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Ravangla, Sikkim

Ravangla

Ravangla is rapidly expanding and spectacularly perched overlooking a wide sweep of western Sikkim. This is a relatively new tourist spot in south Sikkim. Ravangla reminds of a town from the Wild West and is a sleepy town situated at a height of 8000 feet. This small picturesque semi town on the Gangtok-Gaysiling highway, is becoming a hot destination for its breathtaking landscape and tranquility. The gompas of Old Ralang, Tashiding, Pemayangtse and Sangachoeling, all distantly visible against a horizon with snow-capped peaks. The town itself is a modern creation of little aesthetic distinction, but useful as a hub to visit Ralang. Ravangla is among one of the few

Ravangla Sikkim\

places in Sikkim to offer an undisturbed view of the snow ranges of Greater Himalayas. Mt. Kanchenjunga, Mt. Pandim, Mt. Sinialchu, Mt. Kabru. Upper parts of Ravangla experiences snowfall during winter. Thousands of known and unknown flowers are in full bloom during April-May and Ravangla gets a romantic look with the colours and fragrance of the flowers. This town comes alive during the Pang Lhabsol festival when the spectacular Warrior Dance is performed at the Ravang Monastery by the locals.

Excursions from Ravangla

Ralang
Ralang is situated about 13 kms. below Ravangla. About 1.5 km downhill on the same road is peaceful Old Ralang Gompa. The monastery at Ralang follows the Kagyupa sect of Buddhism. The Old monastery was built in 1768 AD and legend has it that the 9th Karmapa, head of the Kagyupa sect, blessed the site of the monastery with grains of rice thrown from Tibet. Pang Lhabsol, the worship of Mt. Khangchendzonga and Kagyed Chaam (masked dances) is held in the monastery every year.

Bon Monastery

Ralang Monastery Ravangla

Besides the main Legship road, 5.5 kms. from central Ravangla at Kewzing, small but fascinating Yung Drung Kundrak Lingbon is the only Bon Monastery in Sikkim. The Bon faith, preceded Buddhism in Tibet. It’s relevance and impact on Buddhist philosophy is brought superbly alive by the impeccable explanations of the monastery’s joyful English teacher, Lama Yungdrung Tenzing.

Rangit Water World
Rangit Water World is situated 26 kms. downhill from Ravangla. It is an ideal stopover place for the young ones. The lake is formed by the Rangit Dam and offers boating, fishing and swimming facilities.

Maenam Hill

A steep three to four hour hiking trails leads from the Ravangla – Ralang road to the top of Maenam Hill through the thick forest of oak, chestnut, rhododendrons and magnolia. The Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary is a natural habitat of the Red Panda, Himalayan Black Bear and many species of deer. The views are wonderful and you just might see rare red pandas and monal pheasants (Sikkim’s state bird). A guide is useful to avoid getting lost in the forest on return. Longer treks continue to Borong village. A short distance away is the legendary Bhaley Dunga, a kind of rocky spur which juts out from the ridge top above Yangang village.

Geyzing, Tikjuk and Legship
Geyzing is West Sikkim’s capital, but for permit extensions you need Tikjuk, half way to Pelling. Apart from its vaguely interesting Sunday market, Geyzing is most useful as West Sikkim’s transport hub. However, for a pleasantly peaceful accommodation alternative, go 2.3 km towards Sakyong.

Rayong Sunrise View Point
Rayong Sunrise View Point is situated at a distance of 8 km from Ravangla on the road to Damthang. The viewpoint offers spectacular view of the sunrise, as the first few rays sun lightens up the snowy peaks of Mt. Narsing, Jopuno, Kabur, Rathong and Pandim.

Temi Tea Garden
At a distance of only 16 km from Ravangla, it is one of the most beautifully located tea garden of Sikkim. The journey through the winding road via Dentham is even more attractive. A 9 km trek from Dentham through the Tendon sanctuary goes to a dormant volcano, an unforgettable place to view Kanchenjunga and Singalila range in the west and vast plane lands in the south. Even Pelling in West Sikkim and Siliguri town is visible from the view point of Tendong. Ralang hot spring is situated at a distance of 26 kms from Ravangla. The monastery on the way holds the famous kagiang festival in December.

Borong and Ralang Cha-chu

Temi Tea Garden Ravangla

Cha-chu or hot sulphur springs at Ralang and Borong are traditional winter spas where visitors spend a week or more soaking in these springs that have medicinal properties. Ralang Cha-chu can be reached after a 1 hour downhill walk to the Rangit valley from the Ralang monastery. Borong Cha-chu is a 7 km drive from Ralang and a further 45-minute downhill walk. Both these hot springs are located along the banks of the Rangit River and can be visited from December to February. During the season small shops selling basic vegetables and provisions are setup and the local villagers sell diary products.

Tendong Hill
Tendong Hill (8500 feet) offers a spectacular 360 degree view of Sikkim and the distant plains of North Bengal. The word Tendong means upraised horn from the Lepcha lore relating the time when a great flood submerged their land and Tendong rose up miraculously like a horn to save them. Even today prayers are offered from the hilltop before the onset of the monsoons to appease the deities and prevent a recurrence of the calamity.

Mangbrue Gompa and view point

Mangbrue Gompa and view point is located about 8 kms. above Kewzing, The Mangbrue Gompa is also an excellent view point of the mountains and hills.

Trekking around Ravangla

Ravangla also offers some fabulous short treks. A 12 km trek from Ravangla through the Oak, Pine, Rhododendron, Magnolia and fir forests will take you to Mainam peak at 10,600 ft. Another 1.5 km uphill trek leads to valedunga, a hilltop offering beautiful views to the surrounding mountains. The entire trek route passes through the Mainam Sanctuary which houses a rare collection of Himalayan species like the red panda, Himalayan black bear, leopard cat, black pheasant cat etc. Trek starts with a 13 km drive to Damthang and 2.5 hrs trek.

 
 

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