SIKKIM WEST DISTRICT
This is district of Sikkim is yet another traveller’s fantasy. With mind blowing views of the snowy ranges. Thrilling treks, enigmatic historical sites, serenely holy lakes and a ruggedly mountainous landscape you sure would keep yearning for more.
PELLING: About 143Km from Gangtok this is a growing urban settlement in West Sikkim. Sprawled at 6100 ft it offers one of the most amazing views of the Khangchendzonga range.
KHANGCHENDZONGA WATER FALLS: Lying about an hour’s drive from Pelling this magnificent falls is a beauty at.
PEMAYANGTSE MONASTERY: One of the main sites in West Skkim it is the principal monastery in the state. The seat of the Nyingma order it was established by Lama Lhatsun Chenpo, one of the revered lamas who performed the consecration of the first Chogyol of Sikkim. During the Chogyal reign it had been entrusted with the task of performing all religious rituals associated with the royalty. One of its most prized treasure is the Sang-tok-palri’ , an elaborate and minutely detailed carving on wood by late Dungzin Rinpoche depicting the Mahaguru’s heavenly ascent.
KHECHEOPAIRI LAKE: This mysteriously wishes fulfilling lake is located in a serene valley surrounded by lush pristine forest. Situated about 25 Km from Pelling this sacred lake is much revered by the locals.
SANG-AK-CHOELING MONASTERY: Build in 1697 AD on a ridge overlooking Pelling, the site also offers a fascinating view of the mountain range and the landscape all around. It is considered to be one of the oldest monasteries in the state.
SINGSHORE BRIDGE – UTTAREY: Lying about 25 Km from Pemayangtse it is the highest bridge in Sikkim. A 20-minute drive away is Uttarey, a base camp for adventure trail to the Singalila range.
TASHIDING MONASTERY: Was constructed in the 18th century and is famous for its array of chortens and the innumerable line of carved stone tablets bearing the invocation “Om Mane Padme Hum’. Its main festival the Bumchu is much visited by devotees ( see festival). The chorten ‘Thon-Wa-Rang-Dol” meaning ‘salvation by mere sight’ is much revered and is believed to cleanse one of all sins upon a mere sight of it.
RABDEBTSE RUINS: The ruins of the second capital of Sikkim, it lies at a walking distance from the main road a little further away from Pelling. Surrounded by a large enclosed area with a thriving forest it is also an exciting spot for birdwatching.
YUKSOM: The first capital of Sikkim, it was here that the first Chogyal was consecrated by the three holy monks in 1642 AD. The stone throne, called the Norbughang chorten and a footprint of the head lama upon a stone still bear testimony of that ancient ceremony. The trekking trail to Dzongri/Goechela and to the Khangchendzonga base camp begins here. Lies about 32 Km from Pemayangtse.
DUBDI MONASTERY: Location on a hillock about Yuskom it was the first monastery to be established soon after the consecration of the Chogyal.
RANGIT WATER WORLD: Another serene getaway availing facilities for boating and rafting in the green waters of Rangit river lying close to Legshep.
VARSEY: Perched at 10,000 ft a road leads up to Hilley from where a leisurely 4 Km trek lead up the Varsey Rhododendron sanctuary famed for its varied species of the flowers.
RINCHENPONG: A picturesque village, a circular trek could help you explore the area. The Resum monastery is another landmark while a trespass at an ancient heritage house could add more thrill. The area also offers a magnificent view of the Khangchendzonga range and a night at an old British bungalow could indeed be intriguing.