Destination Guide India > Gangtok
DESTINATION GUIDE INDIA - GANGTOK
"Lofty Hill" or the "Hill made flat to build the Gangtok
monastery in 1716". Gangtok is a city, which, till one sees
it, one would believe exists only in picture-story books. In
the mystery-laden mists prayer flags whip in the breeze;
wheels spin in the hands of Lamas mumbling invocations to God,
in the distance are the snows, on the streets amidst brightly
painted pagoda roofed houses, lined with friendly smiling
people are silver, silk and spice and jewellery to gladden an
maiden's heart, from across the seven seas are gadget and
goods to delight the collector of "imported goods', while
directly overlooking the city is the hill Lukshyma, the
'Mother of Pearl' citadel of the magic mountain,
ATTRACTIONS AND PLACES- GANGTOK
the new secretariat and also called the Rustomji Park
named after one of the Dewans of the Chogyal of Sikkim,
the park has a big open enclosure in which animals native
to Sikkim like the red panda and the Himalayan Bear are
kept. A big statue of Lord Buddha commemorating his
preachings of the noble truths in the Deer Park at Sarnath
adorns the park premises. A butter lamp perpetually burns
in front of the statue, which is surrounded with flowers
of exotic variety. The park commands a fantastic view of
the hills, surrounding Gangtok.
Chortenat Dotapu Chorten, Gangtok was built under the
supervision of the late Most Venerable Trulshi Rinpoche
after due preparations in 1945-46, in accordance with the
prophecy made in 1944 by the Holiness the Dud-Zom Rinpoche.
Government Institute Of Cottage Industries
institute is located at about half a kilometer uphill from
the main market of Gangtok. It was established with the
purpose of promoting the manufacture and sale of local
handicrafts. Thankas (also spelt as Thangkas), hand carved
wooden tables - known as Choksees and exquisitely woven
woolen carpets. More than hundred student workers turn out
cottage crafts produced here, with textures, plush and
exotic, the designs varying from sophisticated simplicity
to a brilliant riot of varmillion pitted against intense
blue, are durable and popular all over the world second to
carpets in popularity is Sikkimese Tankhas, variegated
appliqué work Batiks and exquisite dolls, in wood-work are
available intricately carved Sikkimese tables,
hand-painted masks, lamp-stands, shades and bamboo-craft.
Esoteric masks, flashing silks, opulent brocades and
embroidered boots, clothe the Sikkimese dancers.
Gangtok, just before Phodong is Kabi Longstok. There is a
spot amidst tall trees, where the treaty of brotherhood
between, the Lepcha Chieftan - Tetong Tek and the Tibetan
chief Khye Bhumsa was signed.
Kangchendzonga National Park
check gate where visitors entry permits was checked, one
enters the Kangchendzonga National Park. The climb is
gradual but very interesting as soon one is greeted by
snow, lying white and pristine over the green forest floor
and covering a few treetops. The jagged, rocky slopes to
our left glistened in the sunlight at places forming
glaciers where the gradient was right. The mountains to
our right were covered with dark green pines; the snow
line being much higher.
bifurcation road between Gyalsing and Yoksum, is clear
water Kechopari Lake (means - wishing lake). All around
are mountains with dense forests and wild life. It is so
placid, crystal clear that not a leaf can be seen floating
over it, because it is immediately lifted by birds.
further from Phodong, the Labrang monastery was built
about 100 years later. This monastery belongs to the
Nyingmapa sect of Tibetan Buddhism, the same as that of
Pemayangtse monastery in West Sikkim. Its name translates
simply as the dwelling place of the Lamas (monks).
from Chungthang toward Lachung takes one into another
world. This is the area inhabited by the Lachungpas, a
hardy mountain people who consider themselves quite
different from the Bhutias and the Tibetans. The lush
green, terraced hillsides, even in winter, were a
testimony to the grit and determination of these people.
Lachung is the last habitation on the road to Yumthang a
monastery; hidden high on the hillside overlooked a
settlement of Lachungpas and barracks of the Indian army.
The mountains on the other side of the valley rose up to
snowy heights. In the distance, one could see the
impressions of a track that was once used by traders to
cross over from Tibet with their mules laden with Chinese
from Gyalsing town, this monastery originally built as a
small temple in the last of 17th century by Latsun Chempo,
later rebuilt the temple structure into a monastery.
Phurchachu Reshi Hot Springs
25-km from Gyalsing, near Reshi, after crossing Rangeet
River (also spelt as Ranjit) by a pedestrian bridge,
hardly ten minutes from the highway is Phurchachu springs
with medicinal properties, ideal for skim diseases. These
springs are considered holy as one of the four holy caves
is located here. This holy cave is called the "Kadosangphu"
or 'Cave of the occult fairies' and lies on the south of
the four cardinal points.
Research Institute of Tibetology
serene surrounding amidst forest of oak, ash and birch is
an organisation to advance the Tibetan language and its
literature on the "Enlightened one", the only one of its
kind in the world of Mahayana Buddhism. Ornate
woodcarvings and murals decorate the lavishly decorated
drive from Gangtok, through the beautiful, bewitching
countryside leads one to Rumtek. Rumtek, is the seat of
the Karmapa Lama who heads the Kagyupa Sect of Buddhism.
Rumtek monastery, a must for every visitor, where one can
find some of the worlds most unique art objects.
Tasuklakhang - The Royal Chapel
Chapel, Tsuklakhang, is within the palace grounds.
Popularly called Tsulakhang Royal. It is the principal
place of worship and assembly and the repository of a vast
collection of Buddhist scriptures.
is a small stretch of plain and flat road above the town
of Gangtok. It is just about five minutes walk from the
main market. The ridge has the white hall and the chief
minister's official residence on one end and the
beautifully designed palace gate on the other. The ridge
is lined with plants and trees when in bloom are a riot of
colours. Flower shows, which attract tourists from all
over the world are held just below the ridge.
literally means "Source of the Lake " in Bhutia language.
' TSO' means lake and ' MGO' means head. At about 40-km
away from Gangtok, this serene and holy lake is situated
at an altitude of 12,400 ft on the Gangtok - Nathu La
built in 1932 in memory of the first political officer of
Sikkim, Claude White. There is an Officers Club and a
Badminton Court in the white hall.
tourist lodge, 6-km from Lachung towards Yumthang is an
ideal place for tourists to this area. Another 23-km leads
to Yumey-Samdong hot springs near river Sebu-Chu at the
foot of Donkia-La pass, which connects Lachung valley to
HOW TO REACH -
» By Air -
The closest airport is at Bagdogra, which is 124-km from
Gangtok (about 4 hours drive) and connected by air with
all-important Indian Metros. For all further details please
contact any one of the Sikkim tourism offices.
» By Rail - The nearest railhead is at New Jalpaiguri,
which is 125-km (about 4 hours drive) from Gangtok. NJP is
well connected with all major cities of India. Gangtok,
railway bookings can be made at the booking counter of the
Sikkim nationalised transport terminus.
» By Road -
Gangtok is connected with Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Siliguri
by the national highway 31 A. the Sikkim nationalised
transport plies regular bus services between Gangtok and
Siliguri and within Sikkim. Private buses, jeeps and taxis are
also available from Siliguri and Bagdogra. Bookings can be
made at the SNT terminus, Siliguri.