FAMOUS PLACES OF SIKKIM
1. GURUDONGMAR LAKE
Gurudongmar Lake is one of the highest lakes in the world and in India, located at an altitude of 17,800 ft (5,430 m), in the Indian state of Sikkim. It is considered sacred by Buddhists, Sikhs and Hindus. The lake is named after Guru Padmasambhava—also known as Guru Rinpoche—founder of Tibetan Buddhism, who visited in the 8th century.It is claimed that the lake was blessed in the 15th century by Guru Nanak, the spiritual leader of Sikhism, while he passed through this area.
It is popularly known as ‘Valley of Flowers’ and is home to the Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary, which has over twenty-four species of the rhododendron, the state flower. The flowering season is from late February and to mid June, when countless flowers bloom to carpet the valley in multicolored hues of rainbow. A tributary of the river Teesta flows past the valley and the town of Lachung, the nearest inhabited centre. Yumthang is closed between December and March due to heavy snowfall. There is also a hot spring in the valley.
Gangtok is a city, municipality, the capital and the largest town of the Indian state of Sikkim. It also is the headquarters of the East Sikkim district. Gangtok is located in the eastern Himalayan range, at an elevation of 1,650 m (5,410 ft). The town’s population of 100,000 belongs to different ethnicities such as Nepalis, Lepchas and Bhutia. Nestled within higher peaks of the Himalaya and enjoying a year-round mild temperate climate, Gangtok is at the centre of Sikkim’s tourism industry.Gangtok rose to prominence as a popular Buddhist pilgrimage site after the construction of the Enchey Monastery in 1840. In 1894, the ruling Sikkimese Chogyal, Thutob Namgyal, transferred the capital to Gangtok. In the early 20th century, Gangtok became a major stopover on the trade route between Lhasa in Tibet and cities such as Kolkata (then Calcutta) in British India. After India won its independence from Britain in 1947, Sikkim chose to remain an independent monarchy, with Gangtok as its capital. In 1975, after the integration with the union of India, Gangtok was made India’s 22nd state capital.
4. TEESTA RIVER
The Teesta River (or Tista River) is a 309 km (192 mi) long river flowing through the Indian states of West Bengal and Sikkim through Bangladesh before emptying to the Bay of Bengal. It carves out from the verdant Himalayas and Singalila in temperate and tropical river Valleys and forms the border between Sikkim and West Bengal. It flows through the cities of Rangpo, Jalpaiguri and Kalimpong and joins the Jamuna (Brahmaputra) in Bangladesh. It drains an area of 12,540 km(4,840 sq mi).
5. KHANGCHENDZONGA NATIONAL PARK
Khangchendzonga National Park also Kanchenjunga Biosphere Reserve is a National Park and a Biosphere reserve located in Sikkim, India. It was inscribed to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list on July 17, 2016, becoming the first “Mixed Heritage” site of India. The park gets its name from the mountain Kangchenjunga (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 km (328.0 sq mi).
There are many glaciers in the park including the Zemu glacier. Animals like musk deer, snow leopard, Clouded Leopard, and Himalayan tahr all make their home in this park.