Sikkim

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Sikkim

The youngest state of India

Sikkim - A PLACE WORTH TRAVELING TO

A mountain state in the Indian Himalayas and the former Himalayan Kingdom situated between Nepal in the West, Bhutan in the East and Tibet/China in the North. Sikkim is a place worth packing your bags for and taking out your camera. This little pristine state is the pride and gem of the northeastern province. The cleanest and spit the Free State of India also boasts of being the first organic state of the country. The unparalleled traits greatly contribute to the thriving tourism of Sikkim.

Ever considered visiting the quaint hill stations? Sikkim tour operators bring you the best opportunity to explore the serene province. With its rich bio-diversity has 180 lakes ranging in an altitude from 200 meters to almost in the lap of Mt. Khanchendzonga 8,585meters- the third highest mountain in the world. Sikkim sprawls over an area of 7096 Sq. km.

Sikkim tour guide introduces you with nature's lover's delight that owns 600 Species of birds, 4,500 species flowering plants, and 424 species of Herbal Plants. Sikkim boasts of 240 species of Ferns and 16 species of Conifers. Besides it has 36 species of Rhododendron, 600 species of Butterflies, 600species of Orchids, making it a botanists' paradise. Sikkim owns majestic Mountains, mysterious Lakes, tranquil Monasteries, numerous species of Flora and Fauna and most of all hospitable & friendly inhabitants.

Sikkim is one of the most promising states of India with happy people and their unique culture. Sikkim travel agents delight the visitors with authenticity and a genuine welcome, treating them as their own family. Sikkim with its spectacular scenery and enviable climate is no wonder why tourist craves to visit it. Its abundance of rivers and lakes accompanied by its fresh air gives it a lush. Its strangely tropical environ encourages the growth of varied and exotic flowers. Most rare and unique orchid flower spreads grand beauty followed by the countless species of flowers. With abounding natural grandeur, Sikkim thrives as a multilingual, multi-religious and multicultural state of the multiracial.

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General Information

PLACE : Sikkim
CAPITAL : Gangtok
DISTRICTS : four
POPULATION : 5,40,493
CURRENCY : Indian Rupee
STATE ANIMAL : Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens)
STATEBIRD : Blood Pheasant (Ithaginis cruentus)
STATEFLOWER : Noble Orchid( Dendrobium nobile)
STATE TREE : Rhododendron( Rhododendron niveum)
BEST SEASON : Mid February - late May / October - December
MINERALS : Copper, Zinc, Lead, Pyrites, Limestone, and coal.
AGRICULTURE : Maize and Rice. Millet, Buckwheat, Barley, Pulses,are subsidiary crops.
CASH CROP : Cardamom, ginger, Apples, Oranges, Pine-apples
PEOPLE : three ethnic group, Lepchas, Bhutias and Nepalese.
HEADQUARTERS : North - Mangan, South - Namchi, East - Gangtok , West - Gyalshing.
RELIGION : Mahayana Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity and other religion are also practised.
LANGUAGE SPOKEN : Nepali, English, Hindi, Bhutia (Sikkimese), Bhutia (Tibetan), Lepcha, Limbu.

Places of Interest

Directorate of Handicrafts and Handlooms

Established by Government to promote the manufacturing and selling of authentic and traditional arts and handicraft, handlooms and exquisite carpets, blankets and shawls in "Lepcha" weaves, furniture (Choksies), thankas, paintings, wooden decoration and bamboo products in authentic Sikkimese designs.

Enchey Monastery

This 200 year old monastery is famous 'chaam' or religious masked dance which takes place around january every year.

Do-drul Chorten (Stupa)

It is richly decorated with prayer flags with religious scripts. Around the Chorten there are 108 'Mani Lhaka' (prayer wheels).

Namgyal Institute of Tibetology

The most prestigious Buddhist Institute and the treasure trove of rare Lepcha, Tibetan and Sanskrit manuscripts.

Saramsa or Ipecac Garden

About 14 Km from Gangtok besides Ranikhola is this garden the home of Sikkim's many exotic orchids and other rare tropical and temperate plants. Formed and maintained by the Department of Forest, it is an excellent recreational and beautiful picnic spot.

Rumtek Monastery

It is an excellent replica of the original Kagyu headquarters at Tsurpu in Tibet. It houses some of the world's most unique art objects, ancient manuscripts and icons. Above the Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre is a hermitage where the monks go into complete seclusion for meditation for a period of three years. The important chaam (religious masked dance) is performed on the 10 th day of the 5 th month of the Tibetan Calendar, and presence eight manifestations of the Guru Rimpoche. This is highly colourful and spectacular and draws many pilgrims and visitors. Prayers at about 0400 and 1800 hours.

Ganesh Tok

It is at an altitude of 6500 ft. above Gangtok and 7 km Where a small temple of God Ganesha is nested. Panoramic view of Gangtok, magnificent and breathtaking view of Khangchendzonga and Siniolchu can be observed and enjoyed from this spot on a ridge. A cafeteria serves hot tea, coffee and snacks.

Hanuman Tok

It is at an altitude of 7200 ft., about 5 km From Gangtok where there is a temple of God Hanuman. Panoramic view of Gangtok and adjoining hills and valleys with Khangchendzonga on the background can be seen from here. Sunrise can be observed from here. Night view of the Gangtok city lights is mood elevating.

Tashi View Point

About 8 km From Gangtok. It is a resting shed. Astounding view of Khangchendzonga and the Siniolchu Range is the main attractive of this point. The distant north Sikkim monasteries are also visible from this point along the North Sikkim highway.

Tsomgo Lake

About 40 km from Gangtok ,this 1 km long,15 meter deep oval lake is 12,400 ft above sea level. This lake considered sacred by the local people remains frozen during the winter months till mid-may.

Baba Harbajan Singh Memorial

Built in the memorial of Harbajan Singh, a sepoy in 23rd Punjab Regiment, this memorial is between the Nathu-la and Jelep-la passes.

Nathula Pass

Located 56 km from Gangtok, at an altitude of 14,400 ft above sea level, at the boarder of India and China . It is open only for Indian Nationals on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday and visitors require a permit.

Kabi Lungchok

This historical pace is 17 km from Gangtok on the North Sikkim Highway . This is where the historic treaty of blood brotherhood between the Lepcha Chief Te-Kung-Tek and the Bhutia Chief Khey-Bum-Sa was signed ritually.The spot where the ceremony took place is marked by a memorial stone pillar amidst the cover of dense forest.

Seven Sisters Water Falls

It is located 32 Kms away from Gangtok on the National Highway leading to North Sikkim . It is said that this is most picturesque beauty of nature.

Phensang Monastery

This is a religious spot of gathering for the Lamas. There are around 300 monks under the monastery. The main annual function in the Phensang Monastery in Sikkim is held on the 28th & 29th days of the tenth month of the Tibetan Calender which normally corresponds to the month of December.

Phodong Monastery

The most beautiful monasteries in the state and serves as the residence of approximately 260 monks. The monastery also has a rich collection of some ancient murals.

Sirijonga Yuma Mangheem - Mangshila

Constructed in 1983, the designs are similar to that of Sirijonga Yuma Mangheem - Martam, ( West Sikkim ). During January Maghey Sankranti is celebrated with enthusiasm and people of all communities from the neighbourhood hamlets come and partake in the celebrations with fervor and gaiety.

Rong Lungten Lee

It is a replica of a traditional house and comprises of three rooms. The ceiling called 'PHAHONG' an attic is used to store valuable items. This house is open to tourists, both foreigners -and domestic throughout the year and visitors can admire the antique artifacts displayed. Namprikdang is situated at the confluence of two rivers - Kanaka and Teesta.

Singhik

The place offers one of the most spectacular and closest views of Mt. Khangchendzonga and its ranges. The area also has a number of interesting short nature trails for one to three days along the higher ridges of the surrounding hills. One can also savour the most graceful peak in the world. - Mt. Siniolchu .

Chungthang

Chungthang, located near the confluence of Lachen and Lachung Chu and the starting point of River Teesta, has emerged as a major subdivision settlement in North Sikkim.It is the nodal junction for the two passes, Lachen and Lachung. The valley is believed to have been blessed by Guru Rimpoche and one can visit the Holy Guru Lhedo to see the foot on a stone amides bio diversity, with a large variety of orchids, plants and wildlife. It is 95 km from Gangtok, 23 km from Lachung and 29 km from Lachen. It is predominantly a Lepcha region.

Lachung

A Bhutia village located at an altitude of 8000 ft above sea level, has emerged as a popular tourist destination as it is just 25 km frm Yumthang Valley . Here a unique self-governing body called ' Zumsa ' substitutes the ' Pahchayat '. A visit to the Lachung Monastery will get you a glimpse of the local religious functions perform there. Yumthang, Valley of Flowers: Yumthang, at an elevation of 11,800 ft. and 140 km from Gangtok is a paradise for nature lovers, with a fascinating blend of flora and fauna with breathtaking scenic grandeur. The valley is also the home of Shingbha Rhododendron Sanctuary having 24 species of Rhododendrons.

Lachen

Lachen is situated at an altitude of 2750 metre. It is about 6 hours drive from Gangtok. The Lachen Monastery located on a top of the village commands a panoramic view of the surrounding hills and country side.

Thangu

Thangu situated at an altitude of 14,000 ft. is about three hours drive from Lachen. It is a small village where the visitors usually acclimatize before they proceed to Guru-Dongmar Lake .

Guru-Dongmar Lake (17,800 ft.)

Guru-dongmar Lake is considered as one of the Sacred lakes of the State both by the Buddhists and the Hindus. The lake remains milky throughout the year and it is believed that Guru Padmasambhava touched the lake whilst he visited Tibet from this area.

Samdruptse

It means the "Wish Fulfilling Hill". A 135 ft unique statue of Guru Padmasambhava which is said to be the tallest in the world is installed.

Temi Tea Garden

It is the only tea estate existing in the state, produces top variety tea for international market. The tea garden spread out on a gentle hill slope originating from the Tendong Hill provides a magnificent view of the surrounding villages.

Ralong Monastery

This monastery situated near Ravangla is the oldest Kargypa Sect monastery.

Maenam Hill

It is a 4 hour uphill trek through the Maenam Wildlife Santuary, home of Red Panda, Himalayan Black bear and several species of deer. A half hour distance away is Bhaley Dunga- a peculiar looking cliff('Dunga') which resembles a cock('Bhaley').

Tendong Hill (8530)

Several years ago a great flood submerged the land and Tendong meaning ' upraised horn ' rose up miraculously. Even today prayers are offered to prevent calamities.

Borong

There is a motorable road from Ravangla to Borong via Menam. It's a beautiful village with magnificent landscape and is the home to a hot spring called "Borong".

Pelling

Pelling is a town in the district of West Sikkim, India. Pelling is nestled at an altitude of 2,150 m (7,200 feet). The town is located at a distance of 10 km from the district headquarters of Geyzing. A regular bus service connects the two towns. However with the influx of tourists, the region is undergoing a metamorphosis, with the roads being repaired and hotels being set up.

Yuksom

The first capital of Sikkim . It is believed that the history of the state began from this place, these areas are now considered sacred by the people of Sikkim . Not only so, this place is famous for the starting point of trek route to Dzongri and Gochala.

Uttarey

An ideal home for the 'quiet' holiday seekers, nature lovers and bird watchers with rewarding walks, trekking trails and panoramic view. It is also the gateway to Sikkim Singalila Range.

Rinchenpong

Is a village with beautiful landscape and a panoramic view of Khangchendzonga range.

Legship

This gateway to western Sikkim , has a holy Hindu Shrine of Lord Shiva on the banks of river Rangit. A must visit for all tourists specially the Indian Traveller. The festival of the temple takes place in the month of November known as the Bala Chaturdesi. Legship also houses the first ever built dam in the state for hydro electricity purpose. The water accumulated in the dam is used for Rangit Water World and local folks come here for picnics and rafting.

Reshi Hot Springs

The hot springs are 25 Km from Gyalshing located near Reshi on the River Rangit. One has to walk about ten minutes from the highway across the river Rangit by a pedestrain bridge to reach the hot springs . The water of these springs has medicinal value as it contains sulphur and can cure some skin diseases.

Versay

This lies in the south - western corner of Sikkim . One has to first reach Hilley by road via Sombaria then has to trek for 4 Km to reach Varsey Rhododendron Sanctuary.


Tourist Info

Quick Summary

Area 7,096
Density 76 Per. / sq Km
Sub Divisions 9
Temperature Summer
Max.21degree Celsius
Min.13 degree Celsius

Winter
Max.13 degree Celsius
Min.05 degree Celsius
Annual Rainfall 3,894
Clothing Needed Summer – Light Woolens
Winter – Heavy Woolens

How To Reach?

By Flight :

The closest Indian Airport is at Bagdogra ,124 kms from Gangtok, where scheduled flights operates from Calcutta , Delhi , Guwahati. Travel time from the airport to Gangtok is 4 hrs . Sikkim Tourism Development Corporation also operates a daily helicopter service flight from Bagdogra to Gangtok (20 minutes).

By Rail :

The closest Railhead is at New Jalpaiguri and Siliguri which are connected to Calcutta ,New Delhi ,Guwahati and other major Indian cities.

By Road :

Gangtok is at a distance of 110 kms from Siliguri and will take 4:30 hours from Siliguri to reach Gangtok. Gangtok is connected by road with Darjeeling (4 Hrs) and with Bhutan - Phuntsholing (6 Hrs).

Additional Information for Non-Indian Nationals

To visit Sikkim in addition to an Indian visa, foreigners must obtain inner line permit (ILP) to visit Sikkim, the permits can be obtained from all Indian missions, Tourism Office- New Delhi, Sikkim Tourism office- Kolkata and Sikkim Tourism Office- Siliguri on the strength of an Indian Visa.

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