The pleasant little town of Pelling is famous for magnificent views of the snow-capped Kanchenjunga range, the third highest peak in the world. Pelling is about 130 km away from Siliguri and 115km from Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim, and is well connected by bus and jeep services. The Placid town pulls most of the visitors for its representative status in history, nature and culture of the state of Sikkim.
Situated at an altitude of 6,800 ft, Pelling offers good view of the entire Kanchenjunga mountain range including Koktang, Kumbhakaran (Jannu), Rathong, Kabru, Kabru Dome, Kanchenjunga, Pandim, Siniolchu and others. This is as close as you can get to the Kanchenjunga range without leaving the material comfort of good hotels. Due to its advantageous location, many hotels and lodges have come up in and around Pelling catering to varied tastes and budgets.
As is true for the entire state of Sikkim, weather here is unpredictable in nature. Weather in Pelling may change from Bright and sunny to clouded and gloomy in a matter of minutes. The cloud and sun plays a contineous game of hide and seek creating a mesmerizing environment for the traveller.
April, May and June are the summer months in the plains and high season at Pelling as people try to avoid the excessive heat of the plains and find comfort in the mountains. Weather during this time is pleasant with average temperature around 15 to 20 centigrade.
July to September is the rainy season, and it rains quite heavily here. Landslide is common and occasionally Pelling may not be accessible by the main road. This is the low season and hotel and tour costs come down sharply. So if you are looking for a budget friendly tour and don’t mind carrying an extra umbrella, you may consider Pelling most suitable for you during this season.
October – November is the festival season in India and again a high tourist season in the hills. Pelling weather around this time is similar to the Summer months. But visibility is better with great views of the mountain range available during most of the days.
December – March are the cooler months with temperature going below 10 degree. Most international tourists visit here around this season. Indian visitors not afraid of a little chill, may enjoy Pelling during the winter months. The best part of this time is post monsoon visibility remains excellent and since it is not a very high season, you can enjoy travel without having to hustle with other toursts.
There are two common tours for Pelling Sightseeing. When you take a package tour from us, one of these sightseeings is always included. One is a half day Pelling Sightseeing tour and the other is a full day tour.
Half day tours - Tourist staying at Pelling only for one night takes the half day tour and post lunch travel to their next destination. You have several options for this.
1. Khechepalri Lake visit - In this tour we will take you towards Khechepalri lake. On the way you will visit Rimbi waterfall, Rock Garden, Kanchenjunga water fall etc. On the way you may also stop over at Darap Eco Village. This is the most common half day tour itinerary in Pelling.
2. If you have shortage of time and do not want to travel much for Sightseeing, you may take our second half day tour option that covers destinations close to town. This tour covers Pemayangtse Monastery, Rabadantse ruins, Tikjuk view point and Helipad ground.
3. Alternatively we can also provide you a half day tour of Pemayangtse Monastery, Sangay Water falls, Dentam valley, Alpine Cheese factory and Sing shore Bridge (One of the highest bridges in the world). Remember this is a longer journey and if you have plans for travel in the afternoon, we may not recommend a long sightseeing in the morning.
Full Day Pelling Sightseeing
Full day Sighseeing is basically a combination of the half day Sighseeing tours. Here you have the following choices.
1. Most tourists choose the Khechepalri lake tour in the first half and local sightseeing around Pelling in the second half.
2. You may visit Khechepalri lake in the morning and then continue your tour further towards Yuksom (on the same route). In addition to the half day Khechepalri tour, you will also visit Phamrong falls, Singing stone, Kathok lake and dubdi monastery (2 km hike) in this tour.
3. Some tourists also combine the half day tour no 1 with 3 as given above.
What we suggest – If this is your first visit to Pelling we would suggest that you stick to the most common sightseeing tours. The option 1 of half day and full day tours are most common and highly recommended.
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. The three-storied building of the monastery houses a good collection of wall paintings and sculptures. On the third floor of the monastery, there is a seven-tiered painted wooden model of the abode of Guru Rimpoche, complete with rainbows, angels and the whole panoply of Buddha and bodhisattva. In January/ February every year, a religious dance called 'Cham' is performed in Pemayangtse.
Sanga Choeling Monastery is located on the top of the mountain behind the town of Pelling. The distance to the monastery from town is about 3 km. The road is not motorable and one needs to take a 45 minute walk through a quite path to reach the monastery. As a result a visit to Sanga Choeling Monastery is not part of any of the regular itinerary. But if you have time and energy, the effort of the uphill walk is well rewarded with great views of Pelling and surrounding hills including great views of Mount Kanchenjunga that can be seen from the monastery compound.
Built in 1697 the Sanga Choeling is one of the oldest monasteries in Sikkim. Sanga Choeling means 'the island of esoteric teaching'. This Gompa is another of Lhatsun Chenpo's creations, and is highly venerated among the Nyingmapa. Gutted by fire, it has been rebuilt and houses some of the original clay statues.
This monastery is the second oldest in Sikkim. Since the place can only be reached on foot, even during high tourist season, the monastery is not crowded. One can still enjoy the great views among tranquillity.
Khecheopalri Lake: Khecheopalri Lake is considered one of the most sacred lakes of Sikkim. The lake remains hidden under rich forest cover. It is believed that birds do not permit even a single leaf to float on the lake surface. Your visit to Pelling is incomplete without a tour to this lake. more
This was the second capital of the erstwhile kingdom of Sikkim after Yuksom and till the year 1814 A.D., the king of Sikkim ruled the state from this place. Today, Rabdentse ruins lie hidden from the main road at a walking distance from Pelling and the Pemayangtse monastery. It can be approached by following a footpath which branches off the main road.
The scenic view from the top of the ruin scanning across deep valley to the mystic heights of Kangchenjunga ranges is something to be cherished and etched in memory.
Sangay Waterfall: 10 km from Pelling.
Pelling is today the second most important tourist destination in Sikkim after Gangtok, the capital. The small sleepy village of the early 1990’s has become a hotel town with almost all buildings facing the Kangchenjunga turning up as hotel.
The best hotels are Norbu Ghang Resort and Mt. Pandim. If you do not mind staying slightly out of the town we may recommend Pachu Resort (5 minutes walk from town), Darap Homestay (6 kms from town) or Tashi Gang resort (30 minutes drive from town). Tashi Gang resort is a special favourite with us due to its unique location on a hill top offering 360 degree view of surrounding mountains.
If you have not booked your travel arrangement with us and intend to travel on your own, Pelling is well connected with other destinations in the region such as Darjeeling, Gangtok, Kalimpong and Siliguri. There are local transport including shared jeeps available from almost all the places. If you cannot manage a direct transfer to Pelling, try to get a taxi for Geyzing. From Geyzing to pelling is about half an hour and vehicles are more frequent. Following is the list of distance from different places to Gangtok. Please do remember that travel time varies widely with road condition. Post monsoon rain often road condition is not very great and average vehicle travelling 20 kms an hour is not uncommon. The time given is approximate and may vary accordingly.
From Gangtok– 115 kms – 5 hours
From Bagdogra– 135 Kms – 5.5 hours
From New Jalpaiguri– 130 Kms – 5.5 hours
From Darjeeling town – 109 kms – 4.5 Hours. There is an alternative short route through which the distance comes down to about 70 kms. But this route is quite steep and may not remain operational throughout the year.
From Kalimpong – 85 kms – 4 hours
From Jorethang – 42 kms – 2.5 hours
From Ravangla – 45 kms – 2.5 hours
Package Tour - naturebeyond organises regular package tours to pelling. All our tours are customised according to guest preference. You can check our Leisure tours section for more ideas about package tour options in Pelling.
Hotel Booking - naturebeyond deals with some of the best hotels in Gangtok. Hotel Booking through naturebeyond has two advantages. First you dont need to deal with individual hotels, we know which is the best hotel in each place suiting your budget. Secondly since we are based locally, you always have someone to look after your needs in case of any travel related problem. more.
Adventure Tours - Whether you want to go for a trek or a biking tour in Sikkim, we have unmatched expertise in this region.
Car-Rental - naturebeyond owns its own transport car and lends them on hire.