Pelling Travel Guide – An Offbeat Place in Sikkim

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Anyone who starts planning a trip to Sikkim always goes for the obvious places like Gangtok, Tsomgo, Gurudongmar Lake, etc. A lot of people even include Ravangla, Namchi or Zuluk in their itinerary but almost no one ventures to the extreme west of this gorgeous state.

Guess what, guys? There are several other places to visit in West Sikkim which are quaint and beautiful and will make you feel like you have been transported to a fairytale land.

Pelling is one such beautiful offbeat destination in Sikkim which often gets missed due to these tourist spots but which is equally, if not more, enchanting as the other cities in this state.

Also, this is the place from where you can leave on some really amazing trekking trails to make the most of your trip here. And if you love monasteries and palace ruins, then I am sure you would find this place worth the visit.

Pelling Travel Guide

So, if you are looking for some quiet, tranquil time in Sikkim then Pelling is the place to head over to. Here, you will witness some gorgeous waterfalls, view of the Kanchenjunga mountains, bridges, and so on.

It is a small, calm city so you won’t see a lot of hustle bustle which makes it a perfect place to relax and take in your surroundings. In this article, I will cover all the essential details that you would need in order to include this place in your itinerary.

Where is Pelling Located?

Well, as I mentioned above, Pelling is situated in the western Sikkim at an elevation of about 7,000 ft. It is a small hill town and is located at a distance of 131km from Gangtok and 10 km from Geyzing, one of the main towns in the Western Sikkim.

This place lies just next to the Himalayas and the Kanchenjunga mountain ranges so you will get a clear, close view of these mountains. Since this is not as developed as other cities in Sikkim, you will find more alpine vegetation over here and numerous waterfalls in this area.

From Pelling, you can also reach other villages and towns in West Sikkim like Geyzing, Legship, Yuksom, and so on. Also, this is the starting point for most treks so, it is a must-visit place for all the adventure seekers out there.

And you know the best part about this place? Since Pelling is located at a high altitude, it often receives snowfall in the winter months which gives an ethereal feel to this area. So, if you have always wanted to see pure untouched snow in the mountains, then Pelling is the place to go to.

Lower Pelling
Lower Pelling

How to Reach Pelling

Unlike other major cities of Sikkim, it is slightly tricky to reach Pelling, especially if you don’t have your own vehicle. There aren’t any buses headed directly to Pelling so, you will need to first reach the Geyzing (district headquarters) before you travel further to this small hill town.

Reaching Geyzing

As I said earlier, there isn’t any direct transport to Pelling if you don’t have your own car. So, the first point that you will need to reach is Geyzing. You can reach Geyzing via shared cabs, buses, or private taxis, but it mainly depends on where you are traveling from. It will take you about 5.5 – 6 hrs to reach Pelling from Siliguri/Bagdogra or Gangtok.

Siliguri/Bagdogra to Geyzing

Depending on your mode of transport, it can take you anywhere between 5-6 hours to reach Geyzing from Siliguri. From here, it will be another 30-40 minutes before you can get down at the Pelling town. You can get buses and shared jeeps back to Siliguri from Geyzing itself.

Buses

Although there is no direct bus to Geyzing from Bagdogra, you will find buses from the Siliguri Bus Stand till 12.30 p.m. So, if you are planning to reach by bus then you will need to first reach the Siliguri Bus Stand from NJP or Bagdogra Airport.

From Bagdogra Airport, you can either take a shared cab (300 INR), Private Taxi (700 – 800 INR), or a bus (30 INR). I personally took a bus which took me 45 minutes to reach the main Siliguri junction and was quite enjoyable as well.

Shared Cabs

Another popular and budget-friendly option for reaching Geyzing from Siliguri/Bagdogra is to take a shared jeep/cab. You can find the shared taxis near the main junction which will cost you about 300 INR per person. Also, remember that the last direct shared taxi will leave before 2 p.m. so plan your journey accordingly.

If you somehow don’t find a direct shared taxi to Geyzing, then you can go to Jorethang (150 INR) first and then get a shared taxi to Geyzing from there.

Private Taxis

You will find many prepaid taxis to Pelling from both NJP and Bagdogra but these will easily cost you 3,000 – 4,000 INR. So, if you are on a budget then I would advise you to avoid these taxis. You can instead opt for shared cabs or buses from the Siliguri bus stand.

Pelling Bridge
Pelling Bridge
Gangtok to Geyzing

You might also opt to head to Pelling from Gangtok but you won’t find any bus option on this route.

Shared Cabs

Again, you won’t find many direct shared cabs from Gangtok to Geyzing. In fact, there are only 3-4 taxis throughout the day which make this route at a fixed time. They usually depart at 7 a.m., 12 p.m., and 1 p.m. and cost about 300 INR per person.

If you somehow manage to not avail a seat on one of these shared cabs, then don’t worry. You can take a shared cab till Ravangla instead and then another shared taxi to Geyzing.

Private Taxis

You will find many private taxi options from Gangtok to Pelling which will cost you about 3500 – 4000 INR and will take about 5 hours to reach. It would be certainly more comfortable than traveling in the shared cabs and will save you a lot of time too.

Geyzing to Pelling

Once you have reached Geyzing in a shared cab or a bus, you can further head to Pelling in a shared taxi or a private taxi.

A shared taxi to this place will cost you about 50 INR per person but it would take some time to reach because they will wait for the taxi to get filled with passengers. If you don’t want to waste too much time then you can always take a private taxi which will cost you 150 INR for dropping you off at your place of stay in Pelling.

Trip Suggestion: North East is full of wonderful offbeat places and if you are planning for an offbeat trip to North East Himalayas, then do check out our travel guide of Sillery & Icchey – Two Hamlets Lost In Romance with Kanchenjunga

Best Time to Visit Pelling

The best time to visit Pelling actually depends on what you are looking for. If you want to enjoy sightseeing around this small town and relax for a while then spring season is best from February to April. This is also the off-season so you are likely to find discounts on your accommodation here.

If you want some respite from the summers then you can head here from May – July. However, if you want to witness some snow then you will have to plan your journey during the winter months of November and December.

Note: If you are visiting due to snowfall, keep extra days at hand because the roads might get blocked due to excessive snowfall here.

The View of Pelling
The View of Pelling

Where to Stay in Pelling

There are many hotels and homestays available in Pelling, many of which will cost you about 500 – 800 INR per night while providing an amazing view.

Of course, you have some resorts here too which will cost you about 5,000 – 8,000 INR per night while giving you a luxurious feel during your travel.

If you traveling during the off-season then you don’t need to pre-book your stay as there will be many options available. However, if you are traveling during the high summer season then it is better to book online or call a few homestays to reserve a place for yourself.