Package Tours in Sikkim & WB

Gangtok

Wreathed in clouds, Gangtok, the capital city of Sikkim is located on a ridge at a height of 5500 metres. With a spectacular view of the Khangchendzonga, the town provides the perfect base for travel through the state. Once an important transit point for traders traveling between Tibet and India, it is today a busy administrative and business centre and presents an interesting mix of cultures and communities.

Gangtok is a cosmopolitan town which offers the tourist all possible amenities. Hotels are available in a range of prices along with a variety of eateries serving cuisine for all tastes. Shopping complexes, cyber cafes, night clubs and pool parlours abound for those so inclined.

Attraction in and around Gangtok:

MG Marg:

MG Marg, the main street of Gangtok town is a great place to chill out. The countrys first litter and spit free zone, no vehicular traffic is allowed into the marg. You can sit at the Titanic Park or at the various benches stretched across the mall and take in the carnival like atmosphere, especially during the tourist season. The Mall is lined with shops on both sides of the road so shopping becomes an added pleasure. MG Marg is also the venue for the annual Gangtok Food and Culture festival held in December each year when Sikkims multi-cultural cuisine, along with music and dance performances are showcased. This event attracts a large number of locals and tourists each year.

Gangtok Ropeway:

For a birds eye view of Gangtok take a ride on the bi-cable Zig-back ropeway. The one kilometre ride from Deorali to Tashiling Secretariat costs 30 one way and is completed in 7 minutes. Each cabin has the capacity to ferry 25 people at a time. The ropeway has been fitted with fully computerized modern safety mechanism of international standards. On clear weather the ride offers a great view of the Khangchendzonga range apart from an overview of Gangtok town and the valley below. After you get off at Tashiling Secretariat you can walk to the Ridge Park and soak in the beautiful surroundings as well as visit the ongoing Flower Festival held just below the park.

Ganesh Tok:

For a view of Gangtok and all its surrounding, one can got to Ganesh Tok situated on a ridge at a distance of 7 kms from Gangtok. From this Spot one can get a view of sprawling Gangtok town, while across the hills Mt. Khang-chen-Dzonga and Mt. Siniolchu loom over the horizon. Dedicated to Lord Ganesh, the temple is located at an altitude of 6500 feet on a panoramic hilltop. At present the temple is surrounded by a beautiful pinetum, Bulbylay Zooligical Park and a smriti-van, wherein visitors plant saplings in the memory of their dear departed. A cafeteria serves hot tea, coffee and snacks. The view from here is truly breathtaking with snow peaks providing the perfect backdrop for a panoramic view of Gangtok town.

Hanuman Tok:

Hanuman Tok, a temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman, is situated at an altitude of 7200 feet at a distance of about nine kilometres uphill from Gangtok on a blissfully calm and quiet hilltop. The location is completely free from the pollution of city life. Apart from the clear view of the peaks surrounding Mount Khangchendzonga, some portions of Gangtok town, one also gets a bird's eye view of the Selep water works, which supplies drinking water to Gangtok. Adjacent to this area is Lukshyama, the royal cremation ground having stupas and chortens. Here the mortal remains of the erst-while royal family members of Sikkim are cremated.

Namgyal Research Institute of Tibetology:

Namgyal Research Institute of Tibetology is the most prestigious research institute of its kind in the world, NIT is a treasure of vast collection of rare Lepcha, Tibetan and Sanskrit manuscripts, statues and rare Thankas (colourful tapestries used in Buddhist liturgy). Apart from an attractive museum, it has over 200 Buddhist icons and other prized objects of art. As far as its collections are concerned, it is only next to an institute in Tibet. Today it is renowned world wide centre for study of Buddhist philosophy and religion. The institute was established in 1958 to promote serious study and research on Buddhism.

Rumtek Monastery:

Situated around 23 kms from Gangtok, in the hill facing Gangtok is Rumtek, a quiet getaway and home to the Rumtek Monastery, seat of His Holiness, The Gyalwa Karmapa of the Kargyu sect of Tibetan Buddhism. The drive to Rumtek snakes through typical Sikkimese villages and many paddy fields. The paddy fields resemble a green carpet from July to September and later in October-November, the entire place is a sight to behold with golden paddy swaying in the breeze. The lush green hilly terrain, a breathtaking topography and misty mountains makes Rumtek an ideal place for some quiet time. Rumtek offer a host of sightseeing opportunities. These include local sightseeing within Rumtek, one day tours to places around Rumtek, monastery tours and adventurous exploits such as white water rafting and trekking. The main attraction, however, is the Rumtek Monastery, seat of His Holiness the Gyalwa Karmapa of the Kargyu sect of Buddhism. The largest monastery in Sikkim it demonstrates the best of Tibetan architecture and is an almost replica of the original monastery in Tsurpu inTibet. The monastery houses some of the rarest Buddhist religious art objects found in the world and is also a world renowned centre for Kargyu teachings.

Nehru Botanical Garden:

Just ahead of the Rumtek Monastery is the Nehru Botanical Garden which has a mix of tropical and temperate plants and trees as well as a big greenhouse of exotic orchids. It’s a good place to stop for a while. For children there is a small playground with swings and a see-saw and a winding footpath is ideal for a stroll. Rumtek offers many stay options. You can stay at the many lodges near the monastery or at the beautiful tourist resorts, which offer modern amenities in typical rural settings

Aritar:

Located in east Sikkim, Aritar is steeped in history and natural beauty. A breathtaking view of Khangchendzonga only adds to the many natural riches that Aritar is blessed with. Lush green forests, sweeping hills of paddy fields and placid lakes hidden inside deep forests makes it a perfect destination for those in search of nature trails and a serene holiday.The Lampokari Lake surrounded by lush greenery is considered one of the oldest in Sikkim. This lake has been recently provided with artificial embankment to facilitate boating, a first for Sikkim. A short trek leads you to Mankhim Dara, where a temple dedicated to the ethnic Rai community is located. Mankhim offers a 360 degree view of the surrounding areas. The Aritar Gumpa is one of the oldest monasteries in Sikkim belonging to the Karma Kagyu lineage order of Tibetan Buddhism. Aritar hosts the Lampokhari Tourism Festival is during end of March and early April. There is leisurely boating in the Lampokhari Lake, horse riding around the Lake, traditional archery competition and short treks to nearby hilltops and viewpoints. For the more adventurous, there is rock climbing and paragliding, which is guaranteed to keep your adrenaline rushing. The festival offers visitors traditional cultural shows, flower exhibition and local ethnic cuisine to tickle your taste buds.

Tsomgo (Changu) Lake:

38 km from Gangtok and at an altitude of 12,400 ft, the ethereally beautiful Tsomgo lake is a must on every visitors itinerary. 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 colours around the 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 colour of the water of the lake to forecast the future. The lake is also of special significance for the Jhakris [faith healers] of Sikkim who congregate here annually on Guru Purnima, which coincides with the festival of Raksha Bandhan, from all over the state to offer prayers. For the tourist a visit to the lake offers a wonderful outing. Rides on colourfully decorated yaks and mules are offered at the lake site, which also has a variety of eating stalls serving snacks and beverages. Snowboots and gumboots can be hired here. Tsomgo lake is open for both Indian and foreign nationals, however foreign visitors have to be in a group of two or more and have to apply for a visitors permit through a registered travel agency.  

Baba Mandir:

The temple lies on the road between the Nathula and the Jelepla Pass and is visited by hundreds of people each day. The temple is believed to have wish-fulfilling powers and many devotees leave behind bottles of water at the temple which they pick up on their way back as holy water. On Sundays a ‘langar’ is run at the temple which provides free meals to the visitors. The legend of Baba goes back 35 years when Sepoy Harbhajan Singh of the 23rd Punjab Regiment went missing while leading a pack of mules from his battalion stationed at Tukla to Deng Dhukla, both remote areas located in East Sikkim. A manhunt was launched and it took the army three days to find his body. It is believed that he himself led the soldiers to the site. Soon after, soldiers in the regiment started reporting that Baba had been appearing in their dreams and directing that a shrine be built in his memory. A Samadhi was raised in his memory and believers say that even today Baba visits every night, puts on his uniform and does his rounds. He is worshipped as a saint who grants boons and guards the lives of soldiers posted along the border. Each year in September Baba takes his annual holiday and travels back to Kapurthala, his hometown. People gather in large numbers and line the route that Baba will take to offer flowers and prayers. A berth on a train is reserved in his name and two orderlies accompany him on the journey. The legend of this Sepoy-Saint grows stronger with each passing day.

Bakthang Waterfalls:


20 minutes drive from Gangtok is Bakthang Water Falls along the 31 A National Highway leading to North Sikkim. It originates from Ratey Chu, the main water source of Gangtok area. Suggested to visit with a view to relax and to take photographs.

Ban Jhakri Falls:

Located en route to Ranka and 4 kms away from Gangtok, the Ban Jhakri Falls Energy Park, lies amidst a lush green valley spread over two acres, surrounded by trees and a gushing mountain river. The Park has a shamanistic theme. Hence, while the location of the Park penetrating the forest spreads seeks to enhance the essence of the occult and the unknown, the place itself is littered with ethnic sculptures and figurines of the jhakri culture.

Handicraft Centre:

The Directorate of Handloom and Handicrafts was established in the year 1957 with the aim of promoting and keeping alive the State's traditional art & craft, the DHH is a store house of hand - woven woolen carpets, with traditional motifs, blankets, shawls and exquisitely carved 'Choktse' or table and many other gift items. The Directorate is a unique combination of training-cum-production spread over 20 centers in Sikkim, which has a modest center at Gangtok. A Handloom and Handicrafts Development Corporation Ltd. has been formed which will facilitate effective marketing of quality based products and make more jobs and avenues for crafts persons. Such products have a huge potentiality for exports.

Visiting hours:- Monday to Saturday from 0930 hrs to 1230 hrs and 1300 hrs to 1600 hrs.

Do-Drul_Chorten:

The Do-Drul Chorten or Stupa was built by the Venerable Trullshi Rimpoche, head of the Nyingma order of Tibeten Buddhism, in 1945. Inside the stupa, there are complete mandala set of Dorjee phurba (Vajra Kilaya), a set of Kang Gyur relic (Holy Book), complete 'Zung' (mantras) and other religious objects. Around the Chorten, there are 108 Mani Lhakor (Prayer Wheels). These are turned by devout Buddhists while chanting 'Om Mane Padme Hum' (O Jewel in the Lotus) to invoke the Bodhisattva. It is surrounded by Chorten Lakhang and Guru Lakhang, where there are two huge statues of Guru Padmasambhava.

Enchey Monastery:


An important seat of the Nyingmapa order, the Enchey Monastery is built on the Site Blessed by Lama Druptok Karpo, a tantric master known for his power of flying. This 200 years old monastery has in its premises images of gods, goddesses and other religious objects. Every year around January, "Chaam" or religious masked dance is performed with great fanfare-for two days. It is situated close to Siniolchu Tourist Lodge, 3 kms from Gangtok Town.

Fambong Lho Wildlife Sanctuary:


It is located at a distance of 25 kms from Gangtok having an area of 51. 76 sq. km. The main vegetation found are oak, katus, kimbu, champa, thick bamboos and ferns. The sanctuary is also home to a large number of wild orchids, rhododendrons, etc. The richly forested area is known to be the home for various species of wild animals and birds. This area, located close to Gangtok, is also a short trekking trail.

Gonjang monastery:


Gonjang Monastery near Tashi View Point was established in the year 1981. The founder is H.E. Tingkye Gonjang Rimpoche. He was recognised as an incarnation of Yolmo Terton Ngakchang Shakya Zangpo, a 15th century Nyingmapa Terton. The monastery follows Jangter tradition of Nyingmapa school of Tibeten Buddhism.

Government Institute of Cottage Industry:


Set up in 1957 as a centre for both preservation and development of the traditional arts and crafts of Sikkim, the institute is located about a kilometer from main Gangtok market. An emporium at the institute sells an array of local traditional items, which are very popular with tourists. Carpets, available in various sizes and designs, traditional bags and other utility items, foldable Choksis, tables carved in local design, wooden masks and handmade paper are some of the various things available for sale here.

Himalayan ( Bulbulay) Zoological Park:


8 kms away from Gangtok is the Himalayan Zoological Park which covers an area of 205 hectares. This area is also known as Bulbulay. Located just above Ganesh Tok, the park is home to a number of animals living in open enclosures in their natural habitat.

If you are lucky you might see the Red Panda, Sikkim’s state animal, the barking Deer, Tibetan wolves, panthers, Civet cats or even the Himalayan Black Bear. The Park also has ‘Kush’ and ‘Urbashi’, a snow leopard pair living in. It’s definitely worth a visit.

Hurhuray Dara:

This view point is located at Namnamg just next to the Sikkim Legislative Assembly and gives you an excellent view of the river and valley below. You can go for a walk along the cliff side or just sit in one of the benches and marvel at the natural beauty surrounding you.

Menmecho Lake:


Upon covering a distance of 64 kms from Gangtok via Sherathang (6 kms short of famous Nathula Pass) one comes across a marvellous snow fed water body called Menmecho Lake (altitude 13,000 feet). Surrounded by lush green forest and typical reddish alpine grass cover, it is the source of the river Rangpochu.Larger in size than Tsomgo lake, it is full of trout fish. Impressed by its calm and quiet atmosphere and rare beauty, one can spend hours in splendid isolation.

Nathula:


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 motorable roads in the world and is richly surrounded by alpine 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 Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturday and Sundays. The visitors have to get the permit to visit the place by applying to the Tourism Department through a registered and recognised Travel Agency. 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).

Pal Zurmang Kagyud Monastery (Lingdum):


Pal Zurmang Kagyud Monastery, located at Lingdum, East Sikkim is at a distance of about 20 kms from Gangtok. The present Gharwang Rimpoche is the 12th Successive incarnation of the glorious emanation of Zurmang Gharwang. A place worth visiting for its religious and exquisite architecture and serene atmosphere.  

Sa-ngor Monastery:

It is a Tibeten refugee monastic institution established in 1961 by his Eminence Luding Khen Rimpoche, Head of Ngorpa, sub-set of the Sakya Order, with the blessings of HH Sakya Trizin and HH the Dalai Lama. This is the only monastery of the sakya Order of Tibeten Buddhism in Sikkim. It is located on a beautiful hill top at a distance of 5 kms from Gangtok town.

Saramsa Garden:


About 14 kms. from Gangtok is the Saramsa Garden. Established and maintained by the Department of Forests, it is an excellent recreation, leisure and picnic spot. A musical fountain and a swimming pool are the recent additions. The Garden is the venue for the International Flori Show 2008. A beautiful Convention Center for Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) has been constructed at Saramsa, 14 km from Gangtok with a sitting capacity of 500 and all modern facilities. Meetings and Exhibitions can be held here in an eco-friendly peaceful environment.

Tashi View Point:


Situated along the North Sikkim Highway, it is only 8 kms from Gangtok. From this point one gets a breath taking view of Mt. Khangchendzonga, one of the most graceful peaks in the world. An Observatory Tower, Cafeteria and Public amenities have also been recently added. Ideal time to visit is early in the morning. One can also catch a glimpse of the Phodang and Labrang monasteries on the opposite hill. There is a park just above the View Point where one can have a little picnic or visit the cafeteria for hot coffee, momos and other snacks.

The Ridge:


The Ridge, a small stretch of flat land above Gangtok town is one of the most attractive places here and is a favorite haunt for both tourists and locals. It stretches from the gates of the Palace of the erstwhile Namgyal kings to the White Hall building built in the memory of the first Political Officer of Sikkim, Claude White. Close by is Mintokgang, the official residence of the chief minister. The park on the Ridge has a small Hava Ghar to rest in as well as benches to sit on. You can also have instant photographs taken here by the many camerapersons who haunt the place. No visit to the Ridge will be complete without seeing the Flower Festival. A special glass house, opposite the White Hall displays the rich floral heritage of Sikkim, beginning with the Orchid Show in March and continuing all year round with display of many varieties of flowers.

Tourist Village Pastanga:


Pastanga in Assam Lingzey is located at an altitude of 1425 meters (4676 ft.). It is two hours drive from Gangtok. The enchanting little village provides magnificent view of the mountain ranges. One can wander up lush green mountain trails where one comes across beautiful waterfalls along the path. There are rare species of bamboos in dense rhododendron and magnolia forest. The tourist are provided with home stay facilities with organized cultural programme and local handicrafts show. It is also worth while to visit traditional houses of ethnic communities, some being one hundred and fifty years old. Pastanga is also the take off point for Khedi trekking route.

 

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