Pelling is a picturesque little town in West Sikkim and is usually cold throughout the year as it lies at an altitude of 7200 ft. While most of the town comprises a few houses and hotels, there are a few interesting places that are worth visiting such as the Pelling skywalk, Chenrezing statue, Pemayangtse Monastery, Khecheopalri Lake, Rabdantse Ruins, and other attractions.
For people looking for peaceful and unpopulated weekend destinations within Sikkim, Pelling is a great choice.
Whisked off to Pelling for the weekend
It’s a Saturday morning, and I’ve just arrived at the office. The atmosphere in the room, though relaxed, has a hint of frenzy. Team members are excitedly discussing something before one of them notices me and asks: Do you want to go to Pelling today and stay at the Elgin? A few hours later, 7 of us are sitting in a car racing to make it to Pelling before dinner time closes at 10:00. While most of the road is fairly smooth, there are plenty of bumps and sharp turns that have you clutching your seat for dear life—on the other hand, it could be that our driver loved the accelerator more than our comfort.
Arrival and first impressions
Pelling was completely asleep by the time we reached the hotel at 9:30 pm. Stepping through the hotel’s door from the frigid cold outside, we were welcomed by the warm interiors and staff; the Christmas decorations, which were still up, added a pleasant festivity to the lobby.
The Elgin is a 4-star heritage hotel with two lovely properties in Sikkim: Gangtok and Pelling. The hotels are characterised by opulent furnishings, incredible framed wall art: painted, embroidered, sketched, or photographed and found throughout (even the bathrooms!), traditional fittings, and in-house resident Simoyed dogs (the hotel is pet friendly).
The lovely lobby of Elgin Mount Pandim
As we checked in and made our way to our rooms, I was struck in awe by the paintings that dotted the stairway. Portrait pictures of local inhabitants added a sense of local flavor, reminding guests of their stay in Sikkim (a nice touch, away from the usual sterility of hotels).
The stairs, completely carpeted in a hue of apple red with canary yellow flowers imprinted on them, add a touch of warm sophistication.
Plush interiors of the Elgin
I was staying in a deluxe room, which on entering I noticed was quite compact. A large cupboard, double bed, writing desk and chair, and a seating area comprising two chairs and a small traditional foldable wooden table (called a choktse, originated in Tibet) made up the furniture. The bath had a tub with no separate space for a shower, which makes it a bit inconvenient if you’re trying to avoid slipping of any sort. Every room had a different color scheme in terms of furnishings, which gave each one a distinct feel.
Dinner was lovely. The dining area was softly lit, with candles on every table, which imparted a very romantic feel indeed. You can opt for the buffet or order from the à la carte menu; the grilled fish was a crowd-pleaser.
A walk around the property
The next morning, we headed down for the buffet breakfast. Heaping our plates with bread and Indian breakfast items, we decided to sit on the outside tables and enjoy the crisp cold weather.