Why Sikkim :

Sikkim has been given many names. The Lepchas called it Nye-Mae-el "Paradise". The Limbus names it Su Khim or "New House" while the Bhutias called it Beumil Denjong "the hidden valley of rice". Whatever you call it Sikkim spoils the visitor for choice, with each of its four districts offering a unique travel opportunity. The crowning glory of Sikkim is Mount Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world, offering splendid views from all over the state. The Teesta and Rangeet rivers enrich its startlingly beautiful landscapes. Come discover Sikkim and its endless treasures with Everest Tours & Treks.

North Sikkim

KABI LONGSTOK

Twenty km on the way to North Sikkim, before Phodong, is KabiLongstok where the treaty of brotherhood between the Lepcha chieftain, TetongTek and the Tibetan chief KhyeBumsa was signed. The spot where the treaty was signed is marked by a memorial stone and lies amidst the shadows of tall trees and cardamom fields.

SEVEN SISTER WATER FALL

This waterfall is at the height of about 150m, it got its name seven sister because it is formed from seven different channels of streams. It is an eye catching view. To have a real experience of it one has to visit this place, it is really awesome. Labrang Monastery was built about one hundred years later than Phodong Monastery but belongs to the NyingmapaShet. Just below the road between Phodong Monastery and Labrang Monastery are the ruins of the third Capital of Sikkim Tumlong.

PHODONG MONASTERY

Phodong is one of the greatest attractions of North Sikkim. It is 28 km from Gangtok and is noted for its wonderful monastery. Phodong monastery is located in the middle of the breathtaking beauty of North Sikkim and is one of the most revered monasteries of Sikkim. Phodong monastery is located at the vicinity of the picturesque village of Kabi Langchuk. It is a Budhhist seat of learning and worship. The actual building of the Phodong monastery in Sikkim is old and the original building was in a state of decay. As a result, the entire monastery had to be rebuilt in the recent years. After the reconstructions were completed, Phodong monastery became one of the most beautiful monasteries of the Buddhist world.

CHUNGTHANG

Situated about 100 kms away from Gangtok on the Way to Yumthang is the small town of Chungthang in North Sikkim surrounded by high mountains that seem to touch the sky. At an altitude of about 1585 m(5200 ft), Chungthang lies at the confluence of the Lachen Chu (Tista) and the Lachung Chu. From here also the road bifurcates for the Lachen and Lachung valleys. The spot worth visiting at Chungthang is the rock on which legend has it, Guru Padmasambva rested and the imprint on it is said to be his footmark. There is a small opening in the rock which remains filled with spring water.

LACHUNG, YUMTHANG HOT SPRINGS and KATAU

Photographs of the natural scenes of Switerzerland and Ymthang valley look so similar that it is difficult to distinguish between them. Yumthang which is at an altitude of 365 m (1200 ft) is situated about 135 kilometers from Gangtok in North Sikkim. It is well known for its hot springs to reach which one has to walk a few hundred yards from the road and across a pedestrian bridge on the River Lachung. Although Yumthang itself is located on a flat valley and is near the tree - line, The route to Yumthang from Lachung-adjoining the Singba Forest Reserve – has a very picturesque landscape and is lined with rhododendrons which bloom at their best in May. What is particularly interesting about the rhododendrons of the Yumthang valley is that they bloom in different colours unlike those in other parts of Sikkim which are usually red.

GURU DONGMAR LAKE

It is in North Sikkim at an altitude of 17100 fts and 191 kms away from Gangtok. You come across deserted land and finally reach this place. No natural vegetation is found in and around this area, but its natural scenic is really eye catching with a white mountains.

West Sikkim

PEMAYANSTE MONASTERY

Pemayanste monastery at an altitude of about 2105m ( 6840 ft ), is situated about 2 kilometers from Pelling. It is the most important monastery of the Nyingmapa order and was first built as a small temple in the late seventeenth century by LatsunChembo. On the top floor of the monastery there is a wooden sculpture portraying the Mahaguru’s Heavenly Palace Sangthokpalri. The main dance of the monastery is on the 28th and 29th day of the 12th month of the Tibetan calendar, normally corresponding to the month of February there days before Losar. A particularly impressive Cham is on the second day that of the god Mahakal – a huge 8 feet high effigy. The highlight of the third day, is the unfurling of a huge thanka, the largest in Sikkim depicting Sakya Muni the living Buddha, at the entrance of the monastery.

RABDANSTE

Rabdanste, which is a three kilometers from Pelling and near the Pemayanste Monastery, was the second capital of Sikkim and was established in the late seventeenth Century by the second Chogyal of Sikkim. The Rabdanste Palace is in ruins and one has to trek about two kilometers from the main road near Pemaynste Monastery through a thick forest to reach it. The chortens around the palace have however withstood the elements of nature. The ruins are now being preserved by the Archaeological Survey of India and have been declared as a monument.

SANGACHELLING MONASTERY

SangaChelling Monastery, considered the oldest in Sikkim, lies amidst a thick forested hill top opposite the Pemayanste Monastery towards the west. The track is wide and moderately steep and it takes about half an hour to reach the monastery from Pelling.

KECHOPARI LAKE

Kechopari Lake at an altitude of about 1951 m (6400 ft) is located on a bifurcation on the road between Gyalshing and Yoksum. Kechopari means the Wishing Lake. The water in this lake is placid and crystal clear. Not even a leaf can be seen floating on the water surface. Although there is a beautiful dense forest above the lake. It is said that if a leaf drops on the surface of the water it is picked by a bird. The lake looks like a footprint shape.

KANCHENDZONGA WATERFALLS

The Kanchendzonga waterfalls are located about 15 kilometers away from Pelling on the way to Yoksum. The thunder of the icy cold water cascading down the granite rocks resounds in the surrounding. The sound is so loud that it is impossible to hear each other. A mist of water droplets from the waterfall lies suspended in the air and this can make your clothes cold and moist.

YOKSUM,NORBUGANG, KARTOK LAKE and DUBDI MONASTERY

Yoksum is a first Capital of Sikkim and its situated 33 kilometers away from Pelling. The first king of Sikkim was coronated here on the throne made of stones close to the Norbugang monastery and the chorten. The footprint of one of the lamas, LatsunChembo, who consecrated the king can also be seen close to the throne. The small but beautiful Kartok lake is also situated in Yoksum and is a nice place to spend a quiet moment. About a two kilometers walk uphill from Yoksum is the Dubdi monastery which is the oldest in Sikkim.

PHAMRONG WATERFALLS

Though not as majestic as the Kanchendzonga waterfalls, Phamrong does offer a spectacular sight. These waterfalls are located about 10 kilometers away from Tashiding towards Yoksum.

TASHIDING MONASTERY

This is another important monastery belonging to the Nyingmapa order and is about 43 kilometers from Pelling. It lies nestled on the top a hill that looms up between the Rathong river and the Rangit river and surrounded by a profusion of prayer flags that flutter in the air. There are also many chortens dedicated to some Chogyals and other religious personalities of Sikkim. Carved skillfully on stone plates surrounding the monastery are holy Buddhist mantras like "Om Mane Padme Hum" by the master craftsman YanchongLodil. The monastery was built in 1717 by NgadakSempaChembo during the reign of the third ChogyalChakdorNamgyal.

SINGSHORE BRIDGE

This suspension bridge is located about 25 kms from Pelling. The bridge has been built over a gorge that is about a thousand feet deep. The building of this bridge was an engineering feat indeed.

East Sikkim

CHANGU {TSO-MGO} LAKE

A lake at 3,753m (12,310ft) Impossible you will say but it is a fact. ChanguLakeis situated 35km from Gangtok (capital of Sikkim). Its cool, placid water harmonises with the scenic beauty and other alpine vegetation grows around the lake. During the winter months the lake becomes frozen.

NATHULA PASS

Nathula is a border between Sikkim and China, Itis situated at the height of 4,320m (14,400ft) and 51km from Gangtok. There are active talks taking place between China and India to resume full-fledged trade between the two countries through this pass.

BABA HARBHAJAN SINGH TEMPLE {BABA MANDIR}

Harbhajan Singh was a sepoy in the Punjab Regiment. In October 1968, while escorting a column of mules carrying provisions, he fell into a stream and drowned. A few days later he appeared in the dream of a colleague of his and expressed a desire that a monument in his memory be built. His colleagues in the regiment considered the dream to be auspicious and felt that if they fulfilled his desire he would protect them from aggression and mishap. The temple was thus built and has over the years acquired the status of a place of pilgrimage. There is a souvenir shop which also issues computerized certificates certifying your visit to this place. Just adjacent is a cafe.

LAMPOKHARI, ARITAR {LAKE}

Set amidst a thick forest this lake is situated in the South East corner of Sikkim a few kms away from Rhenock. Boating facility is available at the Lake. There are a few Hotels that provide good accommodation.

Research Institute of Tibetology

About a kilometer downhill from the main market of Gangtok, amidst a small forest of oak, magnolia and birch trees stands the Institute of Tibetology. The building accommodating the Institute is an example of Tibetan architecture. It is world renowned and is one of the few of its kind. Its library is well stocked with rare books and documents on Buddhism. There are about 30 thousand volumes, mostly xylographs, (xylographs are documents that are printed using wooden slabs that have the matter embossed on them in the reverse) translations of the original teaching of the Lord Buddha, and treatises by distinguished Buddhist scholars from different parts of the world. The museum at the Institute consists of rare collection of antiques like statues, coins and Thankas which are scrolls with paintings on them.

Government Institute of Cottage Industries (GICI)

This institute is located at about a kilometer uphill from the main market of Gangtok. It was established, in 1957 with the purpose of promoting the manufacture and sale of local handicrafts, carpets and furniture.

Tashi View Point

Situate about six kilometers away from Gangtok on the North Sikkim Highway, this place offers an astounding view of the Kanchendzonga snowy range.

Ganesh Tok

It is a small temple of God Ganesh nests on the hilltop at an altitude of 2000 meters (6500ft). The temple is small in size that it can hardly accommodate one person and one has to crawl to get inside it. A panoramic view of Gangtok town and the Raj Bhawan Complex can be obtained from here.

Himalayan Zoological Park

It is located exactly across the road opposite Ganesh Tok and covers an area of 205 hectares. There is a paved cement path that passes by fenced open air enclosures housing the redpandas, barking deer, bears and others animals of Sikkim in a semi natural habitat.

Hanuman Tok

Situated about five kilometers uphill from White Hall on a bifurcation road of the GangtokNathula Highway, is a temple of God Hanuman at an altitude of 2195 m (7200 ft). From the temple, the snowy peaks of Kanchendzonga present a panoramic picture. As you offer your prayers, the statue of Lord Hanuman gazes down at you.

M.G. Mark Main Market

Every major town in India has a Mahatma Gandhi Road and Gangtok is no exception. Slightly less than a kilometer in length, this impeccable "Litter & Spit Free" boulevard road is flat and is lined with shops which constitute the Main Market and downtown of Gangtok.

Rumtek Monastery

The monastery is at a distance of 23 kilometers from Gangtok. In fact it is located on the hill facing Gangtok. The present monastery was constructed by His Holiness, the Gyalwa Karmapa in 1960s. Gyalwa Karmapa was the sixteenth Karmapa and came to settle in Sikkim in the late fifties when the Chinese invaded Tibet. He passed away in 1981. The Kargyugpa Sect of Buddhism has its origins in Tibet in the twelfth century. It is said that after the first Karmapa spent many years meditating in a cave, ten thousand fairies came to congratulate him and each offered a strand of hair. These strand of hair were woven into a black hat. This black hat came to be passed down and is still said that unless held with the hand, or kept in a box, it will fly away. It was worn by the Karmapas on ceremonial occasions.

Ban Jhakri Falls

Situated about 7 kilometers from Gangtok on the way to Ranka, these waterfalls is a popular picnic spot. Ban Jhakri is a mythical magician whose wife was a witch who used to eat children. But Ban Jhakari himself was a protector of children. Different masks of Ban Jhakaris have been put up at this spot.

South Sikkim

CHARDHAM OF SIKKIM

The Sri SiddhesvaraDham (Char Dham) Complex with a towering 108 ft high statue of Lord Shiva presiding over it. Why spend time and money travelling all over the country on pilgrimage visiting the Four Dhams and the 12 JyotiLingas when you can do it here in Namchi (Sikkim) within an hour. Then onward to the holy Statue of Guru Padmasambva midway between Damthang and Namchi on the top of the hill of Samdruptse. Guru Padmasambva is the founder saint of Nyngmipa sect to which most of the monasteries in Sikkim belong. Measuring 135 feet in height (and 151 ft from the ground level), the statue can be seen even miles away glittering in the forest.

TEA GARDEN OF SIKKIM

The Temi tea garden carpets a sprawling area of the hill side overlooking the Tista river. Well maincured tea bushes interspersed with cherry trees present a visual delight. Temi tea has limited production but carries a premium value in the international market. Do not forget to see Cafe in the Tea Garden. If you have time a visit a factory is also worthwhile.

RABONGLA

It is natural beauty and peaceful place which is situated almost midway between Gangtok and Pelling. It is worth spending sometime visiting the monastery and the park which has a 148 feet high statue of Buddha (Sakya Muni).

TENDONG HILL

Tendong Hill is one of the more prominent landmarks of South Sikkim. It is immersed in myths and lore passed down through generations of the ethnic Lepchas. It gets its name, meaning "the upraised horn" from the Lepcha lore that when their land was submerged in water, Tendong supported a boat containing some people and rose up like a horn above the flood waters.

MAENAM HILL

The Hill towers over South Sikkim with Tendong on one side and Ravangla Bazaar on the other. The trek to Meanam from Ravangla takes about 4 hours and from Maenam hilltop one has the option to take the gentle walk down to Borong village or the more treacherous trails taken by the famous British Botanist, Sir Joseph Hooker, down to Yangang village.

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