Natural beauty and equally beautifully ornated monasteries are the main attractions for the visitor to go to Sikkim.
Abundant in natural beauty, Gangtok seems to have all the shades in green peeping through every leaf and forest. The tea gardens and the snow capped mountains add to the beauty. Gangtok is famous for its exotic and colorful flowers particularly Rhododendron, Orchids and Blue Poppies. Gangtok has a very spectacular setting and offers excellent views of the entire Kanchandzonga range from various points in its vicinity. The third largest mountain of the world, the Kanchandzonga, is considered as the guarding deity by the people of
Around 40 kms from Gangtok is the famous
The Rumtek Monastery:
The most famous Monastery of Sikkim is around 24 kms from Gangtok, the capital of the State. Colloquially known as the Rumtek Dharma Chakra, it is the seat of the Kagyu order on of the major Tibetan Buddhist sects.
The Monastery houses some of the world's most unique religious scriptures, manuscripts and religious art objects. At fifteen minutes walking distance is the old Rumtek monastery which was originally built in 1730 by the ninth Karmapa but was destroyed by fire and had to be reconstructed to the present state. Another attraction of this Monastery is the Tsechu dance that is organized in June.
The Pemyangtse Monastery:
One of the oldest Monasteries in the state the Pemyangtse monastery was built by Lhatsun Chenpo in the 17th century. The monastery houses numerous religious idols and other objects of worship, most of which are precious because of their antiquity. On the top floor of the monastery there is a wooden sculpture depicting the
Yumthang, at an elevation of 11800 feet and around 140 kms from Gangtok is a paradise on earth!
Yumthang is famous for its Sanctuary of Rhododendrons. At least 25 species of these flowers are found here. The Yumthang Tsa Chu is the natural hot spring famous for its curative powers.
The unique Bhutia village Lachung, some 25 km from Yumthang, is another major attraction. This village has a local self governing body called the Zumsa. They have their own rules and live accordingly, keeping their age –old traditions and values alive. To watch the different religious rituals of this village is an opportunity not to be missed.