The North-East side of India is bejewelled with eight states, also known as the eight sisters, which are immensely endowed with scenic natural beauty and rich cultural heritage. Gangtok is also a mountain lover’s paradise and one of the best places to visit in the summer months to get some respite from the heat. Gangtok is the capital of one of these states, Sikkim and offers a lot to one who loves to travel, explore and gain new experiences. Some of the places that offer an insight into the magnificence attached to the place are:
‘’Tsongmo’’, literally translating to ‘’Source of the lake” is the name of a glacial lake some 30 kilometers from the city of Gangtok. Extending over a kilometer in length, the lake offers a different look in every season. In summers, it abounds with rhododendrons and orchids while in winters, it freezes to match the snow laden mountains. It serves as a temporary home for many migratory birds. The lake changes its hues with shifts in the season and legend has it that these shades were used for predicting future by Buddhist monks.
A very famous mountain pass between India and China, Nathu La or ‘’Listening Ears Pass” is a popular tourist destination as well. The Indo-China border is situated nearby, and you may witness the guards on both side. The pass is located at an altitude of 14000 feet and in winters when the temperature plummets below -250 C, the entire area is covered with snow, and the route becomes inaccessible. A visit during the summer months is not only more convenient but also offers an incredible view of the circular route.
You can combine the visit to Tsongmo Lake or Nathu La with a visit to Baba Mandir for an enigmatic experience. This temple has been built in the memory of Baba Harbhajan Singh, an Army sentry who drowned in 1968 while escorting mules who were transporting supplies. It is believed that he visited one of his fellow colleagues in his dream and asked him to construct a memorial for him, hence the temple. Many soldiers, even those on the Chinese side of the border have seen a turbaned sentry making rounds in the area and Harbhajan Singh’s bed which is laid every night has a crumpled sheet in the morning. Interesting? There is a lot more to this story, and I shall leave it for the people at the temple to tell you the rest of it!
The monastery, also known as The Dharma Chakra, is a huge gompa which looks like a perfect imitation of the one in Tibet. It is a magnificent example of Tibetan architecture at its best. It is not only famous for its religious importance but also because of the unique historical artifacts it houses. An annual event comprising of traditional dances is hosted on the 28th and 29th of the tenth month of the lunar calendar. No doubt, you must not skip this place!
This biosphere reserve named after one of the tallest peaks in the world, Mount Khandchendzonga (Kanchenjunga, is one of the very few high altitude national parks in the country. Surrounded by mountains and glaciers on all sides, the biosphere reserve is home to many exotic species like the snow leopard, Himalayan tahr, red panda, Tibetan wild ass and snow pigeon. The reserve also offers an opportunity to trek, and the Tourism Department organises the trips.
Barely a half an hour drive from Gangtok is situated this picturesque waterfall which offers untouched natural beauty and serenity, being away from the city. Natural spring water cascades down a rocky cliff and forms a pool underneath. The spot also has a café and serves as a picnic spot for tourists who can choose to sit and relax or indulge in rappelling down the rock face with the help of a prefixed rope.
Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary
This wildlife sanctuary boasts of abundant flora besides fauna. Rhododendrons, poppies, primulas and magnolias abound the high-altitude sanctuary. A lot of plants with medicinal properties can also be found here. The various water bodies that run through the sanctuary attract a lot of animal varieties like snow leopard, mountain deer, black bear and birds like pheasants, warblers, and partridges. The whole sanctuary is resplendent with flowers of different colours during the summer months.
Although some areas may pose the challenges of harsh climate and high altitude, the breathtakingly spectacular views make it all worthwhile. It is not without good reason that the region is known as ‘’The Switzerland of East”! Stay with as at our resort at Gangtok, Delisso Abode and let us offer you an experience like no other!