Best Places to visit in Ravangla
Surrounded by the imposing peaks of Mt. Kanchenjunga, Mt. Pandim and Mt. Kabru, Ravangla is a picturesque town sitting at a height of 8000 ft. The natural landscape here inspired men to build some architectural masterpieces. It is located 65km away from the capital Gangtok, and almost the same distance away from Pelling. In this post let I’ll talk about the places to visit in Ravangla, which according to me is indeed one of the best obscure destinations in India. Home to a host of Himalayan birds and some architectural gems, Ravangla is often overlooked by tourists in Sikkim.
Buddha Park is the reason behind Ravangla’s newfound fame. Earlier, the only famous place in South Sikkim was the south-capital Namchi. Also known as Tathagatha Tsal this is a breathtakingly beautiful park with the Himalayas at its backdrop. The iconic feature of this park is the 130-foot tall Buddha statue. Inside the statue is a Buddha temple and museum where the main concepts of Buddhism have been explained through exquisite paintings. Outside the statue is a robust garden with fountains, flowering trees, cafes, and other facilities. The park is surrounded by a series of prayer wheels which you will find in most places of worship in Sikkim. It was inaugurated in 2013.
We spent hours strolling in the gardens, drinking awesome coffee made of Yak milk and served in pretty Sikkimese cups, and marveling at the spectacular statue. The panoramic view of the resplendent valley is also a sight to remember.
But even before this, Ravangla was a significant Buddhist pilgrimage. The Ralang Monastery hosts the annual festival Pang Lhabsol when the locals worship Mount Kangchenjunga. You can witness the charm dance with masks and Mahakala dance if you visit during the festival time.
Just seven kilometers away from the Buddha park is a charming village called Kewzing. Here you can visit the Bon Monastery. In 1980 late Yung Dung Tsultrim settled in this monastery.
Amidst composite and quiet condition, Bon Monastery or Bon Yung Dung Monastery is situated in Kewzing offering a wonderful perspective of the slopes and valleys of southern Sikkim. It is a beautiful destination as it is one of the most renowned monasteries in Sikkim. Indeed, there are just two Bon Monasteries in India; one existing in Kewzing, Sikkim and the other in Solan, Himachal Pradesh. This monastery was first settled in 1980 by late Yung Dung Tsultrim.
Ralong hot spring
Ralong Hot Springs is very popular among local people by the name of ‘Ralang Cha-Chu’. These pools of sulfurous water are not only a visual treat but also have therapeutic properties. Want an amazing steaming sauna in nature? Come here. Adventurers love the trekking trails to the caves located close to one of the religious caves of Sikkim.
The massive rock overlooking the valley from a height of 5500 ft looks like the top of a ship. Here amidst the mountains, far away from the sea stands a natural wonder that reminds you of the iconic Jack and Rose scene in Titanic. So travel-lovers who visited the place named it Titanic viewpoint. Even if you just pass through Ravangla on your way form Gangtok to Pelling, you must not miss this.
Trek to Maenam hill
A trek to Maenam Hill must be on your Sikkim itinerary if you love mountaineering. It’s not a difficult trekking trail but a long and pleasing one. You will walk through the beguiling wildlife sanctuary on your way to the zenith. It’s easy to be entranced in the Himalayan forests amidst the pure immaculate natural paradise.
Rayong sunrise viewpoint
And there’s one more highlight for the lovers of panoramic views. Wake up early morning and walk to the Rayong viewpoint to grab enchanting views of the vista.
Temi Tea Garden
The Temi Tea garden is a large picturesque tea estate in South Sikkim. To visit the Temi Tea garden, you must stay in Ravangla for atleast 2 days.
So that’s a short tour of Ravangla, a place often skipped on Sikkim itineraries. We didn’t get the chance to see all of these on our trip but I will surely plan to spend atleast a couple of days in South Sikkim next time I visit. Ravangla is a perfect spot to stay for a South Sikkim trip. However, if you just happen to drive through Ravangla in your transit between Gangtok and Pelling, you must put two spots on your map – Buddha Park and Titanic viewpoint.
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This is not a travel guide. This is just an introduction to the pristine natural beauty of Ravangla. This post is a part of the series “Postcards from India“, written for the A2Z Blogging Challenge by Blogchatter for April 2020. In this series I wrote about offbeat destinations in India in an unique style. You can find my original essays exclusively in my book now available in Amazon Kindle.