¶ Places to See
East Sikkim is the most colourful region of Sikkim ; the vibrant capital town of Gangtok has got immense treasure in and around. The monasteries, View points, gardens, zoo and government buildings, and sites full of modern amenities make the place, the power house of the state of Sikkim . The Enchey Monastery , seat of the Nyingma, was built 100years ago on the site blessed by Lama Druptob Karpo, a Tantric master who had the power to fly. The Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, built in 1958, houses rare statues, manuscripts, ritual objects and thanka paintings, Do-Drul Chorten an impressive stupa ringed by prayer wheel. Tsuklakhang, the Royal Chapel is the principal place of worship of the Buddhist.
The capital of the state of Sikkim lies at an elevation of 1,780 m. It is a charming, laid-back town straddling a ridge with houses spilling down the hillside. It is a modern capital city with all vibes of city life has mingled with traditional style of living, to make this place a unique land.
Rumtek Monastery (Dharma Chakra), is the seat of the 16 th Gyalwa Karmapa Lama, of Kagyu order. It is one of the 4 major Tibetan Buddhist sects, since 1960s.The centre is the treasure house of some of world's most unique religious scriptures and sacred objects.
Tsango Lake literally means Source of the Lake is one of the sacred lakes of Sikkim, at an altitude of 3780m on Gangtok, Nathula highway. The lake lies amidst picturesque mountains and remains frozen almost half the year.
Nathula Pass, erstwhile silk trading route between India and Tibet is at present the last point of India and Chinese occupied Tibet. The pass stands at an altitude of 4392m and forms the old caravan trail. One can see the Great Wall of China from Nathula on a sunny day.
Fambong Lho Wildlife Sanctuary, situated at a distance of 20km from Gangtok, the sanctuary scattered over an area of 5280 hectares and above Singtam-Dickchu road at an altitude of 2121m is the home of Himalayan Black Bear, Red Panda, Civet Cat and many rare species of avifauna and butterflies.
The cultural flavour can be enjoyed as one sets for western region Sikkim . The region can be termed as land of Monasteries , as the whole area is dotted by several monasteries, of which some are centuries old. Sanga-Choling Monastery situated on a ridge was built in 1697A.D. is one of the oldest Monastery of the state of Sikkim . There are also several other Monasteries, like Dhubdi Monastery , which was built soon after the crowning the first Chogyal is an ideal place for meditation. The land is rich in flora (orchids) and butterflies. The beautiful and sacred Khecheopalri Lake has its own religious charisma. The second highest suspension bridge in Asia , Singshore Bridge is an object of great attraction. Beautiful water falls can be seen around every corner of West Sikkim . Khanchenjunga falls and Rimbi falls also adds to the charm of the region. West Sikkim is the gateway to famous Dzongri-Goechala trekking route.
A small dwelling in about 118km from Gangtok is gradually developing as an urban settlement, due to heavy tourist inflow. Situated at an elevation of 2061m from the sea level, Pelling offers a vista of snow capped mountains ranges of Eastern Himalaya.
Pemayangtse Monastery: Of all the monasteries of West Sikkim Pemayangtse is considered special because of its purity. The monastery is meant only for the ta-sang lamas (pure monks).The monastery is believed to be coceptualised and designed by Lhatsun Chhembo, pioneer of Buddhism in Sikkim . The three storied structure is studded by numerous wall paintings, sculptures and several antique idols. The most stunning feature of the Monastery is the seven tiered painted wooden structure on the top floor, painted single handedly by Dungzin Rimpoche in duration of five years. The wooden structure portrayed features of the Mahaguru's heavenly palace Santopalri .
The first capital of the princely state of Sikkim , the first Chogyal of Sikkim was consecrated in Yuksom in 1641A.D by three learned Lamas and Norbugang Chorten bears its evidence, in the form of stone seat and foot print. Yuksom lies at a distance of 42km from Pelling and is the starting point of the trekking route to Dzongri and base camp of the Mt.Khanchenjunga begins.
Tashiding Monastery rests on a ridge, from where Guru Padmasambhava blessed the Sikkim . This monastery was built in the 18 th century A.D. by Nadak Sempa Chempo on of the three lamas who crowned the first Chogyal of Sikkim.
Its is famous for the Rhododendron Sanctuary and a beautiful 4km trekking route from Hilley, will take one to the land of Guras (rhododendron).From an altitude of 3000m the beauty of Himalaya can be experienced.
Northern region of the state of Sikkim is the most diversified place, loaded with all the grandeur, from religious, cultural and natural diversities, for attracting tourists. As one travels towards the north history and religion is found standing together in every bend of the road. On the way first one will come across Kabi Lungchok, at a distance of 17km from Gangtok, where a historic brotherhood treaty after bloody war between the chiefs of Lepcha & Bhutia tribe was signed in 13 th century. Phodong Monastery , one of the six major monasteries in Sikkim will also fall at a distance of 38km from Gangtok. Towards further north will fall Naga and Bhim Nala waterfall and Holy foot print on rock (Holy Rock) of Guru Rimpoche lies in Chungthang (1586m) at a distance of 95kms from Gangtok, this place is also rich in bio-diversity.
A small Bhutia village, lies at a distance of 115km from Gangtok. The village is spread on either side of river Lachung Chu. The place became a centre of activity with the discovery of Yumthung Valley . The land resting at an altitude of 2684metres is surrounded by hills and snow capped peaks from all side. The Lachung Monastery on the slope opposite to the state highway is the religious epi-centre of the village. A visit to the cottage industry will give you an insight into the local handicrafts.
Yumthung: Nestling at an altitude of 3782metres and at a distance of 25km from Lachung, Yumthung is considered to be the paradise of nature lovers, with a fascinating blend of flora & fauna. The valley offers a panoramic view of the alpine scenery of the surrounding hills and snow capped peaks. Shingbha Rhododendron Sanctuary with 24 species of rhododendron, the view of gazing yak, Tsa-Chu' or the hot spring on the left bank of river Lachung, is immensely popular among tourists, visiting Yumthung.
Picturesque landscape, comprising of lofty mountains, lush green forests, tea gardens with reminiscence of colonial bunglows, natural geysers, and lots of scenic beauties. The panoramic view of Mt. Pandim and Mt. Khanchenjunga and other peaks, beautiful caves, pristine nature and exquisite flora and fauna makes the place a wonderful region of Sikkim for escapade.
Is a quit village situated at the base of Menam Hill at an altitude of 2122m is Ravangla, is a transit point to various destinations in South and West Sikkim. It is a developing tourist spot and a transit point for the trekkers to Menam Hill and Borong. A trek down to the sacred cave SHAR CHOK BEPHU, one of the four holiest caves in Sikkim, would be a memorable experience. The Rolang Monastery built in 1768 AD is the centre of attraction of Ravangla. It is believed that the Ninth Karmapa, who was the incarnation of Lord Buddha, spread a handful of Paddy over the place as blessing, where this famous monastery was built.
Menam Wildlife Sanctuary, just above Ravangla , the sanctuary scattered over an area of 3500 hectares is the home of Red Panda, Civet Cat, Leopard Cat, Blood Pheasant, Black Eagle and many more rare species of fauna and flora.
Temi Tea Garden
The only existing tea garden of the state of Sikkim is the producer of one of the best quality of tea. The garden has its own colonial story which relates its past which still reveals in its present.