Gangtok is the capital of Sikkim, a tiny but beautiful state, sandwiched between Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan. The mountainsides here are covered with orchids and vast forests of rhododendrons.

Apart from the mountain scenery, the main attraction of Sikkim is its Buddhist monasteries. Sikkim is home to over 250 of these; and while some are deserted most others like Rumtek are thriving centres of Buddhism.

What to see

Rongpo; Enchey Monastery; Orchidarium; Tashi View Point; Tsuklaktang Gompa.

Do-Drul Chorten; Deer Park: (Timings: 0800 hrs -1100 hrs, Monday to Saturday and 0800 hrs-1700 hrs, Sunday).

Govt. Institute of Cottage Industries (Timmimn: 0930 hrs-1230 hrs & 1300 hrs-1500 hrs (closed on 2nd Saturday and Govt. holidays).

Orchid Sanctuary: One can see over 200 species of orchids here. The blooming seasons are April-May, July- August and October - November

Institute of Tibetology: (Timings: 1000 hrs-1600 hrs, Monday to Saturday. Closed on 2nd Saturday and Govt. holidays.

Getting There

Air: The nearest airport is bagdogra 124 Km linked with Delhi and Calcutta.

Rail: The nearest railway stations are Siliguri 114 km and New Jalpaiguri 125 km connected with different cities in the country.

Road: There are good motorable roads connecting Gangtok with Calcutta 725 Km, darjeeling 139 Km, Guwahati 589 Km and Siliguri 114 km.

General information

Area: 7,300 Sq. Km Temperature: Summer - Max: 21 Deg. C Mim: 13.1 Deg. C Winter - Max: 15 Deg.C Min: 7.7 Deg. C Altitude: 1,547 meters Best Season: March - late June and October - Mid December STD Code: 03592

Excursions

  1. Rumtek (24 Km): This is the largest monastery in Sikkim and is the headquarters of the Kaagyu order.
  2. Phensang (35 Km): It was built in 1721 during the time of Jigme Pawo.
  3. Phodang (38 Km): It is one of the 6 major monasteries of Sikkim. 4 Km away is the recently renovated Labrang monastry, unique in it’s architectural design.
  4. Tsongo Lake (40 Km): This lake is situated at an altitude of 12,210 feet. It is the home of the Brahmini Ducks besides being a stopover for various migratory ducks. During the months from May to August one can see a variety of flowers such as the Rhododendrons, Primulas, Blue and Yellow Poppies etc.
  5. Pemayangtse (112 Km): Situated at a hight of 6,840 feet in West sikkim , it commands an impressive view of Mount Kanchenjunga. The monastery here belongs to the Nyingma order and houses numerous religious idols and other objects of worship, most of which are precoius because of their antiquity.
  6. Pelling: Pelling is the nearest point to Kanchenjunga mountain (the third highest peak in the world) and the thirteen other snow-capped peaks.
  7. Tashiding Monastery (130 Km): This beautiful monastery is only a day’s trek from Pemayangtse.
  8. Yaksum (133 Km): Yaksum is a historical spot where three Lamas performed the consecration ceremony of the first ruling monarch of Sikkim. From Yaksum, an hour’s climb through, thick pine forests lead to Sikkim’s oldest monastery-‘Dhubdi or the Hermit’s cell - a place of rare peace and tranquility. The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute uses Yaksum as the centre for it’s mountain climbing cources.
  9. Yumthang (140 Km): Situated at an altitude of 11,800 feet, this paradise for nature lovers has a facinating blend of breathtaking scenic view with hot springs and an alpine environment.
  10. Bakhim (175 Km): A facinating place with more than 20 varieties of Rhododendrons. Bakhim is also the base for mountaineers and trekkers going to Dzongri 10 Km away.
  11. Dzongri (185 Km): Situated at an altitude of 3962 meters, it offers the most facinating close-up of the Kanchenjunga mountain to tourists who trek from Pemayangtse to Dzongri.
  12. Ralong: Belonging to the karma kagyu order, this monastery was built by the govt. Between 1975-81