Let the first stop on your day trip to Pelling be the Pemayangtse Monastery. One of the oldest monasteries in Sikkim, the Pemayangtse Monastery is home to welcoming monks who are always ready to talk about their heritage. The monastery follows the Nyingma Order of Tibetan Buddhism and the monastery grounds house ancient manuscripts. This location also offers a breathtaking view of the landscape around. (Photography is prohibited inside the monastery)All images by Pooja Mitra
Once you are done exploring the Pemayangtse Monastery grounds, head over to the next stop — the Chenrezig statue and skywalk. If the gorgeous views from the last location made you swoon, this spot will make your jaw drop! Awaiting visitors is a mesmerising 137-feet-tall Bodhisattva Chenrezig statue. The grand structure, sitting on top of a hillock, juxtaposed against the clear blue skies of Sikkim, is bound to make an impression on you. (Entry is ticketed)
The view from the top of the stairs that lead to the Chenrezig statue. While this is an excellent spot to see the statue up close and also get a bird’s-eye view of the scenery around, the sheer number of stairs in the picture might seem intimidating. But the climb is absolutely worth it. You can always climb slowly, catch your breath on the stairs or stop and take a few pictures
The walls of the structure have elaborate and intricate details, and the rich red colour contrasts marvellously with the golden ornamentation. You can also take a closer look at the huge bell that hangs from the ceiling of the one of structures
There can be no better place to say a silent prayer or two. Take a few minutes to rotate these Buddhist prayer wheels
Located within the same premises as the Chenrezig statue is also India’s first glass skywalk. Here, zen meets adventure. But stepping out on the skywalk is not for the faint-hearted. If you end up on the trail and the see-through glass floor makes you queasy, do not look down and instead, focus on the enchanting views of the lush green hills all around. Click a few pictures and soak in the unique experience
After the skywalk, as you reach the Hingdam, Lamaten Tingmoo viewpoint, fresh air, verdant hills and a calming blue sky welcome you. The spot is an uphill drive and there’s a sunset point with cemented seats for tourists to enjoy the view. If you crave a hot cup of tea while looking out to the hills beyond, the tea shops near the viewpoint can make that happen. While driving to the location, keep an eye out on the left of the road. You might catch a glimpse of a peacock or two!
While the spectacular scenery from the viewpoint might take up most of your time, do not miss out on having a chat with the locals. They are always ready to share interesting stories about the place, and tourists have a good time connecting with these welcoming people. Plus, you might get a chance to make a few furry friends who wander about the tea shops