AN ELGIN EXCLUSIVE FEATURE
A paradise of pristine lakes and spectacular waterfalls caressed by lush mountains, horizons guarded by colossal snow-capped behemoths and sanctified by centuries-old monastic chanting. Seems like something out of a fairy tale? Certainly! the serene quiet hamlet in Sikkim is the scene from a fairy tale – Pelling.
Image by Devjyoti Roy, Flickr
A picturesque phase when the moonlight embraces the hamlet Pelling as the mountains peek behind enhancing the beauty to the maximum.
Pelling greets all tourists with an unruffled atmosphere. With the ubiquitous views of the mighty Mt. Kanchenjunga, the town assuages the fatigued souls. Pelling is located in the West Sikkim district, at an elevation of 2,150 m (7,200 ft), and is 10 km away from the district headquarters of Geyzing. The town is colloquially split into Lower and Upper Pelling with the helipad ground jammed between them.
A hill station unparalleled, a haven for fugitives seeking to escape the clamor of city scape. Serenity pervades the village, accented by buzzing birds and hymns echoing from the bounds of adjacent monasteries. During the day, one is perpetually beneath a canopy of green, with the sun lurking behind the woods, while at night, an awning of sparkling stars grins back. Mountain blooms and incense sticks from monasteries fill the air with an alluring smell, while festoons of vibrantly colored prayer flags flap carelessly in the strong Himalayan breeze.
Image by Flipnomad, Flickr
The tiny village-Pelling cuddles the first rays of sun glancing beyond the spectacular mountains.
Pelling offers a motley of sights to discover, each with its own immersive experience to cherish and treasure for a lifetime. From cascading waterfalls to centuries-old monasteries veiled in solitude, from remnants of the ancient city to pleasant trails to ramble on, Pelling includes all, all beneath forever blessings of Mt. Kanchenjunga.
Image by Samba Sengupta, Flickr
On the way to Khecheopalri Lake and Yuksam, Rimbi waterfall is formed over Rimbi River.
Rimbi Falls: Magnificent waterfall hidden amidst lush rainforests, the Rimbi Falls. Around 12 kilometers from Pelling, this waterfall gushes down elegantly, splashing the bushes and ferns all along. The falls, one of Pelling’s major attractions, screams attention from everyone to appreciate the art of nature.
Image by monsoon lover, Flickr
Mask dance is part of an elaborate ritual done at Pemayangtse Monastery – Sikkim. Few participants take the role of Clown to keep the audience entertained but they always carry a social communication. Like doing fun in mask representing marks of Chicken Pox and holding a larger-than-life Injection syringe to remind people of Immunization!
Pemayangtse Monastery: Founded in 1705 by Lama Lhatsun Chempo, it is one of Sikkim’s oldest and most prestigious monasteries in West Sikkim. Pemayangtse Monastery adheres to the Nyingma Order of Tibetan Buddhism and governs all of the Order’s monasteries in Sikkim. The monks of this monastery are typically chosen from the Sikkim Bhutias.
The two-story edifice, startlingly tinted, is cloaked by an atmosphere of quiet and tranquility. The ubiquitous vistas of Mt. Kanchenjunga from the monastery grounds enrich and exemplify the monastery’s devout atmosphere. The esoteric rhythms of Lamas chanting prayers from century-old scriptures add to the place’s mysterious allure.
Image by Samyatra tours, Flickr
The grand Singshore Bridge is touted as the highest bridge in Sikkim and the second highest gorge bridge in Asia
The Singshore Bridge, positioned 28 kilometers from Pelling, is an engineering masterpiece. It is one of the attractions worth considering since it’s appraised as Asia’s second highest hanging bridge. Walking down the middle of the bridge, one can glimpse the depth of the gorge below and a magnificent view of the jungle’s Flora and Fauna.
Decorated with colorful prayer flags, a hallmark of Sikkim, could be a nerve-wracking experience as the bridge sways with the strong breeze. The adjacent hills are a veritable kaleidoscope of every shade of green known. During the monsoon, clouds creep on the valley and swallow the bridge, adding to the allure of an already enticing sight.
Image by Noelia, Flickr
Sanga Cheoling Monastery, built in 1697, is also known as the place of secret spells. It has clay statues dating back to the 17th century.
The Sanga Choeling Monastery, established in the 17th century by Lama Lhatsün Chempo, is one of Sikkim’s historic monasteries. The monastery is styled in the Tibetan style and features a hallowed three-century-old Buddhist cremation called Dhuthoe Silwar Tshar.
The monastery is located on a hill top above Pelling, 4.3 miles from Pemayangtse Monastery and 2 kilometers from Pelling. The shrine is accessed via pedestrian trail, which is about a forty-minute uphill climb through dense forest cover.
Pelling, indeed a slice of heaven on earth that embrace every blend of tranquility you ever dreamt of. An ideal getaway you would cherish for life.