Sikkim is a land of spectacular mountain terrains,varied flora and fauna and ancient budhist monasteries.Gangtok is the capital of sikkim , built on a flank of a ridge,Gangtok is a town of stupas and monasteries.
Sikkim is a small rugged Himalayan region, astride the ancient trade route linking China and the Indian sub-continent, nested between Nepal in the West and Bhutan in the East. On its Northern border towers the Plateau of Tibet and it shares its Southern border with West Bengal. The Lepchas are the original inhabitants of the land. These people have in-depth knowledge about their surroundings which comprises of forests, rivers, mountains and animals. They get food, medicine and numerous other household items from the nature itself. Most of the people are Buddhists in Sikkim. About five centuries ago the Bhutias migrated to Sikkim . Legend has it that they were the descendents of Tibetian Chieftain who had signed a treaty of brotherhood with the Lepcha Chieftain. The Nyingmapa order was introduced in Sikkim by three Tibetian Lamas, Latsun Chempo and Kathokrikzin Chempoand Ngadak Sempa Chempo. It was these lamas who consecrated the first Chogyal or king, Phutsog Namagyal at Yuksom which became the capital of the Kingdom. Earlier a set of invaders tried to capture the charming & resourceful land of Sikkim and to save the land from the attacks of Nepal and Bhutan, the people of Sikkim asked for assistance from the Tibetians and the British, they responded and found it lucrative to reign over the region. The British encouraged emigration from Nepal as they wanted to indulge in rice and cardamom cultivation and thus terrace farming was started. Sikkim offers the exotic combination of divine beauty, hospitality and freshness. In 1975 Sikkim became the 22nd state of India.
PLACES TO VISIT
The enchey monastery:A 200 years old monastery which was built by Lama druptob karpo,a tantric master known for his power of flying.every year in january, a famous mask dance Cham is performed here. Do-Drul Chorten:built in 1945.Inside chorten there are complete mandals,sets of Darjee phurba a set of Kangyar relics(holy books),complete zung(mantras)etc.
Sikkim research institute of Tibetology:.It is a treasure house of rare tibettan,sanskrit and Lepcha manuscript,statues,thankas,more than 200 budhist icons.It is a reknowned centre for the studies of Budhist philosophy and religion.
Saransa Garden:A home of sikkim"s many exotic orchids .
Rumtek Monastery:It is located at 23 kms distance from Gangtok.It is the largest monastery of Eastern Himalaya.
Tashi View point: From here ,you could have a view of Mt Kanchandzonga and other peaks of the Himalayas. One can have an experience of the changes in colour of snows of the mountains there.
Hanumantak : It is famous for its Hindu temple.
Fambongla wild life sanctuary:This wild life sanctary is located at a distance of 25 kms from Gangtok and has an area of 51.76 sq kms .The main vegetation is oak,cactus,Kimbu, Champ, bamboo, wild orchid,etc.
Tshongo lake:It is located at an altitude of 3780 metres ,just 40 kms away from gangtok.During october to may the lake remains frozen ,and from may to september one can have an experience of Rhododendroms,Trimulas,Red pandas,Blue and yellow poppies and yak safari is also possible there. Pemayangtse monasery:It is the oldest monastery of sikkim established by Lhatun Chempo.It belongs to the Nyingmapa sect of tibetan budhism.It is located at hill top of 6840 ft. From the monastery one can have a panoramic view of Himalaya.It is a monastery of wooden structure. Rabdantse ruins:It was the second capital of erstwhile kingdom of sikkim after Yuksom.The magnificient view of Kanchendzonga could be seen from here.
Pelling:It is located at 6800 ft altitude.It offers a good sunrise and all day long view of Khanchendzonga.
Sangachoeling monastery:It was built in 1697 AD.To reach in this monastery one has to spend atleast 40 minutes trek through the steep hilly slope. Khecheopalri Lake: It is a szacred lake to the state to both Hindus and Budhists.
Yuksom:This was the first capital of sikkim where the first chogyal kingdom of sikkim was coronated in 1641 AD by three learned Lamas.The evidence of coronation is still intact at Norbugang chorten.
Dudbi monastery:This monastery was established soon after the coronation ceremony of the first Chogyal.A trek of 35 minutes through steep slope will take you to this monastery.It is an ideal place for meditational recluse.
Tashiding Monastery:According to Budhist scripture Guru padma Sambhava(Guru Rimpocha)blessed the sacred land of sikkim in the 8th century from here.So a monastery was built there in 18th century AD.Tashiding has a holy chorten and is famous for "BHUMCHU" festival ie:sacred water festival.
South sikkim: Namchi: It is located at 5500 ft altitude,commands a panoramic view of snow capped mountains. Tendong hill: It is situated at 8530.ft altitude .It is a place of recluse for budhist Lamas.It is associated with the legends of Lepcha.
Temi tea Garden:Only tea estate of sikkim,where one can see tea plantation,cultivation,production,processing and testing as well.
Ravangla :It is famous for its scenic beauty, which is a combination of green forests, rocky and snowy mountains.
Maenam Hill:It is situated at an altitude of 10300 ft.On a clear sunny days from here it is possible to view the plains of bengal, Kalimpong, and Darjiling hills, and also the Indo-china border.
Borong:A small typical sikkim village with a picturesque of paradise.There is hot spring known as "Borong-Tisa-Chu".
Varshay:It is located at 10000 ft altitude.A motorable road will connect you upto the hill and then an easy 4kms trek takes you upto Varshay Rhododendron sanctuary.
The safari is ex Gangtok in the restricted area and hence special permits are required.april and may promises colourful flowers ,where as November end to March sees snows.Simple village folks spread scarcely admit that the virgin landscapes is a food forever.
Yumthang valley:some photographs of the natural scenes of switzerland and Yumthang valley are very hard to distinguish.Yumthang which is at an altitute of 12000fts. is situated about 135 kms from Gangtok.But the journey,is like travelling in the garden of Eden.Yumthang is located on flat valley , and is near the tree line,the surrounding mountain seems to kiss the heavens.The route to Yumthang from Lachung has a very picturesque landscape and is lined with rhododendrons which bloom in diffrerent colours from April to May.
SIKKIM TOUR ITINERARY:
Click for 11NIGHTS/12 DAYS:DARJEELING-SIKKIM TOURS.
(Places covered Kolkata - Darjeeling - Gangtok - Pelling - Kolkata)
click for 15NIGHTS/16 DAYS: DARJEELING-SIKKIM-ORISSA TOURS
(Places covered Kolkata-Darjeeling-Gangtok-Pelling-Kolkata-Bhubaneswar