Things to do in Pelling – A complete travel guide

Pelling city, nestled in the enchanting landscapes of the West Sikkim district, offers a serene and picturesque setting for visitors. Surrounded by breathtaking views of the snow-capped Himalayan peaks, lush green valleys, and cascading waterfalls, Pelling is a popular destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers.

Table of Contents

  1. Things to do in Pelling
  2. About Pelling
  3. How to Plan a trip to Pelling
  4. Places to stay in Pelling

Things to do in Pelling

Apart from the notable places to visit in Pelling, there are many interesting activities that you can participate in your Pelling tour.

  1. Visit Pemayangtse Monastery: This ancient Buddhist monastery, built in the 18th century, is one of the oldest and most important monasteries in Sikkim. It houses several religious artefacts, statues, and thangkas (Buddhist paintings). The monastery offers a peaceful and spiritual atmosphere.
  2. Explore Khecheopalri Lake: Also known as the “Wishing Lake,” Khecheopalri is considered sacred by both Buddhists and Hindus. Surrounded by lush green forests, the lake is known for its pristine waters and serene surroundings. Take a walk around the lake and enjoy the tranquillity of the place.
  3. Visit Rabdentse Ruins: Once the capital of the former kingdom of Sikkim, Rabdentse now lies in ruins. The remnants of the palace and the chortens (Buddhist stupas) offer a glimpse into the region’s rich history. The site is located amidst dense forests, making it an interesting place for history enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.
  4. Trek to Sangachoeling Monastery: Embark on a trek to the Sangachoeling Monastery, located atop a hill near Pelling. The monastery offers breathtaking views of the surrounding hills and valleys. The trek itself is an adventure, taking you through dense forests and scenic landscapes.
  5. Enjoy the view from Pelling Skywalk: Pelling Skywalk is a recently built attraction that offers panoramic views of the Himalayas and the surrounding valleys. The transparent glass platform allows visitors to see the stunning vistas below. It’s a great spot for photography and enjoying the beauty of nature.
  6. You can also go for a fishing tour at Rimbi. It is located at about 10KM from Pelling. Spend a day fishing in the mountain stream and enjoy Assala, a locally made dish with freshwater fish, and very unique to this region.
  7. Live at one of the homestays: Experience the daily life of the locals, their occupation, and learn about their culture.
  8. Explore the local festivals: Witness Limboo folk dance and music, handicraft making, storytelling sessions, and more.

Places to Visit in Pelling

Explore these popular tourist places Pelling –

Pemayangtse Monastery

Pemayangtse Monastery, located in Pelling, West Sikkim, is a renowned Buddhist monastery founded in 1705. Belonging to the Nyingma sect of Tibetan Buddhism, it is known for its remarkable architecture adorned with intricate woodwork, murals, and sculptures. The monastery’s main prayer hall, Zangdog Palri, houses a stunning statue of Guru Padmasambhava and other religious artefacts. With its annual Cham Dance festival, a museum showcasing ancient relics, and its elevated position offering breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, Pemayangtse Monastery is a spiritually significant and culturally enriching destination.

Pemayangtse Monastery
  • How to Reach – The ancient monastery is located at about 9KM from the city center. You can
  • book a local cab to reach.
  • Timings – 9AM-6PM
  • Entry Fee – Free
  • Time Required – 1 hour
  • Tips – Visit in January-February to be a part of the local Cham Dance Festival.

Changey Waterfalls

Changey Waterfalls, located approximately 10 kilometers from Pelling, is a captivating cascade nestled amidst lush greenery. Its enchanting beauty and soothing sound make it a serene and refreshing destination. A short hike through scenic landscapes leads to this magnificent waterfall, providing visitors with an opportunity to immerse themselves in nature’s tranquility. Changey Waterfalls offers a picturesque setting where one can relax, rejuvenate, and embrace the captivating power of cascading waters.

  • How to Reach – The waterfalls are located at 15.7KM from the city center. You can take a local taxi or rent a car to reach the base. From there you have to trek for 20 minutes to the falls.
  • Timings – 8AM-5PM
  • Entry Fee – Free
  • Time Required – 1-2 Hours
  • Tips – You can also shop at the local market in Dentam or visit the Buddhist temple at Rani Dhunga

Sewaro Rock Garden

Sewaro Rock Garden, situated on the outskirts of Pelling, is a delightful landscaped garden adorned with rocks, flowers, and waterfalls. This enchanting destination offers a serene atmosphere and scenic beauty, making it perfect for a leisurely stroll or a peaceful picnic amidst nature. The well-manicured pathways wind through the garden, leading visitors to cascading water features and charming rock formations.

  • How to Reach – The public garden is at about 19KM from the city centre. You can book a taxi or rent a local car to reach.
  • Timings – 10AM-5PM
  • Entry Fee – Free
  • Time Required – 1-2 Hours
    • Tips – Visit during the Maghe festival, the most important local festival, and be a part of the cultural celebrations.

Rimbi Orange Garden

Rimbi Orange Garden
  • How to Reach – The orchards are located at 13KM from the city. You can book a cab or rent a local car to reach.
  • Timings – 8AM-6PM
  • Entry Fee – INR 10
  • Time Required – Less than 1 hour
  • Tips – You can also see cardamom plantation and shop for freshly picked fruits and spices.

Kanchenjunga National Park

Kanchenjunga National Park
  • How to Reach – The wildlife sanctuary is located at about 40Km from the city. You can book a cab for a day to travel and return.
  • Timings – Sunrise to Sunset
  • Entry Fee – INR 200
  • Time Required – 1 day
  • Tips – Don’t miss the 26Km long glacier or the views of Mr. Rathong.

Kanchenjunga Falls

  • How to Reach – The waterfalls are located at 30KM from the city. You can book a cab or rent a local car to travel and return.
  • Timings – 8AM-6PM
  • Entry Fee – INR 20
  • Time Required – 2-3 hours
  • Tips – Visit right after the monsoon to see the natural cascade in full swing. You can also do rope sliding here.

Khecheopalri Lake

  • How to Reach – The lake area sits at about 32KM from the city. You can book a local cab or rent a car to travel and return.
  • Timings – 8AM-6PM
  • Entry Fee – Free
  • Tips – You can join the Chho-Tsho festival in October and Mage Purne festival in March/April to experience local traditions.

Rabdentse Ruins

Pelling Rabdentse Ruins
  • How to Reach – The famous Pelling tourist spot is located at about 9KM from the city center.
  • You can book a taxi or rent a local car to reach.
  • Timings – 8AM-5PM
  • Entry Fee – Free
  • Time Required – Less than 1 hour
  • Tips – You can also visit the Singshore Bridge or the Khecheopalri Lake nearby.

Places to visit nearby

Pelling tourism has a lot to offer not only within the city but also in its nearby locales. Book some of the best Pelling tour packages and visit these interesting places near Pelling –

Ravangla Buddha Park

  • How to Reach – The hilltop park is located at 50KM from Pelling. You can book a cab or rent a
  • local car for the day to travel and return.
  • Timings – 9AM-6PM
  • Entry Fee – Free
  • Time Required – 2-3 Hours
  • Tips – You can visit the museum on the premise or the Cho Djo Lake nearby.

Elephant Lake, Rangpo

  • How to Reach – The glacial lake is located at 196Km from Pelling and 67KM from Gangtok. You can book an outstation cab for a day from Pelling or Gangtok to travel and return.
  • Timings – 9AM-6PM
  • Entry Fee – Free
  • Time Required – 1 day
  • Tips – You can also do a trek through the Jelep La that connects Lhasa to India.

Places to Eat in Pelling

Explore local cuisine and more at some of these top-rated Pelling restaurants – 

  • Hotel Kabur
  • Leenette’s Rustic Cage
  • Hotel Bhansa Ghar
  • Haldi Resto 
  • Hotel Hishella Bar & Restaurant
  • Treat Restaurant

About Pelling

View of Himalayas from Pelling

Sitting at the foothills of the Eastern Himalayas, the altitude of Pelling rises to 7200 ft. Nestled in a beautiful landscape, Pelling is a sensory extravaganza with so much to see and do, making it the second biggest tourist destination in the state, after Gangtok.

There are no documented or significant historical records of the city. It is believed to be the first/initial capital of Sikkim. Some historical evidence suggests that the region was ruled by the Chogyal dynasty in the 1700s. There is also proof of the consecration of the place NorbugangChorten led by three Lama scholars.

In 1697, the Singhore Bridge Monastery was built, which became the oldest monastery in the state. The local folklore surrounding Pelling’s etymology says that the town was founded by a man called Freddie Pelling, from the time of the British empire. He protected and helped the locals from invaders from the north. Thus, Freddie became a local hero and as a thankful gesture, they named the town after them. Even today, there is an annual parade carried around the town to commemorate him.

Why is Pelling a Famous Tourist Attraction?

Why is Pelling a Famous Tourist Attraction

From natural beauty to local culture, there are a host of Pelling attractions for travelers and tourists alike. However, the one and most significant thing that the town is famous for is the inexplicable Kanchenjunga view from Pelling. Sitting at that high altitude, this hill station offers breathtaking and uninterrupted views of the Kanchenjunga and the surrounding Himalayan peaks at very close quarters.

To complement that, the landscape offers endless opportunities for outdoor experiences like mountain biking, rock climbing, village tours, wellness retreats, and more.

Some of the things to see here include (but are not limited to) local monasteries, rock garden, Kanchenjunga Falls, Singshore Bridge, Changey Waterfalls, Khecheopalri Lake, and more such nature hotspots.

Hidden Features

Apart from the popular places of sightseeing Pelling has a lot of undiscovered beauty. Most parts of the city and its neighbouring areas are still uncharted, dotted with alpine forests and glacial waterfalls, making this destination a paradise on earth for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts.

How to Plan a Trip to Pelling

How to Reach Pelling

By Train

Pelling does not have a railway station of its own. The nearest railhead is in Siliguri, 135KM away and the nearest major railway junction is in Jalpaiguri, 170KM away. There are regular trains to Jalpaiguri and Siliguri from all major towns and cities like New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Guwahati, etc. 

By Road

Pelling is well-connected to other towns and cities in Sikkim. There are regular state-run and private buses, connecting the city to nearby towns like Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Jorethang, Gangtok, Geyzing, Namchi, Rangpo etc. Book a Savaari from Kalimpong to comfortably travel to Pelling.

By Flight

There is no direct flight connectivity. The nearest airport is Bagdogra Airport, in Siliguri, about 140KM away. You have to take a bus or book an airport taxi from Bagdogra to reach the city. 

Best Time to Visit Pelling

Because of its altitude, Pelling weather can be defined as classic Himalayan weather, with pleasant, cool summers and harsh, cold winters. Depending on your travel goals, you can visit Pelling at any time of the year. If you want to experience snow, then visit during December/January, which is usually the snowfall time in Pelling. For outdoor adventures, the time from March to May is ideal, when the temperature in Pelling is very comfortable to travel.

Best Places to Stay in Pelling

Make the most of your vacation by choosing from some of the best hotels in Pelling. Check out our recommended list of hotels and resorts – 

  • Magpie Pacchu Village Resort 
  • The Aryan Regency 
  • The Elgin Mount Pandim
  • Norbhu Ghang Resort 
  • Hotel Snow Valley Rooftop

Download our Savaari car rental app for a smooth and pleasant journey. 

Last Updated on January 31, 2024 by Swati Deol

A quick summary
Top Things to Do in Pelling for an Unforgettable Trip!
Article Name
Top Things to Do in Pelling for an Unforgettable Trip!
Pelling city is a quiet and quaint community in west of Sikkim, located at 130KM from the capital city of Gangtok and 10KM from its district headquarters in Geyzing.
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About the author

Roaming less trodden paths, Hritika, a true mountain enthusiast, unveils the stories and secrets of uncharted territories. Her spontaneous spirit thrives on making unplanned adventures and immersing herself in the tales of the people she encounters. Her writing is a window into these hidden places, capturing their essence and sharing unique perspectives that resonate deeply with the adventurous soul. With every word, she invites her readers to join her on impromptu journeys, as she unveils the world beyond the well-known map, where every twist in the road holds a new story waiting to be discovered.

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