IXB ( Bagdogra)
Flights to Delhi , Kolkata and Guwahati
Nearest Rail Head:
NJP- 114 Kms
Trains to Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Guwahati, Bhubaneswar, Chennai
The Capital of Sikkim situated at an altitude of 5,800 feet straddling
a ridge is a place where the journey into Sikkim begins. All amenities
are available at Gangtok like post and telegraph office, e-mail &
internet, PCOs, Railway reservation counter and Airlines booking office,
cinema halls and good hotels and restaurants.
Institute of Tibetology
About one kilometer downhill from the main market of Gangtok, amidst
a small forest of Oak, Magnolia and Birch trees stands the Research
Institute of Tibetology built in 1958, promoting research into Mahayana
Buddhism and the language and tradition of Tibet. It has one of the
world's largest collection of books and rare manuscripts on Buddhism
and many religious works of art and a collection of beautiful silk
embroidered Tibetan paintings called Thangkas.
Just adjacent to the institute of Tibetology perched on a hilltop
is a huge towering monument called 'Stupa' with a gold apex surrounded
by prayer-wheels, 113 in number with the mystic mantra "OM MANE
PADME HUM'' (Hail jewel in a lotus) inscribed on them. A little ahead
of the chorten is a shrine containing huge images of Guru Padmasambhava
and his reincarnation Guru Song Zisil Gnon.
Located at about one kilometer uphill from the main market near the
Zero Point, is a Government Organisation established in 1957 for promoting
the manufacture and sale of local handicrafts, carpets and furniture.
It also sells Thankas and Choksees (carved wooden folding tables).
Masks and hand made paper are a speciality of this center.
As it is the State flower of Sikkim, it is seen at different places
in many varieties. Orchids are seasonal and can be seen in the month
of March to June. Some famous places for seeing rare Orchids are the
Flower Show, Orchid Sanctuary near the institute of Tibetology and
the Orchidarium - off the main road leading to Gangtok.
This is the royal Chapel and the principal place of worship for the
Sikkimese people. It is a beautiful Sikkimese structure with its interior
covered with murals and the lavishly decorated altars hold images
of Buddha and Tantric deities surrounded by fine wood carvings. The
Only time it is open to the public is during the Loosar festival which
usually falls in the month of February when the famous Mask Dances
are performed portraying the triumph of Good over Evil.
Situated at a distance of 30 kms. from Gangtok and at a height of
12,400 feet on the Gangtok - Nathula highway, which used to be the
old silk route to China, is the Tsomogo Lake. Before 1962 caravans
of mules used to ply on this route. The lake is considered sacred
because in the early days the Lamas would forecast the future by looking
at the colour of the water in the Lake. It is a snow fed lake and
is a treat to one's eyes in winters, when it is frozen.