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 and tranquillity.
The town and its surrounding area offer an undisturbed view of the snow ranges of the Greater Himalayas. Mt. Kanchenjunga, Mt. Pandim, Mt. Sinialchu, and 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 Bhale-Dunga, a hilltop offering a beautiful view of 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 etc.
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 a spectacular view of the sunrise, as the first few rays of sun lighten up the snowy peaks of Mt. Narsing, Jopuno, Kabru, Rathong, and Pandim.
Temi Tea Garden: At a distance of only 16 km from Ravangla, it is one of the most beautifully located tea gardens in 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 viewpoint of Tendong.
Ralang hot Springs is situated at a distance of 26 km 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 every year.
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 set up and the local villagers sell dairy products.
Mangbrue Gompa & viewpoint: Located 8 km above Kewzing, the Mangbrue Gompa is also an excellent viewpoint 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 a 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.
Elevation - 8000 ft
Latitude - N 27° 18'
Longitude - E 88° 21'