Pe in the Lepcha language means fragrant tree and Pedong means a place to rest. So, tourists on a long tour of North Bengal can seek rest in this beautiful town of Pedong in Darjeeling district. The town falls on the route to Lava from Kalimpong to the east and has an elevation of 1,240 meters. Situated on a ridge Pedong offers an awesome view of the Kanchenjunga, the primary attraction of any tourist making this trip and also other Himalayan mountains. Pedong is divided into 2 parts namely, the Upper and the Lower Pedong. Apart from being one of the most beautiful small towns of Darjeeling, it is also part of the famous Silk Route connecting India to Lhasa through Jelepia Pass.
How to reach Pedong
Pedong can be easily reached from Siliguri via Kalimpong by road in approximately 4 hours. On your way to Pedong you will have to cross Chumarchin which is a lovely hamlet on the same ridge and you will be hypnotized by the captivating splendor of the oaks, pines and birches standing tall and welcoming you. The spring and the autumn are the best seasons to visit Pedong when you will be able to savor the beauty of the town in its full glory.
Attractions in Pedong
Besides the spellbinding scenic beauty, Pedong will reward you in other ways. There are quite a few places of interest which you can explore on your short stay at Pedong. The ruins of historical fort of Damsang Gadi built in the year 1690 can be found close by. This was the seat of the last Lepcha king Gyabo-Achuk and is the singular fort in Darjeeling.
Another highlight of Pedong is the Cross Hill, the cross of which was placed in 1882 by Fr. Augustine Desgodins, a priest in memory of the evangelists who lost their lives on their way to Tibet. It is an ideal sunset point and one can have a panoramic view of Tibet from here.
The famous Sngchen Dorjee Monastery is located in Pedong-Kamilpong zone. It is the oldest monastery in the region constructed during the Bhutanese rule in 1700 AD. A pilgrimage for the Buddhists, it holds immense interest for the tourists who are curious about Kalimpong’s history and culture. The murals inside the monastery depict scenes from Tantric Buddhism and it is also the center of Shabdrung Rimpoche who is the Dharma Raja of Bhutan. The body of the last RImpoche has been preserved inside it and the Gumpha Dance help here annually is extremely popular.
Trekking Routes in Pedong
For the adventurous tourists, the trekking route towards Renke is quite rewarding. Reshi Khola located at an elevation of 1700 feet offers a lovely view of the Himalayan range. Crossing the Reshi River is a wonderful experience. You can also arrive at Monsong by jeep or bus from Pedong which falls on the route to Kalimpong–Lava and enjoy the ethereal sight of this small hamlet.
Accommodation in Pedong
There are various lodges, resorts, hotels in Pedong offering modern amenities to the tourists. Some of them are Damsung DH, Diamond, Chhabi Village Resort, Silk Route Resort, Green Haven Village Resort and Rikkisum Village Resort. The room prices vary between 600-1500 INR.