Tourist places of Pelling in Western Sikkim – Monasteries, Waterfalls, Lakes

Rabdentse ruins
Rabdentse ruins

Pelling was our first destination in our three-week trip to Sikkim and Bengal. As a result of what I had discovered about the sights of Pelling, I had received suggestions of some Buddhist monasteries, some waterfalls and the famous Kecheopelri lake. All the scenic spots that are often seen while traveling to any Himalayan region.

Places of Pelling in West Sikkim

Bridge over Rangit River
Bridge over Rangit River

You are aware that in making each Himalayan region special and unique, there is an important contribution of mutual relations of the mountains, rivers and forests there. But it is equally true that there is no such journey in which there is nothing unexpected or surprising event. Not only this, our paling journey in Sikkim started with a surprise.

Rabdentse ruins – the major heritage of the state of the region

Rabdentse Gateway
Rabdentse Gateway

Our traveling visitor Hemant stopped our car in front of a colorful entrance. You can often see such entrances outside any Buddhist monastery. I imagined that we would go to the ruins, take some photographs, and then return. There was a colorful building in front of the entrance but it was not our destination. we proceed. On the way there was a pond which we spent a few moments observing. We continued on a paved trail that seemed to lead us to a forest.

The trail leads to the remains of the palace

A narrow trail surrounded by greenery
A narrow trail surrounded by greenery

The narrow footpath we were walking on was surrounded by dense tall trees. Their bodies were covered with green moss in such a way that there was no purpose of any other color except the green color on the entire trees. When we were surrounded by dense greenery all around and the different tones of the forest were echoing in our ears, the shining rocks caught our attention. At first sight, it seemed to me as if someone had put a bright color on these rocks. But every stone was shining there. It is not possible to paint all those rocks. I saw him closely. They looked like gold and silver bricks.

Stones - an artwork in itself
Stones – an artwork in itself

We moved forward a bit. We saw many small piles of rocks placed on top of each other. I guess they were referring to those travelers who had traveled through this trail before me. It was a type of collective artwork. Many travelers, who never met each other, inadvertently created these momentary artifacts. A lot of purpose was also presented for the contribution of the coming passengers.

Chorten

Chorten
Chorten

After walking for 15-20 minutes, we saw a notice board which was telling us that we still have to walk half a kilometer. I was not mentally prepared for this walk. But the surrounding environment was very inspiring. We went ahead. It was good that the road was flat, flat and paved. As soon as our vision fell upon an ancient Chorten made by the rocks, we breathed in.

Information board of Archaeological Survey Department
Information board of Archaeological Survey Department

Here an information board of the Archaeological Survey of India was informing us about the history of the ancient capital of Sikkim, Rabdantse. In fact, Rabdantse was the second capital of Sikkim. The first capital of Sikkim was Yuxom. 17th In the century, the Chogyal dynasty of Sikkim shifted their capital from Yuxom to Rabdentse. I was thrilled at the thought that they might have reached this palace by the same route. Rabdantse Kangchenjunga is situated on a mountain surrounded by mountain garlands.

Ruins of Rabdantse Palace

White prayer flag
White prayer flag

Knowing some information about the history of Sikkim, we proceeded to the main relics from Chorten. Along with a mural built by rocks, we started climbing up. There we saw two small but beautiful structures. There were beautiful gardens around them. There were slabs for sitting on which you can enjoy observation of these relics surrounded by greenery. The structure on the right was a public building from where the king probably addressed the subjects.

Ruins of Rabdantse Palace
Ruins of Rabdantse Palace

Prayer banners hanging in front of the building gave this structure an aura of devotion and sovereignty. Amazing view of the surroundings was obtained from here. In front of me, innumerable green aura was lying, all my efforts to count were being wasted. On another hill nearby we could see the famous Pemayangtse Buddhist monastery surrounded by white flags.

Three chortens of the Rabdantse remains

Three Chorten of Rabdentse Palace

The second structure was actually a palace with a residence of two floors. Presumably, this is where the royal family lived. In one corner of this structure there are three chortens on a pedestal which seems to be very picturesque in the backdrop of the mountains. These are structures that over time have layers of elegant aura. Here I saw many young men and young women who were getting their photographs done in this captivating backdrop for their commercial purpose. They were doing their presentations in different postures and the cinematographers were taking their photographs by jumping and tearing here and there. All of that was very entertaining. Finally, we focused on the subtleties of structure. A stone plaque located there attracted our attention, on which several pictures of Buddha were lightly engraved. We could not guess whether it was the local style here or the work was incomplete.

Colorful birds hovering over trees
Colorful birds hovering over trees

We saw some extremely colorful birds of Sikkim on the branches of the surrounding trees.

This place is very peaceful and serene.

Pemayangtse Buddhist Monastery

Pemayangtse Buddhist Monastery in Pelling
Pemayangtse Buddhist Monastery in Pelling

This is the main Buddhist monastery of Pelling, a short distance from Rabdentse. Beautiful white flags hang on both sides of the path leading to the Pemayangtse Buddhist monastery. They feel as if they are welcoming you. We entered the Buddhist monastery. There were many lines of paintings inside the monastery.

Inside the Pemiang's Pemayangtse Buddhist monastery
Inside the Pemiang’s Pemayangtse Buddhist monastery

The inner part of the monastery is often colored with a predominance of red color. Looking at the lamps of butter, we know about these monasteries that most of the things here are manufactured by monks here.

Ritual costumes
Ritual costumes

There is a museum on the second floor of the Pemayangtse Buddhist Monastery which displays the ritualistic objects of the monastery. Among them are the grandiose garments of zari worn by the monks, the characters used, the wooden colored masks, the musical instruments played, etc. Seeing them, I remembered the Cham dance which I saw in Ladakh earlier this year. I do not know if there are some manuscripts on wood which are engraved or written using any color. There are some boxes made of wood carving as well as antique Thangka paintings.

The woodwork of the Pemayangtse Buddhist monastery in Pelling
The woodwork of the Pemayangtse Buddhist monastery in Pelling

There are piles of stones around the Pemayangtse Buddhist monastery. I saw some very unique houses here. See also some very attractive wooden residences on which some fine paintings have been done.

I liked the wooden window of the Pemayangtse Buddhist monastery.

Major tasting refreshment centers in Pelling

We stopped at a beautiful cottage where there was also a facility to sit on the terrace to observe the landscape of the valleys. Sentences of general knowledge about Sikkim were painted on the inner reefs. But there was a lot of crowd here, due to which we had to resort to a very small restaurant like Bill in the neighborhood. Our decision proved to be good. We got the best, freshly cooked and tasty food. Hot tea with Bhaji, Bhaat, Garam Momo. We also tasted two new chutneys, one made of chhena ie cheese and the other chili and garlic chutney. Both the chutneys were pungent, but their combination with momo and bhat was delicious.

Read more – Rajgir – host of Buddhist councils

My suggestion is that you eat Bhojal in a small restaurant, especially the women who run it there. They cook fresh food in front of you as per your wish.

Kanchenjunga Falls – Unparalleled Natural Beauty

Kanchenjunga Falls
Kanchenjunga Falls

At some distance from Pelling, it is a beautiful Kanchenjunga waterfall. It was raining the day we went there. While sitting in the car, our eyesight fell on the waterfall. Our reaction at first sight is nothing special. Our guide had opened the canopies for us and urged us to come out and climb the stairs. I looked suspiciously towards those stairs. We had already walked a lot while observing the heritage of Pelling. But he remained adamant. Eventually we followed him.

Read more – Chardham on Solofok hill in Namchi Sikkim

We were going to face a big surprise. The full form of such a huge waterfall is not realized until you are almost standing under it. Perhaps the sound of the rushing water could be heard from far away, but the rain was showing its game that day. Therefore, we could not hear the sound of waterfall. As soon as we left behind a huge rock, a spectacular waterfall appeared to us. We sat in front of him. Taking a sip of tea, we saw and heard this waterfall whole heartedly. It was a unique scene.

By mentioning in words, I will not be able to prove the beauty of this waterfall. So, I leave this work to this video.

Cacheopelry Lake – Popular Holy Lake of Pelling

Colorful prayer flags
Colorful prayer flags

It is a sacred lake located 30 km from Pelling. Everyone with whom I had discussed about pelting suggested to me the observation of Lake Cacheopelri. When we reached Lake Cacheopelri, the sun was nearing to set. On our way to the lake, we started walking on a path surrounded by flags. I had never seen so many colorful flags in one place before in my life. There were many Chorten, big and small on both sides of the route. We got our first glimpse of the lake through the clutches of the banners. When we approached the lake, we were completely surrounded by banners.

Cacheopelary means palace of flying yoginis or stars.

Take the walking path near the lake
Take the walking path near the lake

We took off our shoes and headed towards the lake, started walking on a long wooden bridge. The banners were fluttering around here too. This culvert took us as close as we could to the lake. On one side, a few bells of brass were hanging. Most of the banners here were white colored.

Cacheopelri Lake – a pilgrimage site

Kacheopelri Lake is a part of a famous pilgrimage route in Sikkim. Other pilgrimage sites of this pilgrimage are Dubdi Buddhist Monastery, Pemayangtse Buddhist Monastery, Ruins of Rabdentse, Sanga Choiling Monastery and Tashiding Buddhist Monastery in Yuxom, the first capital of Sikkim. It is said that Lake Kacheopelri is also blessed with Guru Padmasambhava. Cacheopelry Lake being a holy lake, you cannot do anything that pollutes this lake or which insults this lake in any way. The lake was very clean. Not even a leaf was floating in its water.

Read more – Best places to visit in the capital of Gangtok Sikkim

We spent a few moments here in peace, praying and wished for a safe and peaceful journey. Our wish was also fulfilled. We spent an unforgettable three weeks in Sikkim and Bengal.

Before Sikkim Tour

I did not even imagine that Pelling would introduce me to so many dimensions of culture and natural beauty here. You must also go there.

Translation: Madhumita Tamhane

About Peter Rhody

"Loving India is a passion of mine. I have enjoyed several long journeys to all corners of the sub-continent, completed my B.A and M.A in Asian studies, studied languages such as Hindi, Urdu, and Sanskrit, written on the Hari Krishna movement, lectured on Indian culture and history in university, advised others on their trips to India all the while preparing my next visit to India. There are so many places in India I love and want to always go back to but my favorite destination has to be the holy city of Varanasi. Here you can feel the living pulse and the beating heart of the center of religious India with its overwhelming spirituality and history and just for being a true microcosm of India itself "

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