|Tourism in Sikkim
Place of Interest in sikkim:
Samdrupste: Samdruptse literally means “wish fulfilling hill” in the Bhutia language. Situated near Namchi in South Sikkim, it is at a distance of 75 kms from Gangtok. A unique, awe inspiring and gigangtic 135 feet high statue of Guru Padamasambhava is installed atop Sampruptse. It is the highest statue of Guru Padamasambhava in the world. His Holiness the Dalai Lama laid the foundation stone of the statue in October 1997. It took nearly three years to complete the statue. The ultimate plan is to make Samdruptse as an international pilgrimage centre on completion of meditation huts, ropeway library, guest house, public amenities, parking yard etc, around the towering statue. The message of love, compassion, peace and harmony is aimed to spread throughout the world from this historic hill.
Gangtok Ropeway: It takes the passenger to the highest point of the city of Gangtok, covering the distance of about 1 km in only seven minutes. Each cabin accommodates 24 passengers. The lower terminal station is located at Deorali Market, the intermediate terminal at Nam-Nang and the upper terminal station is below the Secretariat (Tashiling). One can truly enjoy the panoramic view and thrilling rise as the Ropeway goes over the City. The Gangtok Ropeway Two more Ropeways are going to be constructed and installed form Namchi to Samdruptse and from Yangyang to Bhale Dhunga (Maenam), both in South Sikkim. Also the day is not far when tourists can enjoy the breathtaking view of Tsomgo lake (11,800 feet) in East Sikkim by sitting atop a ropeway.
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.
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.
Gurudongmar Lake: Gurudongmar Lake Situated at a height of 17,800 feet, it is considered one the most sacred lakes by the Buddhists and Hindus alike. The beautiful and awe inspiring lake (190 kms from Gangtok) remains milky in colour throughout the year. According to a legend, since the lake used to remain frozen most of the year, it was not possible to use its water for drinking purposes. When the Guru Padmasambhava passed by, while returning from Tibet, the local residents are reported to have approached him for providing source of water. The Guru obliged. A portion of the lake touched by him does not freeze in extreme winter. Since water of the lake is considered sacred, visitors carry the ‘blessed’ water in bottles.
Hurhuray Dara: 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.
Kewzing Village: 8 kms from Ravangla is Kewzing Village which offers the opportunity of experiencing the rural life in Sikkim. You can stay here with a local family in village home stays and experience the warmth of Sikkimese hospitality. Kewzing VillageThe Bon Monastery here is the only one of its kind in Sikkim and is a symbol of the determination of a community to preserve their religious traditions. Located 2 kms from Kewzing bazaar is the Mangbrue Gompa, which follows the Nyingmapa sect of buddhism. The invading Bhutanese army used this strategic location in the 19th century and the ruins of their bunkers and outposts can still be seen.
Himalayan (Bulbuley) Zoological Park: Himalayan (Bulbuley) 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. Its definitely worth a visit.
Khecheopalri Lake: Khecheopalri Lake Situated at a distance of 25 kms. from Pelling, it is considered to be one of the sacred lakes of the State both by the Buddhist and the Hindus. The Lake remains hidden under the rich forest cover. The birds do not permit even a single leaf to float on the lake surface. There is motorable road from Pemayangtse right up to the lake area. For those interested in spending a night or two in the peaceful environment, a trekker’s hut is available. There is also a Pilgrim Hut.
M. G. Marg Market: M.G. Marg, the main street of Gangtok town is a great place to chill out in the evenings. The country’s first litter and spit free zone, no vehicular traffic is allowed into the Marg. You can sit at the Titanic Park and listen to the piped in music played for the listening pleasure of visitors or just walk down 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. M.G. Marg is also the venue for the annual Gangtok Food and Culture festival held in December each year when Sikkim’s multi-cultural cuisine, along with music and dance performances are showcased. This event attracts a large number of locals and tourists each year.
Maenam Hill: Situated at an altitude of 10,300 ft the scenic view from this height is, perhaps, unmatched in this part of the world. Mt. KhangchenDzonga and its surrounding ranges loom above to dwarf the richly forested and rugged hills. On a clear sunny day, it is possible to see the plains of Bengal spanning across Kalimpong and Darjeeling hills in the South and right across the Indo-China border towards the North. A short distance away is the legendry Bhaley Dunga, a kind of rocky spur which juts out from the ridge top and remains suspended in the air above Yangyang village. The trek to Maenam from Ravangla takes about 3 hours.
Pelling: Pelling Around 10 kms from Gyalshing, Pelling is today emerging as the second biggest tourist destination in the state after Gangtok. Although in itself it is little more than a strip of road lined with hotels, its main USP is the breathtaking view it offers of the Khangchendzonga and surrounding ranges, as well as the easy access it provides to tourist spots in the area. Pemayangste monastery is less than a kilometre from Pelling while a 40 minute walk on the hill opposite the monastery takes you to Sanga Choling monastery built in 1697, one of the first in the state.
Yumthang: Yumthang, situated at a height of 11800 feet is popularly known as ‘Valley of Flowers’, Located at a distance of 148 kms from Gangtok, it is a paradise for nature lovers with a fascinating blend of flora and fauna and breathtaking scenic beauty. In spring season, wild flowers such as primulas and Rhododendrons bathe the landscape in rich colours, making it a tourist hot spot. The Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary over here has 24 species of Rhododendron flowers which bloom from April to May end.
Seven Sisters Waterfalls: It is located 32 kms away from Gangtok on the National Highway leading to North Sikkim. To facilitate the tourists to savour the pristine beauty and to be with nature, Tourism and Civil Aviation Department has set up a waiting shed and cafeteria where they can take a break and shoot pictures. A must see picturesque beauty of nature.
Sawaro Rock Garden: Sewaro rock Garden developed by the Tourism and CIvil Aviation Department of Sikkim with facilities like gardens, pools, zigzag foot path and interesting recreation amenities like swimming pool, viewpoints and cafeteria. This has now come up as one of the popular picnic spot for the locals in Sikkim where many local picnic parties arrive here in winter. On the other side is village inhabited by local people from mixed communities and schools with beautiful children. Visit them.
Source: Sikkim Tourism