|Kanchenjunga||Located 35 kms from Gangtok|
|Tashi Viewpoint||Located 4 km away from Gangtok|
|Deorali Orchid Sanctuary||Situated next to the Namgyal Institute|
|Tsongo Lake||Located 35 km from Gangtok|
|Do Drul Chorten||located near Gangtok.|
|Enchey Monastery||Located at a distance of 3 kms from Gangtok,|
|Phensong Monastery||Located on the slope widening from Kabi to Phodong|
|Ganesh Tok||Located next to the television tower on the hillock on Gangtok–Nathula road|
|Hanuman Tok||Located 8 to 9 km away from Gangtok town (7200 ft)|
|Rumtek Monastery||Located 24 km away from Gangtok|
|Peymangtse Monastery||Located about 118 km from Gangtok|
|Rabdentse Ruinsm||Located very close to Pemayangste Monastery, west Sikkim.|
|Namgyal Institute||Located 5 km away from Gangtok town|
|Kabi Lungchok||Situated 17 km from Gangtok on the highway of north Sikkim|
|Institute of Tibetology||Located strategically on a hill that is easily accessible from the main market of Gangtok|
|Fambong la Wildlife Sanctuary||Situated 20 km away from Gangtok.|
|Pelling||Located near Siliguri and Gangtok Fort|
|Yuksom||Located at a distance of 40 kms from Geyzing|
|Nathu La Pass||Located on the 563 km (333 mi) Old Silk Route|
Nature in Gangtok
The Tibatan word ‘Kanchenjunga’ means “five treasuries of the great snow”. Basking in the glory of being the world’s third highest peak, the snow crowned Kanchenjunga is a shining gem in the casket of Gangtok. Though the clearest view of the peak can only be got from Darjeeling, Gangtok excels in the beautiful and attractive trekking routes that enable the adventure enthusiasts to access the nearest peak on Kanchenjungs. This gorgeous peak is about 28,156 feet above the sea level and haughtily holds its head high for still being a virgin peak.
Located at about 5 km away from Gangtok, this viewpoint was constructed by the former King of Sikkim, Tashi Namgyal. This place offers a perfect spot for enjoying the panoramic hinterland of Sikkim. On clear and sunny days, the Tashi Viewpoint also reveals the gorgeous Kanchenjunga in its full glory, along with the Labrang Monastery and the Phodong Monastery on the opposite hill.
There is also a small shed and a humble cafeteria to provide the tourists with basic amenities. A park near the viewpoint is a perfect complementary to culminate the experience of Nature watching.
Deorali Orchid Sanctuary
Located just next to the namgyal Institute is the Deorali orchid Sanctuary. What surprises the visitor to this haven of orchids is the extensive, rare and huge collection of this place. Among the 454 species of orchids found in Sikkim, this place alone accounts for at least 250 species. The blooming season of orchids is from April-May, July-August, and December-January.
Orchidarium, another large orchid sanctuary off the main road to Rangpo is another veritable option for the lovers forchids. The flower exhibition center near the white hall is also a place of interest for the nature enthusiasts
Located in the north eastern part of Sikkim, about 38 km from Gangtok, on the Gangtok-Nathula highway is the Tsongo Lake. This charming little water body is about 1 km long and 50 feet deep. The Tsongo Lake has been worshipped with a religious fervor by the Sikkimese.
The beautiful and pristine water of the lake pays a perfect tribute to the tranquil and enchanting scenic beauty that encases it. The Tsongo Lake remains mostly frozen during the months of the winter season. The Lakeshore is further adorned by the presence of a moderate Shiva temple. Alpine, primula and many other decorative plants embellish the place, taking its beauty to almost a sublime level.
Religious places in Gangtok
Do Drul Chorten
One of the many important attractions of Gangtok, Do Drul Chorten is regarded as the most important stupa of Sikkim. Built in 1945 by Trulshi Rimpoche, the Head of the Nyingma order of Tibetan Buddhism, this stupa also has a sacred gold-topped dome with 108 prayer wheels.
This highly revered Chorten is also characterized with complete Mandala sets of Dorjee Phurba, a set of Kangyur relics, complete Zung and other religious objects. The Chorten also has two huge statues of Guru Rimpoche around it.
An important seat of the Nyingma order, the Enchey Monastery is believed to be almost two hundred years old. Meaning ‘the solitary temple’, the Enchey Monastery is supposed to have been built on the site blessed by Lama Drupthob Karpo, a tantric master famous for his ability to fly.
About 3km away from the very heart of the town of Gangtok, this monastery was originally built as a small hermitage by the Lama, who is said to have flown here from the Maenam Hill in South Sikkim. The present monastery that highly resembles the shape of a Chinese pagoda is a recent erection of the year 1909.
This historically rich Monastery enshrines images of many Gods and Goddesses. Every year, a puja is held at the monastery, on the 18th and the 19th day of the 12th month of the lunar calendar.
Thousands of Buddhists visit this monastery in the month of January when the famous “chaam’, or a form of masked dance is performed with great pomp and fervor.
On a mild slope extending from Kabi to Phodong in North Sikkim is located the picturesque Phensong Monastery. Built in 1721, during the reign of Jigme Pawo, the monastery follows the Nyingmapa order of Tibetan Buddhism.
The Monastery constitutes one of the most sacred places in Gangtok and houses about 300 Monks. Adding to the spiritual fervor of the place is the pristine landscape and nature that is present in its picturesque best
Located just 7 km away from the heart of the town of Gangtok is a temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha, popularly known as the Ganesh Tok. A neighbor to the television tower on a small hillock on the Gangtok- Nathula Road, this temple is considered to be auspicious throughout the town of Gangtok.
The temple is extremely small in structure, so much so that, only one person can accesses the inner shrine of the temple at a time. Placed at an altitude of about 6500 meters, the Ganesh Tok provides a bird’s eye view of the entire town of Gangtok- the Rajbhavan complex, Mt. Kanchenjunga and the surrounding valley
Close to the Ganesh Tok is placed Smriti Van, where the devotees of Lord Ganesha can plant seeds on behalf of their loved ones.
Hanuman Tok, or a temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman, is situated about 11 kmfrom the heart of the town of Gangtok. Having an elevation of roughly 7200 feet, this temple also offers breathtaking views of the entire town of Gangtok and the surrounding hills
Hanuman Tok is managed and maintained by a division of the Indian Army and is noticeably tidy and well kept. The temple is also a neighbor to the Royal Cremation grounds of Lukshyama, where the mortal remains of the last descendents of the Namgyal family were put to Flames.
Located about 24 km from Gangtok in East Sikkim, the Rumtek Monastery is also known as Dharma Chakra. Situated on a hilltop, this monastery comprises the largest monastery in Gangtok, since it is the dwelling of the Monk Community. This is the place where the monks do the sacred rites in addition to the practices of the Karma Kagyu lineage.
Being located at an altitude of 5800 ft, the maximum temperature would range between 13 and 21°C; however, in the winter the temperature would range between 8 and 15°C.
Among the various precious things that the Rumtek Monastery encases within itself, the most notable one is the Golden Stupa that holds the treasured relics of His Holiness the Sixteenth Karmapa.
This Monastery is highly esteemed by the Sikkimese. Built at an altitude of about 2085 meters and almost 118 km away from Gangtok, this impressive monastery is built of wood and scintillates with elegance and charm against a brilliant backdrop of the snow capped Kanchenjunga.
The native meaning of the term ‘Pemayangtse’ is a ‘Perfect Sublime Lotus’. Built in 1705 by a Lama known as Lhatsun Chempo, this spiritual hub was supposed to be the abode of the ‘ta-sang’ Lamas. However, over a period of time it has opened its doors to monks from all walks of life.
The Pemayangtse Monastery is one of the veritable centers of the Nyingmapa, a Tantrik sect of Buddhists. The followers of this sect can be easily identified by the red caps that they wear unlike the yellow caps of the others sects
The Pemayangtse Monastery also boasts of a rich collection of rare Buddhist antique idols, carvings, scriptures and sculptures. Paintings on various themes of Tantrik Buddhism adorn the inner walls of the monastery. The most acclaimed treasure of the Monastery is Dungzin Rimpoche's beautifully detailed illustration of 'Sangthopalri' or Heaven.
Historical and Cultural Places in Gangtok
After Yuksom, Rabdentse Pass was the second capital of former Sikkim until the year 1814. The ruins of this place is located very close to the Pemayangtse Monastery, west Sikkim
The breathtaking view of the staggering Kanchenjunga Range, from these ruins constitute a never to be forgotten experience by the tourists. This archeological site can easily be visited by a trek along a 2 km route in the middle of a thick forest that begins from Pelling and extends until Geyzing.
The Namgyal Institute of Tibetology is the quintessential place to learn the traditions and culture of Tibet from. Considered as the highest seat of learning amongst the Mahayana Scholars, this institute has become the famous global center for the study of Buddhist Philosophy and religion.
Built in 1958, the Institute accommodates the world’s largest collected works and rare manuscripts on the theme of Mahayana Buddhism. The museum also has more than 200 Buddhist icons, antique paintings, Thangkas, Statues, Shrines, Tapestries, masks and other religious works of Tibetan Art
The Institute also has a mammoth collection of about 30,000 books, most of them in xylographs. Xylographs are document prints on wooden slabs with matter imprinted on them. It also has translations of the original teachings of the Lord Buddha and discourses by eminent Buddhist scholars from all parts of the world .
The place of Kabi Lungchok, located about 17 km from Gangtok is a place of historical significance. This is the spot where the legendary treaty was signed between the Bhutia chief Khey-Bum-Sar and Lepcha chief Te-Kung-Tek. To mark the occasion, a huge stone pillar and statue was erected amidst lush greenery of the highway.
Institute of Tibetology
The Namgyal Institute of Tibetology was found by the 14th Dalai Lama on 10th February, 1957. It was declared open for public viewing on the 1st of January by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. This institute is one of the premier places to study the extensive collection of rare Lepcha, Sanskrit and Tibetan manuscripts, ancient statues, and Thankas, which are colourful tapestries exploited in the Buddhist liturgy. Besides an appealing museum, the institute consists of more than 200 Buddhist icons and many other treasured objects of art.
The Institute is also famous for its architectural splendor and also for being the worldwide center for study of Buddhist Philosophy and religion.
Fambong la Wildlife Sanctuary
Located about 20 km from Gangtok, the Fambong la Wildlife Sanctuary has a veried and expansive collection of flora and fauna. It is famous for plants like bamboo, champa, ferns, katus, kimbu, oak, orchids, rhododendrons, and so on. Similarly, binturong or bearcat, civet cat, Himalayan black bear and red panda also can be easily got a glimpse of in this Sanctuary.
This forest reserve also is home to many species of birds and butterflies. It is an enlightening experience to observe these animals pursue their wild habitat in the Sanctuary. Nature reveals itself in its wildest form here and hence this place is adored by the environmentalists.
Located about 125 km away from Gangtok, Pelling offers a breathtaking view of the Kanchenjunga.
The first capital of Sikkim, Yuksom is located about 33 km from Pelling and at an altitude of 1780 meters above Sea level. Meaning ‘the meeting point of three Lamas’, this place has its claim to fame because this is the base for the mountain climbing expedition for the higher peaks in Kanchenjunga. There is also the presence of the Phamrong waterfall near Yuksom. Besides, this place is even famous for some other scenic beauties like, Coronation Throne, Dubdi Monastery, Kartok Lake, and Phamrong waterfall.
Nathu La Pass
This is about 12 km from Tsongo Lake and 50 km from the main town of Gangtok. The army men take away all cameras from here and give them back only on return. This spot, located at an altitude of 14,000ft is a favorite among the tourists and is also the only place from where Chinese soldiers can be seen across the International Border. The Nathula Pass has earned a reputation among the tourists as one of the most exotic places in Sikkim. The sage like hills surrounding the narrow pass lends almost a heavenly charm to the place, making it bewitching and making the onlookers inscribe it forever in their memories.