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GANGTOK SIGHTSEEING

 

Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim, occupies the west side of a long ridge flanking the Ranipool River. The scenery is spectacular and there are excellent views of the entire Kanchenjunga range from many points in the vicinity. It is an interesting and pleasant place to stay and people here are friendly. The town has undergone rapid modernisation in recent years. Tsuk-La-Khang : The Royal Chapel is the Buddhists' principal place of worship and assembly and the repository of a large collection of scriptures. It is a beautiful and impressive building, and its interior is covered with murals. Lavishly decorated altars hold images of the Buddha, and Tantric deities and there are also a great many fine woodcarvings. Namgyal Institute of Tibetology : It has one of the world's largest collection of books and rare manuscripts on the subject of Mahayana Buddhism, many religious works of art and a collection of beautiful and finely executed silk-embroidered thankas (cloth paintings). It also has a number religious art and craftworks, as well as books, for sale. Chorten and Monastery : The gold apex of a huge white chorten, about 500mt beyond the institute, is visible from many points in Gangtok and is surrounded by prayer flags attached to bamboo poles. Orchid Sanctuary : Surrounding the institute and itself enclosed by a peaceful forest is the Orchid Sanctuary. Here we can see 454 species of orchid found in Sikkim. Deer Park : This popular viewpoint is on the edge of the ridge next to the Secretariat building. In it are deer and a replica of the Buddha image.


GANGTOK SIGHTSEEING 1

 

Enchey Monastery : Above the Tourist Lodge, about 3km. from the centre of town, the 200-year- old Enchey Monastery is well worth a visit, particularly if you are in Gangtok when religious dances are performed in December. It sits on a spectacular ridge overlooking Gangtok, and there are views across to Kanchenjunga. Lall Market : There are craft shops. There is also vegetable market which is colourful and there is a plenty of activity. GETTING THERE AND AWAY AIR : Indian Airlines has an agency on Tibet Road. The nearest airport is at Bagdogra near Siliguri. PUBLIC BUS : Sikkim Nationalise Transport (SNT) is the main bus operator to Gangtok. SNT operates the following interstate bus services: To/From Siliguri- There are 2+2 buses four times daily in either direction which takes 4.5 hour. There are also 3x2 buses 6 times daily in either direction. In Siliguri, these buses depart from and arrive at the SNT bus station. To/From Bagdogra- There is one 2+2 bus daily in either direction which leaves Gangtok at 7 am, and takes 4.5 hours. To/From Darjeeling- There is one 2+2 bus daily in either direction which leaves at 7 am and takes 7 hours. To/From Kalimpong- There is one 2+2 bus daily at 8.30 am and one 3+2 bus daily at 1.30 pm.


GANGTOK - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY AIR Indian Airlines has an agency on Tibet Rd. The nearest airport is Bagdogra near Siliguri. PUBLIC BUS Sikkim Nationalised Transport (SNT) is the main bus operator to Gangtok. SNT operates the following interstate bus services: T0/From Siliguri : There are 2+2 buses four times daily in either direction which take 4.5 hours. In Siliguri, these buses depart from and arrive at the SNT bus station which is different to but not far from the West Bengal bus stand. To/From Bagdogra : There is one 2+2 bus daily in either direction which leaves Gangtok at 7 am, takes 4.5 hours. To/From Darjeeling : There is one 2+2 bus daily in either direction which leaves at 7am, takes seven hours. To/From Kalimpong : There is one 2+2 bus daily at 8.30 am and one 3+2 bus daily at 1.30 pm which take four hours. PRIVATE BUS There are private buses which run between Siliguri and Gangtok, and Darjeeling and Gangtok. All the private buses depart from and arrive at the private bus stand adjacent to the Sunny Guest House in Gangtok. In Siliguri, these buses leave from the West Bengal state bus stand. Private buses are a mixture of 2+2 and 3+2 buses. The Hotel Tashi Delek in Gangtok also operates a 3+2 bus from Gangtok to Darjeeling.


GANGTOK - GETTING THERE AND AWAY 1

 

LOCAL BUSES There are plenty of domestic bus routes within Sikkim operated by Sikkim Nationalised Transport (SNT). To Phodang : To get to this monastery (38 km from Gangtok) you need to take a bus going to Mangan or Singhik. To Rumtek : There is a daily bus from Gangtok at 4.30 pm which returns at 8 am the next day. To Jorethang : This is the bus to take if you are heading for Darjeeling via Naya Bazaar. To Gezing : This is the bus to take if you are heading for Pemayangtse, Dzongri or Tashiding in western Sikkim. From Gezing there is a daily bus to Pelling. This passes the turnoff to Pemayangtse Monastery. TRAIN The nearest railheads are at Siliguri/New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling. There is a railway booking office in the SNT bus station. You can make reservations here for trains passing through or originating from Siliguri/New Jalpaiguri. TAXI From the booking office at the private bus stand, you can also arrange private taxis to Siliguri, Darjeeling, Calcutta and Kathmandu.


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