Pelling is a beautiful land among the snow-clad mountains and its unexplored nature makes it even more exquisite. The mesmerizing beauty of the unknown is rewarding. Every turn is unpredictable, but as we move on ahead, we realize that it has its own beauty. The serenity of the region is gorgeous. One could just sit at one location for days on end, without being bored of the view.
Let me take you on a mental trip, down the thoughts that make up a very beautiful part of my journey. Let’s go on from the tiring two-day journey to the days of experiencing Pelling in its very essence.
After two days of train traveling, who wouldn’t be tired. The train journeys are certainly tedious ones, but who knew what stood for us at the end of the journey. The train was so tiring that the sound of the moving train still echoed in my ears. A literary journey into the undiscovered roads and experiences of the town of Pelling was how I would describe it.
The destination was very beautiful, to say the least, but the duration of the journey, a little bit tiring.
We entered the city on the brink of sunrise. It is a thing not worth missing. The route goes from New Jalpaiguri to Pelling. We can take a train to Jalpaiguri or a flight to Kolkata and then carry on by road. For me, it was a train journey for two days, before reaching New Jalpaiguri in the middle of the night. I stepped into the AC train from a warm humid Mumbai and got out to the spine-chilling cold of New Jalpaiguri. The cold was expected, but the chill which ran in the body on stepping off the train was a little more than expected.
The bus took us from Jalpaiguri to Pelling. As we entered the hill region. The reduced pollution allowed for a beautiful night sky vision, with the twinkling stars above the head. The stars were at an arm’s reach, closer than ever. Spotting the constellations would be fun if the train trip hadn’t tired us so much.
As the bus went on to the hills, the roads got narrower than any road previously seen. This is the moment of the most adrenaline rush in anyone’s life. Literally, a cliff at the side and a bus could hardly ever fit on the uneven road. Not exaggerating, but one centimeter on the side and the bus was sure to be off-trail. Fortunately, my eyes were too tired to see in the middle of the night, so it all dawned upon when the next day we took the same route to a sightseeing visit.
Pelling- here I come!
Nothing like a morning of breakfast beginning your day overlooking the lush green mountains backed by snow-clad peaks. I could never understand if the view was more relishing than the food, or I simply could not absorb so much beauty at once.
When the first rays of the sun hit us, the beauty of the rising sun and the snow-clad mountains made it feel unbelievable. Not even in the slightest of imagination was it expected to have such a stunning discovery in the city of Pelling. It was our first day of discovering Pelling and we were all ready to see everything that waited for us.
Outside the hotel, the view from the helipad with a feeling like we’re on top of the world, literally, among the highest ranges I stood gaping at the beauty I couldn’t absorb in. The orange-yellow hue of the rising sun hit the snow-clad mountains in such a beautiful way that it mesmerized everyone. The sky above a pure hue of blue and below lush green forest-covered hills, with the scarcest human population I had observed. Such peaceful lives the people led as they traveled through those tangled beautiful lush green trees every day.
Shanghak choeling monastery
As we walked 12km on this road to the Shanghak choeling Monastery, I felt a different kind of serenity which was never felt in the normal chaos of city life. This place was a haven and a place where one could live all their lives.
Each and every curve of the road was a hairpin bend and so smooth, as we ascended the hill, the feeling of being such a tiny part of the whole of nature struck me as the tall coniferous trees surrounded the tiny roads.
At the end of walking a huge twisted road, we reached the monastery. We entered the gates and moved forward into the monastery. As we moved ahead, we observed the monastery was surrounded by a beautiful place, which had flowers and certain beautiful plants encircling the monastery on the periphery.
The time we reached there was prayer time, so we heard the relaxing sounds of the large bells. The monks had gone for prayers. The monks which prayed ranged from very young kids to very old men. There was no age limit as to who could pursue this peaceful life of a monk.
Unfortunately, we were not allowed to visit the monk kitchen, but it is said that the monks have very good kitchens and there is always a little contribution from some monks in the form of any assistance needed for cooking.
The beautiful architecture of the monastery was mesmerizing. I was stunned looking at the ancient architecture and design of the place which was made so many years ago and still held the same impact for which it was created. The interior allowed for an ideal space for meditation and self-reflection.
On the way to the Khecheopalri Lake, was a beautiful waterfall that flowed from the top and almost sprinkled a shower as it fell from the topmost stone to the stone below. With the water rushing from the top, they hit the stones which were below. With such a force of the water, the stones below developed a smooth surface.
Crossing the minute stream as I skipped to the other side to catch a glimpse of the plantations which had grown at the side of the rushing waterfall, amidst the smoothened stones. A beautiful waterfall flowed through the hill, causing an indent, and further moved downwards creating a similar indent in the massive rock which was the hill.
After the Changey waterfall, we moved towards the Khecheopalri lake. The lake is in such a serene location, surrounded by mountains on all sides and just one side to access the lake. There a small worship place which is at the lake, which the people believe to be very auspicious.
A small trail that was stone-paved lead us from the main road to the lake. The trail was so stunning with the shadows of the trees lurking around in the presence of the sunshine which shone brightly.
The Singshore bridge was a visit worth so much. In the evening, after the lake, we moved to the bridge. The bridge was an amazing work of engineering, suspended from the two edges. This beautiful bridge stood suspended from the two hills and on top of a valley like an indent.
Under the bridge, all we could see was a lush green forest which would have been such a comfortable location. For a fraction of a second I even wish I had gotten by bags, ah then I would never go back to the city life.
From the middle of the valley, we could see the setting sun and its hazy rays all spread out. The fog from the trees rose to intercept the rays and form a rainbow sort of reflection. The small stream below had a mesmerizing sound of the flowing brook. On the other side of the sunset was a much flatter land that saw the light and shadow as the sun played around among the clouds. Looking at such a phenomenon from the top really brings out a much greater satisfaction of the observance of nature.
The other day on our trail out on the hill, it got a little bit late. Due to it being in the eastern region of India, the sunsets earlier than they ought to set in western cities of India. By 5 pm the area was pitch dark. We decided to wait out at a place which was nearby. It was one of the only places in the 8km we traveled. We waited back for a rest. There was a bonfire that helped us warm down in the chilling cold. The stars in the sky were almost a blanket covering us, they were so close I wanted to reach out.
After that, we cramped tightly against one another and ordered Maggi and wai-wai. The wai-wai was delicious, it might’ve been the hunger, but in such a chilling cold, a hot soupy noodle was just the perfect deal. This place also had momos, but there are only a few places that make them so delicious and mouthwatering. But, wherever you have them, they are always better than any other city counter. They have something authentic about them which is very evident in the first taste of the dish.
City and people
I wouldn’t call it a city, because it had such a scarce population, to the extent that I believe the locals were so used to being alone that they had their houses at least one kilometer away from the other’s house. The people were very kind though, even though they preferred being undisturbed in the peace whenever anyone approached them, they always had a smile and helping hand and were readily drawn into a conversation.
They were very approachable and would never deny help or any assistance. Probably one of the reasons that tourism thrives here.
Pelling is comparatively a very less discovered place, which due to its overall beauty is gaining so much attention among the tourists. It is a very mesmerizing place indeed, with all the factors that make it. From the first view of the place to the last goodbye, one will never feel like leaving this place.
Personally, I even felt I could go there after everything and just enjoy my life there in peace. It is a proper getaway from human chaos and brings you back to your own senses. It is a perfect place for self-reflection and exploration. The serenity allows you to step back and see yourself as an individual, without losing it all in the chaos and getting carried away. I felt that I came back as a better human.
Pelling is a place one must discover at any cost; it is worth every second of it. It is an experience of a kind. The place is mesmerizing heaven on earth.