We welcomes you to the State of Sikkim!
The State of Sikkim is one among the Eight Sister States of India belonging to the North Eastern Region of the Country. Sikkim is blessed with unending natural beauty and it borders China in the North, Bhutan to its East, Nepal in the West and the State of West Bengal in the South. Notable for its biodiversity, the State of Sikkim is home to the highest Mountain Peak in India and the third highest Peak on Earth i.e. the Kanchenjunga. Sikkim is also the least populous State and the the second smallest State of India.
Sikkim is a land of immense natural beauty and is the only handsome brother among the seven pretty sisters. Infused with ancient history and Buddhist mysticism, its mountains are a trekker’s paradise and its mighty rivers provide some of the world’s wildest spots for water rafting. Standing as a sentinel like over this ancient kingdom is the magnificent Khangchendzonga range. Greatly revered by the people of Sikkim who believe that their guardian deity dwells there, its trekking trails lead to hidden lakes and ancient monasteries. The drive up to the Teesta gorge to Gangtok is simply spectacular.
Fairs and Festival of Sikkim ~
Sikkimese festivals follow the Buddhist calendar. One of the most intriguing dance forms is the Chaams. Lamas wearing colorful masks drive away evil spirits. Loosong (jan/Feb) is the Sikkimese New year. Saga Dawa (the triple blessed day) is the holiest of the Buddhist festivals. Celebrated in June, it is believed that Buddha was born, enlightened and attained nirvana on this day. Drukpa Tsehi (August) celebrates the preaching of the four noble truths by Buddha. Pang Lhabsol (Aug/Sept) is unique to Sikkim and commemorates its guardian deity Khangchendzonga. Lamas portray the mountain as a fiery red-faced God with crown of five skulls riding a snow lion.
Cuisine of Sikkim ~
Food in Sikkim has evolved from the traditional wisdom and empirical experiences of generations. It encompasses a blend of cultures and traditions of Nepal, India, Bhutan and Tibet. Rice is the staple food.Meat and dairy products are also consumed. Their cuisine also consists of dals, bamboo shoots, wild flowers, mushrooms and nettle leaves. In non vegetarian foods, beef, pork and fish are relishing items here in Sikkim.
Visitors to Sikkim, discover a mystical wonderland of spectacular natural beauty. The panoramic view of the Snow Capped Himalayas, the scent of flowers, bedecked meadows, the vibrant culture and joyous festivals, infinite variety of flora and fauna makes it a holiday destination that is to be remembered and cherished for the rest of your lifetime.
Places of Interest and things to do in Sikkim ~
1| Gangtok ~ Sikkim
The center of Tibetian Buddhist Culture and learning, Gangtok is the capital of the State of Sikkim and is also the largest town of the State. Gangtok is surrounded by the eastern Himalayas and being located at an elevation of 1650 m, the town enjoys a mild temperate cilmate around the year making it a center of Sikkim’s tourism industry. Gangtok was once an important transit point for traders travelling between Tibet and India. However today, it is a busy administrative and business center that presents an interesting mix of cultures and communities.
The prime tourist attraction of Gangtok is the M G Marg. The M G Marg at Gangtok is the country’s first litter and spit free zone with no vehicular traffic allowed. A visitor here can choose to shop across the various shops lined across the street or simply choose to sit in calm at the Titanic Park.
Other tourist attractions near Gangtok are Ganesh Tok, Hanuman Tok and the Nangyal Research Institute of Technology.
2|Rumtek Monastery and Nehru Botanical Garden ~ Sikkim
The Rumtek Monastery is located around 23 kilometers from Gangtok and is dedicated to the Gyalwa Karmapa of the Kargyu sect of Tibetian Buddhism. Located at a place called Rumtek, the lush green hilly terrain and the magical mountains makes Rumtek an ideal place to spend some quiet time. Adventure sports like white water rafting and trekking can also be undertaken at Rumtek.
The primary attraction at Rumtek still remains of that of the Rumtek Monastery. The Rumtek Monastery is the largest Monastery of Sikkim and it houses some of the rarest Buddhist religious art objects found in the World.
Just ahead of the Rumtek Monastery is the Nehru Botanical Garden which has a mix of tropical and temperate plants as well as a big Green house of exotic orchid varieties.
3| Buddha Park ~ Sikkim
The year 2006 marked the 2550th birth anniversary of Lord Gautama Buddha. The State government of Sikkim in a policy decision had decided to observe the birth anniversary throughout the year. As a part of the celebrations, an initiative was taken by the people of Rabong to construct and install a statue of Lord Buddha at Rabong ,to commemorate the 2550th year, and also to develop the Buddhist Circuit in Sikkim. It was constructed between 2006 and 2013 and features a 130-foot high statue of the Buddha as its centerpiece. The site was chosen within the larger religious complex of the Rabong Gompa (Monastery), itself a centuries-old place of pilgrimage. Also nearby is Ralang Monastery, a key monastery in Tibetan Buddhism. The state government has already kicked off the Buddhist circuit and this project would give the much required impetus to boost tourism and attract pilgrim tourists to the area.
The Cho Djo lake is located within the complex, surrounded by forest.
Solophok ~ Sikkim
The construction of the Pilgrimage-cum-Cultural Centre at Solophok aims at promoting Religious Tourism, coupled with Village and Eco tourism. This unique Pilgrim Centre has a main temple of 108 feet height on which is based the 87 feet high statue of Lord Shiva on the sitting posture at the Solophok Hill. Apart from Shiva statue, this Pilgrim Centre also has replicas of the twelve Jyotirlingas, to offer one platform for Shiva devotees.
Lord Shiva incarnated as Kirateshwar in Indrakeel (Present Sikkim). Therefore, in this incarnation he is locally worshipped by the people of Sikkim as Lord Kirateshwar. A statue of 16 1/2 feet height of Lord Kirateshwar is also installed in the complex.
In order to attain Moksha, the Hindu belief is to perform pilgrimage to all the existing four Dhams. Thereby, replicas of these four Dhams, namely Badrinath, Jaganath and Dwarka dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Rameshwar, dedicated to Lord Shiva is also constructed.
The pilgrim centre is constructed on top of the Solophok Hill in South Sikkim which is about 5 kilometers from Namchi town over an area of 28.958 Ha of land. The built up complex covers an area of approximately 7 acres and is accessible by a smooth road.
This pilgrimage center has been dedicated and designed to place Sikkim in the very conscience, heart and minds of the citizens of India and beyond. Apart from providing a unique religious and cultural ambiance, the Pilgrimage-cum-Cultural Center established on a grand scale hereafter ought to be a tourist attraction at the National as well as International level. The existing linkages have been explored and the tourist activities targeted are Pilgrimage, cultural activities, seminars, religious discourses, nature study and passive recreation.
Nathula ~ Sikkim
Nathula Pass was a major corridor of passage between India and Tibet before it was closed in 1962. Located around 56 kms from Gangtok at an altitude of 14450 ft, the road to Nathula passes through the Tsomgo lake. It is one of the highest motor able roads in the world and is richly surrounded by varied flora. On a clear day you can even see the road winding down the Chumbi valley. Tourists are allowed to go close to the international border from where you can see Chinese soldiers on the other side of the barbed wire.
Nathula is open for Indian nationals on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sundays. Foreign nationals are not allowed to visit Nathula. Photography is strictly prohibited. One can find ATM facility here which is the worlds highest Automated Teller Machine (ATM).
Baba Harbhajan Shrine ~ Sikkim
Major “Baba” Harbhajan Singh (30 August 1946 – 4 October 1968) was an Indian army soldier who died in 1968 near the Nathu La in eastern Sikkim. He is revered as the “Hero of Nathula” by soldiers of the Indian army, who built a shrine in his honour. He was accorded the status of saint by believers who refer to him as the Baba (saintly father). Many of his faithful – chiefly Indian army personnel posted in and around the Nathula Pass and the Sino-Indian border between the state of Sikkim and Chinese-occupied Tibet – have come to believe his spirit protects every soldier in the inhospitable high-altitude terrain of the Eastern Himalayas. As with most saints, the Baba is believed to grant favors to those who revere and worship him.
Tsomgo Lake ~ Sikkim
Located at about 38 km from Gangtok and at an altitude of 12,400 ft, the ethereally beautiful Tsomgo lake is a must visit for every visitor to Sikkim. A winding road through rugged mountain terrain and sharp cliffs takes you to Tsomgo, which means source of the water in Bhutia language. The lake derives its water from the melting snows of the mountains surrounding the lake. Of legendary beauty, the lake looks different at different seasons. In winter the placid lake remains frozen with the area around it covered in snow while in late spring the profusion of flowers in bloom adds a riot of colors around the lake.
Tsomgo (Changu) Lake The lake is associated with many myths and legends and is revered by the Sikkimese as sacred. It is believed that in olden times, Buddhist monks would study the color of the water of the lake to forecast the future.
For the tourist a visit to the lake offers a wonderful outing. Rides on colorfully decorated yaks and mules are offered at the lake site, which also has a variety of eating stalls serving snacks and beverages.
Khangchendzonga Tourist Villa ~ Sikkim
Located 15 kms. from Gangtok coming up over sprawling 16 acres of land is the Khangchendzonga Tourist Villa. The project comprises of 24 tourist accommodations of traditional Sikkimese architecture, Villa Club with bars, restaurant, indoor swimming pool, multi- gym, open-air theatre, children’s park, Food Court, Exhibition Halls showing arts, handicraft, ornament, musical instruments etc.
The park spreads over 16 acres of land has many cultural attractions like the dome shaped Sikkim Panaroma, swimming pools, bowling alleys, colorful and musical fountains and laser shows. The Sikkim Panaroma houses relief features of important places of Sikkim including the state’s low lying areas and going higher up to Mt Khangchendzonga. These relief features are made from fiber glass. There are also murals of the ethnic communities of Sikkim in the Sikkim Panorama along with traditional huts. Also in keeping with the serenity and surroundings of the region, the park has a rain forest café, a unique food joint with glass floors over a natural stream with lots of greenery.
Ranka also has other tourist attractions such as Lingdum Monastery and Banjakhri Falls. Also with limited recreational and entertainment facilities in Gangtok, the locals can visit Khangchendzonga Tourist Villa cum park for their own entertainment benefit as well. Khangchendzonga Tourist Villa cum Socio-Cultural Amusement Park is a pioneering standalone project of its kind, celebrating the many gifts Sikkim is endowed with. Itis a landmark not only in the state but in all of Northeastern India. It is the pride of the people of Sikkim and brings joy to visitors to this enchanting land.
Lachung and Lachen ~ Sikkim
Lachung ~ Located in North Sikkim, Lachung is a place of vast unadulterated natural beauty. Bordering Tibet, Lachung is at an elevation of 9,600 feet at the confluence of the Lachung and Lachen Rivers. Approximately 125 km from the capital of Gangtok, Lachung is an important forward base of the Indian Army. Often referred to as the most picturesque village of Sikkim, Lachung is home to the Lachung Monastery and a stop over to reach the Yumthang Valley of Sikkim. Lachung is also famous for its fruit species of apples, peaches and apricots. The Lachung Monastery built around 1880 is situated amidst apple orchards across the River from the town center.
Lachen ~ Located at about 129 km from Gangtok, Lachen is a small town of North Sikkim at an elevation of 2750 m. Lachen, not being a big tourist destination retains a freshness which is very appealing. The small town comprises of less than 200 houses and it is the starting point of some of the most exotic trekking destinations of North Sikkim as well as the gateway to the Holy Guru Dongmar and the Tso Lhamu Lakes. At Lachen, one can also visit the Lachen Gompa and get a glimpse of the simple life of the ‘Lachenpas’
So why wait?! Plan your visit to the State of Superb Sikkim, North East India, Incredible India!
Phone: +91 7086009708