Around 10 km 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 Kanchenjunga and surrounding ranges, as well as the easy access it provides to tourist spots in the area.
Pemayangste Monastery is less than a kilometer 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, Kanchenjunga 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 color 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.
Famous Spots at Pelling
Changey Waterfalls is 10 kilometers from Pelling.
Khangchendzonga Waterfalls: The Kanchenjunga waterfall lies 28 km away from Darap en route to Yuksom and 5 km before reaching Yuksom. It is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Sikkim and is normally active throughout the year.
Khecheopari Lake: This is considered one of the sacred lakes of Sikkim. The lake remains hidden in the rich forest cover. It is believed that birds do not permit even a single leaf to float on the lake surface. Ensure maintaining the sanctity of the place by being silent, and by not trying to feed the fish.
Pemayangtse Monastery: Pemayangtse literally means perfect sublime lotus. This is one of the oldest and most important monasteries of Sikkim. Founded in 1705, this monastery belongs to the Nyingma-pa sect. In January–February every year, a religious dance called ‘Cham’ is performed in Pemayangtse.
Rabdanse Ruins: When descending from Pemayangtse Monastery you can take a left turn and take a walk for 10 min to reach to the gateway of Rabdanse Ruins. The ruins lie hidden from the main road. The walk towards Rabdantse is through a forest area with some rare species of orchids and a few lakes. These lakes are also home to local carp fish. There are good views from the top of the ruins looking across the deep valley and to the Khang-chen-Dzonga ranges.
Rimbi Water Falls & Karchen Power House: Situated 5 km down from Darap en route to Khecheopalri. Adjacent to the falls is the Karchen hydro electricity powerhouse. It is the oldest in West Sikkim being constructed in early 70’s during the reign of the last Sikkimese King.
Sanga Choeling Monastery: Situated on a ridge above Pelling and overlooking the famous Pemayangtse Monastery. Built in 1697 AD, it is considered to be one of the oldest monasteries in the State. In order to reach this Monastery one has to be prepared to spend at least 40 min walking up the steep hilly slope and through the forest.
Sewaro Rock Garden: A bit further along from Karchen hydro electricity powerhouse is Sewaro Rock Garden. This is a tourist picnic spot developed by the department of tourism. It is surrounded by dense greenery and flowers and equipped recreational amenities including fountains, resting sheds, flat stone foot paths, large gardens, cafeteria, swimming pool, ponds, handsomely maintained rocks (stones). In the 2nd week of January every year the celebration of Maghe mela is held along this river belt.
Traditional Cultural Program: Village people are by nature music lovers. Traditional dances have been well preserved in this valley for many generations. The most popular may be the Chabrung dance and Dhaan Naach.
Fishing at Rimbi: An ideal place for fishing is located 2 km away from Darap. Enjoy the day fishing. ‘Assala’ local fish has a very unique taste and is only found in this region.
Jungle Walk: Darap is situated at the door step of Kanchenjunga Biosphere Reserve (KBR) which is very rich in flora and fauna.
Experience the culture of Sikkim at Pelling with Royal House – Travel Guide, Gangtok.