Enchey Monastery – Sikkim is perhaps the only state in India with more than hundred eighty Monastery. Enchey is an important seat of the Nyingmapa order, the Monastery is built on the site blessed by Lama Druptok Karpo. He is believed to be a tantric master known for his power of flying. This 200 years old monastery has in its premises images of gods, goddesses and other religious objects of historical importance. Every year around January, Chaam" or religious masked dance is performed with great fanfare for two days. It is situated close to the town of Gangtok and is one of the places of interest. Tourist generally visits this place in the nine points, half day or seven point package tours. It is only 3 kilometers from GangtokTown.
Flower Show – This Flower show is just mesmerizing and tourist generally hang around this park more than the time planned and we have noted many returns to this place if there is time left with them.This Flower exhibition is organized round the year at the Flower Show venue near the White Memorial Hall complex. It is ion central Gangtok and makes a pleasurable walk from M G Road. Orchid show held during the spring season is one of the most popular shows organized in the State. Flowers, Orchids and rare species of many plants can be seen here. It is one of the best tourist hot spot within the city limit.
Directorate Of Handloom & Handicrafts(DHH) - Instituted with the aim of promoting and keeping alive the State's traditional art & craft, the DHH is a store house of hand-woven woolen carpets, with traditional motifs, blankets, shawls and exquisitely carved 'Choktse' or table and many other gift items. Visiting hours are Monday to Saturday from 0930 hours to 1230 hours and 1300 hours to 1600 hours. This sales emporium remains open throughput the year. Though locally made handicrafts are also available at M.G. Marg, Lai Market and along the National Highway yet one can see the craftsman at work at this center. Wooden, woolen, metal, bamboo work are on display for the tourist and are for sale.
Do-Drul Chorten - Sikkim is perhaps the only state in India with more than hundred eighty Monastery. The Do - Drul Chorten or Stupa was built by the Venerable Trullshi Rimpoche, head of the Nymgma order of Tibeten Buddhism, in 1945. Inside the stupa, there are compere mandala set of Dorjee phurba (Vajra Kilaya), Holy Book, complete 'Zung' or mantras and other religious objects of historical importance. Around the Chorten, there are 108 Mani Lhakor (Prayer Wheels) perhaps the most photographed objects. These are turned by devout Buddhists while chanting 'Om Mane Padme Hum' (O Jewel in the Lotus) to invoke the Bodhisattva and is equally followed by tourist. It is surrounded by Chorten Lakhang and Guru Lakhang. One can also come across two huge statues of Guru Padmasambhava.
Namgyal Institute of Tibetology (NIT) – This institute is crowded by the holy kids who are disciple of Buddhist and they are so beautiful to look at and their activity will please any visitors. During the break or recess hours they flock around the area sporting curios look and beautiful smiles on their faces. The most prestigious of its kind in India, this Buddhist Institute is a treasure of vast collection of rare Lepcha, Tibetan and Sanskrit manuscripts, statues and rare 'Thankas' (tapestries used in Buddhist liturgy). It has over 200 Buddhist icons and other prized objects of art of historical importance. It is one of the most visited sites in Gangtok perhaps after Rumtek monastery. There is a huge library and a garden situated among huge trees it is a must visit site. At present it is internationally renowned centre for study of Buddhist philosophy and religion.
Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre – PerhapsTsomgoLake and Rumtek Monastery are the most visited and most photographed sites of Sikkim. This is perhaps the largest monastery academically and for its historical value is located on a high location away from the crowded town. Nearly 45 minutes drive from Gangtok, 24 kilometers away, is the Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre, the seat of the Kagyud order, one of the four Cuajor major Tibeten Buddhist sects. Since the 1960s, after the arrival of his Holiness theXVIth Gyalwa Karmapa, the centre houses some of the World's most unique religious scriptures and rare objects. Traditional in design, it is almost a replicaof the original Kagyud headquarter in Tibet. It has over 300 centers overseas.
Hur-Huray Dara (NAM-NANG) - Situated opposite the Sikkim Legislative Assembly, one can have a very good walk from Nam Nang view point to Sikkim Press. The Visitors can also experience the breathtaking view of dense forest and the lush green - valley. It is a serene area to relish and ideal for nature walk. It is best for evening stroll or the morning stroll and with the nice view of the surrounding hills, the area, the huge tree and the mighty Kanchendzonga. It is generally is less crowded and is perhaps best for seniors and honeymooners. It is walk able distance from Mahatma Gandhi Marg. Generally this is not a part of the view point nor is it any part of package. We advice our guest to take an extra day at Gangtok and just stroll around this region for half a day with the White Hall, Flower show and the Legislative house to visit.
Gangtok Ropeway (Samco Ropeway) – Only one of its kind in this region and is still in operation. Darjeeling ropeway stopped long ago and the government is planning more of its kind in this region. It takes the passenger to the highest point of the city of Gangtok covering the distance of about one kilometer in only seven minutes. Each cabin accommodates 24 passengers. The lower terminal station is located at Deorali Market, the intermediate terminal at Nam Nang and the upper terminal station is below Secretariat (Tashiling). One can truly enjoy the panoramic view as the Ropeway goes over the City. It is a must for the children and first timers. This is covered by the city tour or the sight seeing points covered by the tour operators.
ChogyalPaldenThondupNamgyalMemorial Park - It is dedicated to the memory of Miwang Chogyal Chenpo Palden Thondup Namgyal, 17th in the line and the 12th consecrated Denzong Chogyal King of Sikkim). He was gracious, valiant and very enlightened. He ascended directly from Namgyal Dynasty, which began in the year 1642 A.D. with the installation of Phuntsog Namgyal as the first consecrated ruler of Sikkim, at Yuksom, in West Sikkim, Born in 1923 he succeeded as Chogyal in 1963 and died in 1982, Deeply inspired by his cherished dream of welfare state for his country, even from his young years as heir apparent, the Chogyal dedicated his entire efforts for a clear, effective and timely fruition of the precious plans.During his illustrious era, firm foundations were laid for basic amenities and social aids. Having initiated elector reforms and transfer of power to people’s representatives in stages, this humane democrat with the highest sense of justice made the judiciary completely independent, soon after his coronation. He was devout Buddhist and highly attained in religious scholarship. He was the founder president of the Namgyal Institute of Tibetan Studies at Dotapu (Gangtok) and President of the Maha Bodhi Society of India. Chogyal Palden Thondup Namgyal was undoubtedly a pioneer among his peers, in advocating the modern system of governance.
Ban Jhakri falls –Ban Jhakri falls has been for many years from now but has gained popularity very recently many operator still avoid this view point with other points due to its remoteness with other points. If added the one day sight seeing becomes very hectic. This is located on the route to Ranka Monastery and nearly 4 kilometers from Gangtok. BanJhakriFallsEnergyPark lies amidst a lush green valley spread over nearly 2 acres and is quite nice and popular among tourist. It is surrounded by trees and gushing mountain stream. The Park has a Shamanistic theme. Hence, while the location of the park penetrating the forest spreads and seeks to enhance the essence of the occult and the unknown. The place itself is littered with ethnic sculptures and figurines of the Jhakri culture. We would advice our guest to visit five to six points and make the trip enjoyable rather than making it tiring.
Pal Zurmang Kagyud Monastery (Lingdum) - The people of the state is religious and god fearing with rich cultural heritage. There are colorful festivals and are organized with much fun fare with dance and musical events and each of the monastery have its own importance. Sikkim is perhaps the only state in India with more than hundred eighty Monastery.Zurmang Kagyud Monastery, located at Lingdum, East Sikkim is at a distance of about 20 kilometers from Gangtok. The present Gharwang Rimpoche is the 12th Successive incarnation of the glorious emanation of Zurmang Gharwang. This is a place worth visiting for its religious and exquisite architecture and serene atmosphere.
SmileLand: Fun & Feast in Water – This spot is being developed recently and it seems the government of Sikkim has gone every direction in improving and attracting visitors to the state. Namchi has a few, Pelling has added Rock gardens. Tsomgo lake route has also a few developments and many such structure or attractions are coming up in the state. Smile land is just below NH 31 - Near Ranipool Town and every tourist from Siliguri, Pelling and Darjeeling has to come by this park as the entrance is adjacent to this park. It is approximately 12 kilometers away from Gangtok covering an area of nearly 7 acres. Smile land is surrounded by river Rani / Jali / Seti Khola in the East. There isno package tour to this place and has to be arranged in advance so that one hasa few hours extra while in their stay at Gangtok. Regional Science Centre in the North, floriculture in the West basin Rock Garden and picnic spot in the south. Smile provides many adventure sport like Fun and Feast in water, Beach Volleyball, Water Disco, Angling, Mountain biking and all occasion or events.
WaterGarden - WaterGarden at Martam Khola is on 31 A National Highway, 16 Kilometers South of Gangtok. It is an ideal spot for picnic with a small swimming pool for children. There is a Tourist cafeteria and way side amenity has been also provided. This spot is being developed recently and it seems the government of Sikkim has gone every direction in improving and attracting visitors to the state. Namchi has a few, Pelling has added Rock gardens. Tsomgo lake route has also a few developments and many such structure or attractions are coming up in the state. It is not possible to visit all the places of interest in Sikkim in one visit hence we advise our guest to complete any one or two of the district in a single visit and cover it up with a second trip to the rest
Tashi View Point (6100 feet) - Situated along the North Sikkim Highway, it is only 8 kilometers from Gangtok. From this point one gets a breath taking view of mountKhang – chen - Dzonga, one of the most graceful peaks in the world. An ObservatoryTower, Cafeteria and Public amenities have also been recently added. The Tashi View Point is one of the most popular places to see in the state of Sikkim in India and was built by Tashi Namgyal who was a king of Sikkim.It is also adorned with a park at its top and is often used by the tourists as a picnic spot. The ideal time of the day to visit the Tashi View Point in Sikkim is early morning or in the evening but ideal time to visit is early in the morning. The clear sky of the early or late morning creates a beautiful backdrop to the mountKhangchendzonga. The View Point is quite well equipped to cater to the tourist’s enjoyment and resting place. A cafeteria is also built at this place so that the tourists can refresh themselves in between enjoying the fascinating natural views that the place offers.
Ganesh Tok (6100 feet) - It is situated on a ridge at a close distance from the center of the town. View of mountKhang – chen - Dzonga and MountSiniolchu is brilliant and loom over the horizon. A cafeteria serves hot tea, coffee and snacks. A more modern and spacious is nearing completion.Ganesh Tok is a very small temple located next to the television tower on the hillock on the Gangtok – Nathula road. Ganesh Tok is located nearly 7 kilometers from Gangtok. The altitude of this spot is nearly 6,500 meters. The temple is devoted to lord Ganesh and is small; it can just accommodate one person. Guest can get a bird’seye view of the Gangtok town, the Raj Bhawan Complex. MountKanchendzonga is also visible from this location. Very close to this Tok is called Smriti Van, which is close to the temple, where the devotees can plant saplings on behalf of their loved ones.
Hanuman Tok (7000 feet) - A Lord Hanuman Shrine or popularly known as Hanuman Tok is a Temple where pilgrims and devotees come to offer their prayers. At a short distance to the temple is the burial ground of the royal family of Gangtok. The temple is well - managed in hence enhance the neatness and beauty of the Tok. It is nearly 11 kilometers away from Gangtok town, above Ganesh Tok, It has a temple of Lord Hanuman where the devotees come in large numbers to offer prayers and festivals or Mela is also arranged. Due to its locational advantage, the view of the mountain along the horizon is just magnificent especially on a clear sunny morning hence is one of the tourist hotspot in Gangtok.
HimalayanZoologicalPark - 8 kilometers away from Gangtok is the HimalayanZoologicalPark. One can spot Red Panda, Snow Leopard, Spotted Deer, Beers, etc. in a semi - natural habitat and many more animals found on high altitudes.HimalayanZoologicalPark is certainly a place for wildlife lovers and was established, to preserve the wildlife.Located in Bulbuley at an altitude of 5,840 feet / 1,780 meters and gives a splendid view of MountKanchendzonga. Spread over an area of nearly 205 hectares in the mountainous terrain and the animals are kept in replicated natural conditions. Established in 1991 the Park is the first park of its kind in the north - eastern part of India with part of it is covered with forests that house Musk Deer, Blue Sheep, Himalayan Black Bear and Barking Deer and Red Panda. Best time to visit this sanctuary is in the months between mid February to May and mid - September to December
Fambong Lho Wildlife Sanctuary - It is located a distance of 25 kilometers from Gangtok having an area of 51.76 square kilometers. The main vegetation found are oak, katus, kimbu, champa, thick bamboos and ferns. The sanctuary is also home to a large number of wild orchids, rhododendrons, etc. The richly forested area is known to be the home for various species of wild animals and birds. This area, located close to Gangtok, is also a short trekking trail. A log House with two rooms is available at Golitar and Tumin. Charges are INR 50.00 per person per night and entry fee to the Sanctuary is INR 5.00 per head.
Gonjang Monastery - Gonjang Monastery near Tashi View Point was established in the year 1981. Thee founder is H.E. Tingkye Gonjang Rimpoche. He was recognized as an incarnation of Yolmo Terton Ngakchang Shakya Zangpo, a 15th century Nyingmapa Terton. The monastery follows angter tradition of Nyingmapa school of Tibeten Buddhism.In the early 19th century, it was Rigzin Pema Choephel who was also responsible to construct the first ever Gonjang Monastery at Tingkey, Tsang province which was named as “Gonjang Samten Choephug”. Monk students are taught all kinds of monastic education along with Tibetan language and English. Comparative studies of Indian and Tibetan Buddhist philosophy based on moral values are taught. Gonjang Institute is for complete nine years course similar to other Nyingma institute
Bakthang Waterfalls - 20 minutes drive from Gangtok is BakthangWaterFalls along the 31 A National Highway leading to North Sikkim. It originates from Ratey Chu, the main water source of Gangtok area. The location is completely free from the pollution of city life and is a nice place for Honeymoon couple and travelers who avoid rush. Apart from the clear view of the peaks surrounding MountKhangchendzonga, some portions of Gangtok town, one also gets a bird's eye view of the region. In Gangtok Bakthang and Ban Jhakri are the two nearest waterfalkl developed to tourist spot. Guest is suggested to visit with an intention of its beautiful view to relax and to take photographs
Sa-Ngor Monastery - It is a refugee institution established by his Eminence Luding Khen Rimpoche. Sikkim is perhaps the only state in India with more than hundred eighty Monastery and this is one of them. This is the only monastery of the Sakya Order of Tibet en Buddhism in Sikkim. It is located on a beautiful hill top at a distance of nearly 5 kilometers from Gangtok town.It is at a distance of nearly 5 kilometers from the center of the town and was built in the year of 1961. It is situated on a beautiful hill top. It is a Tibetan refugee monastic institution and was built by his Eminence Luding Khen Rimpoche, Head of Ngorpa, sub sect of the Sakya Order, with the blessing of H.H. Sakya Trizin and His Highness the Dalai Lama. This is the only monastery of the Sakya Order of Tibetan Buddhism in Sikkim
TouristVillage, Pastanga - Pastanga in Lingzey is located at an altitude of 1425 meters (4676 feet). It is two hours drive from Gangtok. The enchanting litde village provides magnificent view of the mountain ranges. One can wander up lush green mountain trails where one comes across beautiful waterfalls along the path. There are rare species of bamboos in dense rhododendron and magnolia forest. The tourists are provided with home stay facilities with organized cultural program and local handicrafts show. It is also worth while to visit traditional houses of ethnic communities, some being one hundred and fifty years old. Pastanga is also the take off point for Khedi trekking route.
TsomgoLake - It literally means the "Source of the Lake" in local or Bhutia language. It is situated at a distance of nearly 38 kilometers from Gangtok. This serene lake is situated at an altitude of 12400 feet. The lake is about 1 kilometers long, oval in shape, 15 meters deep and is considered sacred by the local people. This placid lake remains frozen during the winter and spring months. A modern ropeway is being planned to add to the breathtaking beauty of this famous water body. Between May and August, it is possible to see a variety of flowers including the various colours of Rhododendrons, various species of Primulas, Blue & yellow Poppies, Irish etc. It is also an ideal habitat of Red Panda and various species of birds and ducks. It is open for both the foreigners and Indians. Foreign visitors have to be in a group of two or more and have to apply for the visitors' permit through a registered travel agency or through us.
BabaHarbhajanSinghMemorialTemple – This temple has gained popularity in the last few years due to its history and belief of the followers. It wasbuilt in the memory of Harbhajan Singh, an army man / sepoy. He was in the 23rd Punjab Regiment. The temple lies between the Nathu - La and the Jelep - LaPass. Legend has it that he appeared in a dream a few days after he went missing while patrolling the border, and expressed a desire that a monument be built his memory. His fellow soldiers then built a monument that has over the years acquired the status of a pilgrimage centre. Believers leave a bottle to be collected a week later to be used for its healing powers.
Nathu La – Nearly 56 kilometers from Gangtok is NathulaPass, situated at an altitude of 14450 feet at the border of India and China. It has one of the highest motor able roads and is richly covered with varieties of alpine flora and fauna other than the snow. A tranquil place to visit, Nathu La is open only for Indian Nationals on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. The visitors have to get a permit from the Tourism Department through a registered travel agency including us. With effect from 6th July 2006 trade between border residents of Sikkim Tibet region has been resumed. Tourist expects that touring Tibet will be on the card very soon.
Saramsa Flower Pavilion /IpecacGarden – It was initially established with the intention of growing various types of fruits like pineapple, guava, varieties of oranges and litchie for the residence of erstwhile British Officer and the King. Later the Forest Department introduced Ipecac from Zohore in Malaysia for medicine which was considered very effective against emetine. The cultivation of ipecac continued till 1970. Most of the present plants in the garden at present were introduced from 1974 till 1980. After 1990 the garden was converted into full fledged recreational garden for picnickers. It is situated nearly 14 kilometers from central Gangtok on the way toi Tsomgo. An international flower show was held recently in this garden. Planning are on to develop the site as an tourist attractions with many more added features. The Sikkim Government has recently set up a convention centre which is used for MICE center for holding National and International seminars, exhibition etc.
Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre - Rumtek Monastery is nearly 25 kilometers from Gangtok and is nearly minutes drive. It is an international monastery and came to limelight when the Nobel Peace prize owner The Dalai Lama took shelter there during his arrival from China.Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre, the seat of the Kagyud order, one of the four major Tibeten Buddhist sects. Since the 1960s, after the arrival of his Holiness the With Gyalwa Karmapa was the earlky stage when this monastery became a tourist hotspot. The centre houses some of the World's most unique religious scriptures and rare artecrafts or objects. Traditional in design, it is almost a replica of the original Kagyud headquarter in Tibet. It has over 300 centres overseas.
Alpine Tour, East Sikkim – Tour to places like TsomgoLake, BabaHarbhajajnSinghMemorialTemple, Nathu La Pass passes through theKyongnosia Alpine Sanctuary - Spread over an area of nearly 31 square kilometers at an altitude of nearly 3350 meters. Situated around the area adjoining of the route to Nathu La Pass, Baba Mandir, TsomgoLake the sanctuary abounds in alpine flowers like Poppies, Primulas, Rhododendron, etc. Wildlife consists of Musk Deer, Serow, Himalayan Black Bear, Red Panda, Lesser Cats, etc. Birds like Blood Pheasant, Satyr Tragopan, Impeyan Pheasant, rose finches, yellow bellied fantail flycatchers, many a migratory birds, etc are some of the species found. This floristic sanctuary has a breath-taking variety of flowers between May and August. Rare and endangered plants with medicinal value such as Podophyllum emodii, Aconitum spp., Nardostachys grandiflora, etc can be found here. Snowfall is a permanent feature and the beauty of the region is mesmerizing.
Ranka Monastery / Lingdum - Monastery in Sikkim has its unique signature / aura about it. This monastery is also known as the Lingdum Monastery. This is a fairly peaceful place and hence one can spend more time photographing or simply going around the place. There is a long line of prayer wheels just near the entrance. It is customery spinning these prayer wheels. Before the Tibetian New Year one can find the young Buddhist monks practising the Lama dance. It has a distinct style and form and is quite enjoyable just to see them training. There is steep flight of stairs which leads guest to the inner sanctum. It is better to visit this place during prayer. Hymns are sung with various musical instruments used along with the traditional Buddhist gong. The sound and the silence both are appealing. Young monks conducts the evening prayer session. The inside of the monastery has colourful wall hangings touching nearly all the way to the floor. The walls as usual have depictions and drawings all around. The inner sanctum of the Lingdum monastery is very much like any other large monastery. Large sized Buddha statues plated in gold could be seen. The best part of this monastery is its access. This monastery is open to tourists and one can happily explore the entire perimeter. There are a few view points from where guest can get brilliant views of the monastery, the training session taking place in the courtyard below and even the sunset views on the neighbouring hills. Lama dance is a popular dance performed in the Buddhist monasteries, it is a festive mask dance performed annually before Losar, the Tibetan New Year.
Kabi Lungchok - This historical place is 17 kilometers from Gangtok on the North Sikkim Highway. This is where the historical Treaty of Blood Brotherhood between the Lepcha Chief Te – Kung - Tek and the Bhutia Chief Khey – Bum - Sa was signed ritually. The spot where the ceremony took place is marked by a memorial stone pillar amidst the cover of dense forest.
Aritar – This beautiful lake has been turned into a well maintained Lake and perhaps the most ideally situated within the hills. The Aritar Lake (Ghati - Tso) near Rhenock, about 3 hours drive from Gangtok and is worth visiting. For nature lovers there is a home stay arrangement nearby at Reshi Khola or Reshi with angling facilities. For those interested in spending a night or two in the peaceful environment, trekker's huts, few lodges and a private resort are available. Other attractions are boating, visiting and exploring the way of living of villagers and also visit to the Lingsay Monastery and a (Manghim) temple of Rai Community. A short trek in and around Aritar is a thrilling experience. A night spent in an old British built Bungalow of 1895 located half kilometers below the Lampokhari Lake could be an enthralling experience.
Tags: Rumtek Monastery, Ranka Monastary, Baba Mandir
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