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Pemayangtse Monastery This monastery is situated on a ridge above Pelling and the famous Pemayangtse Monastery. Built in 1697 AD, it is considered to be the oldest monasteries in Sikkim. In order to reach this Monastery one has to be prepared to spend at least 40 minutes walking up the steep hilly slope which leads through rich forest covers.
Pemayangtse Monastery is one of the oldest monasteries in the State. Originally established by Lhatsun Chempo, one of the revered Lamas to have performed the consecration ceremony of the first Chogyal ( Religious Monarch) of Sikkim. This ancient monastery belongs to the Nyingma Buddhism and has been considered as one of the premier monasteries in the State, having been entrusted with the task to perform all religious functions of the erstwhile monarch. 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 monastery is constructed on top of a heart shaped hill with the back drop of the sacred Mt. Khang-chen-Dzonga. Acoording to Buddhist scriptures, Guru Padma Sambhava (Guru Rimpoche) blessed the sacred land of Sikkim in the 8th century AD from the spot. The monastery, however, was built in the 18th Century AD by Ngadak Sempa Chempo, one of the three lamas who had performed the consecration ceremony of the first Chogyal. Tashiding is also famous for the most holy chorten known as 'Thong-Wa-rang-Dol' which literally means 'Saviours by mere sight'. It is believed that the mere act of beholding it is supposed to wash away all the sins of the devotee. Another important feature in tashiding is the sacred water festival popularly knwon as 'Bhumchu'. It is a religious tradition unique to Tashiding Monastery only. Every year, on 14th and 15th day of the first Lunar Month, the Bhumchu Ceremony is celebrated with devotees coming from far and near to get the blessing of the holy water.
This was the second capital of the erstwhile kingdom of Sikkim after Yuksum and till the year 1814 AD., the king of Sikkim had ruled the state from this place. Today, the 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 Khanchendzonga ranges is something to be cherished and etched in memory.
Pelling is fast growing to be an urban settlement due to tourist influx. Situated at an altitude of 6,800 ft, it offers a good view of entire mountain ranges and due to this locational advantages, many hotels and lodges have mushroomed in and around Pelling offering various categories of accommodation facilities. There is a bus service which links Pelling to west district headquarter town of Gyalshing , situated at a distance of 10 kms. from Pelling.
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.
This was the first capital of Sikkim, where according to the historical records, the first Chogyal of the Kingdom of Sikkim was consecrated in the 1641 AD by three learned lamas. The evidence of the consecration ceremony is still intact in Norbugang Chorten in the form of stone seats and a foot print of the head Lama on the stone. Since the history of Sikkim began from this place, these areas are now considered sacred by the people of Sikkim. Yuksam is served by all weather road from Pemayangtse, which is at a distance of 32 kms from Yuksam. The trek to Dzongri and to the base camp of the famous Mt. Khangchen-Dzonga begins here.
Soreng is a picturesque village with beautiful landsacpe which is about 3 hrs. drive from pelling and 4 hrs. drive from Melli. A trek to Jhandi Danra from Soreng is a must to see the various species of flowers and birds. Hotels and lodges are available for accomodation.