Pedong/The Silk Route
Pedong is located on the road that connects Kalimpong – Algarah to Sikkim. It is one of the oldest towns in this region with significant historical importance. Pedong is divided into two parts – lower and Upper Pedong. Famous St. Georges School is situated at the lower part. In the past, when Kalimpong was a major trading place, the road through here was used for trade between India and Tibet through Zuluk and Jelepla. Today the same route has become a common tourist attraction.
Places around Pedong: Tinchule viewpoint – This is the highest point in the region with an excellent view of almost the entire mountain range of Darjeeling and Sikkim including parts of Bhutan and Tibet. About 180 degrees in front, one can see the snow capped mountains. The hills rising from the Tista river and going up to the highest mountains of Kanchenjunga are all visible from this place. The place is unique as it gives a clear view of the major towns of the hills including Gangtok, Darjeeling, and Kalimpong. The place is also an excellent point for Hangliding.
Rikisum viewpoint – Parched at a hilltop, this is the location for a 19th Century bungalow. The bungalow is now deserted and destroyed and a proposal is mooted to build a new tourist complex around the place. The upcoming tourist destination of Rishop is visible in front. Rikisum, in fact, allows a better view of the hills than the existing viewpoints at Rishap.
Pedong monastery is one place that attracts a lot of outsiders. The monastery is considered especially holy by the Bhutanese Buddhists who visit Pedong in large numbers. The monastery was constructed by Bhutan’s king in 1873. The Monastery showcases a large number of very old paintings.
Damsung fort is one of the oldest forts of the region. Located at a hilltop about 3 – 4 km from the monastery, the fort is at present in ruins, but the unique location allows a beautiful view of the hills and the plains. When the famous Damsung Fort collapsed the valuables of this fort was transferred to the Pedong monastery.
Cross Hill is named so because of the holy cross that adorns the hill. Christian missionaries made this during the 19th century. This place gained tourist significance due to the clear view of Kanchenjunga that it allows. Kashioni Village is quite near to this hill.
Traveling to Pedong
You can visit Pedong on a day outing from Kalimpong / Lava or Lolegaon.