Ravangla is a picturesque town located in the South Sikkim district of the Indian state of Sikkim. Situated at an altitude of approximately 2,133 meters (7,000 feet) above sea level, Ravangla is known for its pristine natural beauty, lush landscapes, and panoramic views of the surrounding Himalayan mountains. It is a tranquil destination that offers a perfect blend of cultural richness and scenic splendor.
How to Reach Ravangla:
- By Air: The nearest airport to Ravangla is Bagdogra Airport (IXB) in West Bengal, located about 124 kilometers away. From Bagdogra, you can hire a taxi or take a shared jeep to reach Ravangla.
- By Train: The nearest major railway station is New Jalpaiguri Railway Station (NJP) in Siliguri, West Bengal, which is well-connected to various cities in India. From NJP, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Ravangla.
- By Road: Ravangla is accessible by road and is well-connected to Siliguri, Gangtok, and other towns in Sikkim. You can reach Ravangla by bus, taxi, or shared jeep.
Best Time to Visit:
The best time to visit Ravangla is during the spring and autumn months, from March to May and from September to November. During these periods, the weather is pleasant, and the skies are generally clear, offering stunning views of the Himalayas.
Local transportation within Ravangla includes taxis and shared jeeps. The town is relatively small and can be explored on foot.
Ravangla offers a variety of accommodation options, including hotels, resorts, guesthouses, and homestays. You can find lodging to suit different budgets and preferences. Many accommodations provide views of the surrounding mountains and lush greenery.
Nearby Places to Visit:
- Ralong Monastery: This Buddhist monastery, located in Ralong village near Ravangla, is known for its serene atmosphere and intricate Tibetan architecture.
- Borong: A nearby village known for its hot springs and beautiful landscapes. It’s about 17 kilometers from Ravangla.
- Maenam Hill: You can trek to Maenam Hill for panoramic views of the Himalayas and the surrounding valleys. It’s approximately 12 kilometers from Ravangla.
Popular Things to Do:
- Trekking: Ravangla serves as a base for various trekking routes, including the trek to Maenam Hill and Borong. These treks offer opportunities to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the region.
- Bird Watching: The forests around Ravangla are home to diverse bird species, making it an excellent destination for birdwatching enthusiasts.
- Cultural Exploration: Explore the rich Tibetan and Sikkimese culture by visiting monasteries, interacting with locals, and experiencing traditional festivals and rituals.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions):
- Q: Is there a dress code for visiting monasteries in Ravangla?
- A: It’s advisable to dress modestly when visiting monasteries, covering your shoulders and knees as a sign of respect.
- Q: Are there any restrictions on photography in Ravangla’s monasteries?
- A: Some monasteries may have restrictions on photography inside the prayer halls. It’s important to respect these rules and ask for permission if unsure.
- Q: What is the weather like in Ravangla during the winter months?
- A: Ravangla experiences cold weather during the winter months, from December to February, with temperatures dropping considerably. It’s advisable to check weather conditions and road status before traveling during this period.
Ravangla’s serene atmosphere, stunning views, and cultural richness make it an ideal destination for travelers seeking a peaceful and immersive experience in the lap of the Himalayas. Whether you’re here for trekking, cultural exploration, or simply to unwind amidst nature, Ravangla offers a delightful escape.