SIKKIM has four districts: East Sikkim (headquarter - Gangtok), West Sikkim (headquarter - Gyalshing), North Sikkim (headquarter
- Mangan ) and South Sikkim (headquarter - Namchi)
Places of Tourist Interest
Capital Gangtok city See
Directorate of Handicraft & Handloom
Institute: With the aim of promoting and keeping alive
the State’s traditional arts and craft, the Directorate
of Handicrafts & Handloom is a storehouse of handwoven
woolen carpets with traditional motifs, blankets, shawls
in Lepcha weaves and exquisitely carved ‘choktse’ or table
and many other gift items. Open: Monday to Saturday from
9.30 am to 12.30 and 1 pm to 3 pm
Enchey monastery: An important seat
of the Nyingma order, the Enchey Monastery is built on
the site blessed by Lama Druptob Karpo, a tantric master
known for this power of flying. This 200-year-old monastery
has in its premises images of gods, goddesses and other
religious objects. Every year around January ‘Chaam’ or
religious masked dance is performed with great fanfare
for two days. It is sitated adjoining the Siniolhu Tourist
Lodge, 3 kms from Gangtok town.
Flower Festival: Flower exhibitions
are organized round the year at the Flower Show Venue
near the White Hall Complex, Gangtok. Orchid shows held
during the spring trouist season is one of the most popular
shows orgainsed in the State.
Nam-Nam View Point: Nam-Nam View
Point is situated in the vicinity of the Sikkim Legislative
Assembly. Visitors can have a breath-taking view of a
dense forest of Tsomgo and a lush green valley. A serene
area to relish.
Do-drul Chorten (Stupa): 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 relice
(Holy Books), complete ‘Zung’ (mantras) and other religious
objects. Around this Chorten, which is one of the most
important stupas in Sikkim, are 108 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 and Guru Lhakhang, where there are
two huge statues of Gure Rimpoche (Guru Padmasambhava).
Namgyal Research Institute of Tibetology
(NRIT): The most prestigious of its king in India,
this Buddhist Institute is a treasure trove f vast collection
of rare Lepcha, Tibetan and Sanskrit manuscripts, statues
and rare thankas (Tapestries used in Buddhist liturgy)
and has over 200 Buddhist icons and other prized objects
of art. Today, it is a renowned worldwide centre for study
of Buddhist philosophy and religion. Open all days: from
10 am to 4 pm
Sikkim Time Corporation Ltd. (SITCO):
Situated at a distance of 1.5 km from Gangtok town is
one the first industrial units set up in Sikkim. Set up
in 1977, it has 4 units which manufacture quality mechanical
watches, semi-conductor devices, attractive digital and
analog watches and top class watch crowns.
Saramsa Garden: About 14 km from
Gangtok is the Saramsa Garden, the home of Sikkim’s exotic
orchids and other rare tropical and temperate plants.
Established and maintained by the Department of Forest,
it is an excellent recreation, picnic and leisure spot.
Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre: About
45 minutes drive from Gangtok, 24 km away, is the Rumtek
Dharma Chakra Centre, the seat of the Kagyu order, one
of the 4 major Tibten Buddhist sects, since the late 1960s,
after the arrival of His Holiness the 16th Gyalwa karmapa.
The centre houses some of the world’s most unique religious
scriptures and religious art objects. Traditional in design,
it is almost a replica of the original Kagyu headquarters
Jawaharlal Nehru Botanical Garden: 24
km away from Gangtok is the JN Botanical Garden, Rumtek,
situated at an altitude ranging between 1800 mtrs. to
2200 mtrs. Established in the year 1987, it comprises
of virgin forest of oaks and as many as 50 different kinds
of tree species. The Garden is situated at a place which
is not only a scenic beauty for the tourists but also
adjoins Rumtek monastery and Fambongla Wildlife Sanctuary.
Open: from 10 am to 4 p.m.
Water Garden: Water Garden at Martam
Khola is on 31-A National Highway, 16 km south of Gangtok.
It is an ideal spot for picnic with a small swimming pool
Tsomgo Lake: It is literally known
as the “Source of the Lake” in Bhutia language. Just about
40 km away from Gangtok, the capital of the State, this
serene lake is situated at an altitude of 3780 metre.
The lake is about 1 km long, oval in shape, 15 metres
deep and is considered sacred by the local people. This
placid lake remains frozen during the winter months upto
mid-May. Between May and August it is possible to see
a variety of flowers in blooms, including the rhododendrons,
various species of primulas, blue and yellow poppies,
irises etc. It is also an ideal habitat for the Red Panda
and various species of birds.
Nathula Pass: 56 km away from Gangtok
is Nathula Pass at an altitude of 14200 ft. bordering
on India, China border in the Tibetan Plateau. It is one
of the highest motorable roads and richly covered by many
varieties of alpine flora and fauna. A tranquill place
Tashi View Point: Situated along
the North Sikkim Highway, it is only 8 km from Gangtok.
From this point one gets a breathtaking view of Mount
Khangchendzonga and Mt. Siniolchu, one of the most graceful
peaks in the world.
Himalayan Zoological Park: 8 km from
Gangtok is the Himalayan Zoological Park which covers
an area of 205 hectares. This area is also known as Bulbuley.
There is a paved cement path that passes by fanced open
air enclosure housing the Red Pandas, Barking Deer, spoted
deer, bears in a semi natural habitat.
Ganesh Tok: It is situated on a ridge
and is only 7 km from Gangtok. From this spot one gets
a bird’s eyeview of the sprawling Gangtok town down below
while across the hills Mt. Khangchendzonga and Mt. Siniolchu
loom over the horizon. A cafetaria serves hot tea/coffee
Hanuman Tok: It is 11 km away from
Gangtok town, above Ganesh Tok, with a Hindu temple where
the devotees come and offer prayers. Because of its locational
advantage, the view of the mountains along the horizon
is just magnificent, especially on a clear sunny morning.
Sa-Ngor-chotshog Centre: It is a
Tibetan refugee monastic institution established in 1961
by His Eminence Luding Khen Rimpoche, Head of Ngorpa,
sub-sect of the Sakya Oder, with the blessings of HH Sakya
Trizin and HH the Dalai Lama. This is the only monastery
of the Sakya Order of Tibetan Buddhism in Sikkim. It is
located on a beautiful hill-top just 5 km away from Gangtok
Fambong La Wildlife Sanctuary: Fambong
la Wildlife Sanctuary is located at a distance of 25 km
from Gangtok and has an area of 51.76 sq km. The main
vegetation is oak, katus, kimbu, champa with thick bamboo
forests and ferms. The sanctuary is also home to a large
number of wild orchids, rhododendrons etc. The richly
forested area is known to be home to various species of
wild animals and birds. This area, located close to Gangtok,
is being developed as a short duration trekking trial.
The best time is October and April. A Log House with two
rooms is available at Golitar and Tumin. Charges are Rs
50 per person per right and entry fee to the sanctuary
is Rs 5 per head.
Apart from this sanctuary there are others
like Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary, Shingbha Rhododendrons
Sanctuary, Menam Wildlife Sanctuary and Khangchendzonga
Aritar: For trekking and boating
Angling: Teesta and Rangeet have
scope for angling. Sikkim Anglers Association helps.
Baba Mandir: Baba Harbhajan Singh
Memorial temple was built in memory of Harbhajan Singh,
a sepoy in the 23rd Punjab Regiment. It is located between
Nathu La Pass and Jelep La Pass. It is said he appeared
in his colleagues' dream after he went missing during
patrolling on the border, desiring a monument in his memory.
The memorial has now beome a pilgrimage centre. There
are stories of healing powers attached to the place.
Gangtok ropeway: It is one km long,
in the city, from Deorali market to Tashiling. One cabin
accommodates 24 passengers. Fee Rs 50.
Memencho Lake (60 km from Gangtok):
This is another beautiful lake located twenty kilometres
ahead of the 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 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 bungalow and tourist
lodge near the lake. There is restriction on visit.