Ravangla: Serendipity Incarnated #BestOfTravel

Tripoto
28th Mar 2018
Photo of Ravangla: Serendipity Incarnated #BestOfTravel by Jayashree Sengupta

Ravangla, South Sikkim is a peaceful hamlet perched in the laps of the mountains. I happen to be lucky enough to have been posted there for about an year or so before getting into research. And trust me, once you are there you would feel that you are in one of the most tranquil places you could ever be.

How you could reach there:

Aboard your train and get down at New Jalpaiguri station or if you opt for flight your destination would be Bagdogra domestic airport at Siliguri. Therefrom get into a shared bolero or a reserved one (which would fare around 3000 INR) to Ravangla. There are two roadways you could reach Ravangla, one through Singtam (sometimes via Temi), the other being Namchi. The following itinerary could be followed-

Day 1: NJP-Singtam-Temi-Ravangla (6hrs), check in a hotel, go and visit the market place and Kunphenling Tibetan Settlement.

Day 2: Visit Ralong Monasteries-Buddha Park-Ravangla Gompa-drive towards legship-visit mount Narsing resort only if it is a sunny day-tashiding bridge-kirateshwar mandir-back to ravangla.

Day3: Visit Rayong busty pine forest (if you wish to view sunrise leave this for the return journey)-Sunrise view point-Tareybhir-Namchi rock garden-Namchi central park-Chardham-Samdruptse-Return to Ravangla

Day4: (optional Trek Maenam)/Get on early morning bus to Siliguri (ticket cost-170/-)

Best time to visit:

November to March. Although the month of december and january faces chilling cold at the nights, the mornings would be clear and sunny. Other months of the year, Ravangla faces severe rainfall being on the windward side of Maenam.

Places to visit:

Ravangla itself is a beautiful rural land. Once you get on the road you would find even the roadside views charismatic. It is as if Mother Nature has painted the slopes with the best strokes of her brush. The mountain ranges visible are Mt. Siniolchu, Mt. Narsing, Mt. Pandim and Mt. Kabru i.e. the twin peaks of the Kanchenjunga range. The stepped farming is a frequent food to the eyes here. A horticulture farm is also here wherein various medicinal samples are also cultivated.

Photo of Ravangla: Serendipity Incarnated #BestOfTravel 1/11 by Jayashree Sengupta
Stepped farming with the marvellous backdrop. The place is 14 mile Ravangla.
Photo of Ravangla: Serendipity Incarnated #BestOfTravel 2/11 by Jayashree Sengupta
The range visible from Ravangla.
Photo of Ravangla: Serendipity Incarnated #BestOfTravel 3/11 by Jayashree Sengupta
Cherry Blossom to bloom
Photo of Ravangla: Serendipity Incarnated #BestOfTravel 4/11 by Jayashree Sengupta
Innocence and happiness
Photo of Ravangla: Serendipity Incarnated #BestOfTravel 5/11 by Jayashree Sengupta
Locals.
Photo of Ravangla: Serendipity Incarnated #BestOfTravel 6/11 by Jayashree Sengupta
The serpentine road.
Photo of Ravangla: Serendipity Incarnated #BestOfTravel 7/11 by Jayashree Sengupta
Foggy Ravangla
Photo of Ravangla: Serendipity Incarnated #BestOfTravel 8/11 by Jayashree Sengupta
Verditer flycatcher- photographic delights for the ornithologists
Photo of Ravangla: Serendipity Incarnated #BestOfTravel 9/11 by Jayashree Sengupta
Photo of Ravangla: Serendipity Incarnated #BestOfTravel 10/11 by Jayashree Sengupta
Morning view on Independence Day 2015.
Photo of Ravangla: Serendipity Incarnated #BestOfTravel 11/11 by Jayashree Sengupta
Twin peaks of Mt. Kabru at sunrise.

Tathagatha Tsal, commonly known as the Buddha park, is the main attraction of Ravangla featuring a 130 ft of Buddha statue at the centre of the park. The entry fee is 50INR for common people and 10INR for students. Cars are available for aged persons for 200INR. As soon as one enters the premises of the park, a faint humming of "Om Mani Padme Hum" amplifies the inner peace. The park also holds a souvenir shop, a cafe, a prayer hall and a restauarant wherein delicious momos are available.

Photo of Tathagata Tsal (Buddha Park), Ravangla, Ralong Road, Ravangla, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta
Photo of Tathagata Tsal (Buddha Park), Ravangla, Ralong Road, Ravangla, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta
Photo of Tathagata Tsal (Buddha Park), Ravangla, Ralong Road, Ravangla, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta
Photo of Tathagata Tsal (Buddha Park), Ravangla, Ralong Road, Ravangla, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta
Photo of Tathagata Tsal (Buddha Park), Ravangla, Ralong Road, Ravangla, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta

Beside the Buddha park is situated the old Rabong Gompa, a century old pilgrimage centre which later on extended to the present day Tathagatha Tsal.

Photo of Ravangla Gumba, Ravangla, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta
Photo of Ravangla Gumba, Ravangla, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta
Photo of Ravangla Gumba, Ravangla, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta
Photo of Ravangla Gumba, Ravangla, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta
Photo of Ravangla Gumba, Ravangla, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta
Photo of Ravangla Gumba, Ravangla, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta
Photo of Ravangla Gumba, Ravangla, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta

Mt. Narsing Village resort is a quiet and unperturbed resort at the top of a hill. The view from the resort is breathtaking; the whole of the range is visible with a little more of the twin peaks. The car would not go up there, so one has to trek, a tad bit of it though. However the awestruck destination would just subdue the tiresome journey, no doubt. Also there is a cafeteria alongside the main road, so if you are not up for the trek you can have a cup of coffee here.

Photo of Mt Narsing Village Resort, Legship-Rabongla Road, Bakhim, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta
Photo of Mt Narsing Village Resort, Legship-Rabongla Road, Bakhim, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta
Photo of Mt Narsing Village Resort, Legship-Rabongla Road, Bakhim, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta
Photo of Mt Narsing Village Resort, Legship-Rabongla Road, Bakhim, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta
Photo of Mt Narsing Village Resort, Legship-Rabongla Road, Bakhim, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta

The range as visible from Mt.Narsing village resort

Photo of Mt Narsing Village Resort, Legship-Rabongla Road, Bakhim, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta
Photo of Mt Narsing Village Resort, Legship-Rabongla Road, Bakhim, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta
Photo of Mt Narsing Village Resort, Legship-Rabongla Road, Bakhim, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta
Photo of Mt Narsing Village Resort, Legship-Rabongla Road, Bakhim, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta
Photo of Mt Narsing Village Resort, Legship-Rabongla Road, Bakhim, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta
Photo of Mt Narsing Village Resort, Legship-Rabongla Road, Bakhim, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta

Bonfire woods.

Photo of Mt Narsing Village Resort, Legship-Rabongla Road, Bakhim, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta
Photo of Mt Narsing Village Resort, Legship-Rabongla Road, Bakhim, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta
Photo of Mt Narsing Village Resort, Legship-Rabongla Road, Bakhim, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta

Dorling Monastery is a small monastery down the Barfung road. Cars are available from the market at 150INR which would take you down to it. Beside the monastery a small lake is there which goes by the local name of Seven sisters lake (this should not be misinterpreted with the Seven sisters waterfall).

Photo of Dorling Monastery, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta
Photo of Dorling Monastery, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta
Photo of Dorling Monastery, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta
Photo of Dorling Monastery, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta

While returning from the monastery one may have a detour through the Barfung Retreat which is another resort with quiet surrounding.

Photo of The Barfung Retreat, Ravangla, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta

Another marvelous resort is Khachoe Residency which is situated just opposite to the National Institute of Technology Sikkim. It is a cluster of small huts and a perfect stay for couples.

Photo of Kha-choe Residency, Barfung Road, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta
Photo of Kha-choe Residency, Barfung Road, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta
Photo of Kha-choe Residency, Barfung Road, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta

Opposite to this hotel and by the side of Hotel Twin Dragon is the way to Kunphenling Tibetan Settlement. Again a little bit of uphill walk is needed. The settlement has a Carpet Center, Workshop, Restaurant, two monasteries and school.

Photo of Smriti Hotel, Ravangala, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta
Photo of Smriti Hotel, Ravangala, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta
Photo of Smriti Hotel, Ravangala, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta
Photo of Smriti Hotel, Ravangala, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta
Photo of Smriti Hotel, Ravangala, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta
Photo of Smriti Hotel, Ravangala, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta
Photo of Smriti Hotel, Ravangala, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta
Photo of Smriti Hotel, Ravangala, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta
Photo of Smriti Hotel, Ravangala, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta
Photo of Smriti Hotel, Ravangala, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta
Photo of Smriti Hotel, Ravangala, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta
Photo of Smriti Hotel, Ravangala, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta
Photo of Smriti Hotel, Ravangala, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta
Photo of Smriti Hotel, Ravangala, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta
Photo of Smriti Hotel, Ravangala, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta

This is in reference to the Maenam hill which has an altitude of 10,500 feet. The trek starts from Ravangla (7000ft). So if anyone is up for viewing the sunrise they should start from the preceeding night. Otherwise, a day is enough; starting from 4 am and coming down by 5 in the evening will do. A monastery is there at the top of Maenam. The trek is tiring but if you are determined you will enjoy it. Carry some chocolates, fruit juice and lots of water lest you run out of calories.

Photo of Bhaleydhunga, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta
Photo of Bhaleydhunga, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta
Photo of Bhaleydhunga, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta
Photo of Bhaleydhunga, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta

So this was about Ravangla itself. One can visit adjacent sites too which include Namchi as well.

Palchen Chosling Monastery or the new Ralong Monastery exemplifying Tibetan Architecture is located 6 km from Ravangla. Had you been to the Rumtek Monastery already, then this (Ralong) would seem a lot more familiar. The interior of the monastery has extensive collection of paintings and thangkas (Tibetan Buddhist painting on cotton) and well maintained seats. One would often find young monks playing in the campus.

Photo of Palchen Chosling Monastery, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta
Photo of Palchen Chosling Monastery, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta
Photo of Palchen Chosling Monastery, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta
Photo of Palchen Chosling Monastery, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta
Photo of Palchen Chosling Monastery, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta
Photo of Palchen Chosling Monastery, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta

The old Ralong Monastery hosts the festival of Pang Lhabsol, when Mount Kangchenjunga is worshipped, usually in August-September, on the 15th day of the seventh month of the Buddhist calendar. This is celebrated with the performance of masked dancers.

Photo of Karma Rabtenling Monastery, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta
Photo of Karma Rabtenling Monastery, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta

About 9 km away from Ravangla, on the way to Namchi is Rayong Sunrise view point. It is on the Ravangla-Damthang Road. If you are visiting Namchi from Ravangla get down at the Rayong Busty; here you must visit the pine forest, the trees are so tall that we would look puny underneath their shadow. As for the sunrise point, the place is not that well maintained. Its all bushy and slippery. There are stairs, got hidden under the bushes, follow the trail you would end up in front of a spooky resting place which is an unfinished monastery as it seemed. Had it been under maintenance it would have been indeed a notable place. The road from the busty to the point is a true delight to the camera lenses with the mountain peak and pine trees in the backdrop.

Sunrise view.

Photo of Rayong Sunrise View Point, Damthang-Rabongla Road, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta

Normal view.

Photo of Rayong Sunrise View Point, Damthang-Rabongla Road, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta

Road to Rayong Busty

Photo of Rayong Sunrise View Point, Damthang-Rabongla Road, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta

The spooky place.

Photo of Rayong Sunrise View Point, Damthang-Rabongla Road, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta

The pine forest of Rayong

Photo of Rayong Sunrise View Point, Damthang-Rabongla Road, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta

The pine forest.

Photo of Rayong Sunrise View Point, Damthang-Rabongla Road, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta

Rayong Busty.

Photo of Rayong Sunrise View Point, Damthang-Rabongla Road, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta

Tareybhir is a steep sloped hill viewpoint at Sadam giving the panoramic view of the surrounding locales. One could see the Teesta Bridge given the weather is clear. The Namchi-Melli road is also visible from this viewpoint. The stairs would show all the way to the end, coming back is thus an uphill stairy journey.

Teesta bridge at far down.

Photo of Tarey Bhir, Namchi, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta

The stairs to the end

Photo of Tarey Bhir, Namchi, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta

The end is not the end; a walk trailed path would take you to the end peak.

Photo of Tarey Bhir, Namchi, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta

Oh my god, now we have to return to the top

Photo of Tarey Bhir, Namchi, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta

The forest along side.

Photo of Tarey Bhir, Namchi, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta

The Damthang road bifurcates into two- one towards Singtam another towards Namchi. The one to Singtam passes through the Temi tea garden. There is hardly anyone who hasn't tasted the Temi tea. It is internationally famous tea with an aromatic flavour and produced organically. The tea garden is on the gentle slopes of the Tendong hill and the road loops through it making it sublime to the eyes.

Photo of Temi Tea Garden, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta

Towards Namchi, on the Namchi Damthang road, first comes the Samdruptse hill atop which is located the Samdrupste Monastery. It is the abode of 135ft Guru Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche) whom I personally named as the angry Buddha. It is about 2 km away from the main road; one has to drive uphil.

Photo of Samdruptse, Namchi, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta

Samdruptse as from Chardham.

Photo of Samdruptse, Namchi, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta

Namchi central park is the market place of Namchi from where the villages acquire their goods. The district hospital is also situated here.

Photo of Central Park Namchi, Namchi-Manpur Road, Namchi, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta

Thereon move on to Chardham; replicas of the four dhams- Badrinath, Jagannath, Dwarka dedicated to lord Vishnu and Rameshwar dedicated to lord Shiva is built surrounding a 161ft high shiva statue.

From Samdrupste hill.

Photo of Char Dham, Rhenock, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta

The statue of Lord Shiva

Photo of Char Dham, Rhenock, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta

The all four replicas

Photo of Char Dham, Rhenock, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta

Namchi rock garden has an exotic view of the kanchenjunga range; also lately the namchi ropeway has been built here. So its a must visit too.

Although this is on the opposite direction to Namchi from Ravangla (towards Geyzing), Legship too is a tourist spot accesible from Ravangla. The Tashiding bridge is yet another suspension bridge besides the Singshore of Pelling.

Photo of Tashiding, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta
Photo of Tashiding, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta
Photo of Tashiding, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta

Also the Kirateshwar Mahadev temple is the preferred shiva temple for the localites.

Photo of Kirateshwar Mahadev Mandir, Legship, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta
Photo of Kirateshwar Mahadev Mandir, Legship, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta
Photo of Kirateshwar Mahadev Mandir, Legship, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta

Speaking of the place and not mentioning the institution for which I could detail out Ravangla would be like an ode without the epode. National Institute of Technology Sikkim has its campus here, so engineering aspirants if you want to study and travel simultaneously then this is for you.

Photo of National Institute Of Technology Sikkim, Ravangla, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta

Vista panorámica

Photo of National Institute Of Technology Sikkim, Ravangla, Sikkim, India by Jayashree Sengupta

Au revoir!!!!

[Also published in the author's own blog: Here is Why Ravangla is The Latest Trend in Sikkim]

1 Comment(s)
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It's a detailed writing, the itinerary is also nicely provided. I am thinking of visiting in May. Thanks for the info though.
Wed 03 14 18, 20:53 · Reply · Report