The Sikkim is jewel in the crown of India
Capital : Gangtok, Area 7096 sq. km. Spread over an area of 110 km from north to south, 64 km from east to east.
Local Languages spoken: Sikkimese and Gorkhali and also Lepcha, Limbu, Bhutiya, English, Hindi.
Sikkim is entirely a mountain state(224m to 8598 m).
Sikkim, located at East Himalayan Range, it is shines like a crown, geographically on the top of the map of West Bengal. TheSikkim is the world’s third highest mountain (8598 m), Kanchenjunga (in Tibetan languate Kang-tehen-dzo-nga) literally meaning the Five Treasures of Great Snows. The Four districts on all her four sides (east, west north and south) are dazzled with the sunlight reflected by its white snow. An independent Buddhist state, Sikkim thrives on tourism.
There are 194 monasteries. The Nyingma-pasect of Buddhists dominates Shikkim. Important among them are Pemayangtse and Teshiding in the west; Enchey and Rumtek in Gangtok of east Sikkim; Ralong in the south; Phodong and Tolung in the north.Gangtok is the capital of the second smallest state of India. The area of 110 km from north to south and 64 km from east to west. The mountainous state Sikkim’s altitude from sea level varies from 224 m to 8598 m. At her south is the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council in West Bengal. The border is drawn by the Twin Rivers. Rangeet and Rangpo. This is Sikkim, theYumesamdong or the exquisite mountain state.
The Sikkim, is 22nd state of India, and 36% of its territory being covered in forest. Sikkim has rich jungle resource comprisingSal, Simul, Tony, Fir, Oak, Birch, Maple and varied species of Amboos.
Sikkim was under the influence of the Nyingma-pa or Red Caps. The Denzong or Demaong to the Tibetans and finally becameSikkim to the British in later years.
The legendary Seven thousand mile long “Silk Route” lay along the Sikkim border stretching from China to Mediterranean.
The road takes down through an amazing Mahananda Sanctuary. Then past the Coronation Bridge and the Sevok Bridge to Tista Bazar across Kalijhora. The bridge takes across Tista and this is the end of the West Bengal part. Rangpo is the gateway ofSikkim. Go further ahead to Singtam.
Places to travel in Sikkim
- Gangtok: Meaning the glorious mountains are the new capital (1547 m) over an area of 954 sq km in east Sikkim. The old capital was 21 km away, at Tumlong. Gangtok stands or mountain ridges that head towards the river Ranipul.
- Gumphas : 140 in the entire state are a main place. From Gangtok to Jawahar Marg distance is 52 km, and then you will be at the Tibet border. Nathu-la Pass (14300 ft) is 59 km away. Quite near is the govt. press a slope is the Deep Park, made as a replica of Sarnath. The Deer Park has a museum. The Chogyal Palace or Tsuk-la-thang is a stone’s throw. Further eight km north from Enchey is Tashi View Point on the north Sikkim highway. Tashi point offers you a view of Kanchenjumga andSiniyalchu. Three km away from Gangtok is “DO-TA-BU” or the stone house, built in 1945. Very near is Sikkim Research Institute of Tibetology, world’s third largest collection of Tibetan texts and scriptures. The forest department has built anOrchidorium fourteen km away from Gangtok on the way Rumtek. On a small hillock, seven km away, is small temple named Ganesh Tok. Just above it 11 km away from the town is also another viewpoint, Hanuman Tok. White Hall is also place for Gangtok for Flower Festival. India’s only Butterfly Park.
- Rumtek Gumpha: Twenty-four km southwest of Gangtok, on the ridges of Ranipool vally opposite Gangtok, is Rumtek. Rumtek is one of the world’s richest and most importantDharmachakra Centres.Just four km before Rumtek and after a two km drive along the cardamom plantation on the right is Khola, a tourist spot.
- Tssango Lake: About a mile long and a half-mile wide, Tssango is 50 ft deep and considered scare by the people. Thirty-five km N-East of Gangtok, on the way at Nathu-la atChina (Tebet) border. Tssango lies in its snowy splendor at a height of 3774 m. and seventy km away, at 14400 ft. is Nathu-la pass or Tibet Border. The way to Nathu-la is on your left. The way on your right goes above Tssango and reaches the temple of Baba Harbhajan Singh i.e. Gurdwar in the beautiful Kupup Vally (12400 ft).
- Fambong Lho Wildlife Sanctuary is twenty km from Gangtok and is spared over an area of 5280 hectares.
The area over 850 sq km, the dense forest of North Sikkim known as Kanchenjunga National Park a travel from Gangtok (0) to Kabi (17), to Phodong(40), Mangan(67), Singhik(72), Chungthang (98), Lachung (117) and ultimately to Yumthang(141 km).
- Phodong: Gangtok to Thamlong (5700 ft) i.e forty km north.
- Mangan : Crossing the 2nd highest hanging bride at Rong- Rong, to go further 27 km from Phodong, is Mangan(3950 ft) the HQ of North Sikkim.
- Singhik: Five km from Mangan is a small hamlet.
- Chungthang: Ninety-eight km north of Gangtok and twenty-six km from Singhik, Chungthang has an army barrack at 3500 ft.A 20 km northward from left of Chungthang takes you to Lachen (9500 ft) Gurudongma Lake (17400 ft) is forty-seven km from Lachen.
- Thangu is the last human habitat in north Sikkim.
- Chopta Valley is 148 km from Gangtok, 30 km from Lachen, and at a height of 13200 ft.
- Gurudongma Lake is open to the Indian tourists. Its height is 17103 ft.
- Lachung: Lachung literally meaning the Big pass is 119 km from Gangtok and 21 km from Chungthang.
- Yumthang: A pieces of heaven with mountains all around, Yumthang (3645 m) the Vally of Alpine flowers is 141 km from Gangtok. The entire valley is carpeted with Primulas.
- Katao: twenty-four km east of Lachung, Katao is across the Lachung River, and at a height of 12666 ft. Grazing yaks are surrounded by peaks – Sargila, Katao, Great Alpine, Domong, Zema.
- Singtam: South Sikkim lies between two rivers Tista and Rangeet. Namchi and Rabangla are south sikkim’s two exquisite spots.
- Rabangla: the grazing ground to goats – is another attraction of south sikkim.The distant from Gangtock and Gyazing is both 66 km away. Rabangla is at a height of 2040 m. The Meanam Wildlife Sanctuary is stretched over an area of 35 km. Bhaledunga in half an hour distance.
- Temi Tea Garden: The only tea garden in Sikkim is sixteen km from Rabangla. The road itself reaches up to Damthang, and forteen km away form Namchi. Tendong (10800 ft), a dead volcano, is a 9 km trek from Damthang. Borong Tsa-Chu, a hot spring is twenty-five km from Rabangla. This Ralang monastert, of Kagyupa, was built in 1730.
Take to NH-31 a to reach west Sikkim via Singtham, Rangpo, Namthang, Namchi, Rabangla, Legship and Gyazing. The road ends at Gyazing 5000 ft. From Gangtok to Gyazing is about 138 km via Melli/Jorethang, and 112 km via Rabangla.
- Gyazing: This small district town (5600 ft) was known as Gyalshing even sometime ago.
- Pemayangtse: A Hugh wall formed by proud snowy peaks: Koktang (6147 m), Kumbhakaran (7710 m), Ratong (6679 m) Kabru Dom (6600 m) Talung (7349 m), Kabru south (7338 m) ,Talung (7349 m) Kanchanjunga (8585 m), Pandim (6680 m), Jopuno (5936 m).
- Pelling: From Gyazing to Pemayangtse farther three km ahead and there is Pelling (2085 m) the hill of hidden paradise.
- Dzongri: Walk through a splendid nature from Yuksom to Bakhim of 9000 ft (16 km). Two km ahead is Tsoka at 10000 ft. Dzongri is a sheer dream. Fourteen km on your left isGoecha La Pass.
- Tashiding: Tashiding is forty km from Gyazing and Nineteen km south of Yuksom.
- Uttaray: The distance is ten km from Varshey, and 28 km from Pelling. Uttaray is a main spot for Tracers