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The land of the Chogyals that became the part of India in 1975 but has been a tourism hotspot among other beautiful states of India. Divided in four districts, the beauty is equally distributed among all its corners. The East has its capital at Gangtok, the West at Geyzing, the North at Mangan and the Southern district has its capital at Namchi. The tiny mountain state has borders with China and has borders which were once the trail of the famous Silk Route that carried on business between the two regions. It is really amazing how this tiny state has altitude variation from 240 meters to 8540 meters above sea level. The Rangeet River forms the borders with the neighboring Bengal and the Mighty Kanchenjunga peak with an altitude of 28168 ft acts as its boundary with Nepal. The zones of Sikkim are divided into four districts. The four districts have different capitals, the East being Gangtok, South being Namchi, North being Gyalshing and the West having the capital of Geyzing.

history of sikkim

History of Sikkim

The earlier existence of Sikkim can be drawn from around 1642 when the rest of India was still divided into many princely states and were ruled by different rulers and Sikkim still had no attachment to India then. The kingdom of Sikkim was a solidified by the Chogyals or Dharma King. It was actually an independent country ruled by the monarchs ever since. Sikkim has had a total of twelve kings during its Independent status and the final king of Independent Sikkim was Palden Thondup Namgyal. The British held trade with Tibet and thus Sikkim remained under British suzerainty until the British retreated back to England. The Kingdom was annexed into the Union of India willingly in May, 1975. Many provisions of the Indian amendments had to be altered to create an international treaty between Sikkim and India.

Places to go

Enchey Monastery

An important seat of the Nyingma order, the Enchey Monastery is built on the site blessed by lama Druptob Karpo, a tantric master known for his power of flying. This 200-year-old Monastery has in its premise images of gods, goddess and other religious objects.

Pemayangtse Monastery

Pemayangtse Monastery is one of the oldest monasteries in the State, originally established by Lhatsun Chempo, one of the reverend lamas to have performed the consecration ceremony of the first Chogyal (Religious) Monarch) of Sikkim. This ancient Monastery belongs to the Nyingmapa sect of Tibetan Buddhism and has been considered as one of the premier monasteries in the State.

Sangacholing Monastery

This Monastery is situated on a ridge above Pelling and the famous Pemayangtse Monastery. Built in 1697 A.D., it is considered to be one of the oldest monasteries in the State. In order to reach this Monastery one has to be prepared to spend at least 40 minutes walking up the steep hill slope which leads through rich forest covers.

Dubdi Monastery

This was the first Monastery established soon after the consecration ceremony of the first chohyal. The Monastery is located on a hill top above Yuksam surrounded by verdant forest. It can be approached by trekking only, negotiating steep slope for something like 32 to 35 minutes. It is an ideal place for lamas seeking meditation recluse.

Tashiding Monastery

This Monastery is constructed on top of a heart- shaped hill with the backdrop of the sacred Mt. Khangchendzonga. According to Buddhist scriptures, Guru Padma Sambhave ( Guru Rimpoche ) blessed the sacred land of Sikkim in 8th Century A.D. by one Nadak Sempa Chempo, one of the three lamas who had performed the consecration ceremony of the first Chogyal.

Phensong Monastery

The Phensong Monastery, under the Nyingmapa Buddhist Order , was built in 1721 during the time of Jigme Pawo . It was gutter by fire in 1947 and rebuilt in 1948 through the efforts of the lamas. The annual festival of Chaam is performed on the 29th and 28th days of the tenth month of Lunar calendar ( Tibetan Calendar ).

Phodong Monastery

One of the six major monasteries is Sikkim, Phodong monastery is located in the North approximately 38 kms from Gangtok. At a distance of 4 kms beyond Phodong is the recently- renovated Labrang Monastery unique in its architectural design.

Do-drul Chorten (Stupa)

The Do-drul Chorten or Stupa was built by the venerable Trulshi Rimpoche, head of the Nyingma order of Tibetan Buddhism, in 1945. Inside this Stupa, there are complete mandala sets of Dorjee Jphurba ( Bajra Kilaya) , a set of kan-gyur relics ( Holy Books), complete 'Zung' (mantras ) and other religious objects, Around this chorten, which is one the most important stupas in Sikkim.

Namgyal Research Instituteof Tibetology (NRIT)

The most prestigious of its kind in India-this Buddhist Institute is a treasure grove of vast collection of rare Lepcha, Tibetan and Sanskrit manuscripts, Statues and rare Thankas (Tapestries used in Buddhist liturgy ) and has over 200 Buddhist icons and other prized object of art. Today , its is a renowned worldwide centre for study of Buddhist Philosophy and religion.

Rumtek Dhama Chakra Centre

About 45 minutes drive from Gangtok, 24 kms away, is the Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre, the seat of the Kagyu order, one of the 4 major Tibetan Buddhist sects, since the late 1960s, after the arrival of His Holiness the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, the Centre houses some of the world's most unique religious scriptures and religious are objects, Traditional in design, it is almost a replica of the original Kagyu headquarters Tibet.

Tsomgo Lake

It is literally known as the "Source Of The Lake" in Bhutia language. Just about 40 kms. away from Gangtok, the capital of the State, this serene lake is situated at an altitude of 3780 meter. The lake is about 1 km long. Oval in shape ,15 meters deep and is considered scared by the local people. This placid lake remains frozen during the winter months up to mid - May . Between May and August it is possible to see a variety of flowers in blooms, including the rhododendrons, various species of premolars, blue and yellow poppies, irises etc, it is also an ideal habitat for the Red Panda and various species of birds.

Tashi View Point

Situated along the North Sikkim Highway, it is only 8 kms from Gangtok. From this point you get a breathtaking view of Mount Khangchendzonga and Mt. Siniolchu, one of the most graceful peaks in the world.

Ganesh Tok

It is situated on a ridge and is only 7 kms from Gangtok . From this spot one gets bird's eye view of sprawling Gangtok town down below while across the hill Mt. Khangchendzonga and Mt. Sinioichu loom over the horizon. A cafeteria serves you hot tea/coffee and snacks.

Khecheopalri Lake

Khecheopalri Lake is considered as one of the sacred lakes of this State both by the Buddhist and the Hindu. The lake remains hidden in the rich forest cover. It is believed that birds do not permit even a single leaf to float on the lake surface. There is a motorable road from Pemayangtse right up to the lake area.

Yumthang Valley

A beautiful and pristine alpine valley at an altitude of about 3500 metres above sea level. It’s most lovely charm is its wealth of natural wonders and the abundance of various flowers and orhids that grow naturally here. It is also known as the valley of flowers.


It is a sandwiched beauty situated between the hills of Tendong and Meanam in Sikkim. It is definitely a visual treat and has gained much popularity among other places in Sikkim. The valley has an aura of tranquility and the presence of the giant golden statue of Buddha is the main attraction.


If is one of the most offbeat destinations within Sikkim that isn’t so popular as it should be. Located in the West of Sikkim, Varsey is famous for its vibrant and richly colored Rhododendrons. The natural trails here are best for trekking and there is a possibility of seeing a Red Panda here.


It is the capital of one of the districts of Sikkim and has a rich historical significance. The name means the ‘King’s Garden’ and there once was a garden along the ruins of Rabdentse Palace here. There is also the famous wish fulfilling Khecheopalri Lake which must be visited while in Gyalshing. The lake is of great importance and much treasured by the locals here.


Located in the West, Kaluk is a peaceful Himalayan village that is mostly popular for its amazing natural beauty that is abundant here. Its natural trail is also pretty engaging and best for hiking activities along its beautiful forest with excellent picturesque views. People often trek from here till Rinchenpong, which is a gorgeous monastery.

Tarey Bhir, Sadam

On the way from Melli to Namchi, about 13 km away is where you will come across a a 10000 feet long ridge pathway that lies in the upper area of the Phooldara in Sadam. It is greatly engaging and a perfect spot for clicking beautiful pictures. You can also visit the nearby Kitam Bird Sanctuary that boast of more than 200 species of birds.