5 40 493
7 096 km²
Bhutia, Nepali, Lepcha, EnglishNepali, Limbu
time to visit
March to June and September to November
Summer : 21 - 13 degrees
Winter: 14 - 7 degrees.
Sikkim, India's second smallest state, is located in the northeastern
part of the country. Nepal borders it in the west and Bhutan in the east,
China lies to the north and northeast, and West Bengal to the south. Because
of its location, it has a political and strategic importance.
How to get here
the closest airport is at Bagdogra which is 124 Kms from Gangto and connected
by air with all important Indian Metroes.
The nearest railstation is at New Jalpaiguri which is 125 km from Cangtok.
NJP is well connected with all major cities of India.
The Sikkim Nationalised Transport drive regular bus services between Gangtok
and Siliguri and within Sikkim. Private buses, jeeps and taxis are also
available from Siliguri and Bagdogra.
Foreigners must obtain Inner Line Permit (ILP) to visit Sikkim.
The trekking in this area is still in its infancy, so the facilities
are poorly developed. However the paths are normally open. Most trekking
routes pass through villages so one can get an impression of triabl life.
Mosr routes are not higher than 4000m. Tourists need to apply for a trekking
permit before startign a trek. Permits are usully only given to groups
of at least 4 people.
Places to visit
Gangtok- Labrang Monastery - Lachung - Research
Institute of Tibetology - Rumtek Monastery
Gangtok or "Lofty Hill". Gangtok is a city, which,one would
believe exists only in picture story books. In the mysterious mists prayer
flags whip in the breeze; wheels spin in the hands of Lamas mumbling invocations
to God, in the distance are the snows, on the streets amidst brightly
painted pagoda roofed houses, lined with friendly smiling people are silver,
silk and spice and jewellery to gladden an maiden's heart, from across
the seven seas are gadget and goods to delight the collector of "imported
goods', while directly overlooking the city is the hill Lukshyma, the
'Mother of Pearl' citadel of the magic mountain, Khang-Chen-Dzod-Nga.
.: Labrang Monastery
The Labrang monastery was built about 100 years later. This monastery
belongs to the Nyingmapa sect of Tibetan Buddhism, the same as that of
Pemayangtse monastery in West Sikkim. Its name translates simply as the
dwelling place of the Lamas.
The road from Chungthang toward Lachung takes one into another world.
This is the area inhabited by the Lachungpas, a hardy mountain people
who consider themselves quite different from the Bhutias and the Tibetans.
The green, terraced hillsides, are a testimony to the grit and determination
of these people. Lachung is the last habitation on the road to Yumthang
a monastery; hidden high on the hillside overlooked a settlement of Lachungpas
and barracks of the Indian army. The mountains on the other side of the
valley rose up to snowy heights. In the distance, one could see the impressions
of a track that was once used by traders to cross over from Tibet with
their mules laden with Chinese silk.
.: Research Institute of Tibetology
In the surrounding among a forest of oak, ash and birch is an organisation
to advance the Tibetan language and its literature on the "Enlightened
one", the only one of its kind in the world of Mahayana Buddhism.
Ornate woodcarvings and murals decorate the lavishly decorated interior.
.: Rumtek Monastery
A 24-km drive from Gangtok, through the beautiful, bewitching countryside
leads one to Rumtek. Rumtek, is the seat of the Karmapa Lama who heads
the Kagyupa Sect of Buddhism.