Protected by the Himalayan range and lush green forests, Sikkim is a traveller's ultimate destination. Gangtok, its capital city offers numerous avenues for explorers, trekkers, photgraphers, poets and almost everyone who has an eye for beauty.
Gangtok is the capital of the mountainous northern Indian state of Sikkim. Established as a Buddhist pilgrimage site in the 1840s, the city became capital of an independent monarchy after British rule ended, but joined India in 1975. Today, it remains a Tibetan Buddhist center and a base for hikers organizing permits and transport for treks through Sikkim’s Himalayan mountain ranges
Namchi is situated at an altitude of 1,675 m (5500 feet) above sea level. It is situated at a distance of 78 kilometres (48 mi) from the state capital Gangtok and 100 kilometres (62 mi) from the town of Siliguri, the nearest railhead and airport. Namchi lies off the road between Melli and Jorethang. Namchi is well connected to other towns in Sikkim and West Bengal. Jeeps and buses regularly ply between Namchi to Gangtok, Pelling, Jorethang, Kalimpong and Siliguri.
Pelling is a small town in the northeastern Indian state of Sikkim, at the foothills of Mount Khangchendzonga. The late-17th-century Buddhist Sanga Choling Monastery has mountain views. Pemayangtse Monastery features wall paintings, sculptures and a gold-plated statue of Guru Padsambhava. Overlooking a valley, the 17th-century Rabdentse Palace, now in ruins, still has evidence of the king’s bedroom and kitchen.
Nathu La is a mountain pass in the Himalayas. It connects the Indian state of Sikkim with China's Tibet Autonomous Region. The pass, at 4,310 m (14,140 ft) above mean sea level, forms a part of an offshoot of the ancient Silk Road. Nathu means "listening ears" and La means "pass" in Tibetan.On the Indian side, the pass is 54 km (34 mi) east of Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim. Only citizens of India can visit the pass, and then only after obtaining a permit in Gangtok.
Tsomgo Lake or Changu Lake is perched within mountains at an altitude of 12,400 ft. Located at Gangtok – Nathula Highway only 37 kms. from Gangtok, the Changu Lake is one of the most spectacular landscapes of Sikkim. The lake is highly revered by the local Buddhists and Hindus as a sacred lake. With a depth of around 48 feet and spreading over 1 kilometre, the magnificent Changu Lake romances with its picturesque surrounding. The water of the lake comes from the melting of the snow of its surrounding mountains, which is why, this lake never dries up. In fact, Changu Lake is also the place of origin of Lungtse Chu River. This azure blue lake remains completely frozen during winter.
Baba Mandir is a distinguished sightseeing place of Sikkim. This “mandir” or shrine is dedicated to “Baba” Harbhajan Singh, who was a soldier of the Indian Army. He died near the Nathula Pass in eastern Sikkim, India. Two shrines have been built to show reverence to Baba Harbhajan Singh. The old one has been built at the site of the bunker, where Baba Harbhajan was posted during his tenure in the Indian Army. The new one has been built at close proximity from Changu Lake.
Char Dham is a huge pilgrimage cum cultural complex developed by the Sikkim Government to promote Religious, Eco and Village tourism in the state. Over Rs. 56 crore has been spent on this complex which spreads across 29 hectares of area on top of a hill known as the Solophok hill in Namchi of south Sikkim. This temple complex is also known as Siddheswar Dham and was inaugurated on 8th November 2011.
Char Dham is located about 5kms from Namchi town and accessible by a nice smooth road all the way. At one point the car needs to ascend uphill to reach the top of Solophok hill.
This monastery is located in Rumtek, a place which is 23kms away from Gangtok town and in the opposite mountain. So if you visit Rumtek, there are vantage points from where you get amazing sights of the whole Gangtok town on the opposite hill. However from the gate at the base, it requires an uphill walk (about half a kilometer) to reach up to the main monastery.
The Old Silk Route or Silk Road which passes through East Sikkim is a part of the ancient network of trade routes which connected China to India. This route passed through Lhasa and Nathu La and Jelep La Pass and finally reached the port of Tamralipta (present Tamluk in West Bengal) from where it took to the sea and reached far east. This Ancient Silk Route is expected to have been discovered by traders as early as First Century AD.
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