Ravangla is in South Sikkim.
Ravangla is a relatively new tourist spot in South Sikkim. It is a small picturesque town on the highway from Gangtok to Gyalshing at an elevation of 8,000 ft. Ravangla is one of the few places in Sikkim which offer undisturbed views of the Greater Himalayas (Mt. Kanchenjunga, Mt. Pandim, Mt. Sinialchu, Mt. Kabru). In April and May lots of flowers are in full blossom. The weather in Ravangla is very volatile, so always be prepared for rains.
Ravangla is situated about 65 km west of Gangtok and 52 Km east of Pelling. It is directly accessible from Gangtok (2 hrs 15 mins), Siliguri (126 km – 4 hrs 30 mins), Darjeeling and Kalimpong. If you want to reach Ravangla by evening, make sure you book or hire a taxi by afternoon. Beyond afternoon, one can reach Ravangla by traveling to Namchi and from there another taxi to Ravangla.
Jeeps arrive at and leave from the crossing at the southern end of the market . A few taxis go directly to Pelling, but normally you will have to change cars at Gyalshing.
Buses to Gangtok leave at 9am, to Gyalshing at 11am. There are two buses to Namchi at 9am and 1pm. If you want to go to Darjeeling, you will have to take a bus or taxi to Jorethang first and change cars there.
- Bon Monastery. The Bon faith was prevalent in Tibet until the 8th Century AD (before the advent of Buddhism). Presumably many of its rituals were taken over by Buddhism, such as the prayer flags and the burning of incense.
- Borong and Ralang Cha-chu. These sulphur springs are traditional winter spas. Visitors spend there a few days soaking in the sulphur springs to which healing effects are attributed. Ralang Cha-chu is reached after a 1 hour downhill walk from Ralang monastery into Rangit valley. Borong Cha-chu is a 7 km drive from Ralang and an additional 45 minutes walk downhill. The hot springs are located along the banks of the Rangit River and are be visited best between December and February. Temporary huts are available for overnight stays at nominal rates, but you have to bring along bedding and cooking utensils. During the hot spring season basic vegetables are sold by the local village people.
- Doling Monastery (4 km from Barfung village). A gompa of the Nyingmapa (Red Hat) sect of Buddhism, situated amidst cardamom plantations.
- Khandosangphu and Sharchog Bephug. These two holy caves where Guru Padmasambhava, who spread Buddhism in Tibet in the 7th cent, is said to have meditated on his journey to Tibet. Khandosangphu Cave is located 34 km from Ravangla (8 km beyond Legshep). Sharchog Bephug at Sangmo village (8 km from Ravangla) is the largest of holy caves, extending into the Menam and Tendong hills.
- Ralang Monasteries (13 km from Ravangla). There are two monasteries of the Kagyupa sect of Buddhism. The Old monastery was built in 1768.
- Rangit Water World (Rangeet Dam) (26 km (1 hr) downhill from Ravangla). A dam across the Rangit river, for a hyroelectric project
- Rayong Sunrise View Point ((8 km) on the road to Damthang). The viewpoint offers spectacular view of the sunrise up the snowy peaks of Mt. Narsing, Jopuno, Kabur, Rathong and Pandim.
- Shiva Mandir. (26 km) is a shrine revered by the local people on the bank of the Rangit river at Legshep
- Tashiding Monastery (Central Elevated Glory). (39 km from Ravangla) is the most sacred monastery complex in Sikkim. It was built in 1716.
- Temi Tea Garden. (15 km from Ravangla) is one of the most beautifully situated tea gardens of Sikkim. The journey on the winding road via Dentham is specatular. A 9 km trek from Dentham through the Tendon Sanctuary leads to a dormant volcano with views on the Kanchenjunga and Singalila range in the West and the plane in Southen Sikkim.
- Tinkitam Village. (6 km from Ravangla), a quaint little Sikkimese village, known to orchid lovers as the natural habitat of Paphiopedilum fairieanum (lady’s slipper), which is in full blossom in October and November.
- 1 Buddha Park (Tathagata Tsal), Ralong Rd, ☎+91 95936 26269. A large Buddhist complex completed in 2013 with the main Buddha statue 40 metres high.
(updated Jul 2018)