Sight Seeing In and Around Gangtok
An important seat of the Nyingma order, the Enchey Monastery meaning the Solitary temple, was originally built with the solace that no other construction would be allowed near it is built on the site blessed by Lama Druptob Karpo, a tantric master known for his flying powers. This 200-year-old Monastery has in its premises images of god, 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 adjoining the Sinolchu Tourist Lodge, 3 kms from Gangtok Town.
Permanent Flower Show
White Hall, Close by the White Memorial Hall and just below the Palace Ridge park is the more recent Flower Show Hall. In recent years this show has become quite popular and famous as there are flower exhibitions throughout the year in accordance with the seasons and the flowers in bloom.
The nearest airport from Sikkim is Bagdogra at a distance of nearly 124 kilometers from Gangtok. It is situated 12 kilometers from Siliguri in West Bengal. There is regular helicopter service from Bagdogra to Gangtok that takes only 20 minutes.
The nearest Railway Station is New Jalpaiguri that is 148 kilometers from Gangtok and takes about 4 hours by road. New Jalpaiguri is connected to all major Indian cities through excellent railway network.
Distances from Gangtok : -
Bagdogra Airport (North Bengal) - 124 kms(4hrs drive)
NJP Railway Station (North Bengal) - 125 kms(4hrs drive)
Darjeeling (North Bengal) - 94 kms(3.5 hrs drive)
Kalimpong (North Bengal) - 70 kms(2.5 hrs drive)
Pelling (West Sikkim) - 148 kms(6 hrs drive)
Lachung (North Sikkim) - 148 kms(6 hrs drive)
Yumthang (North Sikkim) - 24 kms(2 hrs drive from Lachung)
Do-Drul Chorten ( Stupa)
The Do-Drul Chorten or Stupa was built by the Venerable Trulshi Rimpoche, head of the Nyingma order of Tibetan Buddhism in 1945. Inside this stupa, there are complete mandala sets of Dorjee Phurba (Bajra Kilaya), a set of Kan-gyur relics ( Holy Books), complete 'Zung'( mantras) and other religious objects. Around this Chorten, which is one of the most important stupas in Sikkim, are 10 Mani-Lhakor( prayer wheels). These prayer wheels are turned by the devout Buddhist while chanting "Hail to the jewel in the Lotus", to invoke the Buddhisattva. The Chorten is surrounded by Chorten Lakhang, where there are two huge statues of Guru Rimpoche (Guru Padmasambhava).
Handloom and Handicrafts Centre
It is now known as the Directorate of Handicrafts and Handlooms as well as the Government Institute of Cottage Industries. Started during the time of the Chogyals of Sikkim, as a venture to protect and propagate the craft and skills of local and village artisans, it has become on t of the major attractions for people visiting Sikkim where traditional handcrafts, furniture, handlooms carpets and other products can be viewed and also purchased . A word of caution to the innocent guest. It is better to check whether there is a government holiday or not as the G.I.C.I. is closed on Sundays, all government declared holidays, second Saturdays and the odd unforeseen holidays.
Namgyal Institute of Tibetology
The Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, after the late Chogyal of Sikkim, Palden Thondup Namgyal whose brainchild it was has since become one of the most prestigious depository of Tibetan literature, rare manuscripts, paintings, thangkas, statues and religious objects and other works of art and history. Today, it is a renowned worldwide centre for study of Buddhist philosophy and religion.
About 14 kms from Gangtok is the Saramsa Garden, the home of Sikkim's most exotic orchids and other rare tropical and temperate plants. Established and maintained by the Department of Forest, it is an excellent recreation and picnic spot.
Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre
About 45 minutes drive from Gangtok, 24 kms away, is the Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre, the seat of the Kagyu order, one of the 4 major Tibetan Buddhist sects. Since the late 1960s, after the arrival of His Holiness the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, the Centre houses some of the world's most unique religious scriptures and religious rare objects. Traditional in design, it is almost a replica of the original Kagyurpa Monastery in Tsurphu, Tibet.
Jawaharlal Nehru Botanical Garden
Very close by to Rumtek Monastery, and maintained by the parks and Gardens unit of the Forest Department of the Government of Sikkim, the Garden is an enchanting and soothing experience among the lush green vegetation, rare plants and trees and certain species of Himalayan flowers and Orchids.
Tsomgo lake is only 40 kms. from Gangtok town and is situated at an altitude of 12,210 ft. The drive from Gangtok takes about 2½ hours by bus. The lake is bout 1 km. long and oval in shape, 50ft. deep and is regarded extremely Holy. It is also a home of Brahmini ducks besides stopover for various migratory ducks.
Between May and August, it is possible to see variety of flowers in bloom, including the rhododendrons, various species of primulas, blue and yellow poppies, iris and many other species of floras. It is also an ideal habitat of the Red Panda and various species of birds. Open for both the Foreign and Indian nationals. Foreign visitors have to be in a group of two or more and have to apply for the visitors permit through a registered Travel agency.
56 kms from Gangtok is a 'Nathula' Pass at an altitude of 14,200 ft. bordering between India and China in the Tibetan Plateau. It is one of the highest motorable roads and richly covered by many varities of alpine flora and fauna. A tranquil place to visit. Nathula is open only for Indian nationals on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. The visitors have to get the permit to visit the place by applying to the Tourism Department through a registered Travel Agency.
Baba Harbhajan Singh Memorial
Distance - 58 km ( from Gangtok )
Altitude - 13500 ft.
Built In memory of Harbhajan Singh, a sepoy in the 23rd Punjab Regiment, the temple lies between Nathul and Jeepla passes. Legend has it that he appeared in a dream a few days after he went missing while patrolling the border, and expressed a desire that a monument be built in his memory. This has over the years acquired the status of a pilgrimage centre.
Tashi View Point
Built by the late King of Sikkim Sir. Tashi Namgyal, it is situated 4 km from Gangtok town from where one can have a clear view of opposite hills, besides Mt. Khangchendzonga. This site offers a breathtaking panorama of the majestic Mt. Khangchendzonga and surrounding hills.
It is a very small temple of Ganesh, a God worshipped by Hindus. It is on a hillock on Gangtok-Nathula Road. A Sikkim Government nursery is just nearby.
It is a Tibetan refugee monastic institution established in 1961 by his Eminence Luding Khen Rimpoche, Head of Ngorpa, sub-sect of the Sakya Order, with the blessing of H.H. Sakya Trizin and H.H. the Dalai Lama. This is the only monastery of the Sakya Order of Tibetan Buddhism in Sikkim. It is located on a beautiful hill-top just 5 kms away from Gangtok Sikkim.
Ban Jhakri Falls
About 10 - 12 KM from M.G Marg of Gangtok, Ban Jhakri Falls is a new sightseeing destination for tourist, fully operated by solar energy. Park features waterfalls, dragon statue, Lepcha statue, Jhakri statue etc