The small town of Pelling is slowly becoming a tourist hotspot thanks to its jaw-dropping views, including the majestic snow-capped mountains of Khangchendzonga National Park, and easy access to the surrounding historic sites. Just a quick walk past the bustle of the hotels and you can find yourself wandering amongst a peaceful natural forest.
The lofty Pemayangtse Monastery is flanked either side by snowcapped mountains and is home to 108 monks who can be spotted by the red hats they wear. Dating back to 1705, Pemayangtse is one of the oldest and most famous monasteries in Sikkim and has been refurbished after earthquakes in both 1913 and 1960. The monastery belongs to the Nyingma order and contains a multitude of storytelling wall paintings, statues of saints and Buddhist antique idols. There are also beautiful gardens where the monks' accommodation is located.
Just a few miles from Pemayangtse Monastery is Sanghak Choeling, a tranquil monastery reached by travelling through rich forest greenery. This peaceful place is visited by many Buddhist devotees and is also known as ‘the place of secret spells’. The complex contains many clay statues, including the enormous Chenrezig Statue which is visible for many miles around.
Pemangytse Monastery is home to the Cham Dance Festival held every year on the 28th or 29th of February. The lamas (teachers) of the monastery dress in colourful costumes as the deities Mahākāla and Guru Drag-dmar and perform dances. Pilgrims from all over Sikkim attend the festival, which concludes with a firework display to ward away evil spirits.
You can visit Pelling on our Eastern Himalayas Tour or as part of your own bespoke Indian holiday. Contact our travel experts on 01792 315499 or email firstname.lastname@example.org