Sikkim, a small state located northwest India, bordered by Bhutan, Tibet and Nepal, the far eastern part of the Himalayas, the area has a dramatic landscape including India’s highest mountain and world third highest Mt. Kanchendzonga at 8,586m.
Sikkim is also home to glaciers, alpine meadows and thousands of varieties of wildflowers. Steep paths lead to hilltop Buddhist monasteries such as Pemayangtse, which dates to the early 1700s.
Gangtok capital of India’s last state of Sikkim, established as a Buddhist pilgrimage site in the 1840s, the city became capital of an independent monarchy after British rule ended, but joined India in 1975. Today, it remains a Tibetan Buddhist center and a base for hikers organizing permits and transport for treks through Sikkim’s Himalayan mountain ranges.
Places to See in Gangtok:
Enchey Gompa: Enchey Gompa should be ideally visited during the months of august and January. Dances and festivals are held during that period. The central attraction is a Chinese Pagoda styled edifice built in 1901. The Gompa (monastery) offers a stunning view of the Kanchenjunga. Namgyal Research Institute of Tibetology: Namgyal Research Institute of Tibetology is a famous institute. The institute promotes research on Mahayana Buddhism. Government Institute of Cottage Industries: The institute was established in 1957. It is a great place to purchase local handicrafts like Tangkhas,woolen carpets, dolls and masks among other handicrafts. Palace of the Chogyal (late monarch):
If you visit Gangtok in December then the place to visit is the Palace of the Chogyal (Monarch). The palace is open to the public during Pang Lhabsol festival. Tourist Destinations Near Gangtok: Excursions can be made from Gangtok to Changu Lake, 35 kms away famous for its cool and placid waters and the picturesque locale. Chungthang is also worth a visit because of its religious significance, which is interesting. The Sikkimese and the Hindu soldiers in the Indian Army believe that guru Padmasabhava had rested in this place and left three footprints for his devotees on a solid piece of rock. The Sikh members of the Indian army believe that the footprints are those of Guru Nanak. Gangtok is best visited during the months from March to late May and from October to mid December. Gangtok offers the traveler a superb mixture of both adventure and heritage tourism. Places of interest around Gangtok include the venerable Rumtek Monastery along with exciting trekking routes.
The places to see around Gangtok include the following ‘must see’ destinations:
Rumtek Monastery and Dharma Chakra Center:
Rumtek Monastery is situated on the opposite side of the Ranipul Valley at a distance of 24 kilometers from Gangtok. Rumtek Monastery is the seat of Gyalwa Karmapa- the head of the Kagyupa order of Tibetan Buddhism. The main structure however, is a recent one-it was built in the 1960’s by the late 16th Gyalwa Karmapa when he set up base in Sikkim after fleeing from authoritarian Chinese rule in Tibet. Monks can be seen chanting outside Rumtek Monastery. Pemayangtse Monastery: Pemayangtse Monastery is situated at a distance of 112 kilometer from Gangtok. It is Sikkim’s most important Gompa. Framed by snowcapped mountains Pemayangtse Monastery makes a stunning sight. It was built during the reign of the third Chogyal Chador Namgyal in 1705. Since then it was rebuilt many times. The main festival takes place in February. Tashiding Monastery:
Tashiding Monastery is located in West Sikkim at a distance of 145 Kilometers from Gangtok. Tashiding Monastery holds a strategic position on the top of a hill between Rathong and Rangit rivers. Tashiding Monastery has one unique characteristic: the monastery is gold topped. It is regarded as one of the holiest Buddhist Gompas in Sikkim.
Day 1: Arrive Darjeeling (90 kms / 2-3 hrs)
Arrive Bagdogra airport / New Jalpaiguri railway station and transfer to Darjeeling. Enroute you will visit beautiful Mirik Lake. Arrive and proceed to your hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 2: Darjeeling
Early morning (0330 hrs) visit Tiger Hills to witness the spectacular sunrise over the Kanchanjunga mountains. On the return visit the famous Ghoom Monastery and Batasia loop. This afternoon visit the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, the Himalayan Zoo and the Botanical Gardens. At the end of the tour visit the Tibetan Handicraft Center and drive past Darjeeling Tea Gardens. Overnight at hotel.
Day 3 : Darjeeling to Gangtok (114 kms/ 3-4 hrs)
This morning you will be transferred by road to Gangtok, is literally the “lofty hill” set amidst the clouds and mists of the splendorous Himalayas and is a gateway to Sikkim. Proceed to your hotel and rest of the day at leisure. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 4: Gangtok
This morning proceed on an excursion to Baba Mandir, dedicated to a old soldier of Indian Army, later visit picturesque Tsomgo lake, a holy lake worshipped by the Sikkimese. Enjoy an optional yak ride around the lake. Overnight at hotel.
Day 5 : Gangtok
This morning proceed to Tashi View Point which offers a spectacular view of the mountains, Ganesh Tok and Hanuman Tok. Later proceed on a sightseeing tour of Gangtok – visit Do Drul Chortan, Stupa, Institute of Tibetology, Institute of Handicrafts and Handlooms, Enchay Monastery, Flower Monastery and Rumtek Monastery, which is the largest in Sikkim and is the main seat of the Karma Kagyu lineage. Overnight at hotel.
Day 6: Gangtok (124 kms / 4 – 5 hrs)
Transfer to Bagdogra airport / New Jalpaiguiri railway station.
|Start Date||End Date||Price US Dollar($)||AVAILABILITY||Booking|