall will bring you one step closure to nature. Those who love adventures can go for rope sliding.
Whatever I heard about this place was true, water is just like milk, so pure and clean. Once we left our car we hand to climb approx 50 steps to reach this perennial waterfall. Truly it was a scenic view of the fall and we took some splendid pictures. Then we decided to take some sips of hot cardamom tea which was like heaven. Then we head to the Pemayangtse Monastery the driver dropped us approx 2 km from the hill on which this marvelous monastery is based. The trekking experience was thrilling between the thick forest however no need to fear. Once we reached the place at the first glace only our entire tiredness went off looking at that three-storied structure made out of the wood way back in the 17th Century. You can admire the sculptures, wall paintings which gives you the idea of the fine art existed then. The highlight of the place is the seven-tiered statue of Guru Rimpoche, use of wood and rainbows and fairies makes it even irresistible. Now, our driver told us that the next destination is going to be the last for the day. We reached Rabdentse Ruins which are just on a walking distance from the Monastery. This structure was built during the 17th Century and it is a popular tourist attraction recognized by the Archaeological Survey of India. Remains of ruins will show you the King's bedroom and kitchen. This place is at such a height that you could have a clear view of the majestic Khanchenzonga mountains it was around evening the beauty of the snowcapped peaks was commendable. This was a wonderful day we explored so much today while coming back to the hotel on our way the cab was stopped at the Lotus bakery. Honestly, at first look that place was just like a small hut and never look like any eating joint. But, as we were hungry asked the driver if we can take some snacks on the way so we stopped there. When we entered there were tables and chairs for the visitors to sit. We ordered Danish bread, chocolate croissant, apple cinnamon roll in the meantime while the order was being processed we noticed some wall hanging which was talking about a trial school, then out of curiosity, we asked the bakery owner about it. She informed us that the proceedings go to this school only and they are supporting tribal children we were touched by this thing. Then we enjoyed our ordered items it was fresh and toothsome, as it was chilling so we asked for cardamom tea which on top of the icing took us on the next level it was just too good. Post this we were dropped at the hotel.
The next morning, we got up early and left for another adventurous day. Then we went to the Yuksom to visit the Chogyal King established the first monastery of Yuksom here. It is known as Dubdi Monastery said to have built-in 1701 and one of the most important of the Buddhist circuit of Sikkim. We had to trek around 1 hour to reach this monastery, once we reach this place was quite soothing and sanctity of the place just kept us mesmerized. The structure was beautiful, you can admire the architecture, wall paintings. Then I moved to the Darap village which is quite famous for the rich fauna and you can spot amazing birdlife here. We took some scenic clicks for our memory. Then we told our driver to take us to the magical engineering structure of Singshore Bridge. When we reached this location the first word that came out of my mouth was WOW. This is the highest bridge in the entire Sikkim with an elevation of 198 meters. You will have a spectacular view of the valley and mountains around you. Waterfalls' views from this bridge would make it a treat to an eye. You cant take any vehicle here hence you need to reach here by walking. It is also the highest Gorge bridge in Asia. This is 28 km from Pelling however it is more than worth watching. This was truly amazing I am short of words to describe it, it will give you a thrilling experience of your lifetime. I can bet once you are standing on the bridge and if a car passes by your heart will in your mouth. As all good this comes to an end it was time to go back to our hotel the driver dropped us.
In the evening we decided to explore the Helipad which is said to be the sunset point as well. We were looking at the snow-capped peaks the sun was about to set. Golden rays were taking our heart away, you could hardly stare at the sun regularly at that time even. The scene was picturesque, it demanded some clicks. For sure this must not be missed out. Today, it was the last day for me at Pelling so I decided to shop for my family and friends then we asked the local people for a place to shop it was just nearby on walking distance only Lama Tenzing Wangdak Place. The market is located just beside the Hotel Sonamchen of Pelling which is located in the Upper Pelling near to the Old Helipad area. This center is quite famous for a wide variety of marvelous collections of handmade Thangkas, which is a Buddhist painting on cotton, silk appliqué usually depicting the Buddhist God or goddess, scene, or Mandala a combination of symbols used for the spiritual purpose. Apart from it you can explore traditional carpets, wall hangings, clothing, and many more things at cost-effective or fair prices. The place and items both were superb and it didn't take much time for me to buy the stuff. Then I moved to the nearby eating joint Havmor Restaurant to my surprise it was a pure vegetarian restaurant. I decided to try it they were offering north Indian, south Indian, Pao bhaji and chole bhature, even ice creams for that matter. The seating arrangement was fine, I ordered Pau bhaji and Masala dosa the taste was finger licking. Then post satisfying myself we went back to the hotel to stay.
This morning we had to depart to the airport. We got the same driver, then I requested him to take us a good place on the way as we had some spare time in the flight schedule. He took me to the Temi Tea Garden which spread in a very wide area and beautiful to watch. This place is renowned for its fine tea which is also sold in the international market at around INR 800 per kg. This was again a wonderful experience for me. Post that we reached the airport and now the time has arrived to say goodbye to this beautiful small town, however, the memories would always keep on reminding the amazing culture, history and gorgeous waterfalls, valley, mountains of Pelling.