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Ideal duration: 3-5 days

Best Time: March - May, September - November Read More

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"Little princess of Nature's kingdom in Sikkim"

Pelling Tourism

Pelling is a small town located in the West district of Sikkim, at an altitude of 2,150 meters (7,200 feet) above sea level. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Sikkim, known for its breathtaking views of the Himalayas, including the famous Kanchenjunga peak, the third-highest mountain in the world. Formerly covered by a dense wild forest that was a haven for many native wild creatures, this destination has evolved into a place loved by adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers and has become the second biggest tourist hotspot in Sikkim after Gangtok.

Pelling is a base for various treks in the region. Its surrounding areas are still a virgin territory that offers alpine vegetation and numerous waterfalls lining the hillside and is occasionally covered in a thick blanket of snow during winter. Pelling also offers adventure activities such as mountain biking, rock climbing, village tours, meditation, and trekking, making it an ideal holiday destination for adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers. Moreover, the town is also home to several ancient Buddhist monasteries and temples, including the famous Pemayangtse Monastery.

Other popular tourist attractions in Pelling include the Khecheopalri Lake, considered a sacred lake by the locals and surrounded by dense forests and hills, and the Rabdentse Ruins, which was once the capital of the former Kingdom of Sikkim. Pelling also hosts the Khangchendzonga Festival every year, named after Sikkim's guardian deity. In addition to its scenic beauty and cultural festivals, the town has several local eateries and restaurants serving the authentic traditional cuisine of Sikkim, a blend of Tibetan, Nepalese, and Bhutanese cuisine.

Pelling has various accommodation options, from budget-friendly hotels to luxurious resorts catering to all budgets. The best time to visit Pelling is during the summer, from March to May, and the autumn months, from September to November, when the weather is mild and pleasant.

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Must Know Before You Travel to Pelling

Permits & Regulations
  • Foreigners must obtain an Restricted Area Permit (RAP), also popularly known as Inner Line Permit (ILP) to enter Sikkim. This entry permit can be obtained from all Indian Missions, Melli Check Post, Rangpo Check Post, Kolkata Sikkim House, Pakyonh Airport near Gangtok, Sikkim Tourism Offices at New Delhi, Kolkata, Siliguri, District Magistrates Office of Darjeeling, and Burtuk Helipad near Gangtok on the strength of an Indian Visa. 
  • In order to enter Sikkim, nationals of Pakistan, China, or Myanmar must obtain a written approval from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, New Delhi before they can be issued a Restricted Area Permit.
  • Indians do not require any permit to enter Sikkim. 
  • Some places are designated as Protected Areas due to their proximity to international borders and the presence of special army deployment.
  • It is mandatory for both foreigners and Indian visitors to get a separate permit called Protected Area Permit (PAP) in order to visit protected areas. Regular tourists are advised to go through a registered tour operator or travel agency in Sikkim to obtain this permit.
  • Presently, it is not possible to avail any Sikkim permit (ILP or PAP) online.
  • In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Sikkim has introduced new travel requirements for visitors. These include obtaining a mandatory Travel Card (also known as Sikkim Arrival Card), adhering to health and safety guidelines. These requirements are in addition to the need for permits (ILP and PAP) and getting this card is free of cost. Online application for Sikkim Travel Card can be made from this government website.
Essential Tips
  • Carry enough cash as there are limited ATM facilities in Pelling.
  • Pelling is located at an altitude of 2,150 meters, and visitors may experience altitude sickness. It is recommended to take necessary precautions and consult a doctor before visiting. It is also recommended to acclimatize oneself by taking it easy for a few days upon arrival, drinking plenty of water, and avoiding alcohol.
  • Pelling is a remote hill town, and the internet connectivity and mobile network coverage can be patchy. 
  • Check weather conditions to avoid disappointment as some of the treks might get closed during the monsoon and winter seasons.
  • Book accommodation in advance during the peak season to avoid any inconvenience.

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