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Country : India State : Sikkim         Gangtok               
Wikipedia Guide
Gangtok (pronounced ˈgæŋ.tɒk (help·info); Tibetan: སྒང་ཐོག་; Nepali and Hindi: (गान्तोक) is the capital and largest town of the Indian state of Sikkim. Gangtok is located in the Shivalik Hills of the eastern Himalayan range, at an altitude of 1,437 metres (4,715 ft). The town, with a population of thirty thousand belonging to different ethnicities such as Nepalis, Lepchas and Bhutia, is administered by various departments of the Government of Sikkim. Nestled within higher peaks of the Himalaya and enjoying a year-round mild temperate climate, Gangtok is at the centre of Sikkim’s tourism industry. Gangtok rose to prominence as a popular Buddhist pilgrimage site after the construction of the Enchey Monastery in 1840. In 1894, the ruling Sikkimese Chogyal, Thutob Namgyal, transferred the capital to Gangtok. In the early 20th century, Gangtok became a major stopover on the trade route between Lhasa in Tibet and cities such as Kolkata (then Calcutta) in British India. After India won its...      Read more at wikipedia...
Facts At A Glance
Main Languages Napalese Sikimese, English.
The capital of Sikkim, Gangtok, lies at an altitude 1600 meters. It occupies the West side of a long ridge flanking the Ranipool River. Gangtok has a very spectacular setting and offers excellent views of the entire Kanchenjunga range from various points in it's vicinity.
Altitude : 5800 ft (1,547 metres).
Best time to visit
Being in the lap of Himalayas, Gangtok never experiences the hot weather as in the plains. The winters are cold and there is rain through the year. Usually the upper reaches are blocked by snow during winters and are accessible only during the mild summer months. The best time to visit Sikkim is between March to May or mid October to December.
Climate (deg.c.): Summer- Max. 20.7, Min. 13.1; Winter- Max. 14.9, Min. 7.7.
Best Season : March to late May, October to Mid-December.
How To Get There
' Air : Nearest Airport is Bagdogra (124 kms). Fare:- Calcutta-Bagdogra Rs.1025.
' Rail: The nearest railway stations are Siliguri 114 kms, New Jalpaiguri (NJP) 125 kms. Fare:- Howrah-New Jalpaiguri: AC 1st Class Rs.1010, AC 2 Tier Rs.667, 1st Class Rs.530, 2nd Class Rs.161.
' Road: Good motorable roads connect Gangtok with Siliguri 114 kms, Calcutta 725 kms, Darjeeling 139 kms and Guwahati 589 kms.
' Bus Service: Regular bus services connect Gangtok with Bagdogra, Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Siliguri and Calcutta. Fare:- Calcutta-Gangtok Rs.160. Conducted Tour: The following tours are run by the Dept. of Tourism, Govt. of Sikkim, starting from the tourist Information Centre, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Tel.: 22064, only during the season.
Places Covered
1) Directorate of Handicrafts and Handloom, Research Institute of Tibetology, Orchid Sanctuary and Enchey Monastery (1000 to 1230 hours). Fare Rs.40.
2) Orchidarium and Dharma Chakra Centre (Rumtek) (13001730 hours). Fare:- Rs.55.
Tusk-la-khang - A beautiful and impressive building which is the principal place of worship and assembly for Buddhists.

Institute of Tibetology Orchid Sanctuary & Chorten - This institute is the only one of its kind in the world and was established to promote research on the language and traditions of Tibet as well as

into Mahayana Buddhism. Adjoining the institute is the orchid sanctuary where most of the 454 species of orchid found in Sikkim could be seen, depending on the season.

Institute of Cottage Industries - Located high up on the main road above the town, this multicraft institute specialises in producing hand-woven carpets, blankets, shawls, Lepcha weaves, patterned decorative paper and 'Choktse' tables exquisitely carved in relief. In addition to the shop here, there is a smaller display of craftwork on the ground floor of the tourist office, which is worth a visit
Deer Park - Next to the secretariat building is one of the popular viewpoints. Here you will find deers and an image of Buddha, which is a replica of that in Sarnath.

Enchey Monastery - This 200 old monastery stands three kms from the city centre. One should visit this monastery during December when the annual religious dances are performed.

TREKKING: If one goes to Sikkim and does not go trekking among its challenging foothills, he is bound to miss a major attraction of the state. Previously trekking was not allowed, but to develop tourism and encourage tourist inflow, Government is now encouraging the trekkers to apply their skills on the mountainous terrains of Sikkim. Trekking is allowed up to Dzongri for 10 days so long as you are accompanied by a travel agent recognised by the Indian tourist Development Corporation and a liason officer or guide provided by the Government of Sikkim
Travel Tips
Though touts and frauds are not a problem here, one should take precaution of not crossing into out of bound areas. Foreigners require a permit from the Government, which is valid for 15 days. This permit can be obtained from the embassies in foreign countries and in India permits are given in Delhi, Calcutta, Siliguri or from any office of Sikkim Tourism.
Tourist Information Centers
Sikkim Tourist Information Centre - Department of Tourism, Gangtok, Sikkim, India .
Tel. - 91-03592-22064 / 23425.
Sikkim Tourist Information Centre -New Sikkim House, 14 Panchsheel Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi -110021 India.
Tel. - 91-011-3015346.
Sikkim Tourist Information Centre -4C, Poonam Building, 5/2, Ruseel Street, Calcutta-700017, India.
Tel. - 91-033-297416 / 296717 / 298983.
Sikkim Tourist Information CentreSNT Colony, Siliguri, West Bengal, India.
Tel. - 91-0353-432646.
Sikkim Tourist Information Counter - Bagdogra Airport, Bagdogra, India.
The main markets for shopping are Old market, New Market and Lal market. Here one finds shops of all kind which offer good range of items to be purchased. For a tourist there are many attractive items to be bought as carved furniture, the dresses, Lepcha weave bags, Carpets & Durries with intricate designs and colourful decorations. One can also buy wooden and bamboo artifacts. For a collector of handmade decorative pieces Gangtok is a paradise. The items from Gangtok leave a long lasting impression on the mind of the visitor. The Hindi speaking Marwaris dominates many of the shops in the Gangtok market. The handicraft and handloom directorate office and the showroom are on crossing of MG Marg and New market. In these showrooms you can buy carpets, masks, bright Choktse tables, Thanka hangings.
Rumtek Monastery : Around the same height, 24 Kms away from Gangtok, on the other side of the Ranipool valley is the seat of head Kagyu-pa sect- Gyalwa Karmapa.
Tsangu Lake
Tsangu Lake is situated at a distance of 34 kms from Gangtok and 8 Kms from the Indo-Tibetan border. Tsangu or Changoo lake (1500 mts above sea-level) is considered sacred by the Buddhists. It offers a breathtaking view of the snowclad mountain ranges. Boating and fishing are prohibited at the site.
Enchey Monastery
At 3 km from Gangtok, is the Enchey Monastery. The 200 year old monastery has in its premises, images of Gods and Goddesses and religious objects. In December, the monastery is the venue for the annual 'Chaam' or ritual dance of the lamas.
This garden of exotic orchids and rich tropical plants, 14 km from Gangtok, is also a popular picnic spot.
Tashi View Point
It is situated at 8 km from Gangtok on the north Sikkim highway. Is the Tashi View Point which offers a spectacular view of the snow ranges and distant monasteries of North Sikkim.
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