West Sikkim - West District of Sikkim is known for the major Tourist attractions of Pelling / Pemayangtse, Ravangla and Yuksom. Rest all places can be covered staying from any of these three destinations. Sightseeing will differ due to the proximity of each place. Hee Bermiok, Dungay Homestay and many such places exist here. This district witnessed the consecration in the wilderness of 'Chogyal' or Dharma Raja, the birth of a dynasty. Yuksom was the earlier capital of Sikkim. Gyalshing / Geyzing is the district headquarters of West Sikkim. The tourist places of visit in West Sikkim district are Pemayangtse, Pelling, Khecheopalri Lake, Yuksam, Yuksom, Tashiding, Uttaray, Versay / Barshey, Biksthang, Legship, Rinchenpong,Reshi Hot Springs, Rabdentse, Norbhugangare some of the major places. Pemayangtse is the premier monastery in Sikkim. It houses priceless thankas, icons, Buddhist texts, paintings and frescos and was built in the 18th century. Khecheopalri Lake is also known as the wishing lake or Holy Lake. This tranquil lake is surrounded by forest and is is believed that birds do not permit even a single leaf to float on the lake surface. Uttaray is a Small hamlet situated at the extreme southwest corner of Sikkim. Base camp for Singalila trek is close to Barshay / Versay is the extreme west is noted for rhododendron forest with beautiful and soft trek route. Biksthang is a short distance from Pelling is the small hamlet of Biksthang.Legship has a holy Hindu Shrine of Lord Shiva on the banks of river Rangit.Sanga Choeling Monastery near Pelling / Pemayangtse is the second oldest monastery in Sikkim. Highly venerated among the Nyingmapa have some of the original clay statues. Rinchenpong has mountain views, sunsets and rise, flora and fauna, village tourism, historical sites and heritage of Resum Monastery and and treks routes for tourist. Reshi Hot Springs is 25 kilometers from Gyalshing. There are a couple of trekkers hut. One of the four holy caves called the Kadosang Phu or cave of the occult fairies and lies here. Norbugang is an historic site maintained by the Archeological Survey of India nearly 15 minutes walk from Yuksom. A stone throne shaded by a 300 year old fir still stands Yuksam occupies an important place in Sikkimese history. Yuksam / Yuksom is situated amidst pristine hills and lakes is the base camp for Dzongi trek. It is also the point from where one can visit the Kanchendzonga National Park. 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. Rabdentse was the second capital of kingdom of Sikkim after Yuksam and till the year 1814 A.D. The Rabdentse ruins lie hidden from the main road at a walking distance from Pemayangtse monastery.Tashiding 16 kilometers away from Yuksam and about 40 Kilometers from Gyalshing is the monastery belonging to the Nyingmapa order. Places of Tourist Interest / sight seeing places in and around Pelling / Yuksom / West Sikkim are
Communication / Connectivity
Airways – Pelling to Bagdogra Airport (IXB) is approximately 145 kilometers and is 4 to 5 hours drive by national highway 31. Pelling, Jorethang, Ravangla, Namchi are well connected with Bagdogra Airport. Helicopter Service from Gangtok takes approximately 30 minutes to reach Bagdogra and Pelling to Gangtok is 140 kilometers. Sikkim Tourism Development Corporation operates chopper service daily at 11:00 AM from Gangtok to Bagdogra and is a five seated chopper with limited baggage. Chopper can be chartered in Sikkim if booked well in advance.
Railways – Nearest major Railway station is New Jalpaiguri (NJP) nearly 140 kilometers and 4 -5 hours drive. Sikkim has no railway system but planning for a transit system is on the card. The nearest major railway station is New Jalpaiguri (NJP), Siliguri Junction and Siliguri Town Station and is assessable from all the major town / cities of Sikkim. NJP is well linked up with the rest of the country with frequent trains. There are three railway stations nearer to Sikkim Bengal borders but the frequency of trains are less.
Roadways – The network of roads in Sikkim are good compared to its difficult terrain. Pelling / Pemayangtse is approximately 140 kilometers from New Jalpaiguri Station (NJP) / Bagdogra Airport (IXB). Tourist destinations like Pelling, Gangtok, Jorethang, Namchi, etc are well served by buses of Sikkim Nationalized Transport (SNT). Uttarey, Varsey, Jorethang are close by and is also linked with road with Kalimpong, Darjeeling, Dooars, (Phuentsholling) Bhutan, (Kakarvitta) Nepal is connected by road.
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