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Pemayangtse

Located in the western part of Sikkim, Pemayangtse is a small but important Buddhist pilgrim centre. It is a beautiful place surrounded by natural splendour of Eastern Himalayas. Pemayangtse offers fascinating views of the mighty Kanchenjunga peak that overlooks the town. For the adventure lovers, there are many hiking and trekking trails in the vicinity of Pemayangtse.

The region around Pemayangtse was once the stronghold of Nyingamapa sect of Tibetan Buddhism who established the state of Sikkim with major centres near the present-day Pemayangtse. At that time, the kingdom of Sikkim included, besides the modern state of Sikkim, areas of Tibet, Bhutan, and some areas in Himalayan foothills including Darjeeling. That power is not there now, but the remnants of this glorious past are enough to signify its importance.

Pemayangtse enjoys a pleasant Alpine climate with short and mild summers and cold winters. The period between March and May is the best time to visit this little town.

Sightseeing:

Pemayangtse Monastery:

Most of the visitors come to Pemayangtse to see its monastery. This second oldest monastery in the state (built in 1705) is the main centre of the Nyingamapa sect, a tantrik sect of Buddhism founded in the 8th century AD. The sect is also known as Red Hat because its followers wear red hats rather than the yellow hat worn by the monks in other monasteries. Traditional frescoes depicting tantrik Buddhist themes adorn the walls of this monastery. The depiction of Sangthopalri (or heaven) sculpted intricately on wood is an interesting feature of the Pemyangtse monastery. Traditional austere dwellings of the monks.

Sangacholing Monastery:

Founded by Lhatsum Chempo in 1697, this is one of the largest monasteries in the state. The monastery is situated on a ridge over Pemayangtse. Belonging to the Nyingmapa sect, the 17th-century clay statues preserved in the monastery are among the oldest in the entire state.

Excursions From Pemayangtse:

Khecheopalri Lake:
Khecheopalri Lake is sacred to both Hindus and Buddhists and considered as a wish-fulfilling lake. The tranquil and clear waters of this lake reflect the densely wooded slopes of the surrounding hills with a monastery above. Leaf lamps are floated in the lake with special prayers at dusk. The lake can be reached directly by a motorable road from Pemayangtse.

Pelling:
Situated around 3 km from Pemayangtse at an altitude of around 2,100 metres above sea level, Pelling is an important tourist destination of Sikkim. The place offers some great views of mountain ranges. It is fast becoming the centre point of tourist activity in the region. Transportation is easy to other places from Pelling and a good range of accommodation facilities is available here.

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