Gangtok - the capital city of Sikkim state (Sikkim is the 23rd.state of India) which also known as most peaceful & beautiful state in India
Wreathed in clouds, Gangtok, the capital city of Sikkim is located on a ridge at a height of 5500 feet. With a spectacular view of the Khangchendzonga, the town provides the perfect base for travel through the state. Once an important transit point for traders traveling between Tibet and India, it is today a busy administrative and business centre and presents an interesting mix of cultures and communities.
Gangtok is a cosmopolitan town which offers the tourist all possible amenities. Hotels are available in a range of prices along with a variety of eateries serving cuisine for all tastes. Shopping complexes, cyber cafes, night clubs and pool parlours abound for those so inclined.
MG Marg, the main street of Gangtok town is a great place to chill out. The countrys first litter and spit free zone, no vehicular traffic is allowed into the marg. You can sit at the Titanic Park or at the various benches stretched across the mall and take in the carnival like atmosphere, especially during the tourist season. The Mall is lined with shops on both sides of the road so shopping becomes an added pleasure.
MG Marg is also the venue for the annual Gangtok Food and Culture festival held in December each year when Sikkims multi-cultural cuisine, along with music and dance performances are showcased. This event attracts a large number of locals and tourists each year.
Main Tourist attraction of Gangtok:
Tsomgo Lake is located in the north eastern part of Sikkim. It is situated 35 km away from Gangtok on the Gangtok– Nathula highway .Tsomgo Lake (12,400 ft. / 3780 m), this is one of the highest altitude Himalayan Lake. Most beautiful this oval shape lake almost 1 km long with its average depth 50 ft and situated in east Sikkim Himalaya. Which makes a role of the erstwhile trade route from India to China. This lake has been worshipped as a holy lake by Sikkim’s. The average depth of this lake is about 50 feet and 1 km long.
The cool and tranquil water harmonies with the beautiful scenery around it attract so many visitors. During the winter season, the lake would be in frozen condition. A moderate-sized temple of lord Shiva is present on the lakeshore. Many beautiful flowering plants like primula and other plantations like alpine add beauty to the lake.
Baba Mandir situated at 3780 m.
Short story: Captain "Baba" Harbhajan Singh (August 3, 1941 – October 4, 1968) was an Indian army soldier who died near the Nathula Pass in eastern Sikkim, India. He is revered by the soldiers of the Indian army, who have built a shrine in his honour. Baba is to have granted favours to the soldiers, and guard each one in the inhospitable terrain.
Harbhajan Singh was born into a Sikh family on August 3, 1941 in the village of Batthe Bhaini in Punjab (India). He completed his preliminary schooling at village school, and then did his matriculation from DAV High School in Patti in March 1955. In June 1956 he enrolled himself as a soldier in Amritsar and joined the Corps of Signals. On June 30, 1965 was granted a commission and posted to the 14 Rajput regiment. During the 1965 Indo-Pakistan war he served as an Adjutant of his unit. Later he was transferred to 18 Rajput. It was with this regiment that he met his end on October 4, 1965 in Sikkim.
A shrine was built at his Samadhi, at an elevation of around 4,000 metres (13,123 ft). According to army folklore, Baba is a stickler for discipline and is known to admonish those who do not tow this line. A camp bed is kept for him and his boots are polished and uniform kept ready every night. The sheets are reportedly crumpled every morning and boots muddy by evening. The Major continues to draw a salary and takes his annual leave.
According to legend, Major Harbhajan Singh drowned in a glacier following the 1962 Sino-Indian War in 1968 while escorting a column of mules to a remote outpost. He was the first casualty of the 23rd Punjab Regiment, and a manhunt was launched to find him. He was found after three days and cremated with full military honours. According to legend, it was Major Harbhajan Singh who led the search party to his body, and later, through a dream, instructed one of his colleagues to build and maintain a shrine after him.
Legend also has it that in the event of a war between India and China, Baba would warn the Indian soldiers three days in advance. During the flag meetings between the two nations at Nathula, the Chinese set a chair aside for the saint. Every year on September 14, a jeep departs with his personal belongings to the nearest railway station, New Jalpaiguri, where it is then sent by train to the village of Kuka, in Kapurthala district in Punjab. As per train rule the train reserved seat never left blank, but for baba reservation is done to travel him at his home town every year with solders to drop Baba at his home town. A small sum is also sent to his mother each month.
Nathula Pass at 4392 meters nearly 56 kilometers from Gangtok and a maximum of two drive. Only 38 kilometers is Tsomgo Lake and another 18 kilometers is Nathula Pass on the India and China border. Permit is necessary which either the local operator or we will take care off. Baba Harbajan Singh Memorial is considered sacred by locals and tourist alike. This lake is mesmerizing and home to Brahmani duck and it remain frozen 7 to 8 months of the year.
Nathu La is one of the three trading border posts between China and India; the other two are Shipkila in Himachal Pradesh and Lipulekh (or Lipulech) in Uttarakhand. Sealed by India after the 1962 Sino-Indian War, Nathu La was re-opened in 2006 following numerous bilateral trade agreements. The opening of the pass is expected to bolster the economy of the region and play a key role in the growing Sino-Indian trade. Currently, agreements between the two nations limit trade across the pass to 29 types of goods from India and 15 from the Chinese side. The opening also shortens the travel distance to important Hindu and Buddhist pilgrimage sites in the region.
Places to visit In and Around Gangtok
This is a religious site of the Nyingma order. Enchey literally means Solitary. This Monastery was built with the intention that no other construction would be allowed near it. It is said that the site has been blessed by Lama Drupko Karpo, a revered tantric master reputed for his power to fly. Every year around January \'Chaam\' or religious masked dance is performed with great fanfare for two days. It is situated 3 kilometers from Gangtok.
This are basically view point and is nearly 5½ kilometers from Gangtok. There is a temple of God Hanuman. Other than offering prayers one can enjoy the scenic beauty of Gangtok town. On a clear day one can have a satisfying glimpse of the snow clad Himalayan range and specially mount Khnagchendzonga.
Tashi View Point
This was built by the late King of Sikkim Tashi Namgyal. This is situated nearly 4 kilometers from Gangtok. One can have a clear view of the Himalayan range, besides Mt. Khanchendzonga on a clear day. Tourist can enjoy the scenic view of mount Kanchendzonga, mount Siniolchu and the whole of Himalayan range.
This is again a view point and very popular among tourist. There is a temple of Ganesha worshipped by Hindus. It is situated on a hillock in Gangtok - Nathula Road. One can visit a government nursery nearby.
Do - Drul Chorten
This was built by Trulshi Rimpoche. He was the head of the Nyingma order of Tibetan Buddhism. There are complete mandala set of Holy Books, complete mantras and other religious objects. Around this Chorten are the prayer wheels ten in numbers and are rolled by the devotee while going round the huge Gumpha. One of the important stupas in Sikkim with two huge statues of Guru Rimpoche.
One of the finest Monastery of Sikkim with svchooling of Monks nearby. This is the seat of the 17th Gyalwa Karma, late His holiness Rangjung Rigpae Dorjee. It is believed that the monastery was built in 1960 is a replica of the original Kagyurpa Monastery in Tsurphu, Tibet. It is situated nearly 25 kilometers from Gangtok makes a half day sight seeing and worth it.
This Park is situated approximately 8 kilometers away from Gangtok. It is a spread over an area of 205 hectares. It has been planned to be the natural habitat of the endangered red panda, barking deer, spotted deer and bear.
Flower show started way back in the late eighties in different places and was quite popular. Now it is held permanently in White Hall, just below the Palace ridge park. This show has become quite popular and famous among the tourist. There is flower exhibitions throughout the year in accordance with the seasons and the flowers are always in bloom. A glimpse of rare orchids and flowers are treat to the eyes
This is one such show where one can come across weavers and craftsman working. Shoppers will find the Directorate of handicrafts and handlooms an entertaining place to catch up on their souvenir hunting. Craftsmen in the process of weaving, woodcarving and painting of typical Sikkimese designs will impress all. It offers a close and personal view of these beautiful crafts. One can take home with the hand – woven carpets, blankets, shawls, carved magnolia – wood tables, etc.
North Sikkim is the top tourist destaionation spots in sikkim Tourism and the places to visit in North Sikkim is Lachung Lachen Yumthang and Gurudongmar Lake. Best tine to visit north sikkim is Sep to Dec and March to May. North SIkkim is the most choice tourist destination for the nature lovers travel to Sikkim state. To travel those areas you need to take 2 days or 03 Days package, which start from gangtok and end at Gangtok Lachung
The picturesque mountain village of Lachung, at a height of 8610 ft, embraced by snow capped mountain peaks, breathtaking waterfalls, sparkling streams and apple orchards is the perfect holiday destination. Sprawled across the banks of the Lachung Chu [river] which slices the village in two, Lachung is famous for its apples, peaches and apricots. At Lachung you can visit the Lachung Gompa, built around 1880, the monastery is situated amidst apple orchards across the river from the town centre. Also go see the handicraft centre which has exquisitely woven rugs and blankets.
Accommodation is no problem in Lachung which has many hotels and lodges including a Dak Bungalow. But despite throwing its doors open to tourists Lachung still retains its distinctive culture and tradition, including the unique system of self governance called the Zumsa where all local disputes are settled by a totally representative body of the village which is headed by an elected Pipon.
You can also visit the Shingba Rhododendron sanctuary through which flows the Yumthang Chu. The sanctuary is known for its abundance of Rhododendron trees and shrubs. Lachung is perfect for an overnight halt before you visit the spectacular Yumthang valley.
Yumthang, situated at a height of 11800 feet is popularly known as 'Valley of Flowers', Located at a distance of 148 kms from Gangtok, it is a paradise for nature lovers with a fascinating blend of flora and fauna and breathtaking scenic beauty. In spring season, wild flowers such as primulas and Rhododendrons bathe the landscape in rich colours, making it a tourist hot spot. The Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary over here has 24 species of Rhododendron flowers which bloom from April to May end.
hot spring located on the right side of Yumthang river is a popular tourist attraction. In addition to a vast green meadow, lush green forest abounding in Pine and silver fir trees throngs the place. While driving towards the valley, one can see cascading waterfalls and streams.
Six kms away further North is Shiv Mandir. A drive or trek to this place can be very refreshing and exhilerating. Situated further up at a distance of 16 kms, at an altitude of about 16,000 feet is Yumesamdong. The rugged vegetation- free mountains, especially in the months of November-December and February¬March over here present a breathtaking scenario. The approach to Yumthang is from Lachung valley, situated at a height of 8000 feet. It is at a distance of 120 kms from Gangtok. It has a unique self-governing body called the Dzumsa, which substitutes the modern Gram Panchyat. The village, spread out on the either side of Lachung Chu, has managed to retain its unique culture and tradition.
At an altitude of 8500 ft Lachen is alluring in its simplicity. Not yet as big a tourist destination as Lachung, it retains a freshness which is very appealing. The village comprises of less than 200 houses, earlier inhabited only during winters by their owners who spend their summers on the alpine pastures bordering Tibet tending to their yaks. Lachen is the starting point for some of the most interesting treks in North Sikkim as well as the gateway to the holy Guru Dongmar and Tso Lhamu lakes.
You can visit the Lachen Gompa here and sample the simple village life of the ‘Lachenpas’.
The area is restricted for foreigners, but special passes can be procured in advance. A few lodges are available here for stay as well as Forest Department and a PWD Bungalows.
Gurudongmar Lake Situated at a height of 17,800 feet, it is considered one the most sacred lakes by the Buddhists and Hindus alike. The beautiful and awe inspiring lake (190 kms from Gangtok) remains milky in colour throughout the year. According to a legend, since the lake used to remain frozen most of the year, it was not possible to use its water for drinking purposes. When the Guru Padmasambhava passed by, while returning from Tibet, the local residents are reported to have approached him for providing source of water.
The Guru obliged. A portion of the lake touched by him does not freeze in extreme winter. Since water of the lake is considered sacred, visitors carry the 'blessed' water in bottles.
Pelling (7,000ft.), the land lies with Mt. Khnagchendzonga and also known as the Hallmark land of eastern Himalaya. State in India
Places of Tourist Interest ...
It is one of the oldest monasteries in Sikkim. The ancient monastery has been considered as one of the premier monasteries in the state. Inside the monastery there lies a wooden structure depicting the Maha Padmasambhava's heavenly place created by late Dumgzin Rimpoche. The Monastery located on a hilltop at an altitude of 6500 Ft commands a magnificent panoramic view of the Himalayan ranges, the surrounding hills and countryside.
About 25 Km from Pelling, Kechopalri lake is considered to be one of the sacred lakes of the state both by Hindus and Buddhists. The lake is surrounded by lush green trees. The lake is so calm and clean that even a single leaf is not allowed to float on the surface by birds who pick them up as soon as the leaves fall on the lake. It is also believed as a wish full filling lake.
This was the second capital of the erstwhile kingdom of Sikkim after Yuksam and till the year 1814 AD., the king of Sikkim had ruled the state from this place. Today, the ruins lie hidden from the main road at a walking distance from the tourist lodge and the Pemayangtse monastery. It can be approached by following a footpath which branches off the main road. The scenic view from the top of the ruin scanning across deep valley to the mystic heights of KanchenDzonga ranges is something to be cherished and etched in memory.
About an hour drive from Pelling is the Khang Chen Dzonga waterfall which is worth visiting for its beauty and breathtaking gardens.
Sing shore Bridge / Uttarey
The highest bridge in Sikkim is located at a distance of about 25 KM from Pelling. About 20 minutes drive is Uttarey, a base camp for adventure Tourism for Singalila range trail.
The mammoth statue of Guru Padmsambhava atop the Samdruptse hill. claimed without dispute that the 135 feet statue of Guru Padmasambhava constructed at the statue of Guru Padma Shambhava at Samdruptse Hill, Namchi, Sikkim.
78 kms from Gangtok, Namchi, literally translating as ‘top of the sky’ is the South district headquarters and fast emerging as a tourist destination. Set in a picturesque location, Namchi offers an unmatched view of the Khangchendzonga range and the Rangit valley. Here you can visit the Sherdup Choeling Monastery and the Dichen Choeling monastery. Around two kms from Namchi is the old Ngadak monastery which is now being renovated. Situated on a hill just above Ngadak monastery is the very attractive Rock Garden, which is full of rare flowers and plants and also offers breathtakingly beautiful views.
Namchi hosts the very popular Namchi Mahotsav, a Tourism, Culture and Food Festival, every year in October. A flower festival is also held annually. The 135 feet high statue of Guru Padamasambhava is present at Samdruptse near Namchi at a distance of 75 kms from Gangtok. Samdruptse literally means 'wish fulfilling hill' in the Bhutia language. A unique, awe inspiring and gigangtic 135 feet high statue of Guru Padamasambhava is installed atop Sampruptse. It is the highest statue of Guru Padamasambhava in the world. His Holiness the Dalai Lama laid the foundation stone of the statue in October 1997. It took nearly three years to complete the statue. There is also the Namchi Rock Garden located between Namchi town and Samdruptse. This popular garden has many attractive plants, flowers and species of trees. A number of waiting sheds, view points and waterbodies along its footpaths have been provided. A neat and clean cafeteria serves the tourists and visitors well.
Samdruptse literally means 'wish fulfilling hill' in the Bhutia language. Situated near Namchi in South Sikkim, it is at a distance of 75 kms from Gangtok. A unique, awe inspiring and gigangtic 135 feet high statue of Guru Padamasambhava is installed atop Sampruptse. It is the highest statue of Guru Padamasambhava in the world. His Holiness the Dalai Lama laid the foundation stone of the statue in October 1997. It took nearly three years to complete the statue.
Guru Padmasambhava also known as Guru Rimpoche had blessed Sikkim more than 1200 years ago. The statue is therefore a fitting tribute to this patron saint of Sikkim. The statue funded by the State Government was constructed and installed by His Eminence Dodrupchen Rimpoche and members of his Chorten trust. The installation was conceptualised by Shri Pawan Chamling, the Chief Minister of Sikkim and he remains the motivating and guiding force behind the entire project.
The ultimate plan is to make Samdruptse as an international pilgrimage centre on completion of meditation huts, ropeway library, guest house, public amenities, parking yard etc, around the towering statue. The message of love, compassion, peace and harmony is aimed to spread throughout the world from this historic hill.
This unique Pilgrim Centre has a main temple of 108 feet height on which is based the 87 feet high statue of Lord Shiva on the sitting posture at the Solophok Hill. Apart from Shiva statue, this Pilgrim Centre also has replicas of the twelve Jyotirlingas, to offer one platform for Shiva devotees. Solophok Chardham Lord Shiva incarnated as Kirateshwar in Indrakeel (Present Sikkim). Therefore, in this incarnation he is locally worshipped by the people of Sikkim as Lord Kirateshwar. A statue of 16 1/2 feet height of Lord Kirateshwar is also installed in the complex. In order to attain Moksha, the Hindu belief is to perform pilgrimage to all the existing four Dhams. Thereby, replicas of these four Dhams, namely Badrinath, Jaganath and Dwarka dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Rameshwar, dedicated to Lord Shiva is also constructed.