Sikkim is a beautiful Himalayan state and is known for its unique culture and biodiversity.
This state is a must visit for all tourists who will surely enjoy the natural landscape and charm.
The capital of Sikkim is Gangtok and this place is a popular Buddhist pilgrimage site.
In the early 20th century, Gangtok became a major stopover on the trade route between Lhasa in Tibet and cities such as Kolkata (then Calcutta) in British India.
In 1947, after India won her independence, Sikkim chose to remain an independent monarchy and Gangtok became the capital.
This has helped Gangtok become the seat of Buddhist culture and learning. There are several monasteries, religious educational institutions, and centres for Tibetology here.
Places to see in Gangtok:
1. Institute of Tibetology: The institute has a rare collection of antiques like statues, thankas etc.
2. Deer Park: This park houses different types of deer and some animals native to Sikkim.
3. The White Hall was built in 1932 in memory of the first Political Officer of Sikkim, Claude White.
4. Encgey Monastery: Tourists can get a panoramic view of the mighty Kanchendzonga range from here.
5. Do-drul Chorten (Stupa) : has 108 prayer wheels and a good collection of holy books.
6. Ganesh Tok: A small temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha.
7. The Ipecac Garden: A must visit place for its flora and fauna
8. Kabi Longstok: A historical place where the treaty of blood-brotherhood was signed between the Lepcha chieftain and the Bhutia chief.
9. Phodong Monastery: A major monastery in Sikkim.
10. Tumlong Palace Ruins: The third capital of the erstwhile Kingdom of Sikkim.
11. Yumthang: This place has various species of rhododendrons and Yumthang hotspring.
12. Rumtek Monastery: Located near the sacred lake Tsongo, this is the largest monastery in Sikkim.
13. Nathula Pass: The world famous border between India and China
14. Sangacholing Monastery: It is considered one of the oldest monasteries in the state.
15. Yuksum: Located 35 kms from Pemayangtse, Yuksum is the first capital of the Kingdom of Sikkim.
16. Tendong Hill: It is a religious place for the Lepcha community.
17. Borong: It is famous for the Borong hot spring.
Indian tourists need no entry permit to visit Sikkim except for a few restricted areas. Foreign tourists require a special permit that can be obtained from all Indian Missions abroad who are authorised to issue a 15-day permit. The Tourism Officer at the border town of Rangpo is also authorized to issue a-2 day permit to foreign tourists to enable them to enter the state and acquire the full 15-day permit. Permits can also be obtained from the Sikkim Tourist Information Counter, Gangtok.