Places of Interest
Distance - 117 km ( from Gangtok )
Altitude - 2,085 m
Gyalshing is the district headquarter of West Sikkim. West Sikkim
witnessed the consecration in the wilderness of 'Chogyal' or Dharma
Raja, the birth of a dynasty and the spread of Buddhism.
Distance - 117 km ( from Gangtok )
Altitude - 2,085 m
Pelling, a quiet village in West Sikkim houses the famous Pemayangtse
Monastery and has now turned into a bustling tourist destination and has
come up with numerous hotels and lodges.
From here one can view Mt. Khangchendzonga, Pandim, Siniolchu and other
ranges. At The hillock is Pemayangtse monastery, the sublime lotus, the
premier monastery in Sikkim belonging to Nyingmapa sect and is head of
all other monasteries of the sect in Sikkim
Distance - 120 km ( from Gangtok )
Altitude - 7000 ft.
The Monastery, located on a hill top at an altitude of 6840 ft. commands
a magnificent panoramic view of the Himalayan ranges and the surrounding
hills and country- side. This is one of the oldest monastary of the
Nyngmapa sect of Mahanaya Buddhism, and was but by Lhatsun Chenpo during
the reign of the 3rd Chogyal, Chagdor Namgyal in the 17th century. This
monastary is about 6 kms from Gyalsing, the West district headquaters.
Distance - 24 or 33 km ( from Pemayangtse )
Khecheopalri Lake is considered to be one of the sacred lakes of Sikkim
both by the Buddhist and the Hindus. The lake remains hidden in the rich
forest cover. It is believed that birds do not permit even a single leaf
to float on the lake surface. There is a motorable road from Pemayangtse
right up to the lake area.
Distance - 124 km( from Gangtok ) ; 40 km ( from Pemayangtse )
Altitude - 1780 m
The hamlet of Yuksam is set amidst pristine hills and lakes, where
according to the historical records and it was here in 1641 AD the first
Chogyal (King) Phuntsok Namgyal of Sikkim was consecrated by the three
wise lamas. Yuksam literally means the meeting place of the three
learned monks. This was the first capital of Sikkim. The Norbugang
Chorten and the Coronation
throne are the silent witnesses to the event of 1641.
This quaint little village is also the starting point for all the treks
into West Sikkim like Dzongri and Goechala.
About 16 km away from Yuksam and about 40 Kms from Gyalshing, via
Legship is this important monastery belonging to the Nyingmapa order. It
was built on the top of a hill that looms up between the Rathong river
and the Rangit river, where a rainbow emanating from Mount
Khangchendzonga came to an end. At first only a small Lhakhang was built
by Ngadak Sempa Chempo in the 17th Century. The main monastery was built
by Pedi Wangmo during the reign of Chakdor Namgyal and some of the
statues built then still exist. The sacred objects of worship in
Tashiding are the chorten Thongwa Rangdol and Bumchu( holy water). The
chorten was built by the Lhatsun Chenpo and it is believed that merely
to view the chorten is enough to cleanse one of all sins.Carved
skillfully on flagstones surrounding the monastery are holy Buddhist
mantras like 'Om Mane Padme Hum' by the master craftsman Yanchong Lodil.
The heart of Sikkimese Buddhism as Guru Padmasambhava considered so and
houses the Tashiding Monastery along with Sacred Thongtwa Chorten. Its
so holy that even a slight glimpse of cleanses all sins. Rich
environment flooded with oranges and cardamoms and gateway to Borong hot
springs, ideal for soft treks and perfect Sikkimese village in the
Small hamlet situated at the extreme southwest corner of Sikkim. Base
camp for Singalila trek.
Altitude - 10500 ft.
Located in the extreme west is noted for rhododendrons. It's a huge
Rhododendron forest, is a must visit experience trip during the
flowering season from mid march to April end. The whole forest is aflame
with riot of Rhododendron Flowers with hues raging from blood red to
pure white and against the back drop of the mountains its truly an
Distance - 119 km ( from Gangtok )
Altitude - 4200 ft.
A short distance from Pelling is the small hamlet of Biksthang. Also
know as Chuchen and Mangalbaray, calm, serene and tranquil natural
surrounding is the main attraction of Biksthang. It is a new and
upcoming tourist destination in West Sikkim and you can watch the
majestic Khangchendzonga and its lesser peaks standing tall from dawn to
dusk on a clear day.
This gateway to western Sikkim, has a holy Hindu Shrine of Lord Shiva on
the banks of river Rangit. A must visit for all tourists specially the
Indian Traveller. The festival of the temple takes place in the month of
November known as the Bala Chaturdesi. Legship also houses the first
ever built dam in the state for hydro electricity purpose. The water
accumulated in the dam is used for Rangit Water World and local folks
come here for picnics and rafting.
Sanga Choeling Monastery
Built in 1697, Sanga Choeling means 'the island of esoteric teaching'.
45 minutes walk from Pelling and 7 km from Pemayangtse will take you to
this second oldest monastery in Sikkim. A 4 km trail rises from the
playing fields just above Pelling to reach the small monastery of Sanga
Choeling is one of the oldest gompas in Sikkim. This gompa is another of
Lhatsun Chenpo's creations, and is highly venerated among the Nyingmapa.
Gutted by fire, it has been rebuilt and houses some of the original clay
Reshi Hot Springs
Distance - 25 km ( from Gyalshing )
These hot springs are located near Reshi on the River Rangit. One has to
walk about ten minutes from the highway across the river Rangit by a
pedestrain bridge to reach the hot springs. The water of these springs
has medicinal value as it contains sulphur and can cure some skin
diseases. People from all over the state and neighbouring Darjeeling
come here during the winter months and spend days together lying
submerged in the soothing water of the hotspring. There are a couple of
trekkers huts for the convenience of the tourists. These springs also
considered very holy as one of the four holy caves is located here. This
holy cave is called the Kadosang Phu or cave of the occult fairies and
lies on the south of the four cardinal points.
This was the second capital of the erstwhile kingdom of Sikkim after
Yuksam and till the year 1814 A.D., the king of Sikkim had ruled the
state from this place. Today, the Rabdentse ruins lie hidden from the
main road at a walking distance from the tourist lodge and the
Pemayangtse monastery. It can be approached by following a footpath
which branches off the main road.
The scenic view from the top of the ruin scanning across deep valley to
the mystic heights of Khangchendzonga ranges is something to be
cherished and etched in memory.
Distance - 15 min walk from Yuksam
True to the prophecy of Tibet's founder of Buddhism, Guru Rimpoche, some
nine centuries prior, three learned Lamas, Lhatsun Namkha Jigme, Kathok
Rigzin Chenpo, Nga-Dak Sempa Chenpo, gathered at Yuksam in 1642 from
various directions and enthroned Chogyal Phuntsog as the first religious
king of Sikkim.
A stone throne shaded by a 300 year old fir still stands here today. A
foot print in stone in front of the throne is said to belong to Lhatsun
Namkha Jigme, and a nearby chorten (stupa) contains soil and water from
all over Sikkim. Thus Yuksam occupies an important place in Sikkimese
history as the first capital, and Norbugang as an historic cultural site
maintained by the Archeological Survey of India. Norbugang is easily
reached on a 15 minute walk from Yuksam.