This is a relatively new tourist spot in
South Sikkim. Situated at an elevation of 8000 ft the small
picturesque semi town on the Gangtok-Gaysiling highway, Ravangla
is becoming a hot destination for its breathtaking landscape
The town and its surrounding area offer
an undisturbed view of the snow ranges of Greater Himalayas.
Mt. Kanchenjunga, Mt. Pandim, Mt. Sinialchu, Mt. Kabru are
just a few of the major peaks that are clearly visible from
here. Upper ridges of the area experience snowfall during
winter. Thousands of known and unknown flowers are in full
bloom during April-May and Ravangla gets a romantic look with
the colours and fragrance of the flowers.
Treks around Ravangla
The area around offers some fabulous short
treks. A 12 km trek from here through the Oak, Pine, Rhododendron,
Magnolia and fir forests will take you to Mainam peak at 10,600
ft. Another 1.5 km uphill trek leads to valedunga, a hilltop
offering beautiful view to the surrounding mountains. The
entire trek route passes through the Mainam Sanctuary which
houses a rare collection of Himalayan species like the red
panda, Himalayan black bear, leopard cat, black pheasant cat
Things to see
Rayong Sunrise View Point:
At a distance of 8 km from Ravangla on the road to Damthang
is the viewpoint that offers spectacular view of the sunrise,
as the first few rays sun lightens up the snowy peaks of Mt.
Narsing, Jopuno, Kabur, Rathong and Pandim.
Temi Tea Garden : At a distance of only 16
km from Ravangla, it is one of the most beautifully located
tea garden of Sikkim. The journey through the winding road
via Dentham is even more attractive. A 9 km trek from Dentham
through the Tendon sanctuary goes to a dormant volcano, an
unforgettable place to view Kanchenjunga and Singalila range
in the west and vast plane lands in the south. Even Pelling
in West Sikkim and Siliguri town is visible from the view
point of Tendong.
Ralang hot spring is situated at a distance
of 26 kms from the tourist town. The monastery on the way
holds the famous kagiang festival in December.
Ralang Monasteries : 13 km from Ravangla
are the two monasteries at Ralang which follow the Kagyupa
sect of Buddhism. The Old monastery was built in 1768 AD and
legend has it that the 9th Karmapa, head of the Kagyupa sect,
blessed the site of the monastery with grains of rice thrown
from Tibet. 'Pang Lhabsol' the worship of Mt. Khangchendzonga
& 'Kagyed' Chaam (masked dances) is held in the monastery
Borong & Ralang Cha-chu : Cha-chu or
hot sulphur springs at Ralang & Borong are traditional
winter spas where visitors spend a week or more soaking in
these springs that have medicinal properties. Ralang Cha-chu
can be reached after a 1 hr downhill walk to the Rangit valley
from the Ralang monastery. Borong Cha-chu is a 7 km drive
from Ralang and a further 45-minute downhill walk. Both these
hot springs are located along the banks of the Rangit River
and can be visited from December to February. For overnight
stays temporary huts are available at nominal rates but all
bedding and cooking utensils have to be carried along. During
the hot spring season small shops selling basic vegetables
& provisions are setup and the local villagers sell diary
Mangbrue Gompa & view point: Located
8 km above Kewzing, the Mangbrue Gompa is also an excellent
view point of the mountains and hills.
Tashiding Monastery: Tashiding, located 39
km away from Ravangla, literally means the 'Central Elevated
Glory'. Built in 1716 AD, it is the most sacred monastery
complex in Sikkim and hosts the annual 'Bumchu' festival during
which the barrel containing holy water is opened and the level
of water foretells the year lays ahead.
Tendong: Trek starts with a 13 km drive to
Damthang & 2.5 hrs trek. Tendong peak (8500ft) offers
a spectacular 360 degree view of Sikkim & the distant
plains of North Bengal.
Menam (10, 800ft.): is located about 12 km
up from Ravangla which can be visited on foot. A traditional
meditation site for the monks, it is also a vantage location
for spectacular view of the mountains at sunrise. The trek
takes 2.5 to 4 hrs and winds through a thick forest of oak,
chestnut, magnolia and rhododendron trees. The forest is a
riot of colours during spring (March/April). A natural habitat
of the red panda, Himalayan black bear and many species of
deer, this area is designated as a Wildlife Sanctuary.