Pedong is a beautiful hill-station in the Eastern Himalayas, located at a height of 4100 feet, and very close to the buzzing town of Kalimpong. Pedong is known for its historical charm and abundant natural beauty. From pine forests, lush green valleys to gorgeous views of Mt. Kanchenjunga and Mt. Siniolchu – this place has an overwhelming lot to offer.
You can also view Nathu La and Jelep La from Pedong. Pedong derives its name from a pine tree which is 30 meters in height and 200 years old and is located in the heart of the town. Pedong lies on the ancient Silk Route that connects Lhasa in China via Jelep La in Sikkim. Pedong has been witness to the long standing feud between Lepchas and Bhutias that ultimately resulted in the ruins of Damsang Fort. After the Anglo – Bhutanese war in 1865, British had taken control over Pedong.
Pedong is also very rich in avifauna and therefore is a must-visit for bird watchers. In recent years, there has been a considerable increase in bird population due to the increase in forest cover and the increasing awareness regarding the ecosystem amongst the villagers.
For those interested in adventure, there are many short trek routes near Pedong. One such is Ramitey – a place that offers the longest and best view of the flowing river Teesta. Another great place for hike is Rikkisum, located at one of the best vantage points in the town. Rikkisum houses the ruins of an old British bungalow constructed in 1902, that used to serve as a halting point for the British travellers when they were on their way to Tibet back in the day. Today, it’s known as a fantastic sunrise point that offers gorgeous views of the Himalayan range; especially that of Mt. Kanchenjunga.
A lovely attraction here is the Sangchen Dorjee Monastery – one of the oldest monasteries in the whole of Pedong and its surrounding areas. Established around early 1700AD, it provides tremendous insight into the history and culture of this place. The best season to make a trip to Pedong is between October to March because that’s when the weather is most pleasant.