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Tuesday, January 26, 2010


The tiny capital of Sikkim nestled between Nepal and Bhutan in the western and eastern flanks and China in the north, its capital Gangtok is an ideal tourist destination who wants get away from the humdrum of daily life.
The capital lies along the Ranipul River and the Kanchenjunga range is fully visible from the city.  There are numerous places of tourist importance. The most famous of course is the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, which is famous for its research into the Tibetan culture and history. It is also a museum where artifacts of Buddhist era are displayed. Adjacent to this is the Tsuk-La-Khang or Royal Chapel which is the main worship area.
The Orchid Sanctuary, situated just adjacent to the museum is home to about five hundred species of Orchids. But to view all the species of orchids that is found in Sikkim, a tourist can visit the Orchidarium. There are other destinations of tourist importance in and around Sikkim.
At a distance of 24 kms from Gangtok is the Rumtek Gompa, which is a monastery where the head of the Kagyupa order of Tibetan Buddhism resides. Around 35 kms from the city lays the Changdu Lake. Special permits are required to visit the lake.
Fairs and festivals are am important part of a tourist’s itinerary. There are quite a few festivals held in Gangtok around the year. Bumchu, Chaam, Kagyat Dance are some of the major festivals. Losar which marks the Tibetan New Year is celebrated throughout Sikkim with much fervor and is a must visit for every tourist.
Gangtok is well connected to all the major towns and cities. The nearest railhead is Silliguri. Tourists can take taxis from Silliguri to Gangtok. Daily flights also connect Silliguri to all major towns. The best time to visit Gangtok is from September to March.

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