RAYONG SUNRISE VIEW POINT
Why Should I Visit
The town of Ravangla is frequented by tourists for the Buddha Park and Temi Tea Gardens; but the Rayong Sunrise View Point is by far the most popular among travellers and locals. It is the perfect vantage point to watch nature’s theatrical start to the day. As the sunrays filter through the sky, the mountain ranges are bathed in natural light and the view is nothing short of heavenly.
The sun rises over Bhutan’s Dongkya (Chola) Range and one can also view part of the Singalila Ridge lit up in the fiery rays of the sun. From an altitude of nearly 7000ft, Rayong offers travellers breath-taking vistas of the Himalayan mountains of Jopuno, Pandim, Rathong, Narsing and Kabur. If you’re looking for the perfect introduction to the Greater Himalayas, Rayong should be part of your Sikkim list.
How To Get There
If you’re visiting Rayong to catch the sunrise from Gangtok, you will have to make an early start as the view point is situated nearly 70kms from the capital.
Since Ravangla is a tourist town, there are a number of accommodation options and you’re better off spending a night here and starting your day with the sunrise at Rayong. The view point is less than 10kms away (via the Ravangla-Damthang Road) from the Ravangla Bus Stand, where you can opt for a shared taxi or jeep.
When Should I Land Up
Make sure you check sunrise timings the night before so that you can plan ahead.
Spring and summer are the best times to visit Rayong Sunrise View Point. That’s when you get the most pristine views and the sunrise is at its dazzling best. If you’re in Sikkim during the month of September, make sure you plan a trip here as the monsoon is fading and the views are much clearer.
If you’re visiting Rayong towards the end of August or beginning of September, you will be able to witness the Pang Lhabsol festival that takes place in Ravangla. This ancient festival is celebrated to honour Mount Kanchenjunga, the principal guardian of Sikkim. The Bhutias of the region believe that Lhatsun Chenpo was directed by the mountain god, through visions, to reach Demajong, the ‘hidden valley of rice’, a legendary local name for Sikkim. This is the perfect time to sample delicious Sikkimese dishes, bask in the local culture and take back fond memories of having witnessed a spectacular Buddhist festival.
The Finer Details
Rayong offers glittering views of the Himalayan Range but its popularity doesn’t stop there. If you’re up for an adventure, Rayong also doubles up as the starting point for a trek to the sleepy town of Tinkitam. This south Sikkim town is popular for its rare species of orchids, and rhododendron fields, and locals will tell you about a dormant volcano you can view from Tinkitam. The only tea estate in Sikkim, Temi Tea Gardens, is not too far from this town.
The Rayong Sunrise View Point is more than just high-elevation pretty spot. For rookie trekkers, Rayong can turn out to be the starting point for your tryst with Sikkimese countryside.