India has always carried thousands of years of rich cultural and natural heritage, 86 national parks, 448 wildlife reserves, more than 2.4 million temples, mosques and churches, majestic forts and palaces, the Great Himalayas, vast coastline and many attractions including, one of the seven wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal. Step into a world of splendid colors, wide-open spaces and exotic cultural treasures. We want to invite you to a dream vacation in India.
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Gangtok is a bustling, friendly hill station, and the capital of the Himalayan state of Sikkim. The name Gangtok is derived from the Tibetan word for 'hillside'. A mixture of indigenous Sikkimese and people of Nepalese and Tibetan ancestry. Gangtok is popular place with tourists heading on treks. Gangtok would be easily one of the most cleanest cities you would ever come across, highly organised and beautifully maintained it the switzerland of the east.
The main street (MG Marg) is pedestrianized and a pleasant place to take a stroll. There are a number of beautiful views of the surrounding hills from Gangtok itself, but the best views of Mt Kanchenjunga " the world's third-highest mountain can be viewed from Tashi View point on a clear day.
Places to visit in Gangtok : State Handicrafts & Handlooms (Govt Run )Open 10Am - 4Pm / Ganesh tok for Gangtok View / Enchay Monastery / Flower Show / Ridge Park / Ropeway / Tibetology Museum (Open 10am - 4pm) / Chorten / Himalayan zoological park (Open 10am - 4pm) / Rumtek Monastery / Shanti View point (View of Gangtok from Opposite hill) / Lingdum Monastery / Tsngmo Lake/Baba Mandir/Nathula pass.
Rachna, Development Area - By far the best bookstore in town. A wide selection of titles and knowledgable owner. Rachna is located about a ten minute walk from the main bazaar.
Curio Craft Gallery Curio City - One of the better quality handicraft stores in town. Excellent selection of Buddhist artwork.
Souveneir, MG Marg - Good place to buy prayer wheels, flags and other handicraft.
The Wayside Gardens & Nurseries Pvt. Ltd. - Well known House of exotic plants including Orchids. Azaleas and Cattleya hybrid orchids, besides range of Citrus, are their specialities. A must visit place for any plant lover.
Sikkim is famous for its fruit processing and tea aside from the local handicraft. Passion fruit Squash, Alpine Cheese, Temi Tea & Maha Gurudev Tea are some of the local products.
The Enchey Monastery was established in 1909. The monastery is built on a stunning ridge of a hill above the Gangtok city to its northeast from where the Kanchendzonga range is visible. It is located on Gangtok – Nathula road. It belongs to the Nyingma order of Vajrayana Buddism. The monastery built around the then small hamlet of Gangtok became a religious centre. The location was blessed by Lama Drupthob Karpo, a renowned exponent of tantric (adept) art in Buddism with flying powers; initially a small Gompa was established by him. The literal meaning of Enchey Monastery is the “Solitary Monastery.”
The monastery has a large collection of masks which are used for the annual ritual dances. As its name implies, monastery has a peaceful atmosphere and also maintains a good library.
Ganesh Tok, a small temple, is located at a distance of 7 kilometre from Gangtok. Situated next to the television tower on the small hill nestled on Gangtok-Nathula road, the temple is dedicated to Lord Ganesh. This temple is so small in size that at a time, it can only accommodate one person. From this Spot one can get bird’s eye view of sprawling Gangtok town, while across the hills Mt. Khangchendzonga and Mt. Siniolchu loom over the horizon.
At present the temple is surrounded by a beautiful pinetum, Bulbylay Zoological Park and a smriti-van, wherein visitors plant saplings in the memory of their dear departed.
Government Institute of Cottage Industries 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.
Rumtek Monastery, located at a distance of approximately 24 km from Gangtok in Rumtek, is one of the most important sites for almost every Buddhist. This monastery was originally built in the 16th century, under the supervision of Wangchuck Dorge and with the financial assistance of the fourth king of Sikkim.
However, in the 20th century this monastery was devastated by fire. Later in 1960s, an entirely new ministry was rebuilt uphill the original Rumtek Monastery. The new monastery built was named as Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre. In addition, the monastery also houses the main shrine temple along with quarters of monks.
There is a Golden stupa located inside the monastery, which encompasses the relics of the 16th Karmapa. The monastery is also a host to several Tibetan festivals organised throughout the year, which include Tse-Chu Chaam and Kagyat Dance.
Tsongmo Lake or Changu Lake is a glacial lake in the East Sikkim, India. Tsomgo Lake is located 35 km away from the city on the Gangtok-Nathula highway. This highway is also a part of the old route that links India and China. Worshipped by Sikkimese, this holy lake is approximately 20 km away from the Nathula Pass, while located at a distance of around 400 km.
Indian Postal Service released a commemorative stamp on the lake on 6 November 2006.