Sikkim

Area:  7,096 Sq Km
Population:  6.1 Lakhs (2011)
Density: 76 per Sq Kms
Districts: 04
Subdivisions: 09
Towns: 09
Temperature: Summer- Max 21 Deg C/ Min 13 Deg C
                       Winter – Max 13 Deg C/ Min 05 Deg C
Annual Rainfall: 3894 mm (July/August/September)
Clothing:  Summer – Light Woolens
                  Winter - Heavy Woolens

Connectivity
State Highways: 186 Kms
Airport: Coming up at Pakyong (2014)
Helipad: Burtuk (     Kms)

Bio-Diversity:
Sikkim one of the bio-diversity hot spots in the Eastern Himalayas, a veritable treasure house of some of the world’s most beautiful streams, lakes and waterfalls.
The state has rich flora & fauna.
State Animal: Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens)
State Bird: Blood Pheasant (Ithaginis cruentus)
State Flower: Nobile Orchid (Dendrobium nobile)
State Tree: Rhododendron (Rhododendron niveum)

Gangtok- Capital of Sikkim
Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim, is a unique hill resort of northeast India and undoubtedly one of the most often visited destination. 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. Perched at an altitude of 6000 feet, Gangtok is famous for its scenic beauty and spectacular views of Mt.Kanchenjunga, one of the highest mountains in the world. Gangtok features a monsoon-influenced subtropical highland climate. Because of its elevation and sheltered environment, Gangtok enjoys a mild, temperate climate all year round.

 

Foreigners Entry Formalities:
Foreigners must obtain Restricted Area Permit (RAP) from Sikkim Tourism Offices at Delhi, Kolkata, Siliguri, Rangpo and Melli on strength of a valid Indian Visa. The total permissible duration of stay to the foreign tourist is 60 days. Initially 30 days duration permit is issued on production of photocopies of the passport and visa details along with two passport photos. Permit can be further extended twice for 15 days each. The extension of the Permits can be obtained from Foreigners Registration Office at Gangtok and Office of the Superintendent of Police in the North, West and South Districts.
For trekking in the interior region of the state the Tourism & Civil Aviation department issues Protected Area Permit ((PAP) at Gangtok which is available for groups consisting of two or more foreigners subject to the condition that the trekking programme is arranged through a registered travel agency.

Tsomgo Lake- It literally means the “Source of the Lake” and is located at a distance of 38 kms from Gangtok. The lake is about 1Km long, oval in shape. This placid remains frozen during the winter months. It is open for both the Foreign and Indian nationals. Foreign visitors are allowed in a group of two or more with a local registered guide and a permit obtained through Travel Agents registered with the Tourism & Civil Aviation Department, Government of Sikkim.
Altitude – 12400 ft.
Travel Distance – 38 Kms

Nathula Pass – It is the border for India and China. It is one of the highest motorable roads and is richly covered with varieties of alpine flora and fauna. It is open only for Indian Nationals from Wednesday to Sunday. The visitors require procuring permit from the Tourism & Civil Aviation Department through a Travel Agent registered with the Department.
Altitude – 14450 ft.
Travel Distance – 56Kms
 
List of monasteries-

  • Enchey Monastery-3 Kms away from Gangtok, an important seat of the Nyingmapa order, the Enchey Monastery is built on the site blessed by Lama Druptok Karpo, a tantric master know for his power of flying. This 200 years old monastery has in its premises images of god, goddesses and other religious objects. Every year around January, “Chaam” or religious masked dance is performed with great fanfare for two days.
  • Do-Drul Chorten- The Do Drul Chorten or Stupa was built by the Venerable Trulshi Rinpoche, head of the Niingma order of Tibetan Buddhism in 1945. Inside the stupa, there are complete mandala set of Dorjee Phurba (Vajra Kilaya), a set of Kinga Gyur relic (Holy Book), complete ‘Zung’ (Mantras) and other religious objects. Around Chorten, there are 108 Mani Lhakor (Prayer Wheels). It is surrounded by Chorten Lakhang and Guru Lakhang, Where there are two huge statues of Guru Padmasambhava.
  • Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre- about 45 Minutes drive from Gangtok, 24 Kms away, is the Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre, the seat of the Kagyud order, one of the four major Tibetan Buddhist sects. Since 1960’s after the arrival of his Holiness the XVI th Gyalwa Karmapa, the centre houses some of the world’s most unique religious scriptures and rare objects. Traditional in design, it is almost a replica of the original Kagyud headquarter in Tibet.
  • Pal Zurmang Kagyud Monastery (Lingdum)- Zurmang Kagyud Monastery, located at Lingdum, East Sikkim is a t a distance of about 20 Kms from Gangtok. The present Gharwang Rimpoche is the 12th successive incarnation of the glorious emanation of Zurmang Gharwang. A place worth visiting for its religious and exquisite architecture and serene atmosphere.

Sikkim Tourism Offices:

  • New Delhi- New Sikkim House, 14 Panchsheel Marg,

Chanakya Puri- 110021, Tel: 011-26115346, 26115117

  • Kolkata- 4/1, Middleton Street- 700017, Tel: 033-22817905

Sikkim House, LA-4, Sector-3, Salt Lake City. Tel: 033-23358757

  • Siliguri: SNT Colony, Hill Cart Road, Tel: 0353-2512646

 

  • Bagdogra Airport: Tel: 0353-2698030, 2698036.
  • Darjeeling: Old Bellevue Hotel, Chowrasta.

 

  • Rangpo: Rangpo Check Post

 

Places of Interest:

East Sikkim (Gangtok):
Bakthang Falls
Tashi View Point
Ganesh Tok
Hanuman Tok
Enchey Monastery
Himalayan Zoological Park
Directorate of Handicraft & Handloom
Flower Show
Gangtok Ropeway (Cable Car)
Do Drul Chorten
Banjhakri Falls
Ranka Monastery
Zurmang Kagyud Monsatery
Rumtek Monastery

North Sikkim:
Guru Domgmar Lake
Yumthang Valley
Phodong Monastery
Phensang Monastery
Lachung & Lachen

South Sikkim:
Samdruptse
(105 ft statue of Guru Padmasambhava)
Temi Tea Garden
Char Dham

West Sikkim
Sang-ak-Choeling
Pemayangtse Monastery
Rabdentse Ruins
Yuksam
Khecheopelri Lake
Varsey