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Gangtok :: City Information

History of Gangtok

Gangtok is the capital city Sikkim, the second smallest state of India. Famous for its many important monasteries, and for the picturesque views of the Himalayas, Gangtok is one of the important hill-station of the country. In Gangtok you can see a smooth blend of both tradition and modernity. Located at an altitude of 1547 m above sea level, Gangtok houses some of the important Buddhist religious sites too. The existence of the peaceful Chortens or Stupas, old monasteries and the un-spoilt natural beauty of Gangtok offers you a truly unique traveling experience

Places to Visit at Gangtok

Do Drul Chorten

Description: Do Drul Chorten

Do Drul Chorten is one of the many important attractions of Gangtok. It is regarded as the most important 'stupa' of Sikkim. Built in 1945 by Trulshi Rimpoche, head of the Nyingma order of Tibetan Buddhism, this stupa also has sacred gold-topped shikhara with 108 prayer wheels. This highly revered Chorten is also characterised by complete mandala sets of Dorjee Phurba (Bajra Kilaya), a set of Kan-gyur relics ( Holy Books), complete 'Zung'( mantras) and other religious objects. The Chorten also has two huge statues of Guru Rimpoche (Guru Padmasambhava) around it.

Enchey Monastery

Description: Enchey Monastery

Enchey monastery is another place you must visit in Gangtok. The Enchey monastery literally means the solitary temple. At the time it was constructed, it was the only building in the entire area. This place especially attracts attention during the religious dances or 'Chaam' performed in January. Located above Siniolchu Lodge, about 3 km away from the town centre, the relatively small monastery was built 200 years ago and the present building was constructed in the year 1909. The site where the monastery is built is supposed to be blessed by Lama Druptob Karpo, a tantric master known for his flying powers. You can also get wonderful view of Kanchenjunga from here.

Orchid Sanctuary

 

The Orchid Sanctuary makes a must visit in Gangtok. The sanctuary is famous for its rare and extensive collection of orchids. The sanctuary's collection also varies depending on the seasons. However, the wide spread orchid sanctuary has almost 454 species of orchid found in Sikkim. An interesting place to visit especially for nature lovers.

Tashi Ling

Description: Tashi Ling

Tashi Ling is located at a distance of just 6 kilometres from the main town. The Tashi Ling is another important site to visit in Gangtok for it provides astounding view of the Kanchenjunga range. Here lays the Tashi Ling monastery mostly known for its 'Bumchu' (Sacred Pot). This pot contains holy water, which has never run dry for last 300 years. The place also provides view of the Phodong and the Labrang monasteries located on the opposite hill. Just a day's walk from Pemayangtse, this is also a wonderful picnic spot.

Namgyal Institute

 

A must visit in Gangtok, the Namgyal Institute was built in the year 1958 to promote research in Mahayan Buddhism and Tibetan language and traditions. Built in a traditional style, this institute has world's largest collections of books and rare manuscripts on Mahayan Buddhism, in addition to the works of art and silk embroidered Tankhas. Moreover, it also houses relics of monks, samples of Lepcha scripts, masks and sacred objects like Kapali, a bowl made from a human skull, and the carku, a flute made from a thigh bone.

How To Get To Gangtok

By Air:

 

The closest Indian Airport is at Bagdogra,124 km from Gangtok, where scheduled flights operates to and fro from Kolkata, Delhi, Guwahati.

By Rail:

 

The closest Railhead is at New Jalpaiguri which is around 148 km away from Gangtok. It is connected to Kolkata(Calcutta), New Delhi, Guwahati and other major Indian cities.

By Road:

 

Gangtok is at a distance of 110 km from Siliguri and will take 4 hours from Siliguri to reach Gangtok . Gangtok is connected by road with Darjeeling (4 hrs), and with Bhutan, Phuntsholing (6 hrs).