Pedong is a picturesque hamlet situated on a ridge and surrounded by pine forests. It commands a majestic view of the Kanchanjungha and other Himalayan mountains. This quaint little hill station is one of the few in north Bengal which an avalanche of tourists has not managed to spoil. Various species of Himalayan and lowland birds can be seen around Pedong. At evening, the chirping of crickets and other insects broke the silence of the hills.
How to Reach
The nearest railhead is New Jalpaiguri and airport is Bagdogra. Pedong is 97km from NJP via Kalimpong and nearly 22km from Kalimpong. You can hire a car from NJP or Bagdogra. The Teesta flows for almost the entire length of the journey from New Jalpaiguri to Pedong.
Places to Visit
1) Damsang Fort:
Near Pedong are the ruins of Damsang Gadi (or Damsang Fort), a historical fort built in 1690 AD by the Lepchas. It was at the centre of the long-standing feud with the Dukpas of Bhutan. Later, it was used to ward off the forces of the British East India Company. After the Anglo-Bhutan War of 1864 AD, the fort fell into decay. The Damsang fort (Damsang Gadi) is the only fort in the entire district of Darjeeling. It was home to the last Lepcha King- Gyabo Achuk as the Lepcha people are the real natives of this place.
2) Cross Hill:
Another highlight of the town is the Cross Hill, placed by priest Fr. Augustine Desgodins in 1882 AD on his way to Tibet. In the Tibet Mission a lot of Evangelists lost their lives or never came back from Tibet. Fr. Augustine Desgodins in due memory of them erected a cross at a vantage point facing Tibet directly with a hope that someday the evangelists may return. It is considered to have miraculous powers and is a pilgrimage site for the local Christians. The Cross Hill is located at such a point wherein the view of the facing mountains is magnificent. From here one can get a glimpse of Tibet or now the The peoples Republic of Chinese border. It is a perfect sunset point.
3) St. George’s Higher Secondary School:
St. George’s Higher Secondary School,Pedong is a Christian missionary school and one of the famous boarding school here. There are also many nursery schools in this town.
4) Pedong Monastery:
Sangchen Dorjee Monastery or Pedong or Pedong Monastery is one of the oldest monastery in Pedong-Kalimpong region and was built during the Bhutanese rule. This Monastery was established around the early 1700 AD. It provides historical insight into the history and culture of the place. Known as Sangchen Dorjee Gumba also has fresco paintings on the inner walls of the main chamber depicting Tantric Buddhism. Gumpha Dance (Chyaam dance) or the Buddhist Mask dance is also held here annually. It has now become the centre of Shabdrung Rimpoche (known as the Dharma Raja of Bhutan). The last Shabdrung Rimpoche had relocated to Pedong and expired few years ago. His human form has been preserved at Pedong and will be encased in a Stupa/Chorten on an auspicious day. This place has become an important pilgrimage for the Bhutanese and other followers of the Drukpa Khargu tradition of Buddhism.
5) Ramitey View Point:
It is a view point from where you can see the Teesta meandering through the valley with the majestic Kanchenjungha in the backdrop.
6) Sillery Gaon:
You can visit the pine-covered Sillery Gaon, situated at an altitude of 6000ft.
7) Tin chuley:
Tin Chuley is another hilltop around Pedong. It also provides a grand view of the forest-covered valley, the Kanchenjungha range, the towns of Sikkim, Jelep La and Nathu La.
Reshi, 17km from Pedong, is located on the banks of the Reshikhola, a small stream that runs through the border of West Bengal and Sikkim. You can take a dip in the stream water. Bathing in Reshikhola is quite a pleasant experience. The evening in Reshi is quite romantic. The babbling river, the starry sky and twinkling lights on the hills – all bring you to a land of dream.
9) Aritar Lake:
Aritar is 26 km from Reshi and is famous for the Aritar Lake. You can enjoy boating here.