Weekend Destinations From Kolkata: Pedong, the Misty Village of North Bengal

It’s been quite a month since we have returned from our North Bengal trip. While Doors, Darjeeling and adjoining places are considered to be the most coveted tourist spots of this region, there are many other jewels in the crown; Pedong being one of them. The word Pedong, in Bhutanese, means “land of fir trees”.

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Nestled among the ridge of the Eastern Himalayas, that is located in the Kalimpong district, Pedong is a picturesque sleepy village. This idyllic destination will surely steal your heart if you are a nature-lover. Tall coniferous trees like fir and pine and numerous other types of trees, ferns and a plethora of flowers will welcome you. Different shades of green have made the canvas of Pedong a treat to the eyes. I spent the first day strolling around, the inhabitants of Pedong include people from Lepcha, Bhutia and Nepalese communities. Their smiling faces and warm behaviour again proved that language is not a barrier when you speak from your heart. Nepali is the chief language spoken here, though almost all of them can understand Hindi and English.

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Things To Do In Pedong: Sight-seeing

Pedong is such a beauty that you can just sit idly and watch the clouds passing over the mountain ranges at a distance or listen to the chirping of the birds while sipping to your coffee accompanied by homemade onion fritters and momos. Still, there are a few spots that are worth a visit. On the second day of the trip, we hired a car; the driver, Eddu, was actually the owner, a smart and energetic person in his late twenties.

I’ve done parasailing earlier and was eager to get the thrill of paragliding. So, we started with the Delo View Point. But, as the adage goes, “(wo)man proposes, God disposes”, so, as soon as we reached the Paragliding Centre, which is just beside the Delo Bungalow, the hills changed their mood and it started raining. However, Delo Bungalow itself offered a breathtaking view of the ranges around.

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Delo Bungalow

Our next destination was a small monastery and Hanuman temple. Both were beautiful in their own ways with ample orchids and flowers around.

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Our car was now speeding towards the Sangchen Dorji Gompa (monastery). Built in 1706 CE, this is the only monastery in West Bengal where Cham dance is performed during the month of March (we missed it barely). Pristine Pedong gets a crowd of foreign and Indian tourists during that time of the year. The monks here are friendly and sporting. They were practising knife-throwing in the playground when we reached there! It was still drizzling lightly and, we really enjoyed their performance.

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We spent about an hour in the monastery and then went to the Cross-Hill Point which was built by Fr. Augustine Desgodins in 1882 in memories of those evangelists who went to Tibet with the mission of preaching Christianity and died there. However, he only erected the Cross which had been accompanied by a statue of Jesus Christ later. The point offers an amazing view of the Reishi river and is also known as the sunset point. We neither could see the river nor got the chance to witness the proverbial sunset as it was cloudy all through. But, we definitely got a spectacular view behind the diaphanous curtain of the drizzle.

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There is another attraction in Pedong which, of late, has been barred from the tourists for their safety; the fort of the last Lepcha king Gyabo Achuk. One has to trek uphill through dense forest for half an hour to reach the Damsang Fort. We came to know from the locals that the fort remained open for the tourists even five years ago. But, now, it’s a prohibited place. Though there was no security and, people can easily take the risk on their own, we decided to abide by the rules.

When we reached our home-stay in the afternoon, the clouds had started to clear off. While having lunch, we watched as the hill changed its mood again and was back again with a sunny smile.

Where To Stay

There are several homestays in Pedong. Most of them offer warm, amiable hospitality at an affordable price. We stayed at Sai Lakshmi Homestay. This homestay is run by Mr Ravi Sai who is a software engineer by profession. The food is excellent and the view from the homestay is beautiful.

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Where We Stayed, Sai Lakshmi Homestay

How To Reach

Nearest Railway Station is NJP (New Jalpaiguri) and nearest airport, Bagdogra. Whether you avail train or flight, you’ve to hire a car to reach Pedong. You can also reach Kalimpong by bus and then hire a car to Pedong, 23 km from Kalimpong.

You can visit Pedong any time of the year, but it’s better to avoid monsoon.

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The next morning, we started for the next part of our journey, Rishap or Rishyap. Will write about this picturesque hamlet in my next post. Stay tuned.

Pedong is a place less-known and less-explored by the tourists. Precisely so, it still has retained its effulgent beauty. Do you like to visit such places? Or do you prefer just the opposite? Let us know. 🙂

76 responses to “Weekend Destinations From Kolkata: Pedong, the Misty Village of North Bengal

  1. Looks like you have had a beautiful holiday break Mani, and such wonderful views and sights you have shared.. I loved the temples and so many flowers I also know.. Sweet-Williams, Rhododendrons, Cornflowers, and others.. Just lovely..
    Pedong, looks to be idyllic and peaceful, just the place to relax and rejuvenate.. The fort of the last Lepcha king Gyabo Achuk looked really interesting even if it was a trek, and glad to hear you abided by the rules for safety.. 🙂
    Thank you for sharing part of your journey with us Mani. I really enjoyed my visit today and I too am just catching my breath as I get back into the world of blog again..
    Love and Blessings my friend take care..
    Sue ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks a lot, for your lovely words, Sue. Truly, I enjoyed the trip a lot.clicked so many pictures but I didn’t want to belabour my readers so just posted a chosen few… 😀 The flowers were everywhere, so lovely, so vibrant!
      Glad that you are again back to regular blogging. I’m sorry for the late reply…caught up with so many things at the moment, blogging has taken a backseat … 😦

      ❤ and blessings for you… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I can so understand that the blog has to take a back seat.. My own too has suffered as the gardening season gets under way.. Lots to do and little time to acomplish it.. But we get there in the end..
        Much love and Thank you for your lovely reply xx ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • Life and living comes first.. And I too come and go within my blog world especially when there are so many other outdoor things that keep me busy in Summer.. Today is dull and cooler, My housework is now done, dinner prepared, and so I hop on my blog to try to catch up a little more.. We are all only human and can only do our best.. So enjoy the NOW Mani.. the best PRESENT ever.. xx

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Loved reading the narration of your trip to Pedong, Maniparna. The coniferous trees, fresh flowers, terraced hills and valleys and greenery all around all look so refreshing.
    The Hanumanji statue looks so well positioned with the stairs in front and a clear view behind it. The monastery is so colourful and the little monks look so cheerful and contented. The homestay looks like a cozy place to be in. I haven’t seen a live Chau performance ever. Would love to see sometime.
    I had no idea of this place at all. Thank you for taking us through his beautiful place through your post and pictures. Btw the pictures are too good.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It seems you had a wonderful holiday Mani! Off beat places have a special charm as they have not been explored and exploited by tourism. Thanks for sharing such beautiful pictures (I love the most romantic one, having the circular canopy) and heart-warming anecdotes. Your description transported me to Pedong. I wish I had know about this place when I had visited the area you describe…many years ago! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks a lot, Balroop. “Explored and exploited”–you nailed it. Especially in India, you’ll see so many tourists who do not have the minimum decency and manners to keep places free from garbage and pollution. Indiscriminate use of plastics, throwing the beer bottles anywhere (even in the sea water) are the commonest forms of nuisance. So, it’s best that fewer tourists explore places like this.
      If you ever again plan to come in this part of India in the future, pay a visit to Pedong. You’ll love the serenity of the picturesque village… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful photos Mani 👍😊. And your narrative has made me want to visit this place. For me, the fewer ‘tourist traps’ the better. Safe travels and I look forward to your next post 🙏😊

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The wonderful description which reflects your deeper emotions and beautiful feelings during this special trip, you must have thoroughly enjoyed every bit of your journey to Pedong…I agree we normally visit the popular spots and miss out on these lesser known jewels in the crown in many places. There are always something very special about these places. Always good to do some research work about the place before going and then soak every bit of the stay and feel of the place. This place being a land of trees and sumptuous greenery all around, going from city it instantly mesmerizes us and we are at awe with the beauty and bounty of nature, indeed we all miss so much the real nature in our city life. It is paradox that many people don’t know of such lovely places and perhaps because many don’t know the pristine and rustic characteristics of the place remains intact and that is what we love in its raw form. Just being there with the nature and observing the little little things and eating the home made local food and being with the local people, listening to them and knowing about their stories is what makes such trip truly magical and you have so beautifully captured the lovely facets of your travel and stay to such hidden places like Pedong.
    Thanks Mani for sharing with us and looking forward to your second league of your travel….Rishyap.
    Have a wonderful week ahead.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The captures are so vibrant and full of color 🙂 The amazing write-up makes me want to run away from this humidity and give Pedong a visit.

    I visited Delo during 2015. But regarding the paragliding stalls, going by the looks of them, I was really doubtful whether they really had proper safety measures (or even a license) at place. 😦 Here, you can’t be too careful, no?

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are right, Jheelam. Though they said they will provide adequate safety measures and even showed us video clippings of satisfied clients, we didn’t dare to take the risk, more so, as it was raining.
      Maybe, some other time… 🙂
      Thanks for stopping by and reading. Delo itself is such a lovely place, isn’t it?

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Pedong sounds like such a scenic place to visit. Lovely to hear you got the chance to visit and was able to hire a car to get around. Didn’t know you’ve done parasailing before and were keen for paragliding, and maybe next time you will have a go :at paragliding like a daredevil 🙂 Monks and knife-throwing sounds like an interesting combination, and it sounds like it was quite the show for you. Very nice of the monks to pose for your camera too 🙂 I actually wouldn’t mind visiting a place like this as it is quite different from the city life that I’m used to, and life seems to be much more simpler in such places.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly, Mabel. I was amazed to see the simple lifestyle of the people there! And, yet they are happy and smiling. Our driver said, that when it gets late, he goes to any of his friends’ house for lunch or dinner. Everyone else there does the same. How lovely is it! I really have fallen in love with the place… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Your words and pictures did complete justice to the beauty of Pedong, Mani. I definitely prefer the lesser known places for the simple reason that they are less crowded and their natural beauty is still intact before commercialization mars it.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Pingback: Weekend Destinations: Pedong. Misty Village of North Bengal. – The Militant Negro™·

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