Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Tourism      Hill Stations      Sikkim     East Sikkim    


Place : East Sikkim District, Sikkim
Altitude : 5,500 ft above sea level
Temperature : Maximum : 28 °C in Summer and Minimum of 8 °C in winter.
Significance : One of the beautiful and cleanest hill stations of India
Best Season : March-early June
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Gangtok or 'hill top' is the state capital of Sikkim and the headquarters of the East Sikkim district. Situated in the lower Himalayas at an altitude of 5,500 ft above sea level, the city looks to be tucked away in a cloud sprawling over a hill. One of the beautiful and cleanest hill stations of India, one can never found this city without clean which other states in India should follow. 

Gangtok also serves as the gateway to many tourist destinations of east and north-east Sikkim such as Yumthang, Lachen and Lachung. Even though it has lost some its quaint charm, Gangtok remain unspoilt and pleasant which derives from its modernity and tradition. The town has 5-6 storey wooden houses with traditional doors and window frames, flower filled corners, Stupas and monasteries.The hill station is embellished with exotic flowers that bloom throughout the year including rhododendrons, primulas, gentians, blue poppies and over 250 types of orchids. April to June these are in their full glory and between October and December, chrysanthemums and some varieties of orchids fascinate its visitors. Kanchanjunga, renders a spectacular view from Gangtok, with its magnificent snow and ice scenery. Roro Chu and Ranikhola rivers slice through valleys and gorges of varying dimensions and confluence with River Teesta at Singtam. 

Deer Park, Maharaja Chogyal Palace, Institute of Cottage Industries, Research Institute of Tibetology, Orchid Sanctuary, Ganeshtok, Hanumantok etc are some major tourist attraction in Gangtok.

Gangtok also provides ample scope for trekkers, hikers, mountaineers, bird-watchers and butterfly-collectors. 

Places to see in and around Gangtok

Directorate of Handicraft & Handloom 
Earlier known as the Palden Thondup Cottage Industries, it is a multi craft institute, situated at the heart of the Gangtok town. It was established in 1957, by the then Chogyal of Sikkim, Sir Tashi Namgyal to promote the traditional handicrafts and cottage industries of Sikkim. The locally made handicraft products are sold at the institute. Foremost among the institute's products are the beautiful hand woven woolen carpets with traditional Sikkimese motifs and unique designs and combinations of rich colours. These attractively designed carpets are in great demand in Sikkim and abroad. The handsome woolen texture are durable, plush and are dyed not with synthetic dyes but traditional vegetable Sikkimese dyes. The designs vary from sophisticated harmonising tones to the brilliant rioting of vermilions against intense blues.

Another exclusive product of the institute is the Sikkimese table locally called as Choktse. These foldable Choktse are prepared in varying designs and dimensions. The Sikkimese hand made paper is another product of the institute demanded inside and out side the state. The traditional Sikkimese weaves and woolen blankets which can be designed into bags, shawls, jackets, opulent Sikkimese thankas (traditional tapestry ), leather works, dolls, variegated applique work, batiks, an exquisite selection of dolls and a variety of fashionable garments for modern people are the other displayed specialties of the institute. The institute also training in the crafts such as Carpet weaving, Handloom weaving, Thanka painting, Wood carving, Mask making, Cane and Bamboo, Multicrafts, Blanket weaving, Soft toy making and Angora Shawl weaving. One can purchase items from the show room located at the premises.

Open: Monday to Saturday from 9.30 a.m. 12.30 and 1 p.m - 3 p.m. (Sales Emporium remains open throughout the year). Closed on Sundays and every 2nd Saturdays. 

: Directoriate of Handicrafts & Handlooms,
Government of Sikkim, Zero Point,
Gangtok - 737101,Sikkim
Ph: Assistant Director (marketing and sales) - 09434137131; Sales emporium - 03592201047
email: dhh_zp@hotmail.com

The Research Institute (The Namgyal Institute of Tibetology (NIT)) 
It is located in Deorali, about 14 kms away from Gangtok town. Situated on the top of a hill in serene surroundings, the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology was established to promote research on Tibet and Mahayana Buddhism. Known as the highest seat of learning among the Mahayana scholars, the institute was inaugurated by Late Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on October 1,1958. Today, it is famous global center for the study of Buddhist philosophy and religion.

The Institute is dedicated to the cause of advancement of Tibetan studies. It houses a greatest collection of books on Mahayana Buddhism. The museum of the institute contains another asset of Mahayana. More than two hundred icons, prized objects of traditional art, ritualistic chortens, brass bells, Dorj-is (thunder bolts ), Rosaries, thangkas (hand painted scrolls woven or appliqué )are the main collections of the museum which have won international acclaim for the institute. Its interiors are lavishly decorated with great murals and ornate wood carvings and altars holding the images of the Buddhas, tapestries, masks, the Bodhisattvas and the Tantric deities. The cabinets of the halls contain a vast library of Tibetan deities. The Institute also has in its keep around 30,000 volumes; most of them in the form of xylographs. Visitors can also buy Buddhist religious books and Tibetan crafts from here.

Opens from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm, Monday to Saturday. Closed on Sunday, Second Saturdays and Government holidays. Entrance Fee : Rs. 5
Contact: Namgyal Institute of Tibetology
Deorali, Gangtok, Sikkim - 737 101
Email: info@tibetology.net
Ph: 222525

Deorali Orchid Sanctuary 
Sikkim is renowned for rich and numerous varieties of orchids. Orchid Sanctuary is situated below the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology. Around 450 variety of orchids ranging from the commonest variety to rarest ones are found in the sanctuary. 

Himalayan Zoological Park
Situated 7 Kms away from Gangtok, this park is located at an altitude of 5840 ft above sea level. Spread over an area of 230 hectares of mountainous land, it has a paved cement path that passes by fenced open air enclosure housing 52 different specimens of birds and animals including Red Panda and Tibetan Wolf. This area is also known as Bulbuley.

Ganesh Tok
It is situated on a ridge 7 kms from Gangtok. (Tok means hill). From here, one can get a splendid view of sprawling Gangtok town down below and the mount Khangchendzonga and mount Siniolchu. A cafeteria serves you hot tea/coffee and snacks. A cafeteria serves its visitors tea coffee and snacks.

Hanuman Tok
It is situated 11 kms away from Gangtok town, above Ganesh Tok at an altitude of over 7000ft. There is a Hindu Temple here maintained by a unit of the Indian Army. Dedicated to Lord Hannuman, from here also one can enjoy the magnificent view of the mountains. 

Gate ways 
The Gate ways for Gangtok city have been designed in a very attractive and artistic manner. There is a strange enchantment and charm about these gates. The gate that spans the entrance to Tashiling the secretariat has a beauty of its own. The Sikkimese art and the minute skill depicted by the Sikkimese artists is visible on these structures.

Kabi Lungchuk
This is situated at a distance of 17km from Gangtok, just before Phodong. It is the location of the site where blood brother hood was sworn between Khye-Bumsa, the renowned ancestor of Namgyals, the former ruling house of Sikkim and Thekong Tek the then and last Lepcha chieftain amid sacrifices and the looming form of the revered and sacred Kanchanjunga. A memorial stone pillar amidst the cover of dense forest adorns the place as a testimony to the historic and sacred agreement. Prayer flags stand guard on the hill above and people from all corners of the state come with offerings of flowers to pray at the sacred spot. It also has a small Buddhist monastery.

Water Garden
About 16 kms from South of Gangtok is Water Garden. Perfect for picnic it has a small swimming pool for children.

Saramsa Garden 
It is situated 14 kms away from Gangtok. Maintained by the Department of Forest, the garden is perfect picnic spot which has many exotic orchids and other rare tropical and temperate plants. 

Rumtek Monastery       
 This monastery stands, 24 km away in a picturesque environs on the lower valleys of south west Gangtok. It is the headquarters of Kagyu (black hat) order of Tibetan Lamaistic Buddhism. It has the typical monastic paintings and intricate wood work. Read more...Near to Rumtek is Sang Monastery built in 1912. 

Jawaharlal Nehru Botanical Garden 
Situated 24 kms away from Gangtok, it is situated at an altitude ranging between 1800 mtrs. to 2200 mtrs. Established in the year 1987, it's forest has Oaks and as many as 50 different kinds of trees species.

Fambong La Wildlife Sanctuary
Home to many wild animals like the Himalayan Black Bear, Red Panda, Civet cat Binturong, this sanctuary located 25 kms away from Gangtok. It covers an area of 51.76 sq.km. The main vegetation is Oak, Katus, Kimbu, Champa with thick bamboo forests and ferns. The best season is October and April. Entry to the sanctuary is restricted and prior permission needs to be obtained from the Chief Wild Life Warden, Forest Secretariat, Deorali, Gangtok. Entry fee to the Sanctuary is Rs. 5/- per head.

Sikkim Time Corporation Ltd (SITCO)
Situated at a distance of 1.5 kms from Gangtok, its products with brand name "SITCO" is one of the first industrial units set up in Sikkim. Established in 1977, it has now has 4 units which manufacture quality mechanical watches, semi-conductor devices, attractive Digital and Analog watches and top class watch crowns. Located in the beautiful campus is a showroom in the factory premises from where the watches can be bought at ex-factory cost. Visiting hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Sundays and National Holidays. 
For more details contact ; Shri. Gyurmie Yousal, Managing Director, SITCO, East Sikkim, Ph - 03592 - 281771/280553

Deer park 
On the southern fringes of Tashiling, overhauling a valley that drops a sheer thousand metres below, is located the Gangtok's Deer Park. Also known as Rustamji Park, there is an image of Lord Buddha enshrined in the Deer Park in his preaching posture. The park is a sanctuary for deer, brought from Sikkim and other neighbouring lands and symbolises the quest for peace and harmony between neighbours. To walk around, to the soothing ripples of the Rongnek stream added with the charming site of spotted deer and long horned antelopes would really prove to be a prized walk.