Pelling

Pelling is a small town in West Sikkim.

Understand

Singshore Bridge

Pelling is famous for its magnificent views of the snow-capped mountains of Kanchenjunga. Situated at an altitude of 1,900 m (6,250 ft), the location offers good views of the surrounding mountain ranges including the Koktang, Frey, Rathong, Kabru North and Kabru South, Kabru Dom, Talung Kanchenjunga, Pandim, Jopuno, Tinchikhang, Narsing and others.

Culture

The local Limboo (indigenous) people are regarded by outsiders as being physically strong, openhearted and independent people. Limboo has several sub castes or clans including Khamdhak, Muringla, Tamling, Lingden and Pegha.

About 95% of the people live by subsistence farming activities. The area is sparsely populated and the people live in houses scattered across the terrain of the Himalayas. Agriculture is the paramount occupation of the villagers. The main crops cultivated are cardamom, maize, millet, paddy, wheat and buckwheat.

The small castle like local houses are the typical traditional architecture of the Limboo people and have a large courtyard, unique balconies and beautiful galleries.

Music and dances

Folk songs and dances of the Limbo tribe are rich and energetic. The traditional Limbo dance and song with the ‘Chabb-rung’ (drum) is performed during festivals and other important occasions. The Limbo men wear Po-hok-ma and ‘'Sumba'’. This is slightly similar to the Daura Suruwal (Nepali dress). The women wear an ankle length dress Sim and Hambari, which is usually bright in colour and made from a finely woven fabric with traditional patterns.

Arts and crafts

The region produces local handicrafts items made from wood, wool and bamboo.

Tourism

Village tourism in Sikkim is a booming industry and the local community strives to manage it in an manner that is environmentally, culturally and socially responsible. The local community is at the centre of the planning, implementation and monitoring processes. This local involvement assists in the conservation of the areas natural and cultural resources.

Local educated but unemployed youth have organised themselves into the Darap Eco-Tourism Committee. The Darap Eco-Tourism Committee is a local community based organisation leading the village community in matters related to tourism development. The committee aims to ensure the development of sustainable tourism in the village. It has its own tourism office at Darap. Formed in 2005 the objectives are to build awareness about natural and cultural resources and to mobilise the villagers in tourism and conservation activities.

Get in

Pelling is about 133 km away from Siliguri and 125km from Gangtok and well connected by bus and jeep services.

By jeep

The quickest way to get to Pelling is to take a 30 min share jeep from Geyzing which acts as the main transport hub for the area. However, if you are sick of being crushed amongst 10 other locals then the walk along the road is particularly pleasant and it should only take around 4-6 hr.

There are regular jeep service from Gangtok at 7AM and 12:30PM. Look for them at the West Sikkim taxi jeep stand near the Gangtok police headquarters.

Jeeps are also available at the jeep stand at 1PM going to Kechapalari lake and Rimbi, these travel via Pelling on that route.

Jeeps are available from Siliguri in the afternoon,one jeep hired up to pelling will cost ₹3000-₹4000.

Shared jeeps operate from the crossing at Upper Pelling to Gyalshing between 6AM and 4PM, to Gangtok via Ravangla at 7 and 12AM (₹150) and to Siliguri at 7AM (₹150).

By bus

SNT Bus are also available from Siliguri (SNT) at Hill Cart Road at 12:30PM.

Get around

Walk

Guides are available in Pelling for nature walks and monastic treks. Some of the younger men and boys of the district have benefited from a training program provided by the Government of Sikkim. Ask in the tourism office as they may only be booked through there.

See

Painting of a saint in Sanga Choeling Monastery

Do

Darap is easily accessible as it is well connected with roadways from different corners of Sikkim. The nearest railhead is about 145 km (4.5 hr drive). The nearest airport is about 115 km away and the journey is approximately 5 hr by road.
  • Trekking and village walks including observation of rural lifestyle with participation in organic farming activities for those who may be interested.
  • Traditional house visits
  • Cultural shows and ancient Limboo story telling sessions
  • Handicraft making
  • Visit the cave at Khanchendzongna National Park
  • Bird watching
  • Volunteer to assist with community programs

Buy

You will find small shops selling gift items, maps, postcards, water bottle, from Upper pelling to Lower Pelling. Since Pelling is a tourist destination please be careful you may pay double the usual price.

There is only one bank and one ATM in Pelling, the State Bank of India and it does not exchange foreign currency or travellers cheques. It may also run out of cash, so bringing a sufficient amount from Gangtok or Siliguri may be a good idea. Facilities are available in Siliguri, Darjeeling or Gangtok. It best to carry ₹100 notes which can be used anywhere in Pelling.

Eat

Drink

There are couple of places where you can eat and drink, They are The Treat, Pork, Deorali, Ladak Restaurant, Hav More and many other small small joints where you will get Momo, Thukpa. You can alos try tongba, a fermented millet wine served in a bamboo container with bamboo straw. The standard price of tingba is ₹50.

Sleep

Home-stay accommodations for tourists are being organized by the Darap Eco-Tourism Committee at the houses of committee members. Sikkimise village culture and hospitality is distinctively friendly and open and guests are made to feel as though they are part of family and made welcome to join the village activities with their children, partners or group of friends. So far, the society has identified 30 houses for Home-stays, out of which six are the operators. Maintenance of other houses is under way.

Pelling is a small place with almost 80 to 90 hotels. Pelling's high season is during the months of September and October. Standard room rates vary between ₹500-₹800. Rates are more at Upper Pelling and progressively decrease as you approach Lower Pelling. Room rates may be halved during low-season. Most hotels are situated on the 2 km stretch of road between Upper, Middle and Lower Pelling. Hotels at Lower Pelling cater mainly for Indian visitors, hotels at Upper Pelling usually have nice views.

Budget

Medium

Splurge

Connect

Internet

Go next

To Siliguri

S.N.T Bus: Only one bus is available to reach Siliguri Via Jorethang departing 7AM (₹120). Advance bus ticketing is available at SNT, Lower Pelling at their counter in Hotel Pelling, tel 03595 250 707.

Jeeps to Siliguri are available only at 7AM from Father Travels.

Lets Go Tours & Trek, "O" Point Pelling, organise Transport Services anywhere in Sikkim, Darjeeling, Bagdogra, Siliguri, New Jalpaiguri.. and other places in and around... Contact Narayan Khatiwada / Mrs Chunki Bhutia

To Gangtok

Jeeps are available at Father Travels at 7AM (Mr. Kancha Daju's Vehicle) and also at 12 noon.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Friday, January 22, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.