Located 116-km from Siliguri at an altitude of 5,410 feet, Gangtok is the capital of Sikkim. The city is scattered over the ridges of the Himalayas with narrow roads climbing up and down negotiating with the structure of the mountains.
Let Global Connection share an interesting information. Long before Narendra Modi government initiated Swachh Bharat campaign, there’s a street in Gangtok that Sikkim government declared spit and litter free. That’s MG Mark, the heart of all leisure and merrymaking in Gangtok.
Basking in the morning sun with orchids popping out from flower pots all around and taking a stroll through the evening chillis a must do on MG Marg.
The next vibrant attraction is the Flower Exhibition Centre located not very far from the villas of the Chogyals, the monarchs who once ruled Sikkim. With a tiny water body located inside, this greenhouse-likefacility is home to hundreds of exquisite orchids that grow in Sikkim.
Namgyal Institute of Tibetology is an important place to be while in Gangtok. It’s a museum and a treasure troveof ancient scripts, paintings, photographs, and music on Tibetan history and culture.
Then, a visit to Enchey Monastery, established in 1909, is worth the time. It belongs to the Nyingma order of Vajrayana Buddhism. It was only after the establishment of Enchey Monastery that Gangtok, once a small mountain hamlet, turned into the most important urban hub in Sikkim.
The sacredness of Enchey Monastery is attributed to the belief that Khangchendzonga and Yabdean – the protecting deities – reside in this monastery. Global Connection has been assisting tourists for years now on visits to this sacred place.
Located in the upper reaches of Gangtok is Hanuman Tok ~ a temple-cum-view point dedicated to Lord Hanuman. Legends have it that when Hanuman was flying with mythological life saving herb Sanjeevani, he halted here for rest. The site is maintained by Indian Army. Besides the temple, it has a covered view-point arena that offers a stunning view of the mountains.
Now, take a break from religious sites, Global Connection will insist, to visit the Banjhakri Falls, a natural waterfall sourced from springs at a higher elevation. The cascade is approximately 98 feet high. Centring the falls is a two-acre sprawling park developed to celebratethe shamanic traditions of Sikkim.
Among the park's attractions is a lake with a dragon at the centre, gazebos to spend time in leisure, statues of jhakri (traditional healers), and statues of the ancestors of the LyamLymay, Mangpas, and the Lepchas.
Next, embark on a voyage to Rumtek Monastery. Also called the Dharmachakra Centre, it is a nearly 300-year old monastery located 24-km from Gangtok. The monastery once served as the main seat of the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism.
Rumtek is the largest monastery in Sikkim. It is home to the community of monks, where they perform various rituals and practices. A golden stupa contains the relics of the 16thKarmapa. Opposite to this is a college, Karma Shri Nalanda Institute for Higher Buddhist Studies.
Trust you Global Connection: Rumtek is surrounded by such natural bounties that a visit must not be missed. There are flowing streams, tall mountains standing behind, a snow range standing tall right at the front, and a river flowing below.