20 kms ahead from Tsomgo lake is Nathula Pass (14000 ft) is a famous gateway to Tibet. This place is situated oin the border of India and China. The pass is on the old caravan trail that started from the Tsomgo lake travers through Nathula and on to Tibate.
Tsomgo Lake :
The sacred lake Tsomgo Lake is situated 38 kms from Gangtok. Tsomgo in the Bhutia language means "source". It is located at a height of 12400 ft. The lake collects water from the melting snow of the surrounding mountains. Tsomgo lies on the ancient trade route between Gangtok and Nathula Pass.
Rumtek monastery is the seat of the Gyolwa Karmapa, the head of the Kagyuap order of Tibetan Buddhism. It was built in 1960. The Kagyuap order was founded in the 11th century by Lama Marpa, the disciples of Indian Guru Naropa. It is one of the huge and wealthy monastery in Sikkim. It is said that the 1st Karmapa spent many years meditating in a cave and ten thousand fairies came to congratulate him and each offered a strand of her hair. These strands of hair were woven into a black hat which was passed down and is still worn by the karmapas on cerimonial occasions. Behind the main monastery is the Karma Nalanda Institute of Buddhist Studies and the building opposite to it is a small hall featuring a beautiful jewel studded Chorten, which contains the ashes and the bones of the 16th Gyolwa Karmapa. Half a kilometer uphill from the monastery there is a hermotage in which monks go into complete seclusion and can meditate for a period upto 3 years. It is 24 kms. away from Gangtok. The religious dance called called the Tse-chu is performed on the 10th day of the 5th month of Tibetan Calender (May) and depicts events in Guru Rimpoche's life. A chamm or masked dance, representing the battle between good and evil, takes place 2 days before the Tibetan New Year (arround late February or early March).
Tashi View Point
Distance - km ( from Gangtok )
Altitude - ft.
was built by the late King of Sikkim, Tashi Namgyal, it is situated 4 km from Gangtok town from where one can have a clear view of opposite hills, besides Mt. Khangchendzonga. This site offers a breathtaking panorama of the majestic Mt. Khangchendzonga and surrounding hills
Built by the late King of Sikkim Sri. Tashi Namgyal, it is situated about six kilometres away from Gangtok on the North Sikkim Highway, this place offers an astounding view of the Khangchendzonga snowy range on a clear day. On the opposite hill, the Phodong and the Labrang monasteries can be seen. A resting shed and a small cafeteria situated at Tashi View Point provides shelter and other amenities to the tourists. A park above the View Point is a good place to enjoy a picnic.
Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim with a population of approximately 50,000 has emerged into the mainstream of the Tourism Industry, with more and more tourist visiting this little Himalayan state every year. Gangtok has developed into a cosmopolitan flavour where old-world charm and hospitality exist along with the Internet Age.