Ravangla stages the Pang Lhabsol festival in spectacular form every year in August or September, which would be a great time to visit. The festivities last three days, culminating in the traditional Chaam dance on the last day.


New Ralang Gompa

Thirteen kilometres below Ravangla, at Ralang, is located the lovely New Ralang Gompa, officially known as the Palchen Choeling Monastic Institute. Set up in the mid-90s, the gompa is home to about 200 monks of the Kagyu Order.

The gompa is famous for its elaborate sculptures, and inside the main hall is a 30-ft statue of Sakyamuni Buddha. Every November, effigies are brought out for the Mahakala dance.

Yungdrung Kundrakling Monastery

About 6 km away from central Ravangla towards Legship is Yungdrung Kundrakling, the only Bon monastery in Sikkim. Bon was an animistic religion that predated Buddhism in Tibet, but has since been largely absorbed into the latter. Nevertheless, the sculptures and architectural style here indicate separate beginnings; for instance, the deities look slightly different and the prayer wheels here are turned anti-clockwise.

Young monks at the Palchen Choeling Monastic Institute
Young monks at the Palchen Choeling Monastic Institute

Hot Springs

Borong and Ralong Hot Springs are natural hot springs that are said to have curative powers and are popular with many visitors to this region. Ralang Cha-chu is an hour’s walk away from the Ralang Gompa, while Borang Cha-chu is 7 km away from Ralong, followed by an hour’s walk downhill. Both these hot springs are located along the banks of the River Rangeet and can be visited from December to February.


The summit of Maenam, located 10 km away, is home to a small shrine dedicated to Guru Rinpoche and affords gorgeous views, depending on the weather. The mountain’s position on the watershed between the river systems of Teesta and Rangeet might lead to overcast weather that hides the dramatic horned summit of Narsing (5,825 m). Climbing up Maenam is a great day-trek option for those choosing to stay longer in laidback Ravangla, and the 1,000 m ascent should take no longer than four hours. It starts from the steps rising from the bazaar up to the gompa before it trails off the road that goes through the wildlife sanctuary; you might, if you are lucky, spot some wildlife here, including a variety of birds and the famous red panda. The route through the forest can be confusing, and it is advisable to hire a local guide, arranged through your hotel in Ravangla. You can also trek further from Maenam hilltop to Borong.

Entry Indians 50; Foreigners 100

Paddy field on the way to Ravangla
Paddy field on the way to Ravangla


Mt Narsing Village Resort (Cell: 08768630400; Tariff: 1,300-2,750), 5 km southwest of Ravangla, has cottage-style rooms with great views and a multicuisine restaurant.

Hotel Zumthang (Cell: 09733061311; Tariff: 1,200-2,200) on Kewzing Road has ten rooms and arranges visits to the monastery.

Chingthang Hotel (Cell: 09830119119; Tariff: 700-2,000), also on Kewzing Road is a good budget option.

Ravangla Star (Cell: 098514- 21452, 09593985374; Tariff: ₹1,500- 3,800) offers spacious, well-maintained rooms with great views and delicious food.

Meanamla Hotel (Cell: 09830026233; Tariff: 2,700-4,500) has 16 rooms and a restaurant.

Food is available at all these hotels. If you really want to eat out, try Kookay Restaurant. Their menu has a list of Tibetan dishes, rice and curry, and Chinese staples.

When to go Across the Singalila Range in West Sikkim Location On the ridge separating the Teesta Valley and the Rangeet Valley, Ravangla is situated at a height of 8,000 ft Air Nearest air: Bagdogra Rail Nearest rail: New Jalpaiguri


Tourist Offices

Sikkim Tourist Information Centre

MG Marg, Gangtok, East Sikkim

Tel: 03592-209090

Sikkim Tourist Information Centre

Tourist Lodge, Rangpo,

East Sikkim

Tel: 03592-240818

Sikkim Tourist Information Centre Below Dak Bangalow, Alley Road

Namchi, South Sikkim

Cell: 09900724673

Sikkim Tourist Information Centre New Sikkim House

4/1, Middleton Street, Kolkata

Tel: 033-22817905

Sikkim Tourist Information Centre Bagdogra Airport

Bagdogra (West Bengal)

Tel: 0353-2698030

Sikkim Tourist Information Centre

NJP Railway Station

New Jalpaiguri (West Bengal)

New Sikkim House

14, Panchsheel Marg

Chanakyapuri, New Delhi

Tel: 011-26115171

W sikkimtourism.gov.in

Permits – Foreigners need an entry permit to visit Sikkim, which can be obtained from all Indian Missions, Sikkim Tourism Offices at New Delhi, Kolkata, District Magistrate’s Office at Darjeeling, Siliguri and Rangpo on the strength of an Indian visa. For details, check W sikkimtourism.gov.in