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Ravangla, South Sikkim Overview

Ravangla, a petite town located in South Sikkim, with a phenomenal view of high-forested hills, rolling valleys marked with village huts is an ideal destination for holidaying. Ravangla is situated at the base of Menam hill, providing shelter to a small hermitage. It lies on the edge separating the Teesta valley from the Rangit valley and the main attraction of this town is the spectacular sight of the snow-covered peaks. Ravangla provides breathtaking sights of Kanchenjungha along with its sister peaks of Pandim, Kabru, Sinialchu and many others. With rich natural diversity, the exotic flora and fauna in thick forest, majestic snow mountains, waterfalls, scenic tea gardens, peaceful villages, ethnic culture, old monasteries and fresh atmosphere Ravangla is a place worth visiting.

Ravangla is one of the most famous tourist destinations in South Sikkim. At an altitude of 7000 ft, situated on the edge, between Maenam and Tendong Hill, Ravangla provides a clear and mind-blowing of the Greater Himalayas. The beauty of its scenery and its location as a travelling point to nearby tourist attractions has made Ravangla a must-visit destination. Ravangla organizes the Pang Lhabsol festival in an outstanding way every year around August-September. 8 km on way to Damthang is the Rayong sunrise viewpoint that provides a beautiful view of the first rays of the sun falling on snow peaks. The nearby Lepcha and Bhutia villages of Yangang, Tinkitam, Kewzing, Barfung & Bakhim are perfect for short village tours. A few ancient monasteries around Ravangla namely Bonn Monastery, Ralong Monastery, the old historical market of Kewzing, along with few mysterious caves are the major tourist attractions of this town.

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Ravangla Sightseeing

Buddha Park: Also known as Tathagata Tsa, this is the main attraction in Ravangla. As the name suggests, this park features a striking 130 feet high statue of Gautam Buddha as its centrepiece. This massive park is part of the Rabong Gompa which is a 100-year-old religious complex and a significant pilgrimage centre. Inside the park, there is a huge prayer hall and a Museum meditation centre which is open for meditation to everyone. The museum depicts the life and journey of Gautam Buddha. The park is amazingly landscaped and is perfect for a leisurely stroll and sitting peacefully by the beautiful fountain.
Timings: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Entry Fees: Indians- INR 50, Foreigners- INR 100

New Ralang Monastery: Located around 10 km away from Buddha Park is the New Ralang Monastery which serves as the occasional residence of Gyaltsap Rinpoche and is the home of around 500 monks. The major attraction here is the two floor high shining Buddha statue. This is considered to be one of the highest monasteries in Sikkim and the paintings and thangkas displayed here are highly valued. 
Timing: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Entry Fees: Free

Old Ralang Monastery: This is a small structure situated close to the New Ralang Monastery, flanked by traditional Bhutia homes and well manicured little gardens. The Sikkimese consider this as one of the most sacred places in their land. 
Timings: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Entry Fees: Free

Ralong Hot Water Springs: If you are in for a little adventure, you can head over to the Ralong Hot Sulphur Springs which is a brisk 1-hour walk away from the Ralong Monastery. This hot water spring is very renowned the world over among the believers of alternative healing and naturalists. The gushing hot water bed is located in a small pool. You can spot the villagers taking a bath here.

Rayong Sunrise Viewpoint: At an elevation of 6700 feet, the Rayong Sunrise Viewpoint offers a spectacular view of the Chola and the Sangalaila Mountain ranges. This is one of the most famous tourist spots in Ravangla. It is advisable to reach the place by 5:00 AM to catch the view of the rising sun.

Trekking in Ravangla

The adventure enthusiasts visit Ravangle to undertake the trek to Maenam Hill, which is one of the best medium difficulty treks in Sikkim. The Maenam Hill provides a breathtaking view of the surrounding hills and is a treat for the eyes. The luxuriant green forests and the rugged terrain make up for the taxing trek. The 9 km uphill trek starts from Ravangla and takes 4 hours to climb up and 2 hours to climb down. If you are a beginner, you can take a tour guide along with you. There are 4 stopover points in between where you can relax. 

There is also a Maenam Sanctuary where you can spot rhododendron, oak, chestnut and magnolia trees. It is one of the richest butterfly spotting zones in Sikkim providing a heavenly sight to look at. You can also spot Red Panda, Himalayan Black Bears and different varieties of deer at the sanctuary. It is best to visit the Maenam Sanctuary between 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM. Keep in mind that a permit needs to be acquired from the Home Department of the Government of Sikkim to visit the sanctuary. If you have hired a tour operator, he can easily arrange it for you.

Best Time To Visit Ravangla

Weather in Ravangla is pleasant throughout the year except for the severe winters. It is best to avoid visiting this place in the winters. The months of August and September are ideal for visiting this place as that time of the year you can also witness the Pang Lhabsol festival.

Traveling Around Ravangla

Taxis are available to travel within the area.

Stay Near Ravangla

Ravangla has a number of good resorts and hotels which are both affordable and comfortable. Babumoshai Resort, The Barfung Retreat, Hotel Zumthang and Kewzing Village Home are some of the highest ranks hotels of Ravangla.

Activities At Ravangla

Ravangla is the perfect place for those who want to take short treks up the hills. The town is encircled by thick forests and hills that enhance the town's beauty. Travellers come to this place to catch a glimpse of the various species of migratory birds and for spectacular views of the peaks like Mt. Kanchenjunga, Mt. Pandim and Mt. Sinialchu. Sightseeing, bird watching and trekking are the main activities here.

Shopping At Ravangla

One can buy the local handicrafts and woollen carpets from this place. The Tibetan Carpet Centre has traditionally designed and woven carpets available here and they are said to be the best you can buy anywhere.

Local Experiences At Ravangla

Ravangla is famous for its ethnic culture and festivals. During the month of April, the inhabitants at Ravangla celebrate their tourism, crafts and cultural festivals. Another popular festival Pang Lhabsol is celebrated during the months of August and September. This is a three-day long festival that finishes with the performance of the 'Cham' dance on the last day.

Nightlife At Ravangla

The place does not have many bars and clubs. Beer Shop, Hill restaurant and bar, etc. are a few bars a few km away from Ravangla where one can have a good time.

Food At Ravangla

The local cuisine of Ravangla includes Gya Thuk or Thukpam, Phagshapa, Momo, Ningro along with Churpi, Sael Roti and Gundruk. These are dishes one must try while visiting this place. Chaang is the popular drink of the place.

Restaurants Near Ravangla

Kookay Restaurant is a very famous restaurant of the place whose menu includes a wide range of Tibetan dishes, along with rice and curry sets and Chinese staples. Apart from this, you can find several fast food joints in the area too.

Sample Itinerary For Ravangla

Reach Ravangla and check into a hotel. Hire a taxi and a guide to go for sightseeing. See the Temi Tea Garden, Ralong monastery and other beautiful tourist attractions in the place. After that enjoy the local cuisine of Sikkim at a nearby restaurant and then come back to your hotel for the night. The next morning start early to see the Rayong Sunrise Point and then later in the day set out for village tours to the nearby villages. One can follow this with Namchi or Gangtok.

How to reach Ravangla

  • Air: Gangtok and Pelling have the nearest helipads served by Helicopter, but helicopter has to be chartered. Nearest airport from Ravangla is Bagdogra Airport which is 135 kilometers from Ravangla via Jorethang. Bagdogra airport is connected by regular Indian, Spice jet, Kingfisher, and Jet Airways flights from Kolkata, Guwahati and Delhi. You can take a bus from the airport to reach Ravangla.

  • Rail: The nearest railway station is New Jalpaiguri which is nearly 110 kilometres away. New Jalpaiguri station is well linked with the other states of India. There is regular train service to Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati, Jaipur, Bangalore, Chennai, etc. are available from there.

  • Road: Roads are well constructed and the huge network of road in Sikkim is well linked with the rest of the destinations in Sikkim. Gangtok is nearlyë_65 kilometers away from Ravangla. Private vehicle are available at regular interval to all the tourist destinations but it is best to hire a vehicle such as a bus or taxi.ë_

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