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The Weird Story of Reaching Pelling

The Weird Story of Reaching Pelling

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If this were my YouTube Channel (StyleRugVlogs), I would have welcomed you with my trademark four hellos and an astounding Jai Shree Ram. But then some things are better felt in writing, and some, while speaking.

So, instead of that, let me welcome you to this new travel blog, with another plot story. And in case you are wondering why I am talking about plotting in a travel blog like a shrewd politician, which I could never be, you need to read about my Road Trip Trip To Badrinath and a romance-come-crush-that-got-crushed-during-a-two-and-a-half-day expedition to Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Having said that, let me also warn you, do not expect to read or watch a video that would give you the impression “kuch toh gadbad hai Daya”, (kids from the 90s would understand that reference) and turn you into a detective of some sorts that even you are sure you could never be. The plot that I wish to share with you guys is from an Airline company and the ATC that conspired against me and no I am not writing this article hallucinating on a drug that you wish you could afford.

Jokes apart, this is the first part of the three articles that I would pen down for you that would unveil the injustice that I had to face at the hands of the above-mentioned culprits, and well, a few more. 

And for that, we need to get our bags packed to go to Pelling.

Several decades ago, Pelling was a modest hamlet nestled in West Sikkim. Today, it is rapidly transforming into a sought-after hill station. Perched atop a ridge, the town is segmented into upper, middle, and lower areas. Pelling offers enchanting mountain walks, refreshing cool breezes, and breathtaking vistas of the majestic Khangchendzonga mountain.

Errrr……. wait, wait, wait…. reign in your horses, as we are yet to reach Pelling and any more information about ‘how beautiful it is, how amazing the food is, what the trails look like, can you go hiking, the best hotels, the monasteries and blah blah blah’ it all comes later… way later!

This article and the video at the end of this article are all about the journey – going to Pelling.

So, bags were packed for a 7-day trip to Delhi-Pelling-Darjeeling-Gangtok-Delhi. 

While embarking on this trip, I had promised something to myself. I promised myself that I was going to spoil myself during this trip and made my hotel bookings accordingly. In Pelling, I booked the best room that was available at The Elgin Mount Pandim, a beautiful boutique resort that oversaw Kanchenjunga; the third-highest mountain in the world. 

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But as usual with my every trip, I left a few things unplanned, like my mode of transportation from Bagdogra to Pelling. 

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After reaching Bagdogra, I had two options, either take a cab from the government-affiliated counter or book a random cab available outside the Airport. Needless to say, I chose the latter and hired a Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire, for which I had to pay INR 6500. The interesting part though; while I was negotiating for the cab on the street, I got to know that Nepal is not that far from there, and I say this with my tongue-in-cheek, I seriously got tempted to change the whole schedule. 

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But as seen in one of the cult comedy movies of India (Welcome), I asked myself to CONTROL the thoughts and stick to the original, albeit, half-baked plan. 

By now, most of you know me well enough to know how I behave while interacting with strangers, especially those who are a bit less fortunate than people like you and me. Keeping that spirit in mind, I was having all sorts of conversations with the cab driver- Sameer who himself was no-less-then-Sheldon-Cooper. Always talking and less of listening.

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From politics to entrepreneurship, travel to homebound, from single to being a parent, eco-system to modern tech, we talked about all, until the first stop came. And this is where the real fun began. 

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While sipping a nice warm cup of tea, me and Sameer started to talk to two local lads as they were quite fascinated by the GoPro that I had. How can a good camera be so small? This is how the conversation started and then went on to – well, let me reach there. 

I won’t reveal the real name here as it may become a legal thing if someone reads this and approaches the authorities, so for the sake of context let’s name this one person here Mr. Bhagirath. Mr. Bhagrath had this shop, a typical eating join in the mountains, that offered tea, Maggi, dim sums, snacks, biscuits, and blah blah blah. Mr. Bhagirath had a brother-in-law who claimed that if you had deep pockets, it’s an easy game for him to relocate you anywhere in the world.

The going price at that time for the USA was INR 80 lac and INR 60 lac if you wanted your dream country to be Australia. This was of course as illegal as it gets, wherein, you are not provided any documents but via illegal means taken to these locations, and then it’s on you how to arrange things there.

How I wish my blog, vlog or other YT channel were popular enough to offer me such deep pockets. But no, I don’t crave to go to other countries illegally, but wouldn’t mind the money coming into the account. So, in case you want me to get rich, please go ahead and subscribe to my Travel Vlog, my YouTube channel StyleRug that’s on socio-political issues, You can also connect with me on Instagram and follow my Facebook page to show your support.

Now that the self-shoutout part is taken care of, let’s move forward and talk about The Elgin Mount Pandim

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One known as the summer retreat for the royal family of Sikkim, this historic property has transformed into an opulent boutique hotel. Each room in the hotel provides breathtaking vistas of the snow-capped mountains and peaks, creating a unique and intimate connection with the Himalayas.

Situated within eight acres of untouched forest and beautifully landscaped gardens, it exudes the timeless charm of its original owners—the royal family of Sikkim—and offers a serene getaway with a stunning panorama of the Singalila range. Adjacent to the resort, atop a lush hill covered in temperate Oak forests, stands the 300-year-old Pemayangtse monastery which is a must-visit if you are in Pelling. 

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Located close to Pelling is the Pemayangtse Monastery, one of the six major monasteries of Sikkim. Established in 1647, this monastery has been one of the most important centers of Buddhism in this state.

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The Shrine of Guru Padmasambhava is located on the first floor and there’s a museum on the second floor.

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After spending some time there, I roamed around the courtyard of the Pemayangtse Monastery before moving ahead to the next point of Pelling sightseeing.

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Sidkeong Tulku Bird Park, Rabdentse

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Sidkeong Tulku Bird Park, Rabdentse, holds prominence in Randentse, one of Sikkim’s oldest locales, renowned for its ruins. Beyond its historical remnants, Randentse is celebrated for the presence of Sidkeong Tulku Bird Park, named after the 10th Chogyal of Sikkim, Sidkeong Tulku. En route to the Rabdentse Ruins, I explored Sidkeong Tulku Bird Park, sharing a common entrance gate with the ruins. 

The park boasts diverse bird species, enhancing our Pelling sightseeing experience. The rich flora designed to attract various birds added to the allure of the visit, accompanied by the melodious songs emanating from the park’s trees. 

Subsequently, my journey led me to Rabdentse Ruins, the ancient capital of Sikkim, now standing as remnants on the mountain, approximately 8 kilometers from Pelling. A brisk 20-minute walk brought us to the ruins’ gates after I visited the Bird Park. From there, I commenced a 1.5-kilometer hike along a winding, narrow forest road covered in layers of dry, dead leaves on moist soil, consuming nearly 30 minutes. 

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The beauty and tranquility of Rabdentse Ruins left a lasting impression, despite the inevitable toll of time on its majestic pillars, age-old bricks, rooms, stairs, and courtyard. The ruins, set against the backdrop of the mighty Himalayas, presented a captivating spectacle. A visit to Rabdentse Ruins is essential for a complete Pelling sightseeing experience; without it, the exploration remains incomplete. The best part of it? It was getting dark so I couldn’t stop much for clicking photos, which made this whole experience even more enjoyable, as it’s all in my head and heart instead of in digital form that’s just supposed to impress people but is a distraction while traveling. 

What left me astonished was that the whole town was engulfed in fog by 5 PM and the layer of darkness embellished itself around us leaving us with zero visibility. Even then the local drivers were driving the cars with such ease that my horror of seeing my death right in front of me, seemed like a cheap funny movie that I paid for to be a part of. Anyhow, I reached the hotel back at around 6:30 PM and had a nice glass or two of Rum with hot water as I enjoyed my first real meal in North Sikkim.

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My plan for the next day was set, go do skywalking, visit the monastery again, and then take off toward Darjeeling. 

I will tell you that horror story in the next post, but for now, do watch the videos embedded above and below. The photos that you see are all clicked by me using my Google Pixel 6 Pro phone. I would appreciate it if you connect with me on my YT channel and social media platforms to show your support – damn this is the second time I have given myself a shoutout, but hey, this is my space – my wish lol.

Till I see you next time, keep traveling, keep creating memories – and like the Gen-Z says – YOLO!

FAQs on Pelling, North Sikkim:

Q1: Where is Pelling located? A1: Pelling is a charming town situated in the western part of Sikkim, India. It is located in the North Sikkim district and offers breathtaking views of the Kanchenjunga mountain range.

Q2: How can I reach Pelling? A2: The nearest airport is Bagdogra Airport in West Bengal, and the nearest railway station is New Jalpaiguri (NJP). From there, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Pelling. The road journey to Pelling offers stunning landscapes.

Q3: What are the major attractions in Pelling? A3: Pelling is known for its natural beauty and offers various attractions, including the Pemayangtse Monastery, Rabdentse Ruins, Khecheopalri Lake, Singshore Bridge, and the breathtaking views of the Kanchenjunga mountain range.

Q4: What is the best time to visit Pelling? A4: The best time to visit Pelling is during the months of March to May and September to November when the weather is pleasant, and the skies are clear, providing excellent views of the Himalayas.

Q5: Are there trekking opportunities in Pelling? A5: Yes, Pelling offers trekking opportunities, and one popular trek is the Yuksom-Dzongri-Goechala trek, which takes you through pristine forests, alpine meadows, and offers panoramic views of the mountains.

Q6: Is there any local cuisine to try in Pelling? A6: Yes, you can try traditional Sikkimese cuisine in Pelling. Local dishes include Thukpa, Momos, Gundruk, Phagshapa, and more. There are also various restaurants offering Indian, Tibetan, and continental cuisines.

Q7: What are the accommodation options in Pelling? A7: Pelling has a range of accommodation options to suit different budgets, including hotels, resorts, guesthouses, and homestays. It is advisable to book accommodation in advance, especially during the peak tourist season.

Q8: Is Pelling a family-friendly destination? A8: Yes, Pelling is a family-friendly destination with its serene atmosphere and a mix of cultural and natural attractions. However, some trekking activities may not be suitable for very young children or elderly family members.

Q9: Are there any festivals celebrated in Pelling? A9: Yes, various festivals are celebrated in Pelling, reflecting the cultural diversity of Sikkim. Losar, Bumchu, Saga Dawa, and Dashain are some of the festivals you might witness, depending on the time of your visit.

If you are a person who sucks to visual appeals, here are a few web stories below that may enjoy.

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