Enchey Monastery is one of the most popular tourist sites in Gangtok. Located around 3 km from the main road in Gangtok, the monastery is on a hill and is revered by devotees, who believe that the two deities who protect Gangtok-Khangchendzonga and Yabdean reside there. The monastery offers a spectacular view of the Kanchenjunga mountain range.
GANESH TOK,TASHI VIEWPOINT AND DO DRUL CHORTEN
Ganesh Tok is a small temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha. Guests can catch a bird’s eye view of the city from here and get an opportunity to plant saplings in memory of their loved ones at the Smriti Van, next to the temple. The Tashi Viewpoint, named after the erstwhile king of Sikkim, offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and is a great place for photography. Do Drul Chorten is the biggest and most important Buddhist stupa in Sikkim. It has 108 prayer wheels and attracts Buddhist pilgrims and tourists from around the world.
NAMGYAL INSTITUTE OF TIBETOLOGY (NIT)
NIT houses a museum, which reportedly holds the largest collection of Tibetan works outside Tibet. It displays beautiful Tibetan iconography and art. The structure itself is a splendid example of Sikkimese architecture.
A relatively new attraction in Gangtok. The waterfall is within the premises of a park. The waterfall as well as the park are named after the Jhankari tribe, known for healing sick people using natural products and herbs. Statues around the park demonstrate how the Jhankaris heal people. The waterfall is very popular among kids and is a great place for a family outing.
Adjacent to the new secretariat and also called the Rustomji Park named after one of the Dewans of the Chogyal of Sikkim, the park has a big open enclosure in which animals native to Sikkim like the red panda and the Himalayan Bear are kept. A big statue of Lord Buddha commemorating his preachings of the noble truths in the Deer Park at Sarnath adorns the park premises. A butter lamp perpetually burns in front of the statue, which is surrounded with flowers of exotic variety. The park commands a fantastic view of the hills, surrounding Gangtok and thus commands a significant position in the list of places to visit in Gangtok.
The Rumtek Monastery is the largest monastery in Sikkim. Located 24 km from Gangtok, it is home to a community of monks who perform rituals and practices of the Karma Kagyu lineage. The monastery also houses a magnificent golden stupa containing the relics of the 16th Karmapa. Opposite the stupa is the Karma Shri Nalanda Institute for higher Buddhist studies. The monastery attracts a huge crowd that visit the place to catch a glimpse of the monks’ way of living as well as to watch them offer prayers.
Namchi is the headquarters of the southern district of Sikkim. It is a very well known trekking destination and is equally popular among tourists and pilgrims, thanks to the Namchi Monastery located here. A visit to the Samdruptse Hill (meaning ‘Wish-fulfillment Hill’ in Bhutia), which is popular among tourists for its spectacular view of the hills and the surrounding valleys. Perched on top of the Samdruptse Hill, opposite Namchi, is the world’s largest statue of Buddhist Padmasambhava, also known as Guru Rinpoche, the patron saint of Sikkim.
The Rock Garden, located around 5 km from Namchi, is an ideal picnic spot which offers serene atmosphere and a beautiful view of the surrounding mountains.
TEMI TEA ESTATE
This is the only tea estate in Sikkim. Its tea is highly-priced for its rich aroma and state. The tea garden is spread across 500 acres, where visitors flock in autumn for a breathtaking view of cherry trees in bloom.
This Hill adjoins the Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary, where one can spot rare Himalayan wildlife species. The hill is popular amongst trekkers and tourists alike, who come here to take in the majestic view of the Himalayas on one side, and the plains of Bengal on the other. There are a number of trails around Maenam Hill where one can walk and picnic peacefully.
If Namchi is a major Buddhist pilgrimage, Solophok is a major Hindu pilgrimage. A construction project is underway to build replicas of the four Hindu dhams (temples) spread across India: Badrinath in the North, Dwarka in the West, Jaganathpuri in the East and Rameshwaram in the South. Each dham draws millions of pilgrims every year. The authentic replication of these religious sites atop the Solophok Hill is expected to be hugely popular, especially considering that a huge 108-foot statue of Lord Shiva is also going to take place of pride here. The project is now complete.
Geyzing/Pelling – Pelling, an idyllic hamlet nestled in the Himalayas that offers great views of the Kanchenjunga range. It is 125 km from Gangtok and is famous for being home to the Pemayangtse Monastery. Visitors come to Pelling to get away from the bustle of Gangtok. There are numerous nature trails to be explored.
The Sikkimese hold their highest regard for this Monastery. Although there are older, larger monasteries in the state, the Pemayangtse Monastery is considered unique, considering that it houses theta-sang lamas or the ‘pure monks’. The monastery contains several antique idols and objects of worship, along with beautiful paintings and sculptures. The monastery stands out for its exquisite architecture and has a beautifully painted seven-tiered wooden structure on the top floor, portraying Guru Rinpoche’s heavenly palace.
RABDANTS RUINED PALACE
This place is famous for the ruins of Sikkim’s erstwhile king’s abode. Within a walking distance from the Pemayangtse Monastery, the ruins are a poignant reminder of Sikkim’s history. A walk to the top of the ruins offers visitors a breathtaking view of the valley below as well as the Kanchenjunga mountain range.
It is located around 30 km from the Pemayangtse Monastery. The lake is famous for its water, which appears supernaturally placid. It is believed that birds don’t allow even a single leaf to fall on the lake and cause ripples that will disturb its placidity. The government forbids any kind of water sports here. Only prayers are allowed. The lake draws Buddhist and Hindu devotees as well as tourists.
THE KANCHENJUNGA FALLS
This is yet another attraction where one finds several magnificent waterfalls vying for visitors’ attention. The 300-foot waterfall is located in the curve of two hills attracts visitors who come here to admire the natural beauty and the surrounding vegetation. Only the brave, however, dare to take a dip in it.
A beautiful hamlet in South Sikkim is fast growing in popularity, the main draws of the place are the richness of its natural beauty and some of the most beautiful views of the Himalayan peaks such as Mt. Kanchenjunga, Mt.Pandim, Mt.Siniolchu, Mt.Kabru, etc. Trails and treks are popular here, since these are the best ways of taking in the beauty of the region.
This suspension bridge is located around 25 km from Pemayangste and connects two hills. Regarded as an engineering feat, it has the distinction of being the highest bridge in Sikkim. It offers great views of the hillsides and waterfalls around.
CHHANGAY TWIN FALLS
These waterfalls, with a drop of 300 feet, have become a popular tourist attraction in Sikkim. They appear on the way to Uttarey from Pelling and add to the verdant beauty of Sikkim.
A small town famous for adding an important facet to Sikkim’s history. It was here that a friendship treaty was signed between a Lepcha chieftain and a Tibetan chief. A memorial stone stands as a reminder of the treaty, while a Buddhist monastery stands a little distance ahead.
SEVEN SISTERS FALLS
This is located around 32 km from Gangtok. One can see seven different waterfalls next to each other, especially during the monsoon season. The waterfalls are a huge draw and a popular picnic spot.
SINGHIK VIEW POINT
This is a small picturesque hamlet which is 4 km from Mangan, the nearest town, and about 65 km from Gangtok. Singhik is a popular stopover for tourists because of its breathtaking natural beauty. It also offers the opportunity to indulge in several relaxing trails and treks around the village. Singhik Viewpoint offers picturesque views of Mt. Kanchenjunga, Mt.Siniolchu and other Himalayan mountain ranges.
It is a small village located around 100 km from Gangtok. The village reputedly has a rock on which Guru Rinpoche meditated. Paddy is not a crop indigenous to the region, yet a paddy field lies near this rock. Legend has it that Guru Rinpoche scattered some grains and paddy started growing on that spot. Chunthang is a well-known stop en route to Lachung and Lachen.
Yumthang Valley is located around 140 km from Gangtok. This valley is famous as Valley of Flowers. The best season to visit the place is between February and June, when the entire valley is in bloom, and acres and acres of the landscape are replete with rhododendron and orchid blossoms. The valley with its flowers and the rugged, snow-capped mountain peaks in the backdrop make for a breathtaking sight.
It is around 15 km from the Yumthang Valley. Yumesamdong also offers floral beauty, but what makes it unique is its natural hot springs, which contrast strikingly with the freezing temperatures of the place. Yumesamdong is located close to the Chinese border and experiences snow all year round. The hot springs, however, attract tourists because their waters are believed to have healing properties, especially for skin diseases.
LAKE TSONGMO ,BABA MANDIR AND NATHU LA PASS
Lake Tsongmo is a scenic glacial lake that is located around 40 km from Gangtok. One can see it on the way to the Nathu La Pass, as the Chinese border crossing is only some 5 km away; it is about 18 km away by road. The lake has no known attraction apart from its natural beauty, which by itself draws a huge crowd. Baba Mandir is located around 10 km from Lake Tsongmo. The temple is actually a shrine to a soldier of the Indian Army named Harbhajan Singh, who died drowning while on duty in 1968. His spirit is believed to be still safeguarding the place; all his belongings and items of daily use are kept at the shrine because of the belief that he still lives there. Nathu La Pass, located around 58 km from Gangtok, divides India and China. The pass was closed in 1962 during the Indo-China War, but was reopened in 2006.
Located at an altitude of around 10,000 feet, Barsey is renowned for the Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary, which houses 18 different varieties of the rhododendron, which is native to the region. The trail is also a feast for birdwatchers, as they can witness exotic species such as the Blood Pheasant, Snow Partridge, Rusty-bellied Shortwing, Rufous-vented Yuhina and Pallas Fish Eagle. The trek spans 4 km from the town of Hilley, Sikkim.