Views of lofty Himalayan snow peaks, forest trails and ancient ruins, colourful monasteries and a laidback lifestyle is what makes Pelling, the gateway to West Sikkim, a pleasant attraction.
The town is divided into lower, middle and upper Pelling, with hotels and homestays strewn across the stretch. The bus and taxi stands are located in lower Pelling. The town is best explored on foot but you can also hire a car (rates vary according to season) to cover the major attractions.
Pemayangste Monastery Cars go right up to the base of this popular monastery from where you have to climb a few steps to reach the main complex. Prayer flags and statues of two snow lions mark the entrance to the monastery that was founded in 1705 and belongs to the Nyingma order of Buddhism. Do not miss the colourful murals inside.
A statue of Padmasambhava or Guru Rinpoche presides over the central hall on the ground floor. There are benches along the walls for those who want to meditate. A small door on the side leads to the upper floors.The first floor contains images of various Gurus, all reincarnations of Padmasambhava. The second floor contains the ‘Sangdogpalri’ or a wooden replica of Guru Rinpoche’s heavenly abode, decorated with miniature objects, a work of art…