Geographically Sikkim is divided into four parts/districts East, West, North and South.The centre of attraction of the West Sikkim is Pelling. Pelling is rapidly becoming a popular tourist destination. At an altitude of 6800 ft, it’s the most excellent place to get a closest view of the world’s 3rd highest peak Mt. Kanchenjunga. Apart from the innate beauty of the place, other attractions in Pelling are the Sanga Choeling Monastery, Pemayangtse Monastery and the Khecheopalri Lake.
About an hour drive from Pelling, Yuksom the first capital of Sikkim is known for its historical values established in 1642 AD by Phuntsog Namgyal who was the first Chogyal of Sikkim. The most popular trek Dzongri – Goecha la Trek starts from Yuksom. An absolute classic, this trek offers spectacular views of Kanchenjunga hills apart from many other smaller peaks which surround it. The whole trail is filled with rhododendrons and it’s like the forest has extended a red carpet welcome for you during the springs. Post Monsoon, the mountain views are outstanding – Kanchenjunga, Pandim, Rathong, Kabru, etc are some of the peaks seen from several vantage points all along.
One of the most famous and visited monastery in Pelling is Pemagyantse Monastery. The unique feature of the monastery is that there is an intricately carved wooden structure located on the top floor displaying a heavenly sphere known as ‘Zangdokpalri’. It is believed that ‘Zangdokpalri’ is a reproduction in the concrete form that appeared in the vision of Gyalwa Lhatsum Chempo. The monastery houses a good collection of wall paintings, sculptures, precious images, thankas and a huge gold plated statue of Guru Padsambhava.
The archaeological site that tells Sikkim’s story of glory is Rabdentse. A brilliant place to enjoy heritage amidst nature. Kangchenjunga range on the backdrop provides some breathtaking views from here. This is an extremely well maintained archaeological site that reveals what remains of a huge palace complex of the 1700s. It is located very close to the Pemagyantse Monastery.
Sanga-choeling Monastery was established by Lama Lhatsun Chempo during the 17th century. This is one of the oldest monasteries in the state of Sikkim. The literal meaning of Sanga Choeling is “Island of the Guhyamantra teachings”. This monastery highlights shocking depictions, statues, and sacred writings revered in a grave quietness that is extremely alleviating. It is located on a ridge top at a distance of around 7 kms from Pemagyantse Monastery.
Set amidst densely forested hills, the lake which is nearly 3500 years old and has a renowned status being sacred to Buddhists and Hindus. It was originally called Kha-Chot-Palri (‘wish-fulfilling jewel’). It has gained immense popularity as a wish-fulfilment lake, as Lord Shiva is believed to have meditated in the Dupukney Cave overlooking the lake. The local community of the village believes that all wishes made are fulfilled here.
The most peculiar feature of the Khecheopalri Lake is the crystal-clear surface of the water. This feature is attributed to the rich avifauna of the lake which never let any dirt or impurity surface the water and pick it up as soon as anything falls on it. And true to its essence, you would never find even a single leaf floating on the surface.
Situated around 12 kms from Pelling and about 6 kms from Darap Village, you will encounter a jaw-dropping view of Rimbi Waterfalls.
On the way to Yuksom and Khecheopalri Lake, Rimbi waterfall is formed over Rimbi River. Rimbi waterfall is also known for the oldest hydropower stations in Sikkim which is located close to the waterfall.
The waterfall turns into Rimbi River, which is constantly visited by tourists and locals for sightseeing’s and for leisure activities like fishing and swimming. The local preparation Assala – a variety of fishes only found here is very popular around Rimbi water fall. Rimbi waterfall is a must visit for all the tourists visiting Pelling. During monsoon, the water flow is heavy and is suggested that not to venture into the fall whereas summer and winter are perfect for enjoying Rimbi.
Tashiding Monastery is one such place that you should not be missing out on. Located around 40 km from the west of sikkim, Geyzing , the Tashiding monastery is the most peaceful and the holiest Buddhist monastery in Sikkim. The beauty of Tashiding monastery will never fail to surprise you and will make you fall in love with it. It was built in the year 1717 and is beautifully situated on the highest point of a slope among Rangeet and Rathong rivers.
Singshore Bridge, located about 25 kms from pelling is the highest bridge in Sikkim and the second highest bridge in Asia with a height over 100m. The total length of Singshore bridge is about 200m. It is truly a manmade marvel that offers the spectacular base view of immense greenery that makes it difficult to distinguish between the lowlands and the mountains. Close to the bridge lies the Uttarey village, which falls near the Nepal boundary or commonly called as Chia Bhanjyang. Uttarey is a base camp for Singalila Mountain Range trek.
The glass Skywalk is India’s first ever skywalk, set in the picturesque town of Pelling in Northeast Sikkim. Built at an astounding height of 7200 feet, this colossal structure allows tourists to look down several thousand feet in the air, from the peak to the very bottom of mountains. The Glass Skywalk is not for the fainthearted, or for people with vertigo as walking on transparent glass at such heights can be spine-chilling!
The Pelling skywalk is a transparent foot-over bridge made out of glass that is suspended hundreds of feet in the air. Since its inauguration in November 2018, the skywalk has become a major hub of tourists owing to the odd concoction of thrill and peace that it has to offer. There are several attractions that can be viewed from over the bridge including waterfalls, lush forests and monasteries. It is located adjacent to the marvellous statue of Chenrezig, which is a famous Buddhist pilgrimage site. The skywalk overlooks the magnificent Kanchenjunga, as well as the Teesta and Rangit rivers, which flow alongside adding another dimension to the serenity of the place.
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