Ravangla is rapidly expanding and spectacularly perched
overlooking a wide sweep of western Sikkim. This is a
relatively new tourist spot in south Sikkim. Ravangla
reminds of a town from the Wild West and is a sleepy
town situated at a height of 8000 feet. This small
picturesque semi town on the Gangtok-Gaysiling highway,
is becoming a hot destination for its breathtaking
landscape and tranquility. The gompas of Old Ralang,
Tashiding, Pemayangtse and Sangachoeling, all distantly
visible against a horizon with snow-capped peaks. The
town itself is a modern creation of little aesthetic
distinction, but useful as a hub to visit Ralang.
Ravangla is among one of the few
Sikkim to offer an undisturbed view of the snow ranges of
Greater Himalayas. Mt. Kanchenjunga, Mt. Pandim, Mt. Sinialchu,
Mt. Kabru. Upper parts of Ravangla experiences snowfall during
winter. Thousands of known and unknown flowers are in full
bloom during April-May and Ravangla gets a romantic look with
the colours and fragrance of the flowers. This town comes
alive during the Pang Lhabsol festival when the spectacular
Warrior Dance is performed at the Ravang Monastery by the
Excursions from Ravangla
situated about 13 kms. below Ravangla. About 1.5 km
downhill on the same road is peaceful Old Ralang Gompa.
The monastery at Ralang follows the Kagyupa sect of
Buddhism. The Old monastery was built in 1768 AD and
legend has it that the 9th Karmapa, head of the Kagyupa
sect, blessed the site of the monastery with grains of
rice thrown from Tibet. Pang Lhabsol, the worship of Mt.
Khangchendzonga and Kagyed Chaam (masked dances) is held
in the monastery every year.
Besides the main Legship road, 5.5 kms.
from central Ravangla at Kewzing, small but fascinating Yung
Drung Kundrak Lingbon is the only Bon Monastery in Sikkim. The
Bon faith, preceded Buddhism in Tibet. It’s relevance and
impact on Buddhist philosophy is brought superbly alive by the
impeccable explanations of the monastery’s joyful English
teacher, Lama Yungdrung Tenzing.
Rangit Water World
Rangit Water World is situated 26 kms. downhill from Ravangla.
It is an ideal stopover place for the young ones. The lake is
formed by the Rangit Dam and offers boating, fishing and
A steep three to four hour hiki0ng trails leads from the Ravangla – Ralang road to the top of Maenam Hill through the
thick forest of oak, chestnut, rhododendrons and magnolia. The Maenam
Wildlife Sanctuary is a natural habitat of the Red Panda,
Himalayan Black Bear and many species of deer. The views are
wonderful and you just might see rare red pandas and monal pheasants (Sikkim’s state bird). A guide is useful to
avoid getting lost in the forest on return. Longer treks
continue to Borong village. A short distance away is the
legendary Bhaley Dunga, a kind of rocky spur which juts out
from the ridge top above Yangang village.
Geyzing, Tikjuk and Legship
Geyzing is West Sikkim’s capital, but for permit extensions
you need Tikjuk, half way to Pelling. Apart from its vaguely
interesting Sunday market, Geyzing is most useful as West
Sikkim’s transport hub. However, for a pleasantly peaceful
accommodation alternative, go 2.3 km towards Sakyong.
Rayong Sunrise View Point
Rayong Sunrise View Point is situated at a distance of 8 km
from Ravangla on the road to Damthang. The viewpoint offers
spectacular view of the sunrise, as the first few rays sun
lightens up the snowy peaks of Mt. Narsing, Jopuno, Kabur,
Rathong and Pandim.
Temi Tea Garden
At a distance of only 16 km from Ravangla, it is one of
the most beautifully located tea garden of Sikkim. The
journey through the winding road via Dentham is even
more attractive. A 9 km trek from Dentham through the
Tendon sanctuary goes to a dormant volcano, an
unforgettable place to view Kanchenjunga and Singalila
range in the west and vast plane lands in the south.
Even Pelling in West Sikkim and Siliguri town is visible
from the view point of Tendong. Ralang hot spring is
situated at a distance of 26 kms from Ravangla. The
monastery on the way holds the famous kagiang festival
and Ralang Cha-chu
Cha-chu or hot sulphur springs at Ralang
and Borong are traditional winter spas where visitors spend a
week or more soaking in these springs that have medicinal
properties. Ralang Cha-chu can be reached after a 1 hour
downhill walk to the Rangit valley from the Ralang monastery.
Borong Cha-chu is a 7 km drive from Ralang and a further
45-minute downhill walk. Both these hot springs are located
along the banks of the Rangit River and can be visited from
December to February. During the season small shops selling
basic vegetables and provisions are setup and the local
villagers sell diary products.
Tendong Hill (8500 feet) offers a spectacular 360 degree view
of Sikkim and the distant plains of North Bengal. The word
Tendong means upraised horn from the Lepcha lore relating the
time when a great flood submerged their land and Tendong rose
up miraculously like a horn to save them. Even today prayers
are offered from the hilltop before the onset of the monsoons
to appease the deities and prevent a recurrence of the
Mangbrue Gompa and view point
Mangbrue Gompa and view point is located about 8 kms. above
Kewzing, The Mangbrue Gompa is also an excellent view point of
the mountains and hills.
Trekking around Ravangla
Ravangla also offers some fabulous short treks. A 12 km trek
from Ravangla through the Oak, Pine, Rhododendron, Magnolia
and fir forests will take you to Mainam peak at 10,600 ft.
Another 1.5 km uphill trek leads to valedunga, a hilltop
offering beautiful views to the surrounding mountains. The
entire trek route passes through the Mainam Sanctuary which
houses a rare collection of Himalayan species like the red
panda, Himalayan black bear, leopard cat, black pheasant cat
etc. Trek starts with a 13 km drive to Damthang and 2.5 hrs