Nestled in India’s West Sikkim district at an altitude of almost 2,000 metres, Pelling has found its way onto the tourist map in recent years thanks to its awe-inspiring panoramic views of Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world. Make no mistake, the views here are best described as breathtaking and life-changing. Pelling is also a terrific base for some serious monastery exploration and mountain trekking.
The town itself is mostly stretched along two kilometres to make the most of the spectacular views. The town of Pelling isn’t a thrilling destination in itself, and mostly consists of hotels. A trip here is more about the surroundings. Guided nature walks and monastic treks will take you through waterfalls, past sacred lakes, and through rich and lush forest. The Pemayangtse Monastery is an ancient and very important place in Sikkim, where religious dances are still performed today. Rabdentse ruins are within ten minutes of the monastery, hidden in a forest grove full of lovely orchids.
For an insight into village life and customs, Darap village is a must. Treks and village walks will take you through farmlands and you can participate in organic farming, should you wish. Enjoy cultural shows, handicrafts, traditional Limbo dances and storytelling. You can pay a visit to an authentic Limboo house while you’re there. Eco-tourism is alive and well in the whole Sikkim region, thanks to efforts by local youths that have formed an eco-tourism committee, and as a result, there are good opportunities for a Sikkim homestay.
Pelling and its surroundings are thrilling destinations for hiking, taking in the breath-taking views, and getting up close and personal with Sikkim's rural village life.