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Local Sight Seeing

Tsomgo Lake

Tsongmo Lake or Changu Lake is a glacial lake in the East Sikkim, India, some 40 kilometres (25 mi) away from Gangtok at elevation of 3,780 m (12,400 ft).

The road to Nathu La passes the lake on north side. The Chinese border crossing is only some 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) east-northeast in a straight line, but some 18 kilometres (11 mi) by road.

Indian Postal Service released a commemorative stamp on the lake on 6 November 2006.

Hanuman Tok

Hanuman Tok is a Hindu temple complex which is located in upper reaches of Gangtok, the capital of Indian state of Sikkim. The temple is dedicated to lord Hanuman, the Monkey God. The temple is maintained by the Indian army.

According to the local legends, when Hanuman was flying with the “Sanjeevani”( mythological life saving herb) mountain to save Rama's brother Lakshmana he rested in the spot where his temple now lies for some time. The mandir is actually managed by The Indian Army.

Nathula Pass

Nathu La is a mountain pass in the Himalayas. It connects the Indian state of Sikkim with China's Tibet Autonomous Region. The pass, at 4,310 m (14,140 ft) above mean sea level, forms a part of an offshoot of the ancient Silk Road. Nathu means "listening ears" and La means "pass" in Tibetan. On the Indian side, the pass is 54 km (34 mi) east of Gangtok, the capital of Indian state of Sikkim. Only citizens of India can visit the pass, and then only after obtaining a permit in Gangtok.

Nathu La is one of the three open trading border posts between China and India; the other two are Shipkila in Himachal Pradesh and Lipulekh (or Lipulech) in Uttarakhand. Sealed by India after the 1962 Sino-Indian War, Nathu La was re-opened in 2006 following numerous bilateral trade agreements. The opening of the pass was expected to bolster the economy of the region and play a key role in the growing Sino-Indian trade, but that has not happened. Currently, agreements between the two nations limit trade across the pass to 29 types of goods from India and 15 from the Chinese side. The opening, however, shortens the travel distance to important Hindu and Buddhist pilgrimage sites in the region.

It is also one of the four officially agreed BPM (Border Personnel Meeting) points between the Indian Army and People's Liberation Army of China for regular consultations and interactions between the two armies, which helps in defusing face-offs. The four BPM are: Chushul in Ladakh, Nathu La in Sikkim, Bum La Pass in Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh, and Lipulekh Pass in Uttarakhand close to Qiang.

Ranka Monastery

Rumtek Monastery also called the Dharmachakra Centre, is a gompa located in the Indian state of Sikkim near the capital Gangtok. It is a focal point for the sectarian tensions within the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism that characterize the Karmapa controversy.

Baba Harbhajan Singh Memorial Temple

Major "Baba" Harbhajan Singh (August 3, 1941 – September 11, 1967) was an Indian army soldier who died near the Nathula Pass in eastern Sikkim, India. He is revered by soldiers of the Indian army as the "Hero of Nathula" and the army men have also built a shrine in his honour. He has been accorded the status of saint by believers who refer to him as the Baba (saintly father). Many of the faithful people, chiefly Indian army personnel posted in and around the Nathula Pass and the Sino-Indian border between the state of Sikkim and Chinese occupied Tibet have come to believe his spirit protects every soldier in the inhospitable high altitude terrain of the Eastern Himalayas. As with most saints, the Baba is said to also grant favours presumably to those who revere and worship him.

Enchey Monastery

The Enchey Monastery was established in 1909 above Gangtok, the capital city of Sikkim in the Northeastern Indian state. It belongs to the Nyingma order of Vajrayana Buddhism. The monastery built around the then small hamlet of Gangtok became a religious centre. The location was blessed by Lama Drupthob Karpo, a renowned exponent of tantric (adept) art in Buddhism with flying powers; initially a small Gompa was established by him after he flew from Maenam Hill in South Sikkim to this site. The literal meaning of Enchey Monastery is the "Solitary Monastery". Its sacredness is attributed to the belief that Khangchendzonga and Yabdean – the protecting deities – reside in this monastery. As, according to a legend, Guru Padmasambhava had subdued the spirits of the Khangchendzonga, Yabdean and Mahakala here. In view of this legend, the religious significance of Enchey Monastery is deeply ingrained in every household in Gangtok. It is also believed that these powerful deities always fulfil the wishes of the devotees.

Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary

Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary is a nature park in the Indian state of Sikkim. It has forty species of rhododendron trees. It is located near Lachen in North Sikkim district.

Khangchendzonga National Park

Khangchendzonga National Park (previously named Kanchenjunga National Park) also Kanchenjunga Biosphere Reserve is a National Park and a Biosphere reserve located in Sikkim, India.The park gets its name from the mountain Kanchenjunga (alternative spelling Khangchendzonga) which is 8,586 metres (28,169 ft) tall, the third-highest peak in the world. The total area of this park is 849.5 km2 (328.0 sq mi). There are many glaciers in the park including the Zemu glacier. Animals like musk deer, snow leopard and Himalayan tahr all make their home in this park.

The park was established on 26 August 1977 and was named as a Biosphere reserve.

Tashi View Point

Offering great views of the imposing Himalayan mountains and specifically Mount Khangchendzonga and Mt.Sinilochu, Tashi View Point is a nature lover's delight. You can also enjoy unmatched views of Labrang Monastery and Phodong Monastery, which are situated on the opposite hills. If you are lucky enough, you can treat yourself to mesmerizing views of the snow-capped mountains on a clear day from this point.

Banjhakri Falls

This 100-foot waterfall is located in a landscaped park with forested area at about 7kms from Gangtok town and close to Ranka Monastery. There are paved pathways and footbridge around the park which spreads across some 2-acres of land area with many trees and flowering plants in it. It's a popular picnic spot.

There is also a manmade lake here with a dragon at the center. The entire park is themed on Shaman culture and you can see Sikkimese architecture visible all across the park. There are gazebos at several points where you can relax while soaking in the view of the flowing stream that forms at the bottom of the waterfall and the greenery all around.

Ban Jhakri means 'Jungle Priest' or in some definition 'Jungle Magician'. The Nepali folklore says that the first Jhakri or Shaman acquired the power of mastering the evil spirits from the gods. However he required to identify the right boys and teach the technique secretly in his forest cave. And after the training the boys themselves became Jhakris being able to cure anybody affected by evil spirits. While the male Jhakris always protected human beings, the folklore says that their wives (the Jhakrinis) were evil spirits themselves and would eat up human beings.