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WELCOME TO SIKKIM
... the Land of Mystical Splendor !


Places to visit in Gangtok:
Government Institute of Cottage Industry | Andamans Research Institute of Tibetology | Do-     Drul Chorten (Stupa) | Deer Park | Flower Show | Enchey Monastery | Ridge Park  | White  Hall |Tashi View Point | Hanuman Tok | Ganesh Tok | Himalayan Zoological Park | Sa-Ngor-Chotshog Centre                                                                                                                    
              

 

Destinaiton
East Sikkim
West Sikkim
North Sikkim
South Sikkim
General Info
Population:
176,000
Area:
954 sq. km
Elevation:
Climate:
SUMMER:
Min:
Max:
Annual Rainfall:
Best Tourist Season:
April to Mid-June; Mid September to November
Best Mountain Views:
Mid Sept. - Mid Dec.
Recommended Clothing:
Light woollens and tropicals in summer (umbrellas and raincoats are useful) and heavy woollen in winter.
Language Spoken:
Bengali, Hindi, Nepali, English,

 



Excursions from Gangtok:
◘ Rumtek Dharma Chakra Center ◘ Jawaharlal Nehru Botanical Garden ◘ Saramsa Garden ◘ Water Garden ◘ Tsomgo(Changu) Lake ◘ Menmecho Lake ◘ Nathula Pass
Government Institute of Cottage Industry
Distance - km ( from Gangtok )
Note - closed on Sundays, all government declared holidays, second Saturdays and the odd unforeseen holidays.
Phone No -
It is now known as the Directorate of Handicrafts and Handlooms as well as the Government Institute of Cottage Industries(GICI). Started during the time of the Chogyals of Sikkim, as a venture to preserve, protect and propagate the authentic Sikkimese arts, handicrafts and skills of local and village artisans, it has become one of the major attractions for people visiting Sikkim where beautiful souvenirs like carpets, hand carved tables (choktses), traditional handcrafts, furniture, handlooms carpets and other products are produced & exhibited for sale. A word of caution to the innocent guest...more

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Sikkim Research Institute of Tibetology(SRIT):
Distance - km ( from Gangtok )
Entry Fee - Rs.
this internationally acclaimed centre of Tibetan Studies & Research houses a vast collection of rare Buddhist books, manuscripts and over 200 Buddhist icons.
About a kilometer downhill from the main market of Gangtok, amidst a small forest of oak, magnolia and birch trees stands the Institute of Tibetology. The building accommodating the Institute is an example of Tibetan architecture. It is world renowned and is one of the few of its kind. It has one of the world's largest collection of books and rare manuscripts on the subject of Mahayana Buddhism plus many religious works of art and incredibly finely executed silk embroidered thangkas...More

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Do-Drul Chorten (Stupa):
Distance - km ( from Gangtok )
Note -
Phone No -
encircled by 108 prayer wheels built by late Trulsi Rimpoche in 1945-46. This is one of the most important and biggest stupas found in Sikkim.
The Do-Drul Chorten or Stupa was built by the venerable Trulshi Rimpoche, head of the Nyingma order of Tibetan Buddhism in 1945. Inside this stupa, there are complete mandala sets of Dorjee Phurba (Bajra Kilaya), a set of Kan-gyur relics (Holy Books), complete 'Zung' (mantras) and other religious objects. Around this Chorten, which is one of the most important stupas in Sikkim, are 10 Mani-Lhakor (prayer wheels). These prayer wheels are turned by the devout Buddhist while chanting "Hail to the jewel in the Lotus", to invoke the Buddhisattva. The Chorten is surrounded by Chorten Lakhang, where there are two huge statues of Guru Rimpoche (Guru Padmasambhava).

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Deer Park:
Distance - km ( from Gangtok )
This park which commands a good view of the hills surrounding Gangtok is perched on top of a hillside that plunges almost vertically deep into the valley. It was established in the late fifties and is located adjacent to the new Secretariat and is also called the Rustomji park so named after one of the Dewans of the Chogyal of Sikkim and the author of the book "Enchanted Frontiers". The park has a big open enclosure in which different types of deer can be seen. There are also a few cages in which some animals native to Sikkim like the Red Panda and the Himalayan Bear are kept. have been kept.
A big statue of Lord Buddha commemorating his preaching of the noble truths in the deer park at Sarnath adorns the park premises. A butter lamp perpetually burns in front of the statue which is surrounded by flowers of the most exotic variety. Below the statue, in golden letters is the following stanza from the works of the renowned scholar saint of Buddhism, Shantideva: 
Shower forth, Ye Heavens sweet rains in season due,
That Earth's rich harvest swell in ample stream,
Holdfast, O' king, the path of righteousness,
That world on world may rise to bliss supreme.

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Permanent Flower Show:
Distance - km ( from Gangtok )
Note -
Phone No -
Entry Fee - Rs.
White Hall, Close by the White Memorial Hall and just below the Palace Ridge park is the more recent Flower Show Hall. In recent years this show has become quite popular and famous as there are flower exhibitions throughout the year in accordance with the seasons and the flowers in bloom.

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Enchey Monastery:
Distance - km ( from Gangtok )
Note -
Located on a hilltop above Gangtok this monastery rebuilt in 1910 belongs to the Nyingmapa order and was once the hermitage site of Lama Drupthob Karpo renowned for his power of flying. 
An important seat of the Nyingma order, the Enchey Monastery meaning the Solitary temple, was originally built with the solace that no other construction would be allowed near it is built on the site blessed by Lama Druptob Karpo, a tantric master known for his flying powers. This 200 year old Monastery has in its premises images of god, goddesses and other religious objects. Every year around January 'Chaam' or religious masked dance is performed with great fanfare for two days. it is situated adjoining the Sinolchu Tourist Lodge, 3 kms from Gangtok Town...more

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White Hall:
Distance - km ( from Gangtok )
Note -
Phone No -
The White Hall has historical value and is situated on the Ridge. It is a two storied structure and has typical British architecture and was built in 1932. It is so called not because it is, painted white but because it was built in memory of the first Political Officer of Sikkim, Claude White. There is an Officers' Club and a badminton court in the White Hall.

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Ridge Park
Distance - km ( from Gangtok )
Note -
The Ridge is a small stretch of plain and flat road above the town of Gangtok. It is just about fifteen minutes walk from the main market. The Ridge has the White Hall and the Chief Minister's official residence, known as the Mintokgang, meaning "blossomed crowned hilltop" on one end and the beautifully designed Palace Gate with a pagoda rooftop on the other end. A statue of Nehru, the late Prime Minister of India, adorns the roundabout above White Hall. Situated on the Ridge is also a resting shed using Tibetan architecture.
The ridge is lined with plants and trees which when in bloom are a riot of colours. Flower shows which attract tourists from all over the world are held just below the Ridge. From the ridge, the, road winding its way up along the Chola range towards Nathula( border between India and China) can be clearly seen. During 1967 (not 1962, when this border was quiet), a confrontation broke out between India and China at Nathula. Long ago, a small market called the Sudder Bazaar consisting of a few shops lined the Ridge. In the early twenties this market was shifted to the present M.G. Marg.

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Tashi View Point

Distance - km ( from Gangtok )
Altitude - ft.
was built by the late King of Sikkim, Tashi Namgyal, it is situated 4 km from Gangtok town from where one can have a clear view of opposite hills, besides Mt. Khangchendzonga. This site offers a breathtaking panorama of the majestic Mt. Khangchendzonga and surrounding hills.
Built by the late King of Sikkim Sri. Tashi Namgyal, it is situated about six kilometres away from Gangtok on the North Sikkim Highway, this place offers an astounding view of the Khangchendzonga snowy range on a clear day. On the opposite hill, the Phodong and the Labrang monasteries can be seen. A resting shed and a small cafeteria situated at Tashi View Point provides shelter and other amenities to the tourists. A park above the View Point is a good place to enjoy a picnic.

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Hanuman Tok:
Distance - 5 km ( from Gangtok )
Altitude - 7,200 ft.
Situated about 5 km uphill from White Hall on a bifurcation road of the Gangtok-Nathula Highway, is a temple devoted to Hanuman, a God worshipped by the Hindus. On selected points on the road to the temple, breathtaking views of Gangtok and the adjoining rolling hills can be seen.
From the temple itself, the snowy peaks of Khangchendzonga present a panoramic picture. One also gets a birds eye view of the Selep waterworks, which supplies drinking water to the Gangtok town, a few hundred feet in altitude below Hanuman Tok. The temple at Hanuman Tok is maintained by a unit of the Indian Army and can be found to be spick and span.
A short distance before the stair case leading to the Hanuman Temple is the cremation ground of the erstwhile royal family of Sikkim. The cremation ground has stupas and chortens each marking the place where the mortal remains of the departed souls were consigned to the flames.

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Ganesh Tok:
Distance - km ( from Gangtok )
Altitude - 6,500 ft.
It is a very small temple dedicated to Lord Ganesh, a diety worshipped by Hindus. The temple is so small in size that it can hardly accommodate one person and one has to crawl to get inside it. It is located on the hill adjoining the TV Tower. It is on a hillock on Gangtok-Nathula Road. 
From here you can get a panoramic view of Gangtok town and the Raj Bhawan Complex and on a clear day you get a breathe taking view of Mt. Khangchendzonga.
During the tourist season, a small cafeteria is opened for the convenience of the visitors. Just adjoining the Ganesh Tok is a pinetum garden containing pine trees. A walk on the footpath amongst the pine trees is refreshing.

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Himalayan Zoological Park:
Distance - km ( from Gangtok )
Altitude - ft.
Phone No -
Entry Fee - Rs.
The park is located exactly across the road opposite Ganesh Tok and covers an area of 205 hectares. This area is also known as Bulbuley and extends almost upto Hanuman Tok. Although a 3 kms long jeepable road runs right through the park, vehicles are not allowed in. There is a paved cement path that passes by fenced open air enclosures housing the red pandas, Barking Deer, bears and other animals of Sikkim in a semi natural habitat. As the enclosures encompass a huge area the animals are sometimes not easily visible and one has to be patient to get a sight of them. Making noise drives away the animals to take refuge behind bushes.

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Sa-Ngor-Chotshog Centre:
Distance - 5 km ( from Gangtok )
Note -
Located on a beautiful hill top it is a Tibetan refugee monastic institution established in 1961 by his Eminence Luding Khen Rimpoche, Head of Ngorpa, sub-sect of the Sakya Order, with the blessing of H.H. Sakya Trizin and H.H. the Dalai Lama. This is the only monastery of the Sakya Order of Tibetan Buddhism in Sikkim.

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                                             EXCURSIONS FROM GANGTOK

Rumtek Dharma Chakra Center
Distance - 24 km ( from Gangtok )
Note -
Built in - 1960
A short drive from Gangtok will take you to Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre. Built in 1960 by His Holiness the late 16th Gyalwa Karmapa it is a replica of the original Kagyurpa Monastery in Tsurphu, Tibet, the seat of His Holiness the Gyalwa Karmapa Rinpoche, head of the Karmapa sub sect of Kargyudpa order of Tibetan Buddhism. It now functions as the headquarters of the Dharma Chakra Religious Centre.


Located within the complex are the main monastery, the memorial stupa of the XVI Gyalwa Karmapa inlaid with gold plate and semi precious stones, Shri Nalanda Institute for Higher Buddhist Studies and the Jamyang Khang Primary School. The centre houses some of the world's most unique religious scriptures, manuscripts and religious art objects.
A fifteen minute walk downhill from Dharma Chakra Center takes one to the Old Rumtek monastery which was originally built in 1730 by the ninth Karmapa but was destroyed by fire and had to be reconstructed to the present state. His Holiness late Gyalwa Karmapa lived in this monastery till the completion of the Rumtek Dharma Chakra Center.
For more information visit their website at www.rumtek.org

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Shri Nalanda Institute for Higher Buddhist Studies:
Distance - km ( from Gangtok )
Note -
Phone No -
Initiated by the late 16th Karmapa, the institute in housed in the adjoining building of the Rumtek Monastery. The Jamyang Khang Primary School meant for 5 years of primary monastic studies is also located here. 

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Jawaharlal Nehru Botanical Garden:
Distance - km ( from Gangtok )
Note -
Phone No -
Located very close to Rumtek Monastery just half a kilometer before reaching Rumtek Monastery on the highway, it is maintained by the parks and Gardens unit of the Forest Department of the Government of Sikkim, the Garden is an enchanting and soothing experience among the lush green vegetation, rare plants and trees and certain species of Himalayan flowers and Orchids.
This garden is a mixture of well tended tropical and temperate plants and trees can be found here. A huge greenhouse containing many species of orchids has been constructed within the garden. For children there is even a small playground with a merry-go-round, swings and a see-saw. A cemented footpath winds its way through the garden and is good for taking a relaxed stroll. The sprawling town of Gangtok can be seen on the hill opposite. The garden is indeed an ideal picnic spot. 

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Saramsa Garden/ Ipecac Garden:
Distance - 14 km ( from Gangtok )
Note -
Entry Fee - Rs.
Also know as  lpecac Garden, the home of Sikkim's most exotic orchids and other rare tropical and temperate plants. The garden is know as Ipecac garden because of the plant Ipecac that is grown here. Established and maintained by the Department of Forest, it is an excellent recreation and picnic spot. Besides this plant, this garden also contains a wide variety of other flora including numerous types of orchids and medicinal plants.
A large green house also accommodates many other species of plants. One has to take a taxi to reach this place.

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Water Garden:
Distance - 16 km ( from Gangtok )
Note -
Water Garden at Martam Khola is on the 31-A National Highway south of Gangtok. It is an ideal spot for picnic with a small swimming pool for children.

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Tsomgo/ Changu Lake:
Distance - 40 km ( from Gangtok )
Altitude - 12,210 ft
Note - A must visit for all tourists.
The drive from Gangtok takes about 2 hours by bus. The lake is about 1 km. long and oval in shape, 50ft deep . This is an alpine zone and snowbound from December to April and the lake is regarded extremely Holy holy and head of all lakes in Sikkim remains frozen from January to April, and attracts 99% of tourists visiting Gangtok, Sikkim. It is also a home of Brahmini ducks besides stopover for various migratory ducks...More

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Nathula Pass:
Distance - 54 km ( from Gangtok )
Altitude - 14790 ft.(4,392 m)
Note - The days for tourist visit is restricted and needs to be applied at least 24 hrs in advance and limited days of operation. The days permitted to visit Nathula are Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sundays only. Photography is strictly prohibited in and around Nathula.
20 km further away from Tsomgo is the famed Nathula pass. The pass Nathula means the whistling pass. Nathula is the Indo-China border at Jawahar Lal Nehru Road whereby Indian troops and the Red army stand face to face. This is the closest an Indian Tourist can travel and pose a photo or two with the Red Army.

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Menmecho Lake:
Distance - 60 km ( from Gangtok )
Altitude - ft.
This is another beautiful lake located twenty kilometres ahead of the Tsomgo(Changu) lake. Quite big in size, it lies cradled between the mountains below the Jelepla pass and is also the source of the river Rangpo-chu which meets the Teesta at Rangpo. Like the Tsomgo(Changu) Lake, it also derives its water from the melting snow around especially from the stream that originates just below the Jelepla pass.
The lake is famous for its trout and a farm to cultivate these fish also exists nearby. Accommodation for the visitors coming here is available at the dak bunglow and tourist lodge near the lake. Tourists are not yet permitted to visit this area. 

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Fambong La Wildlife Sanctuary:
Distance - 25 km ( from Gangtok )
Altitude - 1280 - 2652 m
Note - A log house with two rooms is available at Golitar and Tumin. Charges are Rs. 50 per person per night
Entry Fee - Rs.5/- per head.
Best Season - October and April
It has an area of 51.76 sq. km. The main vegetation is Oak, Katus, Kimbu, Champ with thick bamboo forests and ferns. The Sanctuary is also home to a large number of wild orchids, rhododendrons etc. The richly forested area is known to be home for various species of wild animals and birds. This area is being developed as a short duration trekking trail.
Apart from this sanctuary there are others like
Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary
Shingba Rhododendrons Sanctuary
Meanam Wildlife Sanctuary

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Special Interest Tours
The Last Shangri La | Butterfly Tour | Angling Tour | Meditation Tour | Flower Lovers Tour | Rhododendron Tour | Photo Tour

Cultural Tours
Discover Sikkim | Sublime Lotus | Shangrila Tour | Pilgrimage Sikkim | Himalayan Splendour | Formidable Dzongs | On The Kanchendzonga Trail | The Roof Of The World | The Dragon Land | Pemayangste--The Sublime Lotus | A Journey Along The Teesta River
| Monasteries & Chortens | Of Mist & Clouds | Ride On The Historic World Heritage Train | Monasteries Of Sikkim | Monastics & Ascetics | The Buddhist Lamas | The Kazi Bhutias | The Lachenpas & Lachungpas | A Pilgrimage To Pemayangtse

Sikkim Treks
White Magic Trek | Dzongri Trek | Sangelila Trek | Green Lake Trek | Goecha-la Trek


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