the 22nd state of India, well protected by the Himalayan Mountains, was once
a Kingdom. The small state is rooted to the hill like a snake on the neck of
a Dragon. The Nepalese calls it Sukhim or the New House while the Tibetans
gave it the name of Denzong or the Valley of Rice. For the original
inhabitants of the place, the Lepchas, Sikkim means Nye-Mal-Ale or Heaven.
Out of the four districts into which Sikkim is divided, the most populated
one is the eastern district containing the capital of Gangtok. The 64km wide
state is locked between the mountaneous valleys of Bhutan and Nepal while
the high plateau of China lies to the north.
Climate of Sikkim
The best time to visit this state is during the months of March to May and
from October to December. Temperature is tropical in the lower valleys while
at the elevated places it is snowy.
Major Attractions of Sikkim India
» Gangtok -
The name itself signify a high hill that
is on a ridge at a height of 1547 meters over looking the river Ranipool.
The mighty Kanchendzonga dominates its skyline and can be seen clearly when
one rises in the morning from the beds. Gangtok is a heavily forested land
surrounded by Pandim, Narsinh and the Simnvo mountain ranges.The stupas and
monasteries of Gangtok are worth visiting as they provide a peaceful
ambience to the visitors and relieve them of the earthly bondages.
» Temi Tea Garden -
The only Tea Estate in Sikkim,
it produces one of the best quality teas for the international markets. The
garden spreads out on a gentle hill slope, emerging from the Tendong Hill
and gives a wonderful view of the surrounding villages. A beautifully built
British bungalow gives the visitors a night to spend amidst the greenery of
the Tendong hill.
» Jawaharlal Nehru Botanical Garden -
Garden house several species of botanical plants, making it a treat for the
plant lovers. The view of the Garden is an enchanting and soothing
experience among the lush green stock of vegetation. Found herein are some
rare plants and trees with certain species of Himalayan flowers and Orchids.
» Monasteries of Sikkim India
Enchey Monastery -
Enchey Monastery is situated on a hill top built
during the reign of Thutob Namgyal. The Enchey Monastery is an important
seat of the Nyingma order. The Monastery was constructed on the place
blessed by Lama Druptob Karpo, a tantric master known for his power of
flying. This 2 century old Monastery houses many images of Gods, Goddesses
and other religious objects within its complex.
¤ Pemayangtse Monastery -
belongs to the Nyingma order and all other Nyingma monasteries in Sikkim are
under it. The Monastery commands an impressive view of the Kanchenjunga and
it holds a total of 108 monks from leading Bhutia families. Pemayangtse
Monastery was initially a small Lhekhang build by Lhatsun Chenpo in the 17th
century. Later, during the rule of the third Chogyal Chakdor Namgyal, Jigme
Pawo extended the monastery and rebuild the structure.
¤ Rumtek Monastery -
The 3 century old Monastery was built by the 16th
Gyalwa Karmapa, when he took refuge in Sikkim after the Chinese invasion.
Rumtek Monastery possesses some of the worlds most unique art pieces,
ancient manuscripts and icons. It is the seat of the Kagyu order, one of the
four major Tibetan Buddhist sects. Constructed traditionally the Monastery
is a replica of the original Kagyu headquarters in Tibet.
¤ Tsomso lake -
The lake situated 32 km from
Gangtok is a holy lake worshiped by the people. A small temple of Lord Shiva
is constructed on the side of the lake. The lake, commonly called Changu
lake, is not far from the famous Nathu Pass and Lasha. Around the lake,
beautiful Primila flowers and other alpine plantations grow, adding a touch
of pristine beauty to the place. A path leads to the resting shed. The lake
remain frozen in the winters.
Khecheopalri Lake -
Located 24 km from the place of Pemayangtse, the
lake is known as the Wishing lake. The lake is surrounded by the forests and
considered to be one of the sacred lakes of the Buddhist and the Hindus.
Only prayers and no water sports is allowed near the lake. The surrounding
is confined by the Lepchas houses and their community.
Shopping is Sikkim
Old market, New Market and Lal market are the major areas where one can
look out for shopping things as per ones choice. Attractive items like
carved furniture, the dresses, Lepcha weave bags, carpets & durries with
intricate designs and colourful decorations are easily available. One can
also buy wooden and bamboo artifacts.
Accommodations in Sikkim
Quite a few hotels are located which provide comfortable stay to the
visitors, some of the prominent names includes the Hidden Forest Retreat,
the Norkhill Heritage Hotel, Himalayan Height hotels and the Takshi Delek
Hotel. The rooms of the hotels comes with luxurious finishing.
How to Reach in Sikkim
» By Air -
Bagdogra at a distance of 124 km from
Gangtok has the nearest airport. A helicopter service from Bagdogra to
Gangtok has recently been launched.
» By Rail -
The nearest railway stations from
Gangtok are New Jalpaiguri, situated 125 km away and Siliguri, 144 km far.
These places are well -connected to Delhi, Calcutta, Guwahati, and other
important cities in India.
» By Road -
Gangtok, the state capital is connected
by road to Darjeeling, Kalimpong, and Siliguri. Cars, luxury coaches and
jeeps are available for hire in the town. Regular bus services run under the
Sikkim Nationalised Transport.