Ravangla : South Sikkim

Discover Ravangla, South Sikkim: A Travel Guide

Mar 26th, 2024

Positioned at an elevation of 7000 ft, Ravangla, affectionately known as Rabongla, invites you to unwind, connect with nature, and embrace life's unhurried moments.

While Ravangla's streets may later reveal Himalayan vistas, embarking on treks from this town promises a captivating exploration into the mountains' embrace—a reason why many adventurers select Ravangla as a starting point to discover other picturesque Sikkimese regions. Furthermore, Ravangla serves as a convenient hub for exploring nearby destinations like Pelling, Namchi, and Kaluk, enhancing its appeal as a travel destination.

In addition to its ancient and revered monasteries, Ravangla boasts a variety of eateries, parks, bars, and a vibrant market. Travelers can opt to arrange for transportation and stay through a travel expert.

Ravangla is a vibrant mosaic of rich biodiversity, boasting a plethora of flora and fauna. Surrounded by charming villages that showcase local customs against the backdrop of awe-inspiring mountains, ancient monasteries, and lively cultural festivities. The festivals here are a jubilant celebration of colors and happiness, creating a heartening experience for travelers, whether local or international.

Places to Explore in Ravangla, Sikkim

Ravangla for Trekkers: Trekkers find Ravangla an excellent starting point for treks such as the Ravangla Maenam trek and the Ravangla Khechupelri trek.

The Ravangla Maenam Trek offers adventurers a thrilling journey through the pristine wilderness of the Himalayas. Starting from Ravangla, trekkers embark on a scenic trail that winds its way through dense forests, blooming rhododendron valleys, and cascading waterfalls, culminating at the summit of Maenam Hill. This moderately challenging trek spans approximately 13 kilometers and typically takes around 4 to 5 hours to complete. Along the way, trekkers are treated to breathtaking panoramic views of the snow-capped Himalayan peaks, including the majestic Mt. Kanchenjunga. The trail also offers opportunities for birdwatching and wildlife spotting, with Himalayan birds and occasional glimpses of rare fauna adding to the trek's allure. At the summit, trekkers are rewarded with a sense of accomplishment and awe-inspiring vistas of the surrounding valleys and mountains, making the Ravangla Maenam Trek an unforgettable adventure for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

Ravangla Khechupelri Trek: Beginning in the quaint town of Ravangla, the trek leads adventurers on a picturesque path towards the sacred Khechupelri Lake, also known as Khecheopalri Lake. This moderately challenging trek spans approximately 9 kilometers and typically takes around 3 to 4 hours traversing through lush forests, serene meadows, and babbling streams, encountering diverse flora and fauna endemic to the region.
Khechupelri Lake, revered by both Buddhists and Hindus, lies nestled amidst emerald green hills, reflecting the surrounding snow-capped peaks in its crystal-clear waters. Legend has it that the lake is blessed by the goddess Tara, adding to its spiritual significance. Surrounded by prayer flags fluttering in the breeze, the lake provides a tranquil setting for meditation and reflection. The Ravangla Khechupelri Trek offers hikers a profound connection with nature and spirituality, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking solace amidst the Himalayan wilderness.

Ravangla for Spiritual Sojourners: Ravangla, despite its modest size, possesses a captivating allure for travelers. Close to the town are monasteries and various points of interest, each offering a picturesque journey as enchanting as the destinations themselves.

Tathagatha Tsal or The Buddha Park, Ravangla: Established in 2006 to commemorate Gautam Buddha's 2550th birth anniversary, Buddha Park stands as a significant site on Sikkim's pilgrimage tourism circuit. The park showcases a towering 130-foot statue of Gautam Buddha, set amidst meticulously landscaped grounds that afford panoramic views of the Himalayas, seemingly suspended in the clouds. Enhancing the park's natural beauty is Cho Djo Lake, enhancing the spiritual ambiance of the place. Visitors can immerse themselves in the serene mountain air, finding solace in the meditative surroundings. Buddha Park, Ravangla also houses a meditation hall, a museum, and a Buddhist conclave.

Bon Monastery: Located in Kewzing, a short distance from Ravangla, the Bon Monastery—or Bon Yung Dung Monastery—stands as one of India's two monasteries belonging to the Bon sect of Buddhism. Constructed in 1980 by Yung Dung Tsultrim, it serves as an educational hub for Bon teachings, catering to underprivileged students. The monastery exhibits Buddhist artifacts, paintings, and Buddha deities while offering a glimpse into the daily lives of young Bon sect monks.

Ralang Monastery: Distinguished among Sikkim's monasteries, Ralang Monastery boasts unique characteristics, including its symmetrical form and exquisite construction. Accessible solely by trekking, this monastery, situated 13 kilometers from Ravangla, symbolizes the opulence of Buddhists, steeped in legend. According to folklore, the monastery's location was chosen as rice grains of blessings, sprinkled by the Karmapa in Tibet, fell on this very site. 
The monastery hosts the annual cultural festival Pang Lhabsol in August, showcasing Buddhist traditions in a grand celebration. Visitors keen on experiencing this vibrant festival should confirm the event dates before planning their visit.

Ralong Hot Springs:  Locally known as "Ralong Cha Chu," these natural hot springs near Ravangla are revered for their therapeutic warm sulphurous waters, believed to possess healing properties. Surrounded by scenic beauty and located near sacred caves, these springs offer a serene setting for trekking and relaxation. The best time to visit is between March and May, when the weather is mild and pleasant.
Ravangla undeniably stands out as a destination not to be overlooked by those seeking a distinctive excursion off the beaten path.

What is the best time to visit Ravangla?
The weather in Ravangla can be as unpredictable as a teenager, surprising visitors with sudden rain showers - Rabong literally means “Wet Sheep” in the local language. To avoid the monsoon downpours, it is advisable to plan a visit during the autumn months from September to December when the weather is tranquil and giving (best night sky views). Summer months from April to June is also a good time to visit Ravangla as the temperature is cool and comfortable.

How to reach Ravangla?
Ravangla is readily accessible from both airports and railway stations. The closest airport is Bagdogra airport, situated 124 km away, while the nearest railway station is New Jalpaiguri, approximately 119 km away. Additionally, Ravangla boasts excellent road connectivity to prominent towns and cities in Sikkim and neighboring West Bengal, such as Gangtok, Pelling, Namchi, and Darjeeling.

Where to stay in Ravangla?
There are some interesting retreats and homestays around Ravangla where you can stay comfortably. Best amongst them is Barfung Retreat, which is a beautiful luxury retreat about 5 kms away from the main Ravangla town. You can get some beautiful views of the mountains from the retreat. Seven Mirror Homestay is another beautiful homestay in Barfung (about 5 kms from Ravangla) where you get beautiful mountain views and a quiet surrounding with local homemade food. If you are looking for such interesting Sikkim Homestays, you can find it on our website.

OurGuest plans and organizes tours for guests wanting to travel to Ravangla, South Sikkim. We also manage the permits on your behalf. Please do reach out to us at 7669503993 or email us at contact@ourguest.in to plan your visit to Ravangla.


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