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your are visiting at: Home / Indian Cities / Sikkim

About Sikkim
Small but beautiful. Sikkim is situated in the eastern Himalayas . Spread below the Mount Khanchendzonga (8534 mts), the third highest mountain in the world, and revered by the Sikkimese as their protective deity. With an area of 7,300 sq kms and measuring approx. 114 kms from the north to south and 64 kms from east to west, the elevation ranges from 300 mts to over 8540 mts above sea level. Amidst the grandeur of the mountain peaks, lush valleys, fast flowing rivers, hills, Sikkim offers her visitors a rare and singular experience. Within a matter of hours one can move from the sub tropical heat of the lower valleys to the cold of the rugged mountain slopes that reach up to the area of perpetual snow .

Sikkim is the 22nd state of India came into existence with effect from 26th April, 1975. Sikkim has been divided into four districts and each district has further been bifurcated into two sub-divisions for administrative purpose. Sikkim state being a part of inner mountain ranges of Himalayas, is hilly having varied elevation ranging from 300 to 8540 meters. But the habitable areas are only up to the altitude of 2100 mtrs. Constituting only 20% of the total area of the state. The highest portion of sikkim lies in its north west direction.

Sikkim ValleyTsomgo Lake Chorten (Stupa) SikkimDo-Drul Stupa SikkimSikkim
Sikkim History
Established in 1642,Sikkim was ruled by Phuntsog Namgyal who was recognized by Dalai Lama as the first chogyal (temporal and spiritual king). The Namgyal dynasty ruled Sikkim till 1975. In the mid-18th century,there were a series of territorial wars with Bhutan,as its king opposed the accession of a minor king in Sikkim. Nepal too,wanted to occupy parts of western Sikkim and part of the Terai region. There was also the largest migration of Nepalese to Sikkim during this period. In the early 19th century British wanted to gain an access to Tibet. Sikkim supported them and in return regained the Nepalese-occupied territories. By 1817,Sikkim became a de facto protectorate of Britain. In the year 1835 the British East India Company obtained Darjeeling from Sikkim . Incidents between the British and Sikkimese led to the final annexation in 1849 of the Terai region. Subsequently the military defeat of Sikkim resulted in the Anglo-Sikkimese Treaty of 1861,which established Sikkim as a princely state under British paramountcy. The British were given rights of free trade and to build roads through Sikkim to Tibet.

After India's independence,in the year 1950 a treaty was signed between Sikkim and India making Sikkim an Indian protectorate,with the centre assuming responsibility for Sikkim's external relations,defence,and strategic communications. However after a few years in a special referendum,more than 97 % of the electorate voted for the merger of Sikkim with India and Sikkim became the 22nd state of the Indian Union on May 15,1975.

Place to See
Do-drul Chorten (Stupa)
The Do-drul Chorten or Stupa was built by the venerable Trulshi Rimpoche, head of the Nyingma order of Tibetan Buddhism, in 1945. Inside this Stupa, there are complete mandala sets of Dorjee Phurba (Bajra Kilaya), a set of kan-gyur relics (Holy Books), complete. 'Zung' (mantras) and other religious objects. Around this Chorten, which is one of the most important stupas in Sikkim, are 108 Mani Lhakor (Prayer wheels). These prayer wheels are turned by the devout Buddhist while chanting "Hail to the jewel in the Lotus", to invoke the Boddhisattva. The Chorten is surrounded by Chorten Lakhang and Guru Lhakhang, where there are two huge statues of Guru.

Saramsa Garden
About 14 kms from Gangtok is the Saramsa Garden, the home of Sikkim's many exotic orchids and other rare tropical and temperate plants. Established and maintained by the Department of Forest, it is an excellent recreation and picnic spot and a leisure spot.

Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre
About 45 minutes drive from Gangtok, 24 kms away, is the Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre, the seat of the Kagyu order, one of the 4 major Tibetan Buddhist sects. since the late 1960s, after the arrival of His' Holiness the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, the Centre houses some of the world's most unique religious scriptures and religious art objects. Traditional in design, it is almost a replica of the original Kagyu headquarters in Tibet.

About 40 mins drive from Gangtok is located the above monastry. This is another Kagyud linage monastry of 12th Zurmang Gharwang Rimpche.

24 kms away from Gangtok is the JN Botanical Garden Rumtek situated at an altitude ranging between 1800 mtrs. to 2200 mtrs. established in the year 1987. It comprises of virgin temperate forest of Oaks and as many as 50 different kinds of trees species.

Water Garden
Water Garden at Martam Khola is on 31-A National Highway some 16 kms South of Gangtok. It is an ideal spot for picnic with a small swimming pool for children.

Tsomgo Lake
It is literally known as the "Source Of The Lake" in Bhutia language. Just about 40 kms away from Gangtok, the capital of the State, this serene lake is situated at an altitude of 3780 metre. The lake is about1 km long, oval in shape, 15 metres deep and is considered scared by the local people. This placid lake remains frozen during the winter months upto mid-May. Between May and August it is possible to see a variety of flowers in blooms, including the rhododendrons, various species of primulas, blue and yellow poppies, irises etc. It is also an ideal habitat for the Red Panda and various species of birds.

Fairs & Festivals
This Bhutia festival marks the end of the harvest season and also the end of the Tibetan Year. Chaams (religious dances) symbolising the victory of good over evil are performed at the Tsug Lakhang, Phodong and Rumtek monasteries.. Archery competitions are held amidst much feasting and merrymaking.

More or less occurring a few weeks before Losoong, Dasain is the main festival of the Hindu Nepalese in Sikkim. This too signifies the victory of good over evil. The elders of the family apply 'tika'on the young and bless them.

Tihaar Corresponding to the Indian festival of Diwali, Tihaar is also celebrated as the Festival of Lights in Sikkim with the lighting of lamps accompanied with traditional carolling called Deusi and Bhailo.

How to Reach
Air : The closest Indian Airport isat a distance of 124 kms from Gangtok at Bagdogra in Siliguri in West Bengal.

Train : The closest Railhead is at New Jalpaiguri in West Bengal, 148 km and Siliguri which are connected to Calcutta , New Delhi Guwahati and other major Indian cities.

Road :Gangtok is well connected by road to Siliguri, 114 kms., which functions as the major transit point for the North and North Eastern sections of the Indian Sub-continent. Gangtok is further well connected by road with Darjeeling, Kalimpong and with Bhutan, Phuntsholing.