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About Pelling

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

There 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 traditional patterns.

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
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.

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
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 King.

Sangachoeling Monastery
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.

Khecheopalri Lake
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
Changey Waterfall is a famous tourist attraction which is about 10 km from Pelling.

Khangchendzonga waterfalls
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 tribes.

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

By Rail
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.

By Road
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.

By Air
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.


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