Pelling is a town in the district of West Sikkim, India.
Pelling is located at an altitude of 2,150 m (7,200 feet). The
town is situated at a distance of 10 km from the district
headquarters of Geyzing. A regular bus service connects the
two towns. However with the influx of tourists, the region is
undergoing a metamorphosis, with the roads being repaired and
hotels being set up.
Pelling is 115 km from the state capital Gangtok and about 135
km from Siliguri, the nearest railhead and airport. The
nearest airport is Bagdogra airport. The population in the
region has a diverse mix of several tribes and ethnic groups.
Due to lack of access, education, especially the vocational
sort, has suffered in this region.
Most of the people of Pelling are Buddhists and speak the
Sikkimese language. Other languages spoken are, English, Hindi
and Nepali. The region produces local handicrafts items made
from wood, wool and bamboo.
The Himalayas and the Kanchenjanga may be viewed at close
quarters from Pelling. Pelling also forms the base from where
trekkers and other wandering adventurers undertake the
exhausting and arduous treks in West Sikkim. The land around
Pelling is still a virgin territory and is bathed with alpine
vegetation, with several waterfalls lining the hillside. In
the months of winter, Pelling is sometimes covered with a
blanket of snow.
Music and dances
are various festivities throughout the year in Pelling, and is
mostly centred around the rich, traditional offing's of the
Pemayangtse Monastary & Sangachoeling Monastries in the form of
Guruthagmar in the month February/March.Traditional dances have
been well preserved in this valley for many generations. Village
people are by nature music lovers. The most popular may be the
Chabrung dance and Dhaan Naach.
Folk dances and songs of the Limbo tribe are rich and energetic.
The traditional Limbo song and dance with the ‘Chabb-rung’
(drum) is performed during festivals and other important
occasions. The Limbo men wear Po-hok-ma and ‘'Sumba'’. This is
slightly similar to the Daura Suruwal (Nepali dress). The women
wear an ankle length dress Sim and Hambari, which is generally
bright in colour and made from a finely woven fabric with
Tourist Attractions in Pelling
Village tourism in Sikkim is a booming industry and the local
community attempts to manage it in a manner that is
environmentally, culturally and socially responsible. The local
community is at the centre of the planning, implementation and
monitoring processes. This local involvement aids in the
protection of the areas natural and cultural resources.
There are many rural lodges on offer around Pelling in the
villages of Chumbong and Singyang, some of which include The
Pachu village Resort, Ifseen Villa in Chumbong and the
Phamlagang Eco-lodge in Singyang and Ifseen Villa in Chumbong
Pemayangtse Monastery is one of the oldest and most
important monasteries of Sikkim. Pemayangtse literally means
perfect sublime lotus. It was founded in 1705, this monastery
belongs to the Nyingma-pa sect. The 3-storied building of the
monastery houses a good collection of wall paintings and
sculptures. On the 3rd floor of the monastery, there is a
7-tiered painted wooden model of the abode of Guru Rimpoche,
complete with rainbows, angels and the entire panoply of Buddha
and bodhisattva. In January-February every year, a religious
dance called 'Cham' is performed in Pemayangtse.
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
Rimbi Water Falls & Karchen Power House
These are located about 5 kms down from Darap on the way to
Khecheopalri. Adjacent to the falls is the Karchen hydro
electricity powerhouse. It is the oldest in west Sikkim being
founded in early 70s during the reign of the last Sikkimese
Sangachoeling Monastery was founded in 1697 AD, it is
considered to be one of the oldest monasteries in the State.
Sangachoeling Monastery is located on a ridge above Pelling and
overlooking the well-known Pemayangtse Monastery. 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 bounded by dense
greenery and flowers and equipped recreational amenities
including fountains, flat stone foot paths, resting sheds, large
gardens, swimming pool, cafeteria, ponds, handsomely maintained
rocks (stones). In the 2nd week of January every year the
celebration of Maghe mela is held along this river belt.
This lake is believed to be 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.
Changey Waterfall is a famous tourist attraction which is about
10 km from Pelling.
The Khanchendzongna waterfall is one of the most beautiful
waterfalls in Sikkim and is normally active throughout the year.
It lies 28 km away from Darap on the way to Yuksam and 5 km
before reaching Yuksam.
The Bhutia's are the major people in Pelling holding
religious alliance to the ancient Pemayangtse and
Sanghachoeling Monastaries. They form a population spread
out over many villages around Pelling (Singyang, Chumbong,
Sindrong). Other tribes like the Lepchas are found in the
small cultural village of Sindrong. Further away from
Pelling is the pristine village of Darap. Other tribes in
the area include Limboos , chettri's and other Nepali
About 95% of the people live by subsistence farming
activities. The area is sparsely populated and the people
live in houses scattered across the landscape of the
Himalayas. Agriculture is the dominant occupation of the
villagers. The main crops cultivated are maize, paddy,
cardamom, millet, buckwheat and wheat.The small castle
like local houses are the distinctive traditional
architecture of the Limboo people and have a large
courtyard, unique balconies and beautiful galleries.
How to Reach Pelling
The nearest Railway Station from Pelling is Jalpaiguri Railway
Station which is located at a distance of 170 Kms from Pelling.
It is linked to major cities like Chennai, New Delhi, Howrah,
Alipur and Darjeeling.
Pelling is 10 Kms from Geyzing, 55 Kms from Damthang, 84 Kms
from Kalimpong, 110 Kms from Gangtok, 127 Kms from Siliguri, 145
Kms from Pankhabari, 152 Kms from Nagrakata, 168 Kms from
Jalpaiguri and 380 Kms from Bhagalpur. Pelling is well connected
with the above cities via Sikkim State Road Transport
Corporation (SSRTC) and some private travel services.
The nearest Airport from Pelling is Bagdogra Airport, Siliguri,
it is about 4 hours drive from Pelling. Scheduled flights are
available from cities such as New Delhi, Guwahati, Mumbai,
Chennai and Kolkata. There is an availability of the flights
from International destinations such as Paro and Bangkok.