Rani Dhunga Jungle Trek, Pelling

By Rashi Madane

Trudging over a steep hilly track with a dense forest surrounding you on both sides is indeed the ultimate journey to exploring nature in all its glory. One of such gems which pave the path to experiencing natural tranquillity is the Rani Dhunga Trek. Situated in the majestic Himalayas at an altitude of 2680 metres, this massive rocky outcrop is also believed to be pious with mythological importance.

The magnificent Rani Dhunga Trek is all the serenity you’re looking for.

UNESCO World Heritage Site

The abundant forest covering the area was entered on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list on 17 July 2016, becoming the first “Mixed Heritage” site of India. The qualities that gave way to this feat were the multitude of flora and fauna inhabiting the area. The exotic diversity of the Rani Dhunga Trek is the pride of Pelling. Animals such as musk deer, Himalayan tahr, wild boar, Himalayan black bear and Himalayan blue sheep all make their home in this forest. Hiking to the main spot bestows you with a spectacular view of the forest, making your trek worth the effort!

Image by @dheflocker, Instagram

The splendid view from top after completing the Rani Dhunga hike.

The Rani Dhunga Trek has immense popularity in mythological legends, Devi Sita (an expansion of Lord Rama) once stepped on the rock and her footprints can be seen embedded in it. Another folk legend is that a long time ago this place used to be a hiding cave for the Queen of Sikkim when the kingdom was attacked by Nepal or Bhutan.

Situated about 6km to the North-East of Pelling, this place has a monsoon climate almost all-year round. This natural gem is a must-visit, which is just a short 20 minutes drive from The Elgin Mount Pandim, Pelling. So take the first step onto this holy trail, and return with a memorable experience.

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