Pelling is one of the top hot spots and destinations in Sikkim. Pelling is located in west Sikkim and it is a major tourist place in west Sikkim. Most of the tourists keep Pelling in the itinerary and trip plan of Sikkim. The mountains in west Sikkim are green and not as rough as east or north Sikkim. The scenic beauty all around is just awesome. The view of the Mt. Kanchenjunga from Pelling is breath taking. There is some major waterfalls and many must visit places in and around Pelling.
How To Get In Pelling
Pelling can be reached directly from New Jalpaiguri (NJP), Siliguri and Bagdogra. There are regular taxi services from NJP station and Siliguri taxi stand. Pelling can also be reached from other parts of hills.
NJP To Pelling
One can get shared taxis or hire a full vehicle from the prepaid taxi booth just outside the NJP station. There are always ready taxis to Pelling from the prepaid taxi booth. The fare of a vehicle varies with time and season. The cost of hiring a vehicle like Sumo, Max, Bolero is Rs 3,000-3,500. The cost of hiring a small vehicle like Alto, WagonR, Indica is Rs 2,500-3,000 and cost of hiring a luxury SUV like Innova, Scorpio, Xylo etc. is Rs 3,500-4,000 approx. If you need a shared service, you can avail a shared journey at Rs 300 per head. The car rates are approximate prices as of April, 2014.
Siliguri To Pelling
From Siliguri, there are shared taxis and bus service to Pelling. The rate for a shared journey from Siliguri to Pelling is Rs 280-300 approx. You can also hire a full vehicle if required. The Sikkim govt. also runs bus service between Pelling and Siliguri. There is only one bus per day which leaves Siliguri terminus around 11am.
Bagdogra to Pelling
Shared taxis are not available from the airport. One needs to hire a full vehicle for the journey from Bagdogra to Pelling. In case you don’t get a vehicle from airport, transfer to Siliguri taxi stand by an auto rickshaw which will cost you around Rs 100 and from Siliguri you can get a vehicle for sure. One can even get a shared trip from Siliguri. It is around 30 min journey from Bagdogra to Siliguri.
Pelling from Gangtok – The Usual Route
Tourists who don’t travel to Pelling directly, they can visit the place from Gangtok too. There are regular taxi services from taxi stands in Gangtok. One can go for a shared trip. Taxis for Pelling leave from the taxi stands near MG Marg and Assembly House. A shared trip is Rs 250-300 per head. One always has the option of hiring a full vehicle. One can visit a taxi stand and hire a vehicle or ask for a car at the hotel door.
Pelling from Gangtok Via Namchi – The Suggested Route
There is nothing to see or visit in particular along the usual way from Gangtok to Pelling directly but if you are interested in doing sightseeing on way and really want to visit some places of interest on way, I would suggest you to go via Namchi covering Temi tea garden, Samdruptse and Char Dham which are excellent places to visit. You won’t get a shared vehicle on this route, so you would have to hire a vehicle which would cost around Rs 4,000-4,500. The rate of vehiucle is provided as of April, 2014 which can change with time. I would always suggest this route when someone intends to visit Pelling from Gangtok.
Pelling From Darjeeling
One can hire a vehicle to reach up to Pelling from Darjeeling or any other place near Darjeeling. There aren’t any shared taxis available, so one has to book a vehicle. Shared trip is only possible if you can manage other tourists. The cost of hiring a vehicle from Darjeeling to Pelling is Rs 3,000 approx.
Lower, Middle & Upper Pelling
Pelling is segregated in to three parts, i.e. Lower Pelling, Middle Pelling and Upper Pelling. The scenic view is good from all the parts but people prefer to stay in Middle and Upper Pelling. Mt. Kanchenjungha is very promptly visible from everywhere in Pelling. I would suggest you to go for a view room because watching the Sleeping Buddha (Mt. Kachenjungha) from Pelling is an awesome experience. The peak looks very close from Pelling. One can walk up to the helipad at Upper Pelling to have a beautiful view of the surroundings. There are hundreds of hotels in Pelling from budget ones to luxurious ones. It is better to book one in peak seasons. The tariff of the hotels varies with season and demand.
To visit all major and popular places of interest in Pelling, one needs a full day. The sightseeing is a must do thing in Pelling. Pelling sightseeing is done in two parts, one before lunch and the other one after lunch. If you have time, you can do the sightseeing in 2 separate days rather than going for 1 day only. The cost of hiring a vehicle for full day sightseeing is Rs 2,000-2,500 in peak seasons and Rs 1,500-1,800 in lean seasons. The car rates are approximate figures provided as of April, 2014.
Major tourist spots in Pelling:
It is the highest and largest waterfall in Pelling. One can reach up to the bottom of the waterfall and have a bath underneath the chilling water. Water falls with heavy force creating rainbows near the bottom of the waterfall. It is a must visit place.
It is a popular tourist destination in Pelling. Khecheopalri Lake is considered a holy and sacred lake by the Sikkimese people. The lake is quite large and the water of the lake is crystal clear. I just wonder how is it possible that there is never a dry leaf in the water of the lake even when the lake is surrounded by trees. People say that there are birds which take away the dry leaves or anything else that floats on water. The lake has huge quantity of colorful fish but feeding them is prohibited. It is a must visit place in Pelling.
The Bridge is said to be the second highest gorge bridge in Asia. The bridge being a marvelous piece of engineering links two hills. The scenic view all around from the bridge is awesome. The breeze blows heavily at such an altitude. It is a good place to visit.
It is not as heavy as Kanchnejunga waterfall but has its own beauty. Water falls from a high source creating a small water body at the bottom. The greenery all around the waterfall makes it more prominent and beautiful.
Sangay Falls or Changey Falls:
It is a popular tourist destination in Pelling. Sangay or Changey waterfall is very picturesque and one can shoot some quality snaps here.
It is a must visit spot in Pelling You can find the ruins of the palace now which was destroyed long ago. The ruins are so historical and the view all around is astounding. One has to walk up to the spot of ruins and the nature walk through the greenery is just superb. It is a 15-20 minute walk from the road. The view of Rabdentse Ruins from the Pemayanse Monastery looks superb too.
A superb architecture I must say. Pemayangtse Monastery is a must visit place if you love monasteries and Gompas. The paintings on the walls and the sculpture are really appreciable. The monastery is located at a hilltop. The view of the Rabdentse Ruins from the hilltop looks fabulous.
Sewaro Rock Garden:
It is a beautiful garden with colorful flowers and plants by a stream of water. The park is located on way to Khecheopalri Lake and Kanchenjunga Waterfall. It is not a must visit place but you can always make a halt here.
It is one of the oldest monasteries in Sikkim located at a hilltop with a breath taking panoramic view of the mountains all around. One has to trek up to the monastery. A nature lover will surely love this nature walk.
Destinations Near Pelling
There are certain other places of interest near Pelling which are worth spending nights. These destinations I have named below are more serene and tranquil compared to Pelling. These places receive very less tourists as these are not so popular as yet and kind of offbeat destinations till date, April, 2014. If you are a true nature lover then spend nights in any of these destinations and you will feel the pleasure of heaven. The scenic beauty at all the below mentioned places are so astounding.
The places are:
One would surely love the visit to this amazing place. Pelling is really wonderful. One needs at least 2 nights stay in Pelling to cover all the tourist attractions and places of interest. If you are visiting Pelling from Gangtok, do travel along the route via Namchi as I have suggested above. If you have 1 night extra, spend that night in Kaluk and take a nature walk up to Richenpong which will be an amazing experience. If you want to cover Okhrey, Hilley and Versey, you would need 2 or 3 more nights.