Sikkim | Dances | Gangtok | Festivals | Shopping | Hotels and Resorts


Situated on the eastern Himalayas, in the shadow of the towering Mount Kanchenjunga, which is worshipped as the principal deity, Sikkim measures approximately 100 kms from north to south and 60 kms from east to west.

The capital city of Gangtok, the impressive monasteries of Sikkim, the trekker's paradise at Dzongri and the overall raw beauty and grandeur leave a visitor to this mountain state, with memories to last a lifetime. Other places of tourist interest include the Deer Park, Enchey Monastery, Orchidarium Tashi View Point, Rumtek Monastery and Phodong Monastery.

The Capital of Sikkim Gangtok (which means Hilltop), occupies the west side of a long ridge flanking the Ranipul River.
Gangtok became the capital in 1800s (previous capitals were at Yuksom and Rabdentse) and the town has undergone rapid modernization in recent years

The major monastries like Pemayangtse, Tsuklakhang, Enchey and Rumtek are important venues for Buddhist festivals. Pang Lhabsol, Drukpa Tseshi, Losoong, Saga Dawa and Dasain are the most popular festivals. A favourite form of celebration is drinking of 'Chang', the millet beer of the Himalayas. Packed into tall bamboo containers, the drink is sipped through a bamboo pipe.



Tsuk-La-Khang (Royal Chapel):

The Royal Chapel is the Buddhists' principal place of worship and assembly and the repository of a large collection of scriptures. It's a beautiful and impressive building and its interior is covered with murals. Lavishly decorated altars hold images of the Buddha, bodhisattvas and Tantric deities and there are also a great many fine woodcarvings.

The only time it is open to visitors is during Losar when the famous dance portraying the triumph of good over evil is performed

Enchey Monastery :

Located above siniolchu Lodge, about 3 km from the center of town, Enchey Monastery is well worth a visit, particularly if you are in Gangtok when religious dances are performed in January. Built in 1909 it is a relatively small place and there are views across to Kanchenjunga.



Deer Park :

This popular viewpoint is on the edge of the ridge next to the Secretariat building. A good time to visit is around 8 am when the deer are fed.




Chorten& Gompa :

The gold apex of this huge white chorten, surrounded by prayer flags,is visible from many points in Gangtok. Next to chorten, about 500m beyond the Namgyal Institute, is a gompa for young lamas with a shrine containing huge images of Padmasambhava and his manifestation, Guru Snag-Sid Zilzon. As at other Buddhist gompas, the Chorten is surrounded by prayer wheels

Orchid Sanctuary :

Surrounding the institute and itself enclosed by a peaceful forest, is the Orchid Sanctuary, where you can see many of the 454 species of orchid found in Sikkim. The best time to visit the sanctuary are April to May and the end of September to the beginning of December. There is another much larger Orchid sanctuary called Orchidarium, off the main road to Rangpo alongside the Rani Khola, a tributary of the Teesta. It is accessible by public bus and is also usually included on tours to Rumtek Gompa. Upon top of the ridge near white Hall is a Flower Exhibition Center, featuring orchids and seasonal flowers as well as bonsai. White Hall is a residence of chief minister, and there are pleasant walks here through fine gardens.


Events & Festivals :

Gangtok has become something of a hill station resort for Holidaying Bengalis. The influx peaks during the 10day Durga Puja Holiday period at the end of September or early October, when Bengalis converge on the town from the plains. The main chaam, or religious dance, known as Tse Chu, is performed on the 10th day of the fifth lunar month (July) and depicts events in guru Rimpoche's life. Another chaam, presenting the battle between good and evil, takes place two days before Tibetian New Year. Most activity takes place in the late afternoon, but the gompa is open for visitors, from 8 AM to 5 PM in winter.



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