Sikkim is an Indian state, landlocked in the Himalayas. It has the lowest population in the country and is the second smallest state in India after Goa in terms of area.
Gangtok is the capital city in the state. The mountain peaks, holy lakes, ancient monasteries, orchid nurseries and stunning trekking routes have made Sikkim a famous holiday destination.
How to get to Gangtok:
LOCAL TRANSPORT: Private Taxis, Jeeps and Landrovers ply regularly on the Gangtok- Siliguri Highway and are available for transfer of passengers between Gangtok and Siliguri/ New Jalpaiguri Junction/ Bagdogra, and also for local sightseeing at fixed rates and may be reserved through Tourist Bureau, Govt. of West Bengal, Gangtok.
AIR CONNECTIONS: Nearest airport is Bagdogra in West Bengal( 124 kms.)
HELICOPTER SERVICE - between Gangtok - Bagdogra - Gangtok
ROAD CONNECTIONS: Gangtok is connected with all weather mettaled road with Siliguri, Kalimpong, Gangtok etc.
RAIL CONNECTIONS: New Jalpaiguri in West Bengal (148 kms.)
MG Road: MG (Mahatma Gandhi) road is the best place to spend your evening at Gangtok. This shopping area has flowers gardens and water fountains at center of the street. Vehicles are not allowed inside this market along the MG Road. This market remains close on Tuesday of all weeks.
Flower show: Flower exhibitions are organized round the year at the flower show venue near the white hall complex, Gangtok. orchid shows held during the spring tourist season is one of the most popular shows organized in the state. Sikkim has also earned the opportunity to host The International Flower Festival, the biggest of the kind in India. This festival is held in the month of May, the time when Sikkim remains laden with floral accolades. During this time of the year the state grows almost 46 species of rhododendrons, 150 species of gladioli, 240 species of trees and as many as 600 species of orchids.
North Sikkim: North Sikkim is the northern district of Sikkim also known as SWITZERLAND OF THE EAST. Mangan is the district headquarter of North Sikkim.
Yumthang , Valley of Flowers: Yumthang, at an elelvation of 11,800 ft. and 140 kms from Gangtok is a paradise for nature lovers, with a marvelous blend of flora and fauna, hotsprings and breathtaking scenic grandeur. The valley is also the home of Shighbha Rhododendron Sanctuary having 24 species of Rhododendrons. Shivmandir and Yume Samdong, located close by are equally fascinating spots. Yumthang is closed between December and March due to heavy snowfall. Tourists may travel from Gangtok to Lachung (the nearest village where accommodation is available) by booking a full vehicle or shared one and stay over night.
Rumtek Monastery: Rumtek Monastery, located at a distance of approximately 24 km from Gangtok in Rumtek, is one of the most important sites for almost every Buddhist. However, in the 20th century this monastery was devastated by fire. Later in 1960s, an entirely new ministry was rebuilt uphill the original Rumtek Monastery. The new monastery built was named as Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre. In addition, the monastery also houses the main shrine temple along with quarters of monks. There is a Golden stupa located inside the monastery, which encompasses the relics of the 16th Karmapa. The monastery is also a host to several Tibetan festivals organised throughout the year, which include Tse-Chu Chaam and Kagyat Dance.
Tsomgo Lake/Changu lake: Tsomgo Lake is located 35 km away from the city on the Gangtok-Nathula highway. This highway is also a part of the old route that links India and China. Worshipped by Sikkimese, this holy lake is approximately 20 km away from the Nathula Pass, while located at a distance of around 400 km from Lhasa. Tsomgo Lake is located in the restricted area for which tourists require an Inner Line Permit. This permit can be obtained from the Police through the travel agent or Tourism Department. During the winter months, the entire lake gets fron. Tourists can also witness a small temple dedicated to Lord Shiva built on the lakeside. In addition, around the Tsomgo lake, primula flowers and other alpine plantation are also grown. The best time to visit this lake is from March to late May and from October to mid-December.
Seven Sisters Waterfalls: It is located 32 kilometers away from Gangtok on the National Highway leading to North Sikkim. It is a must see place in Gangtok.
Himalayan Zoological Park: Himalayan Zoological Park, located at a distance of 3 km from Gangtok, is one of the best places for wildlife lovers. Situated in Bulbuley, the park has been established with the aim to preserve wildlife in natural habitat. Sprawling over an area of 205 hectares, the Zoological Park is at an altitude of 1,780 metre from where beautiful view of Mount Kanchenjunga can also be enjoyed. It is the first park of its kind in the entire north-eastern part of India, which was established in 1991. The animals residing in this park are kept in replicated natural conditions. Most part of this park is covered with forests of Red Panda, Blue Sheep, Musk Deer, Barking Deer and Himalayan Black Bear. The best time to visit the park is in the months between mid- February to May and from mid- September to December.
Deer Park: Deer Park, located in close proximity to the Secretariat of Sikkim, is also known as Rustamji Park. Home to several species of Deer, this park was named after Rustamji. He was amongst one of the Dewans of the Chogyal of Sikkim. Rustamji, acclaimed himself to be the author of book 'Enchanted Frontiers'. Established in the late 1950's, this park acts as a sanctuary for the different species of deer that are brought from the neighbouring states and other parts of Sikkim. In addition, there are few cages located inside this park that have animals like Himalayan Bear and Red Pandas. The Deer Park also houses a statue of Lord Buddha standing erect and preaching the noble truths to the followers. The best time to visit the park is during the morning hours when tourists can spot the deer easily as that time is for their meal.
Enchey Monastery: Enchey Monastery meaning solitary temple, was built in 1909 and is a 200 year old monastery. Located at a distance of 3 km from the city, the monastery is built on the spot, which is believed to be blessed by Lama Druptab Karpo. One of the most important festivals organised in this monastery is Cham dance festival. It is held on the 18th and 19th day of the 12th month of lunar calendar. During this festival, the monks also participate in the mask dance and portray different mythological stories. Other festivals organised in this monastery include the Singhe Chaam and Pang Lhabsol.
Ganesh Tok: Ganesh Tok, a small temple, is located at a distance of 7 kilometre from Gangtok. Situated next to the television tower on the small hill nestled on Gangtok-Nathula road, the temple is dedicated to Lord Ganesh. Just adjoining the Ganesh Tok is a pinetum garden containing pine trees. A walk on the footpath amongst the pine trees is refreshing. Come visit Northeast India - Sikkim