Place of Interest in West Sikkim


  • Pelling
  • Pemayangtse Monastery
  • Rabdentse
  • Yuksom
  • Khechopalri Lake
  • Tashiding Monastery

Pelling

Is a town in the district of West Sikkim, nestled at an altitude of 2,150 m (7,200 feet). The town is located at a distance of 10 km from the district headquarters of Gyalshing. The Himalayas and hills Mt. Khanchendzonga may be viewed at close quarters from Pelling while a 40 minute walk on the hill opposite takes you to Sanga Choling monastery built in 1697, one of the first in the state.

Pelling also forms the base or centre from where trekkers and other peripatetic adventurers undertake the strenuous and arduous treks in West Sikkim.

The land around is still a virgin territory and is bathed with alpine vegetation, with numerous waterfalls lining the hillside. In the months of winter, Pelling is sometimes covered with a blanket of snow. It is 115km away from the state capital Gangtok.

Pelling

Pemayangtse Monastery

Less than a kilometre away from Pelling is the Pemayangtse Monastery, located on a hill top at an altitude of 6300 ft. commands a magnificent panoramic view of the Himalayan ranges, the surrounding hills and the countryside. It is one of the oldest monasteries of the State.

It was originally established by Lhatsun Chenpo, one of the revered Lamas to have performed the consecration ceremony of the first Chogyal (Monarch) of Sikkim. Of particular note is a seven-tiered painted wooden structure, portraying Guru Rimpoche's Heavenly Palace known as "Sanghthokpalri" also spelt "Zandog-palri", on top floor of the monastery.

The painting has scenes of rainbows, angels with "whole panoply of Buddhas and Bodhisatavas". This structure was constructed by Dungzin Rimpoche over a period of 5 years.

Pemayangtse Monastery

Rabdentse

Rabdentse was the second capital of the former kingdom of Sikkim from 1670 to 1814. The capital city was destroyed and only the ruins of the palace and the chortens are seen here now. However, the ruins are close to Pelling. Pemayangtse Monastery is one of the oldest monasteries in Sikkim which is close to the ruins. From the vantage point of this former capital, superb views of the Khanchendzonga ranges can be witnessed. This monument has been declared as of national importance by the Archaeological Survey of India.

It was first established in 1670 by Chakdor Namgyal son of Phuntsok Namgyal by shifting from the first capital of Yuksom that was consecrated in 1642.

Rabdense Ruins

Yuksom

33 kms from Pelling, Yuksom, literally meaning the 'meeting place of three lamas' is of great historical importance to the Sikkimese. It was here that the first Chogyal (king) was crowned. The throne made of stones is even today considered sacred as is the footprint of Lhatsun Chenpo, which can be seen close to the throne. 2 km uphill from Yuksum is Dubdi monastery, the oldest in Sikkim.

Yuksom is also the gateway to the Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve, the base for some of the most fascinating treks through high mountain region with the route to Dzongri being the most frequented.

Khechopalri Lake

Situated at a distance of 25kms away from Pelling, it is considered to be one of the sacred lakes; it is believed to be a wish fulfilling lake. The Lake remains hidden under the rich forest cover. The birds do not permit even a single leaf to float on the lake surface.

Tashiding Monastery

The Tashiding monastery belongs to the Nyingmapa order and is highly revered among the people of Sikkim. Build on the top of the hill and looming over the Rathong and Rangit River, the monastery can be seen from far and wide.

It is believed that even a slight glimpse of the monastery can cleanse mortals of all sins. The monastery was built during the 17th Century. There are a large number of oranges orchards and cardamoms plantations around Tashiding which can be visited from here.