Sikkim is a land of immense scenic beauty, natural charm
and a variety of fauna and flora.
The third highest mountain in the world Kanchanjunga
(8,586 meteres) is situated here. 'Sikkim' commonly attributed to the Tsong word
New or Happy House. Sikkim has a lot of
open monasteries, chortens, flying prayer flags and lofty stupas all giving a
tinge of mysticism.
Siliguri junction (114 km from
Gangtok) and New
Jalpaiguri Junction (125 km from Gangtok )are the two closest railway
stations to this Himalayan state of India. Bus service for Bangkok
is available from Darjeeling and Kalimpong also. Calcutta
is the starting point for travel by air. Indian Airlines
operate a regular scheduled flight between Calcutta (Dum Dum airport) and
Bagdogra. A Dakota service between Calcutta and Ambri is also available.
The entrance to the state of Sikkim is at the border town of
Rongpo which is located in the Tista valley. Rongpo is a small town famous for the liquors and wines produced here. It
is a great market for oranges.
Gangtok is the capital of
Sikkim. Its name means the
'High Hill'. Situated at a height of over five thousand feet above sea
level, the city looks to
be tucked away in a cloud sprawling over a hill. Kanchanjunga, renders
a spectacular view from Gangtok, with its magnificent snow and ice scenery.
Some of the important sites of the city of
the Palace, Palace Chapel Tsuklakhang, the Deer park, Institute of
Tibetology and the Namgyal chorten are located on the spine of the
Tusklakhang Royal Chapel is situated on a level
ground in the palace complex. On all corners of the chapel are located the
formidable heads of snow lions - wood sculpture in relief. Inside the chapel is depicted
the magnificent wood work, highlighted by the massive Buddhist murals that adorn
the walls. An eternal butter lamp, lights the floor to ceiling altar, housing the
deities and the scriptures. Tsuklakhang is the venue of all
important festivals and festivities. The warrior dance to worship
Kanchanjunga, the Black Hat dance to
celebrate Sikkimese New year's day etc. are all celebrated in this
chapel. Earlier the coronations of Chogyals, Oath taking by councilors and royal
weddings were celebrated inside the chapel.
Institute OR NAMGYAL Institute of Tibetology
This institute is on the
top of a hill. It was
established to promote research on Tibet and Mahayana Buddhism.
Opens from Monday to Saturday - 1000 to 1600.
The Namgyal Institute of Tibetology has come to be
known as the highest seat of learning among the Mahayana scholars. The institute was inaugurated by Late Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on October
The Institute is dedicated to the cause of advancement of
Tibetan studies. Located in serene surroundings, the institute has
its interiors lavishly decorated with great murals and ornate wood
carvings and altars holding the images of the Buddhas ,the
Bodhisattvas and the Tantric deities. The cabinets of the halls contain a
vast library of Tibetan deities. It contains a greatest collection of
books on Mahayana Buddhism. The museum of the institute contains another asset
of Mahayana. More than two hundred icons, prized objects of
traditional art, ritualistic chortens, brass bells, Dorj-is (thunder
bolts ), Rosaries, thangkas (hand painted scrolls woven or appliqué )are the
main collections of the museum which have won international acclaim for