Though Pelling is a small hamlet in West Sikkim, it is on every tourist’s map. I got to explore this small yet beautiful place recently and took back some fabulous memories.
If you ever land up here, then here are 7 things you must try out.
1. Get your sketch book out at Rabdentse Ruins
This place is visually remarkable. The ruins, cradled in the center of neatly manicured lawns and enveloped by the splendid hills of Sikkim, paint a beautiful contrast of color and texture. After you’re done with strolling around the vast grounds, prop yourself in any corner and give a go at sketching the brown stone walls, the chortens, or the lawns.
2. Eat at Pelling’s oldest bakery (Lotus bakery)
The unassuming tin-roofed building gives no sign of being a bakery save for the lone plastic table and chairs outside it. The bakery’s paper sign board too is partially hidden from view by the prayer flags stretched across the entrance door but it’s not hard to miss as there’s always someone grabbing a quick bite and enjoying the beautiful outdoors. A simple display case inside entices you with coconut buns, cone-shaped coconut cookies, doughnuts, muffins, sweet buns, cream rolls, jam bread, chocolate croissants, and more at nominal rates (most cost just Rs 10). It’s open from 7am to 5pm.
3. Take a walk in the bird park
The Sidkeong Tulku Bird Park is quite different from the others you might have seen. The area is encased with an enormous green net, and an elevated walkway takes you across the length of the park. The bird cages are way down below on either side of the walkway, and the birds can best be seen closely through binoculars. The park breeds some interesting birds such as Lady Amherst’s Pheasant, Silver Pheasant, and Golden Pheasant.
4. View fine art inside the Chenrezig statue
While the Chenrezig statue, the forth tallest statue in Sikkim, clearly dominates the skyline, the spiral walk from inside towards the top is what is really fascinating. The curved walls are a never-ending cloth canvas of the most magnificent art work by a single artist Hissey Zangpo. The scenes depict stories of different Buddhist deities.
5. Get enchanted by Guru Rimpuche’s copper colored paradise
The Pemayangtse Monastery houses a small museum showcasing old cooking utensils, butter lamps, dance costumes, furniture (there’s a tsokse table that was used in the palace in Rabdentse, musical instruments, etc, which provide a wonderful insight into Sikkim’s cultural history. The crowning glory, however, is housed in a tiny room beside it. Encased in a huge glass box can be found the copper colored paradise of Guru Rimpuche. It is believed that the manifestation of the celestial paradise was painstakingly created by a single monk who dreamt of every com