Pedong

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Pedong
Town
Pedong is located in West Bengal
Pedong
Pedong
Location in West Bengal, India
Coordinates: 27°09′N 88°37′E / 27.15°N 88.62°E / 27.15; 88.62Coordinates: 27°09′N 88°37′E / 27.15°N 88.62°E / 27.15; 88.62
Country  India
State West Bengal
District Kalimpong
Elevation 1,240 m (4,070 ft)
Population (2001)
 • Total 19,000
Languages
 • Official Nepali, English
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 734 311
Telephone code 03552
Vehicle registration WB-78, 79

Pedong (pop. 19,000 est.) is a town in Kalimpong district in the Indian state of West Bengal, located at 27°09′00″N 88°37′00″E / 27.15°N 88.6167°E / 27.15; 88.6167.

Geography[edit]

Pedong lies 20 km east of Kalimpong on the way to Lava at an altitude of 1,240 metres (4.071 feet). The town, which is located on a ridge, commands a panoramic view of the Kanchenjunga and the Himalayan mountains. The town is divided into two parts, Upper Pedong and Lower Pedong. Pedong lies on the historic Silk Road that connects India to Lhasa via the Jelepla Pass.

Places[edit]

Near Pedong are the ruins of Damsang Gadi, a historical fort built in 1690 AD by the Lepchas. It was at the centre of the long-standing feud with the Dukpas of Bhutan. Later, it was used to ward off the forces of the British East India Company. After the Anglo-Bhutan War of 1864 AD, the fort fell into decay. The Damsang fort (Damsang Gadi) is the only fort in the entire district of Darjeeling. It was home to the last Lepcha King- Gyabo Achuk as the Lepcha people are the real natives of this place.

A glimpse of Pedong town

Another highlight of the town is the Cross Hill, placed by priest Fr. Augustine Desgodins in 1882 AD on his way to Tibet. In the Tibet Mission a lot of Evangelists lost their lives or never came back from Tibet. Fr. Augustine Desgodins in due memory of them erected a cross at a vantage point facing Tibet directly with a hope that someday the evangelists may return. It is considered to have miraculous powers and is a pilgrimage site for the local Christians. The Cross Hill is located at such a point wherein the view of the facing mountains is magnificent. From here one can get a glimpse of Tibet or now the The peoples Republic of Chinese border. It is a perfect sunset point.

Sangchen Dorjee Monastery is one of the oldest monastery in Pedong-Kalimpong region and was built during the Bhutanese rule. This Monastery was established around the early 1700 AD. It provides historical insight into the history and culture of the place. Known as Sangchen Dorjee Gumba also has fresco paintings on the inner walls of the main chamber depicting Tantric Buddhism. Gumpha Dance (Chyaam dance) or the Buddhist Mask dance is also held here annually. It has now become the centre of Shabdrung Rimpoche (known as the Dharma Raja of Bhutan). The last Shabdrung Rimpoche had relocated to Pedong and expired few years ago. His human form has been preserved at Pedong and will be encased in a Stupa/Chorten on an auspicious day. This place has become an important pilgrimage for the Bhutanese and other followers of the Drukpa Khargu tradition of Buddhism.

The villages near Pedong include Sakyong, Kasyong, Dalep, Kagey, Upper Menchu and Lower Menchu.

Major fire incident of 28th January, 2015[edit]

A major fire broke out at the heart of Pedong on the midnight of 28 January 2015. Around 17 houses were completely gutted by the fire.[1] Fire brigade services from the nearby towns of Kalimpong and Rangpo along with the local people and the Army worked hand in hand to control the situation which could have otherwise razed most of Pedong. The estimated losses summed to multiple Crores, however, no casualties were reported in the unfortunate incident. Many locals have glorified the valorous act of two brothers Mr. Lobsang and Dawa Bhutia in the rescue operation, both residents of Pedong. Post incident, people from near and distant places visited the town to show solidarity and also to provide help and support in all means possible. Many NGOs have also stood up for the cause.

A glimpse of the aftermath of the fire incident that gutted many houses in Pedong on the 28th of January, 2015.

Education[edit]

St. George's Higher Secondary School,Pedong is a Christian missionary school and one of the famous boarding school here followed by St Xavier's School, Tender Buds Academy, Grace English School. There are also many nursery schools in this town.

Accommodation[edit]

Pedong is a popular destination among domestic tourists. However, a good number of foreign tourists also visit Pedong for its various heritage sites having cultural, religious and historical significance. Many budget and mid-range accommodation options are currently available in Pedong.

Travel[edit]

Pedong can be reached from Siliguri via Kalimpong within a 3-hour drive covering 100 km.

Flora and Fauna[edit]

Pedong is rich in avifauna. Various species of Himalayan and lowland birds can be seen around Pedong.

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Fire in Pedong destroys houses, shops". DarjeelingTimes.com. Retrieved 28 December 2015.