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.
Contact: Directoriate of Handicrafts & Handlooms,
Government of Sikkim, Zero Point,
Gangtok - 737101,Sikkim
Ph: Assistant Director (marketing and sales) - 09434137131; Sales emporium
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.
Contact: Namgyal Institute of Tibetology
Deorali, Gangtok, Sikkim - 737 101
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
About 16 kms from South of Gangtok is Water Garden. Perfect for picnic
it has a small swimming pool for children.
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.
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
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.