Visit Gangtok in SikkimGangtok has a little of everything. You can find culture, nature, entertainment and food.
Gangtok has a little of everything. You can find culture, nature, entertainment and food. Explore Tibetan monasteries to delve into the rich Tibetan culture which permeates festivals, music, food, architecture and the lives of the local people.
A walk around the monasteries gives a peep into a different lifestyle. Young monks clad in red robes, learning subjects of the mind and soul, learning arts and sciences along with meditation, are a reminder of a way of a life lives without hassle.
On the other hand, beats of Nepali, Hindi and English rock in the alleys and eateries bear testimony to the North east as the cradle for the country’s rock music culture. For those who love Tibetan food, Gangtok is a delight. Momos, Noodles, Thukpa and other local dishes are readily available all over the city and will leave little room for complaint. Nepalis by nature are food lovers, and they ensure that the travellers receive a grand gastronomical experience.
One of the oft-visited sites of Gangtok is the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology. It was built in 1958 and is a research center for Mahayana Buddhism and Tibetan culture. Besides being a museum of traditional and old artifacts, one can also buy Buddhist religious books and other objects of craft. Nearby is a gompa for young lamas. The Tsuk-La-Khang or Royal Chapel is the main place of worship and assembly for the Buddhists and is huge repertoire of religious relics. It is open during the Losar festival. Another important monastery is the Enchey Gompa and is worth a visit during the festival season of January to February.
Adjacent to the Namgyal Institute is the Orchid Sanctuary, which is the home of some 500 varieties of orchids. There is a larger orchid sanctuary called Orchidarium, off the main road to Rangpo. Near White Hall, there is a Flower Exhibition Center and seasonal flowers, bonsai and orchids are a delight to the eyes. From April to June and September to November, one can come here.
Top attractions in Gangtok
The Rumtek Monastery is the abode of the third highest Buddhist Monk in the Tibetan Buddhist sect, Karmapa Lama. The design of the monastery and stupa complex is based on the design of Kagyu headquarters in Tibet. Located away from the city, it is perfect for some quiet reflection and meditation. The natural ambiance makes the complex scenic, and soothing on the eyes.
This is a Buddhist stupa, which are traditionally places of worship of sacred objects, and symbolize peace. Giant Buddhist prayer wheels circle the stupa. The prayer wheels are inscribed with mantras, and spinning the wheels is believed to spread the peaceful vibrations of the mantra in the surroundings. Young monks can be seen to pursue their studies in and around the stupa.
This 100-foot waterfall is located in a landscaped park with forested area at about 7kms from Gangtok town and close to Ranka Monastery. There are paved pathways and footbridge around the park which spreads across some 2-acres of land area with many trees and flowering plants in it. It's a popular picnic spot.
There is also a manmade lake here with a dragon at the center. You can do paddle boating at the lake. The entire park is themed on Shaman culture and you can see Sikkimese architecture visible all across the park. There are gazebos at several points where you can relax while soaking in the view of the flowing stream that forms at the bottom of the waterfall and the greenery all around.
Namgyal institute of tibetology
It is a research institute and museum dedicated to the study and exploration of the Tibetan arts and culture. The museum displays Tibetan artifacts like scrolls of manuscripts, cloth paintings, other objects for rituals etc. This is a must visit for a history and culture junkie.
Directorate of Handicraft & Handloom
The Directorate of Handicraft & Handloom was established in 1957 with the aim of preserving and promoting the art and craft of the people of Gangtok. There is much to see and buy here including hand-carved folding tables (Choktse), hand-loomed carpets with traditional themes, hand-painted masques, shawls, paintings and wooden dolls.
Flower Exhibition Centre
Flower Exhibition Centre showcases flowers from the different parts of Sikkim together under a single roof which makes it a heaven for all the nature lovers. Though the flowers are displayed here all through the year, the annual flower show which is held from April to May should not be missed out on as during this time, the management gathers here and presents numerous varieties of orchids along with other flowers from around the state.
Tsomgo Lake, also known as Tsongmo Lake or Changu Lake, is a glacial lake in the East Sikkim district of the Indian state of Sikkim, some 40 kilometres from the capital Gangtok.
Tashi View Point
It's located in Tashi and about 8kms from the Gangtok town. It offers a sweeping view of Kanchenjunga snow peaks on a clear day. In fact the view of sunrise from here is unforgettable, you will see the peaks dazzling with changing colors. But for that you must reach the point before 5am.
In the opposite mountains, you can see the Phodong and Labrang monasteries.
Kabi Lungchok is a small town in North Sikkim about 17kms away from Gangtok. This was where the friendship and blood brotherhood treaty was signed between the Lepcha chief Thekong Tek and the Tibetan king, Khye Bumas representing the Bhutias. The literal meaning of Kabi Lungchok is “stone erected by our blood”. The location of the treaty is marked by stone pillars and a place of worship.
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