At a distance of 45 km from Darjeeling, 49 km from Kalimpong, 65 km from Pelling, 81 km from Gangtok, 88 km from Siliguri, 512 km from Guwahati and 641 km from Kolkata, Namchi is a small town and also the district headquarters of South Sikkim district in the Indian state of Sikkim. Also known as Namtse, it is one of the fast developing tourist destinations in Sikkim and among the popular places to experience Sikkim Tourism.

Literally means ' Top of the Sky', Namchi is situated at an altitude of 5,500 feet and is known for its Buddhist Monasteries and scenic locales. As per the historical facts, once Sikkim was under the reign of the Chogyals. Legends say that one of the Sikkimese princesses, Pende Ongmoo deceived a Sikkimese Chogyal. When people of Sikkim got to know about this, they killed the Sikkimese princess, Pende Ongmoo. The place where the Pend Ongmoo was killed is believed to be the present day Namchi.

Often known as the Cultural Capital of Sikkim, Namchi has been developed as a hub of religious and cultural tourism in Sikkim. The place attracts large number of pilgrims every year due to its religious places, natural wonders and the unmatched views of the Rangeet valley and Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world. Namchi is home to the World's largest statue of Padmasambhava situated on Samdruptse Hill and replica of all the four dhams of India (char dhams). Tedong Hill, Namchi Rock Garden, Tarey Bhir, ... more

At a distance of 26 km from Namchi, 69 km from Gangtok, 71 km from Darjeeling, 74 km from Kalimpong, 89 km from Pelling, 115 km from Siliguri, 122 km from Lachung, 536 km from Guwahati and 667 km from Kolkata, Ravangla or Ravongla is a small hill town situated in South Sikkim district of the Indian state of Sikkim. At an altitude of 7000 feet, Ravangla is one of the picturesque places to visit in Sikkim and among the best places to experience Sikkim Tourism.

Located on a ridge between Maenam and Tendong Hill, Ravangla is a hot tourist destination blessed with spellbinding tea gardens, adventure activities and ancient monasteries. The town and its surrounding areas offer an undisturbed view of Mt. Kanchenjunga, Mt. Pandim, Mt. Sinialchu, and Mt. Kabru. Ravangla gets a romantic look with the colours and fragrance of the flowers which are in full bloom during April-May. Buddha Park, Rayong Sunrise Viewpoint, Ralang & Borong Hot Springs, Ralang Monastery, Doling Gompa, Tumlong monastery, Temi Tea Garden, Kheunpheling Carpet Centre, and Rangit Water World are the places to visit in Ravangla.

It also acts as the starting point for the famous Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary Trek. The 12 km uphill trek starts from Ravangla and takes 4 hours to climb up and 2 hours to climb down. The entire trek route passes through the Maenam Sanctuary which houses a rare collection of Himalayan species like red panda, Himalayan black bear, leopard cat, ... more

At a distance of 8 km from Banjhakri Falls and 16 km from Gangtok, Ranka Monastery is a Buddhist monastery situated at Ranka near Gangtok, the capital city of Sikkim. Also known as Lingdum Monastery, it is one of the most popular monasteries in Sikkim and among the must visit places in Gangtok.

Built in 1998 CE, the Ranka Monastery is the seat of Zurmang Charwang Rinpoche. The present Rinpoche is the 12th successive incarnation of this lineage. It is interesting to note that the monastery is mainly run by young monks. Since it is relatively quite a new monastery and does not provide a lot of historical or strategic significance such as Rumtek Monastery. However, the beauty of the monastery has attracted a lot of film makers.

Built in the typical form of Tibetan architecture, the monastery is spread out in a vast area with great scenic views. A huge gold plated Buddha statue sits in the lotus position inside the sanctum. There are low tables lying in rows inside the sanctum where the lamas read their prayer books. The monastery is known for beautiful paintings and wall hanging inside the inner sanctum. There is a 2-storey building along the periphery of the courtyard that has several classrooms where the young lamas undergo training.

Bordered by beautiful forested mountains on all sides, Ranka makes one of the most pictorial monasteries in east Sikkim. Mesmerizing views of the sun setting behind the Kanchenjunga range is an added attraction that can be enjoyed ... more

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 he had mentioned in the dream and thus his Samadhi was built. Till today, it is believed that he protects the Indian army personnel. Even the Chinese believe in him and they leave a chair empty for him during flag meetings.

Every year during his annual leave, Harbhajan is known to visit his hometown in Punjab. Even today, two soldiers actually accompany his uniform in a jeep up to Siliguri then in a train to his hometown. In fact his salary is still sent to his home. Over the years the ... more

At a distance of 39 km from Gangtok, Phodong or Phodang Monastery is a Buddhist monastery situated at Phodong near Gangtok in Sikkim, India. It is one amongst the six most important Buddhist monasteries in Sikkim and among the best places of pilgrimage in Gangtok.

Built in 1740 AD, Phodong Monastery was founded by the fourth king of Sikkim Gyurmed Namgyal. Phodong Monastery belongs to the Karma Kagyu sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Stands at an altitude of 4,500 feet, the monastery is one among the three important monasteries of the Kagyu sect in Sikkim, the other two are Rumtek and Ralang. In the course of time, an earthquake damaged the old structure. The Lamas rebuilt a new Monastery in 1977 with financial assistance from the Government of Sikkim.

At present the monastery is rated as one of the most beautiful monastery of the state. The monastery houses approximately 260 monks. The walls of the monastery are adorned with beautiful murals, paintings, and frescos which can astonish anyone. Visitors can get the picturesque view of the mountains and the surrounding valleys from here. One can also visit nearby Lhabrung Monastery and Tumlong Palace & Monastery along with Phodong.

Phodong Monastery hosts an annual festival, which is observed on the 28th and 29th day of the 10th month of the Tibetan calendar corresponding to the month of December to January. At this juncture, the Chaam Dance is performed by the monks along with religious rituals at the monastery.

Timings: ... more

At a distance of 66 km from Lachen, Gurudongmar or Guru Dongmar Lake is a sacred lake situated on the northern part of Kanchenjunga Range in Sikkim. It is considered as the biggest and one of the highest lakes in Sikkim and among the top places to visit in Lachen.

Lies at an altitude of 17,100 feet, Gurudongmar Lake is a natural high altitude lake located just 5 km south of the Indo-China border in North Sikkim. The lake has a massive shore length of about 5.34 km and a surface area of about 118 hectares. Considered as one of the highest lake in the world, the lake also provides a beautiful view of Mount Siniolchu and Mount Kanchenjunga. The stream originating from the lake is one of the major sources of River Teesta.

The lake has a religious significance for both Sikhs and Buddhists. The lake is named after Guru Padmasambhava, also known as Guru Rinpoche, the founder of Tibetan Buddhism who visited the lake in the 8th century. According to the legend, the water of the lake was not possible to use as the lake remains frozen most of the year. When Guru passed by, while returning from Tibet, the local residents were approached him for providing source of water. Then the guru agreed to help them and placed his hands on a small part of the lake area which stopped freezing during winter thus facilitating the source of drinking water to the people. Since then the lake has been considered sacred and devotees carry this sacred water in bottles. The lake also claimed to ... more

At a distance of 25 km from Pelling, Khecheopalri Lake is a sacred lake situated at Khecheopalri near Pelling town of Sikkim. Also known as Wishing Lake, it is one of the beautiful lakes in Sikkim and among the must visit tourist places in Pelling.

Situated at an altitude of 6000 feet, the Khecheopalri Lake is a sacred place of worship for Buddhists as well as for the Hindus. The lake is an integral part of the much revered valley of 'Demazong' meaning valley of rice. The Khecheopalri Lake is also part of Buddhist religious pilgrimage circuit involving the Yuksom, the Dubdi Monastery in Yuksom, Pemayangtse Monastery, the Rabdentse ruins, the Sanga Choeling Monastery, and the Tashiding Monastery.

The lake is originally known as Kha-Chot-Palri which means the heaven of Lord Padmasambhava. As per Nesol text, the lake was recognized as the abode of Tshomen Gyalmo, the chief protecting nymph of dharma as blessed by goddess Tara. Native people believe that the shape of the lake resembles the footprint of goddess Tara and is also considered as the wish fulfilling lake by locals.

The fascinating fact about the lake is that despite so much of greenery encircling it, not even a single leaf can be spotted on its surface. It is believed that birds in this region keep the lake clean all the time. The lake premises can be reached by walking for a short distance from the entrance. A small Buddhist shrine and a stupa with numerous prayer flags can be seen in the lake premises. ... more

At a distance of 25 km from Yuksom and 36 km from Pelling, Tashiding Monastery is a Buddhist monastery situated at Tashiding in Sikkim. Located atop a hill between the Rathong Chhu and the Rangeet River, it is one of the oldest monasteries in Sikkim and among the top places to visit in Pelling.

Tashiding Monastery was built in 1641 CE by Ngadak Sempa Chempo Phunshok Rigzing. Ngadak was one of the three wise men who held the crowning ceremony of the first King of Sikkim at Yuksom. The monastery was extensively renovated in 1717 CE during the reign of the third Chogyal Chakdor Namgyal. Tashiding means 'The Devoted Central Glory' and the monastery belongs to the Nyingma sect of Tibetan Buddhism.

The famous spiritual shrine is the most sacred and holiest monasteries in Sikkim. According to local legend, Guru Padmasambhava shot an arrow into the air to select the place. Where the arrow he shot landed, he sat in meditation and that site eventually became the site of the Tashiding Monastery. It is a part of the Buddhist religious pilgrimage route which starts with the first monastery at Yuksam, known as the Dubdi Monastery, Norbugang Chorten, Pemayangtse Monastery, the Rabdentse ruins, the Sanga Choeling Monastery, and the Khecheopalri Lake.

Tashiding Monastery attracts tourists with its beautiful architecture and a snowy backdrop provided by majestic Mt. Kanchendzonga. The shrine is surrounded by fluttering prayer flags and holy stupas that are built for spiritual ... more

At a distance of 35 km from Pelling, 55 km from Ravangla and 126 km from Gangtok, Yuksom a historical town in West Sikkim district in the Northeast Indian state of Sikkim. It is the gateway to Kangchendzongha and among the best places to visit in Pelling.
Situated at an altitude of 5,800 feet, Yuksom is located at the southern fringes of Kanchenjunga National Park and is known for its gorgeous landscape and snow-capped mountains. It was the first capital of Sikkim established in 1642 AD by Phuntsog Namgyal who was the first Chogyal of Sikkim. The meaning of the term Yuksom is 'meeting place of the three lamas'. This is the place where three Tibetan monks met and enthroned the first King (Chogyal) of Sikkim in 1641. This was the beginning of Namgyal dynasty in Sikkim which lasted for 332 years. Visitors can visit and see the coronation stone at Norbugang where the first King Phuntsog Namgyal was consecrated.

Yuksom also has a religious connotation attached as it symbolically represents 'the third eye of Sikkim'. Yuksom is part of Demazon (valley of rice), the sacred landscape consisting of four religious sites which have been blessed by Guru Padmasambhava and which are considered to be the four plexuses of the human body, in which Yuksom represents the 'third eye'.

The town houses Dubdi Monastery, the oldest monastery of Sikkim which was established in 1701. It was the hermit cell of the lama Lhabtsun Chenpo who had the highest seat out of three monks who enthroned ... more

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, if the water had a dark tinge, it indicated a year full of trouble and unrest in the state. The lake is also of special significance for the Jhakris (faith healers) of Sikkim who congregate here annually on Guru Purnima to offer prayers.

Surrounded by steep mountains covered with snow, this azure blue lake remains completely frozen during winter. In late spring the abundance of flowers in bloom adds colors around the lake. One can see a small Shiva temple and some food stalls near the ... more

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 finest in the world and resembles the original one in Tsurphu, Tibet. The main building of the Rumtek Monastery is three storeyed. The ground floor has a large prayer hall which contains large hand paintings, intricate wall murals, thankas, silk paintings and statues. The first floor is where the 16th Karmapa lived and the top floor has a terrace and a small stupa. The monastery also houses other precious items like the Black Hat (known as the Vajra Mukut) which is studded with gold, diamond, ... more

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