Hill Station | Waterfall
Nature & Scenic | Pilgrimage
At a distance of 2 km from Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Station, Observatory Hill is a hill top located near Chowrasta Square in the dreamy hill town of Darjeeling. It is one of the great places to visit in Darjeeling and among the popular viewpoints in Darjeeling. The hill is encircled at the bottom of the Mall Road.
The Observatory Hill is one of the oldest sites of attraction in Darjeeling and also has historical and religious significance. Built in 1765 CE by Lama Dorje-Rinzing, the Bhutia Busty Monastery, the oldest monastery in Darjeeling, was first located on Observatory Hill. The monastery was sacked by a Gorkha invasion in 1815 and it was rebuilt and shifted to its present location at Bhutia Busty in 1879.
The hill is famous for its magnificent views of Kanchendzonga and the ancient temple dedicated to Mahakal or Lord Shiva. There is a white chorten or a Tibetan memorial shrine next to the Mahakal Temple, which has the relics of Dorje Lama who was the caretaker of .....
At a distance of 1 km from Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Station, Lloyd's Botanical Garden or Darjeeling Botanical Garden is a beautiful garden located in the beautiful hill town of Darjeeling. The garden is among the oldest botanical gardens in Darjeeling and also one of the popular tourist places in Darjeeling.
Established in 1878 CE, the garden was named after William Lloyd, who provided the required land for it. The garden was built in reference to the Calcutta Botanical Garden. The basic motive of Lloyd's Botanical Garden is to preserve the native floral species of Darjeeling Himalayan hill region, Sikkim and its neighboring regions. Located at an altitude of almost 1800 meters, the garden has terraced lands, rolling slopes, tall trees and lush green bushes mixed with grass.
Sprawling over an area of 40 acres, the Lloyd Botanical Garden preserves some of the most exotic and endangered species of plants. It has several species of bamboo, oak, magnolia, arisaema, cotoneaster, .....
At a distance of 1 km from Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Station, Darjeeling Mall or Chowrasta is located at the heart of Darjeeling town. It is considered as the hub for all type of activities in Darjeeling and also among the best places to visit in Darjeeling.
The word 'Chow' means four and 'Rasta' stands for roads, essentially means that the Mall is where four roads meet. Located on top of Nehru Road, This flat piece of circular land is the major shopping area and center for commercial activities. In olden days, this was the place where the Europeans came for their evening walks. Today, the locals as well as the tourists come here to lounge and relax. In a clear day, one can also have a magnificent view of the Kanchenjunga from here.
There are benches all along the Mall Road for people to sit and enjoy the views over a cup of Darjeeling tea. Also, there are some of the old and heritage stores lined up and countless vendors selling artifacts, woollens and various figurines .....
Nature & Scenic
At a distance of 11 km from Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Station, Tiger Hill is a sunrise viewpoint in Darjeeling. It is the highest point in Darjeeling and among the most picturesque places to visit in Darjeeling.
Tiger Hill stands at an altitude of 2,590 m overlooking the spur of the snow-capped mountain ranges of the Eastern Himalayas. It is one of the two points in India from where you can capture the entire panorama between Mount Everest and Kanchenjunga on a sunny morning. The first rays of the sun shoot ahead and shed light upon the twin peaks of Kanchenjunga painting it pink, and then bathing it in a beautiful orange colour, which is an amazing thing to experience.
An observation deck is built on top of the Tiger Hill to cater to hundreds of tourists who visit every day. On a clear day the summit of Tiger Hill commands the view of Kurseong Town to its south-west along with plains of North Bengal and number of major rivers like Teesta, Mahanadi, Balasun and Mechi meanders .....
At a distance of 1 km from Ghoom Railway Station and 6 km from Darjeeling, Old Ghoom Monastery, also known as Yiga Choeling Monastery, is a Buddhist monastery situated at Ghoom near the beautiful hill town of Darjeeling. It is one of the oldest and most popular Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in the region of Darjeeling and also one of the must visit places in Darjeeling.
Yiga Choeling Monastery was established in 1850 CE by the Mongolian astrologer and monk Sokpo Sherab Gyatso, who was the head of the monastery until 1905 CE. The Monastery belongs to Gelugpa or the Yellow Hat sect. This is the first ever Tibetan Buddhist monastery to be built in the Darjeeling region. During the Chinese occupation of 1959 in Tibet many high ranking monks fled to India and took refuge in this monastery.
The monastery is known for its 15 feet high statue of Maitreya Buddha or Gyalwa Shampa, which means the Buddha of the future or the Coming Buddha. This statue was created during the tenure of .....
At a distance of 4 km from Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, Batasia Loop is a railway loop in Darjeeling of West Bengal. Situated below the Ghoom station, it is one of the mesmerizing places to visit in Darjeeling.
Batasia Loop was built in 1919 as an engineering requirement to lower the gradient of ascent of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. At this point, the track spirals around over itself through a tunnel and over a hilltop. After Ghoom (the highest railway station), there is a sharp fall as the toy train moves towards Darjeeling. There was no way a narrow gauge toy train could navigate the drastic fall of about 100 feet to the gradient of the slope. So, a large circular area was built for the loop to make the slope gentle.
Batasia means airy space. The Loop serves a vital purpose for the toy train but is also an attraction in itself. The loop goes around a garden. The mountain garden is beautified with fresh green grass, seasonal and perennial flowers and shrubs. There .....
At a distance of 3 km from Darjeeling Railway Station, Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park is a zoo situated in the beautiful hill town of Darjeeling, West Bengal. Popularly called as Darjeeling Zoo, it is one of the best zoo parks in India and among the must visit Darjeeling Tourist Places.
The zoo was formerly known as Himalayan Zoological Park and was established in 1958 as a joint venture of Government of India and Government of West Bengal. The park was renamed in 1975 when Indira Gandhi, the Prime Minister of India, visited the park and dedicated it to the memory of Padmaja Naidu, who was also a poet and daughter of the famous freedom fighter Sarojini Naidu. Situated at an altitude of 7,000 feet, this is the largest high altitude zoo in India.
Spread over an area of 67.56 acre, Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park is the only specialized Zoo in the country and is the first recipient of the International award of 'The Earth Heroes 2014'. This zoo park is internationally .....
At a distance of 5 km from Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Station, Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre is a rehabilitation center for the Tibetan refugees in the beautiful hill town of Darjeeling, West Bengal. It is one of the prominent landmarks of Darjeeling and also one of the best places to visit in Darjeeling.
The center was setup by Tibetan refugees on 2nd October 1959 AD. It serves as a residence of several Tibetan refugees who fled from their homeland following the footsteps of their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. Located on the picturesque hilltop, it is spread over an area of 4 acres of land. A committee was formed with 10 members that were responsible for the development and management of the center. Ms Gaylo Thondup was the first President of the center. Initially, they started raising funds through donations, subscriptions, charity shows and even through exhibition soccer match. Later, they received funds from domestic and international voluntary organizations as well. .....
At a distance of 2.5 km from Darjeeling Railway Station, Happy Valley Tea Estate is a vast tea garden located in Darjeeling town of West Bengal. This is the second oldest tea estate in Darjeeling after Steinthal Tea Estate and also one of the popular places to experience Darjeeling Tourism.
Spread over an area of 177 hectares, Happy Valley Tea Garden was established by Mr. David Wilson in the year 1854, which was then known as Wilson Tea Estate. In 1903, the estate was taken over by an Indian, Tarapada Banerjee, an aristocrat from Hooghly. Later Banerjee bought the Windsor Tea Estate nearby in 1929 and merged the two estates under the name of Happy Valley Tea Estate. Since 2008, the tea estate has been under the ownership of Sanjay Bansal. Today, over 1500 people worked in the tea estate.
Located in the vicinity of Darjeeling town, it is one of the major tourist attractions in Darjeeling. It also has a museum and has a factory. Situated at an altitude of 2,100 m, Happy Valley .....
At a distance of 2.5 km from Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, Darjeeling Peace Pagoda is a Buddhist stupa situated on the slopes of the Jalapahar hill in Darjeeling. It is one of more than 70 pagodas built around the world by the Japanese Buddhist Nipponzan Myohoji organization and among the most popular attractions in Darjeeling.
The foundation stone of the pagoda was laid in 1972 by Nichidatsu Fuji, a Buddhist monk from Japan and founder of the Nipponzan-Myohoji Buddhist Order. Inaugurated in 1992, the pagoda was designed by M. Ohka. Being the tallest structure in Darjeeling with a height of 28.5 meters, it is open to people of all faith and is purposely made to propagate peace and prosperity in the world.
Peace Pagoda houses four shining and gold-polished statues of Buddha. Also, the walls of the temple have eight sandstone carvings which depict different stories from the different stages of Gautama Buddha's life. Known for its tranquility, Peace Pagoda offers breathtaking .....
At a distance of 22 km from Gangtok SNT Bus Station, Rumtek Monastery is a beautiful Buddhist gompa situated near Gangtok, the capital city of Sikkim. Also called as Dharma Chakra Centre, it is one of the largest monasteries in Sikkim and among the best places to visit in Gangtok.
The Monastery was originally built in mid-17th century under the supervision of Changchub Dorje, the 12th Karmapa Lama. Perched on a hill overlooking Gangtok, Rumtek Monastery is the seat of the Karmapa Lama, the third highest monk in Tibetan Buddhism. The monastery belongs to the Kargyu sect of Buddhism originated during the 12th century CE in Tibet. With the generosity and help of the Sikkim royal family and the local folks of Sikkim, the monastery was rebuilt by the 16th Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje and named as Rumtek Dharma Chakra Center in 1966.
The shrine was established with a reason to spread the teachings of the Buddha throughout the world. The architecture of the monastery is one of the .....
Museum & Gallery
At a distance of 3 km from Gangtok SNT Bus Station, Namgyal Institute of Tibetology is a Tibetan institute & museum located in Deorali area of Gangtok. Situated near Do Drul Chorten Stupa, it is one of the must visit places in Gangtok.
Namgyal Institute of Tibetology is an important Tibetan institute that promotes and carries on researches in the field of Tibetan language, art, religion and its culture. The foundation stone was laid by 14th Dalai Lama in 1957 and inaugurated by Late Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in 1958. The land of the institute was donated by the late King of Sikkim Tashi Namgyal and hence the name Namgyal Institute of Tibetology.
The institute building boasts of traditional Tibetan architecture and remains as one of the finest traditional Tibetan designs in the world. It rises majestically with its tall golden towers, attractive murals and colourful frescos amidst the breathtaking natural scenery. It also has a museum, a library with rich collections .....
At a distance of 3 km from Gangtok SNT Bus Station, Do Drul Chorten is a Buddhist stupa situated in Gangtok, Sikkim. Situated adjacent to Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, it is one of the most magnificent and the biggest stupas in Gangtok and among the top places to experience Gangtok Tourism.
Do Drul Chorten Stupa was built by Trulshik Rinpoche, head of the Nyingma order of Tibetan Buddhism in 1945 CE. According to legend, it is believed that this entire place was once haunted by evil spirits and many people who wandered around this place became victims and died. Later, Trulshik Rinpoche came to this place for hermitage and built this popular stupa to drive away the spirits.
Popularly known as Phurba, the white Chorten Stupa is marked by a golden top dome and can be seen from various places in Gangtok. The deity enshrined on top of the stupa is known as Dorjee Phurpa or Vajra Kilaya. The Chorten is surrounded by Chorten Lakhang, where there are two huge statues of Guru Rinpoche .....
At a distance of 3 km from Gangtok SNT Bus Station, Enchey Monastery is an ancient Buddhist Monastery situated in Gangtok, Sikkim. Located on Gangtok - Nathula road, it is one of the most popular places of pilgrimage in Sikkim and among the best places to visit in Gangtok.
The literal meaning of Enchey Monastery is the 'Solitary Monastery'. The monastery is also an important seat of the Nyingma sect of Tibetan Buddhism. More than 200 years ago, this was the site of Lama Dhrupthob Karpo, a tantric master who was known for his flying powers. Initially, a small Gompa was established by him after he flew from Maenam Hill in South Sikkim to this site in 1840 CE. Later, it was rebuilt in 1908 CE by the 10th King of Sikkim, Sikyong Tulku.
The monastery is considered sacred as it is believed that the protecting deities, Khangchendzonga and Yabdean reside in this monastery. According to a legend, the spirits of the Khangchendzonga, Yabdean and Mahakala are subdued by Guru Padmasambhava .....
Wildlife | Waterfall
At a distance of 31 km of Gangtok, Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary is a wildlife sanctuary situated around the area adjoining the Tsomgo Lake in Gangtok. Along the Nathula Road, it is one of the best places to experience Gangtok Tourism.
Established in 1977, the sanctuary covers an area of 31 sq. km. The sanctuary extends from the 15 mile police check post up to the ridges bordering the famous Rong Chu and Tsomgo Lakes. Situated at an altitude ranging from 3,292 m to 4,116 m, the sanctuary boasts a wide variety of flora and fauna. The sanctuary is also the perfect place for trekking tours. The views of Khangchendzonga peak are awesome from the sanctuary. Since it is situated close to India-China border at Nathu La, the place is well conserved by the Indian Army.
The sanctuary is very rich in natural vegetation which comprises of various rare species of plants and trees that are hard to find somewhere else. Some of the common species of vegetation seen here are tall juniper, rhododendron, .....
Lake & Backwaters | Pilgrimage
At a distance of 17 km from Nathula Pass and 38 km from Gangtok, Tsomgo Lake or Tsongmo Lake is a glacial lake located in the East Sikkim district of Sikkim. Also known as Changu Lake, it is one of the top places to visit in Gangtok and among the beautiful lakes in Himalayas.
Located at an altitude of 3,753 m, Tsongmo Lake is one of the few and awesome high altitude lakes in India. In Bhutia language Tsomgo means 'Source of the Lake'. The lake gets its water from the melting snow on the surrounding mountains. The lake is formed in an oval shape and has a surface area of 60 acres. The maximum length of the lake is 1 km and an average depth of the lake is 15 m. The River Lungtze Chu originates from this lake and further falls into Rangpo-chu.
Highly revered by the Buddhists and Hindus, the lake surface reflects different colors with change of seasons. According to the history, the colour of water of this lake was studied by Lamas so as to forecast about the future. They believed, .....
Historical & Heritage
At a distance of 17 km from Tsomgo Lake and 54 km from Gangtok, Nathula is a snow-shrouded mountain pass located in the northeastern state of Sikkim along the Indo-China border. Situated at an altitude of 14450 feet in the Himalayas, it is one of the most exotic places to visit in Gangtok and among the top places to experience Sikkim Tourism.
Located on the Old Silk Route, Nathula is one of the three open trading border posts between India and China. The other two are Shipkila in Himachal Pradesh and Lipulekh at the trisection point of Uttarakhand, Nepal and China. Also, it is one of the five officially agreed Border Personnel Meeting points between the Indian Army and the People's Liberation Army of China.
Deriving its name from two Tibetan words - Nathu meaning listening ears and La meaning pass,
Nathula Pass was the place through which the famous Silk Route between India and Tibet used to operate until 1962. Lines of mules used to carry silk, gold and many other items .....
At a distance of 16 km from Tsongmo Lake and 54 km from Gangtok, Baba Harbhajan Singh Temple is a holy shrine located in Gangtok, Sikkim. Situated on the way to Nathula Pass, it is one of the old shrines in Sikkim and among the best places to visit in Gangtok.
At an altitude of 13,123 feet, the temple is dedicated to Harbhajan Singh, a hard-working soldier in the Indian Army. Popularly called as Baba Mandir, the temple is situated between Nathula Pass and Jelepla Pass. Visitors usually cover this temple along with a visit to Tsongmo Lake or Nathula Pass.
There is a touching story associated with this temple. Harbhajan Singh was a soldier with the Indian army who slipped and fell into a nullah and was washed away while transporting mules. His body could not be found for so many days and later, he appeared in the dream of his colleague and informed about the spot where his body could be found and further asked for his Samadhi to be built there. His body was found exactly where .....
At a distance of 32 km from Gangtok, Seven Sister Waterfall is a scenic waterfall located on Gangtok- Lachung Highway of Sikkim. It is one of the famous waterfalls in Sikkim and also one of the top Gangtok Tourist Places.
The Seven Sisters Waterfall is an extremely captivating waterfall, which got its name because it is said to fall in seven stages. However, visitors can see only 4 stages from the bottom. The rest are way higher and hidden between the rocks. The magnificent view of refreshing water with a background of lush mountains casts a spell on the visitors with its charm and make it one of the most visited and photographed waterfalls in this region.
The picture perfect beauty of Seven Sister Waterfalls is much loved by picnickers, photographers, nature lovers as well as the local people. A small footbridge crosses over the stream to give the clients a better view and photographic break. To facilitate the tourists to savor the pristine beauty and to be with nature, Tourism .....
At a distance of 34 km from Lachung and 82 km from Gangtok, Naga Falls is another beautiful waterfall situated near Lachung in North Sikkim. Situated on Gangtok-Chungthang road, it is one of the waterfalls in Sikkim and among the must visit places in Lachung.
Naga falls is one of the longest and the scenic waterfalls with very clean and ice-cold water. It is a multi-tiered waterfall. The main fall is quite far from the main road so one needs to trek on a rocky path to get the view. The place offer panoramic view of snow-caped mountains all around. During monsoons the flow of water becomes extremely heavy and even dangerous.
At a distance of 4 km from Lachen Market, Lachen Gompa is an old Buddhist monastery situated in Lachen, Sikkim. Also known as Ngodub Choling Monastery, it is one of the most popular monasteries in Sikkim and among the top places to visit in Lachen.
Lachen Monastery is a noteworthy attraction in Lachen that was originally built in 1858 AD by Lama Karchen Dorje Drak as a small hut with 8 monks. Lama Karchen Dorje Drak was the student of Jamyang Choki Rinzing, a disciple of Terdag Lingpa of Tibet. The lama stayed in this Gompa for three years and commissioned a clay statue of the 1000 handed Chenrezig for the Gompa before returning to Tibet. It was fully reconstructed in the year 1977 with financial assistance from State Government. Now it is one of the major recognized monasteries in northern Sikkim. It follows the Nyingmapa sect of Mahayana Buddhism.
Offering a quiet backdrop and a spell-binding views, the monastery was built in Tibetan architecture. This monastery houses some .....
Nature & Scenic
At a distance of 31 km from Gurudongmar Lake and 39 km from Lachen, Chopta Valley is a picturesque valley located near Thangu village in North Sikkim. Situated on the way to Gurudongmar Lake, it is one of the popular places to visit in Sikkim and among the best places to experience Lachen Tourism.
Perched at an elevation of 13,200 feet, Chopta Valley is the summer residence of the nomadic Lachenpas. It has breathtaking alpine scenery with lofty snow-capped peaks, meandering rivers, orchids, rhododendrons and other high altitude flora. The valley is criss-crossed by meandering rivers. This valley is unexplored and untouched, as a very few tourists travel to this destination despite its popularity. Chopta Valley is the starting point for some of the most interesting treks in North Sikkim as well as the gateway to the holy Gurudongmar and Tso Lhamu Lakes.
Surrounded by dense forest, Chopta Valley offers the last patch of green vegetation before the landscape changes into the cold .....
Nature & Scenic
At a distance of 5 km from Chopta Valley and 35 km from Lachen, Thangu Valley is a small valley situated at Thangu village near Lachen in North Sikkim. Situated on the way to Guru Dongmar Lake, it is one of the perfect gateways for nature lovers and among the magnificent places to visit in Lachen.
Placed at an altitude of 13,500 feet, Thangu remains covered with snow for most of the time because of its high altitude. Dotted with wooden houses and army camps, tourists usually choose this place to relax before they proceed to Guru Dongmar Lake, Muguthang or Cho Lhamo Lake. Inhabited by various tribes, Thangu has a large military base as it is located near the border between India and China.
This tiny valley is criss-crossed by a number of streams and rivulets. The most important streams flowing through Thangu are Chopta Chu, Thangu Chu and Lassur Chu. The place is popular for spectacular hiking trails from Thangu to Chopta Valley and Muguthang. These trekking routes attract .....
Nature & Scenic
At a distance of 25 km from Yumthung Valley and 51 km from Lachung, Zero point is a valley on Lachung River near Lachung in North Sikkim. Situated above Yumthang Valley, it is one of the picturesque places to visit in Lachung and among the best places to experience Sikkim Tourism.
Situated at an altitude of 15,300 feet, Zero point is the land of perennial snow and also the starting point of Teesta river. The place is also known as Yumesamdong and it will take around 1.5 hour drive to reach here from Yumthang. The name of this place is Zero Point because this is the last motorable road and civilians are not allowed to drive any further from this point. The landscape completely covered with snow offering a majestic view contrasting with the patchy blue sky in between the fresh icy breeze.
The place Zero Point remains under the cover of snow most of the year so it is a delight for snow lovers. One can spot Yak and Blue Sheep which is extremely rare grazing on the pasture. Apart .....
Nature & Scenic
At a distance of 26 km from Lachung, Yumthang Valley is a picturesque valley situated near Lachung, Sikkim. Popularly known as 'Valley of Flowers', it is one of the top places to experience Sikkim Tourism and among the most popular places to visit in Lachung.
Situated at an altitude of 3,500 meters, Yumthang is a distinct place where the tree line ends. Yumthang Valley is extremely picturesque with green slopes covered with trees, hot spring, yaks grazing in the flower-spangled grassy plains below and a river flowing right through the valley. The Yumthang Valley is a paradise for nature lovers with a spectacular blend of flora and fauna and splendid picturesque beauty. The Yumthang Chu River flows through the Yumthang Valley and the entire valley witness long winters as it is close to Tibetan Plateau. Unique wildflowers such as primulas and Rhododendrons cover the entire valley in rich colours every spring, making it a great tourist attraction.
The Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary .....
At a distance of 500 m from Lachung Town Center, Lachung Monastery is a Buddhist monastery situated on the banks of Lachung River in Lachung, Sikkim. It is one of the old monasteries in North Sikkim and among the must visit Lachung Tourist Places.
Also known as Samten Cheoling Monastery, Lachung Monastery was built in the year 1850 AD. Earlier, the monastery belonging to Bon worshippers and was converted into Buddhist Monastery by the locals to strengthen the Buddhist faith in the region. It follows the Nyingmapa Sect of Buddhism. In 1930 a statue of Buddha, a statue of a Guru, a statue of Chenrezig made of Copper along with Kangyur and Tengyur Texts were brought from Tibet as basic religious treasure for this Gompa. It was renovated and remodeled by the Lamas in 1983 AD.
Lachung Gompa is small but colourful monastery. It is a two-storey affair with twin metal dragons above the porch, which contains a pair of extra-heavy prayer wheels. The monastery functions all major ceremonies .....