|Destination Type: Cities|
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.
All good things in life come in small packets and Gangtok is a good illustration. Be it the rich flora, the beautiful people, or the serene Buddhist monasteries, this small town, occupies an important position in the itinerary of tourists in search of tranquility from the humdrum of modern life.
The eastern state of Sikkim lies couched between the borders of Nepal and Bhutan. Gangtok became the capital of the state in the 19th century and lies to the south of the district of East Sikkim. It is a hilly town and spreads down the western side of a long ridge flanking the Ranipul River. The entire Kanchenjunga range can be viewed from the town and, in fact, it is worshipped as a local deity. It is at a distance of 721 km from Calcutta, 584 km from Patna, 140 km from Darjeeling and 589 km from Guwahati. The town experiences a lot of rainfall throughout the year and temperatures are mild.
Located at a distance of 24 km from Gangtok is Rumtek Gompa, which is a rich monastery and abode of the head of the Kagyupa order of Tibetan Buddhism. It is a very famous site and devotees often flock to it throughout the year. Located at a distance of 35 km towards the northeast of Gangtok is the Tsongo or Changu Lake. Special permits are required to visit this picturesque locale.
By Air : The Nearest Airport is Bagdogra Airport 125 kms
By Rail : The Nearest Railway Station is New Jalpaiguri Railway Station 120 kms
By Road : Gangtok is well connected to other major cities of the country via regular buses.
Do-Drul Chorten (Stupa) : Encircled by 108 prayer wheels built by late Trulsi Rimpoche in 1945-46. This is one of the most important and biggest stupas found in Sikkim.The Do-Drul Chorten or Stupa was built by the venerable Trulshi Rimpoche, head of the Nyingma order of Tibetan Buddhism in 1945. Inside this stupa, there are complete mandala sets of Dorjee Phurba (Bajra Kilaya), a set of Kan-gyur relics (Holy Books), complete 'Zung' (mantras) and other religious objects. Around this Chorten, which is one of the most important stupas in Sikkim, are 10 Mani-Lhakor (prayer wheels). These prayer wheels are turned by the devout Buddhist while chanting "Hail to the jewel in the Lotus", to invoke the Buddhisattva. The Chorten is surrounded by Chorten Lakhang, where there are two huge statues of Guru Rimpoche (Guru Padmasambhava).
Deer Park : This park which commands a good view of the hills surrounding Gangtok is perched on top of a hillside that plunges almost vertically deep into the valley. It was established in the late fifties and is located adjacent to the new Secretariat and is also called the Rustomji park so named after one of the Dewans of the Chogyal of Sikkim and the author of the book "Enchanted Frontiers". The park has a big open enclosure in which different types of deer can be seen. There are also a few cages in which some animals native to Sikkim like the Red Panda and the Himalayan Bear are kept. have been kept A big statue of Lord Buddha commemorating his preaching of the noble truths in the deer park at Sarnath adorns the park premises. A butter lamp perpetually burns in front of the statue which is surrounded by flowers of the most exotic variety. Below the statue, in golden letters is the following stanza from the works of the renowned scholar saint of Buddhism, Shantideva:
Permanent Flower Show : White Hall, Close by the White Memorial Hall and just below the Palace Ridge park is the more recent Flower Show Hall. In recent years this show has become quite popular and famous as there are flower exhibitions throughout the year in accordance with the seasons and the flowers in bloom.
Visit Nathula Pass & Tsomgo Lake