Pelling is a serene town nestled on the sky-piercing Himalayan mountain range in West Sikkim. It is famous for the breathtaking view of snowcapped Kanchenjunga, mesmerizing waterfalls, rivers and enchanting valleys. Being a wonder in a small package, Pelling has many attractive sightseeing places to visit like the widely admired skywalk, Rabdentse Ruins, Khecheopalri Lake, Rimbi waterfall, Kanchenjunga Falls, Darap village, and more! In this article, know the complete list of the top visiting places in Pelling that no tourist should miss!
best sightseeing places to visit in Pelling
We have visited these picturesque rivers, waterfalls, lakes, villages, and historical and archaeological sites and found them worthy of being the best places in Pelling. Let’s check them out!
Rimbi waterfall and river
If you like riverside hiking, Pelling never disappoints you. The Rimbi river is flowing just 12 km away from Pelling town. The flowing water and the sound of ripples through the mystic forest give you a captivating experience. In winter, the river and the surrounding area become beautiful with clear bluish water. The tourists visit the river bank and enjoy the scenic beauty. The local people also gather here for a picnic and fishing.
Rimbi waterfall is located above the Rimbi river. Surrounded by greenery and a calm ambience make the sightseeing place is attractive to tourists. You can visit this place throughout the year, but it becomes more beautiful during the monsoon.
Rabdentse palace Ruins
Rabdentse Ruins is an archaeological site in Pelling that glorifies Sikkim’s ancient story. It was the second capital of Sikkim until 1814 A.D. The palace and the monastery complex were destroyed after the Nepalese invasion in the 18th century and then turned into ruins.
The Rabdentse Palace Ruins is a protected monument under the Archaeological Survey of India, and the nearby Rabdentse Bird Park is a wildlife habitat. The palace ruins have been declared to be of national importance under the ancient monuments and archaeological sites and remains (AMASR) act, 1958 and later amendments.
After parking at the entrance, you have to trek for 1 Km approximately to the ruins. Experience the ambience of the lush green forest in the walk-in aviary. Reputed to be the only bird park in the state, you will experience various Pheasant species flying freely and living together in harmony, creating a unique ecosystem. Walking in the forest gives a thrilling experience, and if you use a good binocular, you could be lucky to spot some rare Himalayan birds like Scarlet Finch and Red-Faced Liochichla.
The palace ruins are located in the middle of the 4th courtyard. It is a beautiful site surrounded by clouds, mountains, and greenery. There is a stone throne that consists of 3 standing stones. You can see the southwest region of Sikkim from the top and the view is spectacular.
Pemayangtse Monastery is a must-visit monastery nearby Pelling. You can also reach Rabdantse Ruins by trekking down 2 kilometres through a dense forest from Pemayangtse Monastery. If you love visiting monasteries, also put Sangacholing Monastery, Tashiding Monastery, and Dubdi Monastery in your itinerary.
The Pelling skywalk, settled at an elevation of 7200 feet above sea level, was inaugurated in 2018, and since then, it has been a significant attraction in Sikkim to tourists. It is crowned as the first-ever glass-bottom skywalk in India. The Pelling skywalk is surrounded by green mountains, and spectacular Kanchenjunga and overlooks the Teesta and Rangit rivers.
The view of 137 feet tall statue of Chenrezig with golden prayer wheels on both sides is terrific from the skywalk. Once you reach the top, you will see the breathtaking scenic views centring the Pelling skywalk. You can use an action camera to shoot fantastic videos there. The area becomes heavenly at sunset. It remains open from 8 am to 5 pm with an entry fee of ₹20 for Indians and ₹50 for foreigners.
Khecheopalri, the wishing lake in West Sikkim, is located nearly 31 kilometres from Pelling. It takes almost one and a half hours to reach the Khecheopalri entrance from Pelling by car. After parking, there is a short hiking trail towards the lake, which takes around 10 minutes.
The lake remains open from 6 am to 6 pm, and there is a small entry fee of ₹20 per person. At the end of hiking, a wooden pathway leads you to the lake, and you have to remove your shoes before entering there.
In Pelling, Khecheopalri lake is one of the most sacred lakes for Buddhists and Hindus. It is believed that your desire will be fulfilled if you wish in front of the lake. The lake is surrounded by forest, but surprisingly, no leaves can be seen on the lake water. As per the local belief, if a leaf falls into the lake, the birds pick them up immediately. A small Buddhist shrine and a stupa with Buddhist prayer flags can be seen on the lake premises.
The lake is full of freshwater fishes like Cyprinus carpio, Garra sp., Schistura sp., Schizothorax sp., etc., and you can feed them the local fish food available for purchase at the entrance. Fish feeding in Khecheopalri lake is an exciting activity for every tourist.
Tourists can visit this place during sightseeing at any time of the year, avoiding the monsoon time. To enjoy the fullest, October to February is the best time to visit Khecheopalri lake. If you like to explore other lakes in Sikkim, you should also visit Gurudongmar lake in north Sikkim.
Fooding is not a problem there as you can try delicious Momo, noodles, rice, and local wines available in nearby restaurants. The local rhododendron wine is highly recommended for its tasty flavour and aromatic scent.
At a distance of 24 km from Pelling, Kanchenjunga waterfalls are one of the largest waterfalls in Sikkim. It is said this waterfall originates high up from the glacier of Mount Kanchenjunga. Tourists need to climb around 50 steps from the road to reach the viewpoint.
From a height of 100 feet, the fall gushes down into a pool. The sound of roaring water, cold mist, and greenery all around make the place beautiful. Tourists can take beautiful photos of them sitting on big rocks in front of the waterfalls. This waterfall can be visited at any time of the year from 8 am to 5 pm. The entry fee is ₹20 per person. There is an option for Rope Sliding, which costs ₹100.
Darap village, located just about 6 kilometres from Pelling, is ideal for those who want to spend a day in the lap of mountains filled with forest. The village is occupied by a small community surrounded by paddy fields, lush greenery, a calm ambience, and tranquillity. Not only this, Darap village offers several short and long routes for hiking and trekking around the local trails through rocky terrains and river crossings.
Though there is no regular helicopter service, the place attracts visitors with panoramic views of stunning Kanchenjunga and its surrounding Himalayan mountain ranges. The helipad becomes more beautiful during sunrise and sunset with the mind-blowing scenic view.
Singshore bridge, the highest bridge in Sikkim and Asia’s second-highest hanging bridge, is situated 5 km away from Pelling. While standing in the middle of the bridge, you can capture the breathtaking view of the mountains and the surrounding greenery using your camera. The sound of the gushing waterfall and cool breeze will surely thrill you.
These are the must-visit tourist places in Pelling. Apart from them, the river orange garden, Sewaro rock garden, Sangay falls, Changey waterfall, Rinchenpong, and Geyzing are worth visiting during sightseeing.
How to reach Pelling?
Best Hotels to stay in Pelling
There are two options for hotels at Pelling- Upper spelling or Lower Pelling, but in terms of a scenic view, upper spelling is better than lower Pelling. Almost every hotel located in Upper Pelling offers a Kanchendzonga view from the room. You can find both budget-friendly hotels and luxury hotels in Pelling.
For a spectacular morning view from the room with excellent hospitality, stay in Retreat Crassula Ovata, located near the helipad. As alternatives, the Udaan Olive Hotel and Spa, Norbu Ghang Resort, Tashigang resort, Jain Group Hotel Sonamchen, Hotel Sodizang Retreat, Summit Newa Regency and Spa, Chumbi Mountain Retreat and Spa, The Elgin Mount Pandim are the most popular hotels in Pelling. But Retreat Crassula Ovata is the overall best hotel to stay in Pelling.
Pelling weather and temperature in different seasons
From March to May, the temperature continues to rise with the melting of the snow. The weather is pleasant this time with an avg. temperature ranging from 21°C to 24°C. New saplings bloom all around, and the city gets covered with greenery. Though the temperature stays comfortable in the daytime, the night becomes quite cool. This is also when the tourists can get a clear view of Kanchenjunga.
In the months of October and November, the average temperature ranges from 24°C to 21°C. The clear blue sky and pleasant cool temperature make one’s visit very enjoyable. The view of the mountain peaks also looks magnificent.
The winter descended upon the hill town by December. Though the average temperature remains between 4°C to 17°C, the place remains freezing till February, and even the temperature falls down below zero degrees celsius at night. Tourists can enjoy the snowfall at this time. The town becomes covered with snow, and the peaks look fascinating. However, the children, elders and those who are not used to cold are advised not to visit this time.
July to September is the monsoon time in Pelling. The lush greenery, swelling waterfalls, and cloudy mountains make the place enchanting. But it is advised to avoid visiting this place during the monsoon, especially with family. If it rains heavily, landslides make the connecting routes dangerous. Also, the beautiful Kanchenjunga is now hidden behind the clouds.